Commanders film room: Frankie Luvu's impact in Dan Quinn's scheme

Washington is getting a stud with Frankie Luvu.
Frankie Luvu
Frankie Luvu / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Since Frankie Luvu signed with the Washington Commanders, I have been extremely vocal about how head over heels I am for adding him to this defense. He is a top-ten linebacker in the league and can leap into a true X-factor player. He is an exotic second-level presence because he can truly do it all. 

To share my love for Luvu, I watched some of his tape and took notes about his game. The film I watched was the Carolina Panthers vs. Houston Texans contest. The veteran posted a stat line of 12 tackles - seven being solo - one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, and two passes defended.

The stats from this game for Luvu are impressive in their own right. His overall contribution proves why the Commanders got an absolute stud during 2024 free agency.

Commanders are getting effort and athleticism with Frankie Luvu

One of the most important things for a defender to have is hustle and effort. Luvu is the definition of that. His high motor makes sure he never gives up on a play. 

One example during this game saw Brian Burns miss a tackle and Devin Singletary was able to evade Luvu when he went in for the kill. Instead of giving up, the former Washington State star pounced off the ground and took the running back down when he made his cut. Those are the types of plays elite football players make.

Luvu explodes to the contact point. This shows his natural athleticism and allows him to create angles and swat down passes in ways that normal players just can’t do.

This athleticism leads to blown-up gaps and disrupted plays. Luvu is a chess piece in blitzes and can lead to a sack or tackle for loss anytime he gets sent on a blitz. We all know how Dan Quinn loves to scheme his linebackers on blitzes, so this will only benefit the player.

Simply put, Luvu is an absolute nightmare for offenses and offensive play callers.

Frankie Luvu's awareness and sure tackling can help the Commanders

One of my favorite things about Luvu is how sure of a tackler he is. He very rarely misses attempts and comes at the ball carrier like a seeking missile.

My favorite tackle from Luvu during his Texans film was an incredible goal-line stop. Dameon Pierce took an outside run from the one-yard line and the linebacker spotted the gap to stop the backfield threat dead in his tracks.

To get to the ball carrier and show off his sure tackling, Luvu has to sniff out plays before they develop. Luvu’s elite awareness allows him to determine where the ball is going immediately. This enables him to explode to the ball carrier or make a play in pass coverage.

Having a high-end football IQ is arguably the most important trait for a linebacker. Luvu possesses it in abundance.

Frankie Luvu's zone coverage capabilities

Luvu is outstanding in zone coverage because of how much attention he pays to the quarterback. He drops to his zone immediately and has his eyes glued to where the quarterback is looking throughout.

On a certain play in this game, Luvu has the responsibility of covering the middle read. He dropped back to his zone, kept his eyes on the quarterback, and used his athleticism to swat down a ball that was going to an intended receiver way over his head.

On another play in this game, he was rushing the quarterback. Luvu kept his eyes glued to the ball. He was taking on both the guard and the center to allow his fellow linebacker to stunt to the open gap. He saw rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud load up to throw and get off his blocks to jump into the air for a deflected pass.

Luvu is an exceptional football player and the total package at linebacker. His arrival is going to help the Commanders' defense thrive under Quinn's guidance.