Commanders getting impressive leadership from veteran free-agent signing

This looks like tremendous addition already.
Cole Turner
Cole Turner / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders need a new set of leaders to emerge in pursuit of brighter fortunes for the franchise. Many of the team's locker room alphas remain around despite wholesale changes to the playing personnel by Adam Peters. But no team can ever have enough veteran presences willing to lift those around them.

Much has been made about players and coaches going through the motions last season. Everyone knew landmark alterations were coming. Most were waiting for the inevitable rather than remaining focused on the task at hand. There is a much different atmosphere across the Commanders now.

Dan Quinn and his coaching staff have set the tone and raised expectations quickly. Players look inspired and ready to give their all in pursuit of progress. Some established figures new to the organization also wasted no time in making their presence felt.

Commanders getting instant leadership from tight end Zach Ertz

Cole Turner, the third-year tight end looking to improve under the new regime, hailed the impressive impact made by Zach Ertz in a short space of time. His previous relationship with Kliff Kingsbury made him a second coach of sorts. This is coming across within the position group and across the roster overall based on comments via USA Today Sports.

"Zach [Ertz] and (Kliff Kingsbury) have been together for years before. That’s the first thing about Zach that he’s seen what Kliff expects from the offense, and he’s not a selfish guy, he wants to help everyone out. It’s been really fun to play with him. Me and Zach have become friends in just a few months of knowing each other; he’s a very personable guy and a guy that goes out of his way and wants to see the team win. It’s been great having him around – not just for the tight ends, but for everyone. He’s one of the leaders on the team, for sure."

Zach Ertz via USA Today Sports

Turner's statement about Ertz's smooth transition to a different environment isn't the first. His on-field production and willingness to take on the leadership mantle were evident throughout Washington's offseason program. This already looks like a tremendous piece of business by the Commanders in more ways than one.

Ertz might not have many good years left. He missed a lot of football last season following his mutual departure from the Arizona Cardinals. Kingbury gave him a lifeline in the nation's capital. He's grasped it with both hands.

The former second-round pick's influence goes way beyond numbers. Ertz will be tasked with passing on his wisdom to the likes of Turner, Armani Rogers, John Bates, and rookie Ben Sinnott. This additional insight will be invaluable as he looks to leave the Commanders in good hands after his time with the team concludes.

Much will depend on how Ertz applies himself when competitive games commence. It would be a surprise if this arrangement wasn't a short-term affair. But the Commanders can get plenty of bang for their buck based on first impressions.

Ertz isn't afraid to speak his mind when needed. He's been to the top and knows what it takes to win a ring. That carries a ton of weight within a squad that hasn't achieved much success in recent years.

Hopefully, Ertz can carry on this emerging leadership throughout the summer and when competitive games arrive. If the production matches between the white lines, it'll be one of Washington's best offseason acquisitions.