Commanders deep dive: Assessing the new coaching staff under Dan Quinn

How is the new Commanders coaching staff shaping up?

Ken Norton Jr.
Ken Norton Jr. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Darryl Tapp - Commanders DL coach

  • Previous position: Assistant defensive line coach, San Francisco 49ers
  • Replacing: Jeff Zgonina

Darryl Tapp played college football at Virginia Tech and then had a solid, if unspectacular professional career that lasted a dozen seasons. He coached for three years in college before putting in another three years at the next level before joining the Washington Commanders.

Green flag: Tapp has risen quickly through the coaching ranks. He is one of the two coaches Adam Peters brought over from the San Francisco 49ers.

Red flag: Tapp has never coached a position group by himself. Washington also hired Shariff Floyd, who began his coaching career last year under Dan Quinn, to assist.

Ken Norton Jr. - Commanders LBs coach

Ken Norton Jr. was a dynamic linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and 49ers throughout the 1990s. He served as a defensive coordinator for seven seasons before returning to the college ranks to coach at UCLA in 2022.

Green flag: It is impossible to imagine the Commanders' linebacking corps looking as moribund as they did over the past few seasons with Norton coaching them. They will be aggressive and they will hit.

Red flag: Norton was fired by the Seattle Seahawks after the 2021 season in part because the defense seemed to be regressing. They had an excellent defense before his arrival - for a while under the leadership of Dan Quin. Norton was not able to maintain that extremely high standard.