Commanders already benefitting from two tone-setting veterans

Their experience gave the Commanders a helping hand.
Bobby Wagner
Bobby Wagner / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders have big plans to become a genuine force under the new regime. This is a significant challenge everyone within the franchise set for themselves. It'll take a collective effort to put these ambitious proposals into action.

Cohesion and unity weren't exactly hallmarks of the Dan Snyder ownership era. Even though previous head coach Ron Rivera often lauded the way he'd improved the culture, revelations from the players told a completely different story.

Things are changing.

Dan Quinn and Adam Peters feel like the roster is in a good spot. The expectations have been raised and newfound standards set. However, the staff can only do so much. This is why so many veteran players were retained or acquired throughout the general manager's first recruitment period at the helm.

Commanders getting significant input from two established veteran players

Quinn emphasized player accountability and correctly conducting themselves with one common goal in mind. Too many lacked interest and played the blame game last season as another campaign spiraled into oblivion. That won't be tolerated moving forward.

Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated highlighted two veteran standouts who've made an imposing start to their time in Washington both on and off the field. The respected NFL insider named Bobby Wagner and Zach Ertz specifically as tone-setting enforcers over early workouts. This also includes helping in the installation phase given their previous experience within the systems.

"The two guys in particular who really showed up in that regard were Bobby Wagner and Zach Ertz, who have a combined 23 years of NFL experience and have both won a Super Bowl. Quinn had Wagner in Seattle a decade ago, so he knew exactly what he was getting from the six-time All-Pro. And Quinn’s offensive coordinator, Kliff Kingsbury, had Ertz for a season and a half in Arizona, so Washington wasn’t guessing about him, either. Both helped to set a standard and install the coaches’ systems."

Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated

This isn't the first time lavish praise has come Wagner's way since joining the Commanders. He's highly respected and willing to go the extra mile to help his teammates. His influence will reach much further than just being around the football consistently on defense. Those alongside the perennial All-Pro linebacker should be hanging on his every word.

Ertz came into the building with more questions to answer. He missed a lot of football last season before being released by the Arizona Cardinals. However, he's come into the building with a new lease of life.

The veteran's chemistry with quarterback Jayden Daniels is growing. He's helping along rookie tight end Ben Sinnott - who'll be the long-term No. 1 barring any drastic setbacks. Ertz is also keeping everyone on offense focused and becoming a leader to correct those making schematic mistakes.

Hopefully, this is a trend that continues throughout Washington's training camp in readiness for the 2024 campaign.

Wagner, Ertz, and several other locker room alphas with proven credentials need to lead from the front. They must keep spirits high when times are bad and maintain an even keel when times are good. That's the only way the Commanders are going to get out of their slump and back among the contenders.

So far, so good.