Excitement is building as the Washington Commanders get set to ramp up their intense preparations for the upcoming 2023 season.
While every Washington Commanders fan waits with bated breath for official confirmation of new ownership, Ron Rivera, his staff, and the players at his disposal are getting themselves ready for what promises to be an intriguing preparation period for the franchise. With free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft now in the rearview mirror, attention quickly turns to some important dates that will hopefully lay the foundations for an outstanding campaign.
There is a lot riding on next season for almost everyone within the Commanders. Josh Harris' ownership group will have their own specific set of ideas on how to take the franchise forward, which might not include many currently on the books unless drastic improvements arrive in 2023.
Rivera's been keen to avoid any unnecessary distractions in pursuit of molding a competitive roster. His hands have been tied to a certain extent given the ownership flux, so it remains to be seen whether the Commanders have enough to make their presence felt within a highly competitive NFC East.
This all starts by getting everyone on the same page quickly. OTAs and rookie minicamps are up first, which is followed by a pivotal training camp over the summer coupled with a few preseason games thrown in for good measure.
Commanders 2023 OTA offseason workouts and minicamps schedule
Rookie minicamp: May 11-13
This is a chance for Washington's draft class, the undrafted free agents and others invited for tryouts to acclimatize themselves with their new surroundings before linking up with more proven players. It's an important part of the process and one that might spring a surprise or two along the way.
All eyes will be on Emmanuel Forbes after the Commanders selected him at No. 16 overall. But it's important for everyone to make an impression no matter where they stand in the current pecking order.
OTAs: May 23-25, May 30-June 1, June 13
Rookies and veterans come together for the first time later this month for OTAs. These will be held in three separate stages per NFL rules and should tell us plenty about what the Commanders' starting unit and rotational pieces might look like when the real action begins.
Established figures in the locker room have already begun familiarizing themselves with new coaches - Eric Bieniemy, in particular. And there should be plenty of urgency during drills with extra competition for places added throughout the offseason.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 6-8
The final stage of the preparation period before training camp is the mandatory minicamp. Expect to see a different level of commitment over the three days, which is the last opportunity to impress before Rivera and his staff cements their roster before camp.
There is also a chance Harris' ownership group is announced by the NFL by this point. Something that adds another fascinating dynamic to the equation.
Business is about to pick up for the Commanders in more ways than one. How things unfold in the weeks ahead will go a long way to determining how successful Rivera can become entering Year 4 of his tenure.