Commanders get significant boost with strong attendance at OTAs

Everyone seems willing to put in the hard yards this offseason.
Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The excitement is palpable within the Washington Commanders and across their long-suffering fanbase. There's a newfound level of expectancy about what this franchise might be able to accomplish under the new regime. Getting off to a strong start is crucial, but the foundations for a profitable future have been laid during a monumental offseason of alterations.

Dan Quinn is the man tasked with steering this new group of players on the right track. He's formed an outstanding staff team in pursuit of making his grand plans for progress go off without a hitch. This has also received a positive response from the entire roster throughout early workouts.

Commanders get overwhelming turnout for voluntary OTAs

We are in the voluntary stages of organized team activities. Players are free to come and go as they please before attendance is compulsory later in the summer. However, seeing everyone decide to show up represents a major statement of intent as the Commanders look to become one of the league's surprise packages in 2024.

Everyone from prolific veterans such as Bobby Wagner to undrafted free agent hopefuls are present for voluntary OTAs. Nobody wants to get left behind and everyone wants to leave a positive first impression. Quinn is also eager to get each player prominent reps as part of Washington's ongoing assessment surrounding what they have and what more might be needed.

This is the biggest sign yet that the players have embraced Quinn and are fully buying in. Urgency has increased exponentially with growing competition for places, so anyone not pulling their weight and deciding to get some extra time away from the facility would be playing catch-up in no uncertain terms.

When someone with Wagner's glowing résumé is setting the tone by showing up to voluntary workouts, others must follow. The linebacker's drawn rave reviews for assisting with Quinn's professional culture shift. Hopefully, this is a trend that can continue in the weeks and months before the Commanders begin their regular season at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jonathan Allen is another who's reinvigorated by Quinn's early impact.

The defensive tackle's frustrations led to speculation about his future beyond the 2023 season. Now, he's got a smile on his face again and is excited to work. This is a far cry from Allen's sluggish demeanor last time around and cannot be seen as anything other the encouraging.

It's only early, but things couldn't be going much better. Quinn is widely respected and eager to repay the faith shown in him by Josh Harris' ownership group and Peters. Getting players onside quickly was another important piece of the puzzle - something he's accomplished effectively if OTA attendance and the high tempo of practices are any indication.

Things won't be smooth sailing all the time. But the fact Quinn's changing the mindset, becoming more approachable, and striving to enhance team chemistry should keep complications to a minimum even in the most troubling predicaments.

Quinn wasn't everyone's first choice, but he's more than qualified. More importantly, he's a players' coach and willing to adapt to the modern-day NFL star. Something that cannot be said of those who came before.

Exciting times ahead, no doubt.