Dan Quinn fires stark warning to Commanders players over summer break

The standards have been set.
Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders did a tremendous job of building momentum throughout early workouts. An influx of new players via free agency and the draft coupled with Dan Quinn's improved coaching methods galvanized everything associated with the franchise. The head coach does not want this to be wasted.

There's a sense of energy and belief that was sorely lacking under Ron Rivera. Players are enjoying their time in the facility and are willingly going the extra mile in pursuit of progress. As they head off on their summer break before training camp, Quinn fired off a warning to every roster member regarding the standards expected.

Dan Quinn wants Commanders players to stay focused over their summer break

It's easy for players to become distracted with so much perceived downtime. Quinn made it clear in no uncertain terms that he wants them to remain focused, not paint the organization in a bad light, and ensure they are ready to hit the ground running when things get more intense at training camp. He even enlisted the help of respected linebackers coach Ken Norton to relay this message based on comments via the team's website.

"They're away from this environment, where we're together just as often as we could be. We've all read or heard stories in an offseason that trouble can be found. I just want to remember that we have one big rule, and that's protecting the team. That applies 24/7, whether you're here or elsewhere. When you do come back, you can be counted on. That was the big message, and that's why I thought it was so important with Ken [Norton]…to say, 'Man, protect this time like you're really putting it in.' Other people want what you have, so keep going for it."

Dan Quinn via Commanders.com

The Commanders had to deal with an unsavory incident earlier this offseason. Brandon McManus' sexual assault allegations and pending civil suit were enough for those in power to release the veteran kicker swiftly. This decisive action should serve as a message that off-the-field issues won't be tolerated and will be dealt with harshly.

This wasn't the case during Dan Snyder's two-decade tenure as owner. Josh Harris' ownership group holds themselves to a different standard. If certain players aren't doing the same, their time with the franchise will be short-lived.

For the Commanders to achieve their objectives and bring this storied club back to prominence, they need everyone on the same page. There can be no unnecessary distractions whatsoever. Quinn runs a tight ship, but he's also preached the importance of self-accountability and openness as part of his mission to build trust across the board.

Just because the Commanders gained rave reviews for their offseason acquisitions and approach to early workouts, it doesn't guarantee success. Others around the NFL are doing the same. Keeping their foot on the gas and finding the right balance between rest and work in the coming weeks is the primary objective.

Anything less won't be well-received by Quinn or his staff. So the onus is on his players to maintain a sense of professionalism and avoid any temptations that could jeopardize their chances of making a lasting contribution.