NFL writer offers controversial take on Commanders quarterback plans

This would be something.
Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders have their big hope at the quarterback position under the new regime. Jayden Daniels was the consensus choice within the building at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. His smooth transition over early workouts has fans salivating at the prospect of seeing him in a competitive setting next season.

Although head coach Dan Quinn hasn't officially named Daniels as the Week 1 starter just yet, it seems like a foregone conclusion. However, that's not an opinion shared by one NFL writer.

NFL writer believes the Commanders should start Marcus Mariota in Week 1

Zackery Rogers from Last Word on Sports had a somewhat controversial take surrounding Washington's quarterback plans next season. The writer believes that the Commanders should start veteran free-agent signing Marcus Mariota initially, highlighting his experience and ability to thrive within offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury's scheme as reasons for encouragement.

"Starting [Jayden] Daniels week one may be the move Washington fans are looking for but it wouldn’t be the right one. Week one the franchise should start [Marcus] Mariota because of his veteran experience. His numbers may not jump off the page but last year, he played three games where he threw 15-of-23 with a 59.9 completion rating. Daniels will be the future starting QB, but the team shouldn’t rush to put him on the field. The offense will need to adjust to the spread offense that Kingsbury may run which can be a lot for a rookie QB to run out the gate. While coaching the Arizona Cardinals, Kingsbury’s offense focused strongly on the pass which took away from the run game. The 6-foot-4 quarterback will be able to test out the new offense and mentor Daniels."

Zackery Rogers, LWOS

This wasn't a wild notion in years gone by. Rookie quarterbacks have thrived after sitting behind established figures for a year or two. Others such as Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love waited longer for their opportunities but were more than ready when thrust into the limelight.

Unless Daniels is 100 percent ready, the Commanders could err on the side of caution. However, that doesn't appear likely given the way he's applied himself since joining the setup.

Daniels drew rave reviews over early offseason workouts. His on-field talent and tireless work ethic gained the respect of teammates and coaches in equal measure. Even those around the league think something special could be in the offing in Washington with the former LSU star under center.

We also live in an instant-gratification football world for the most part. High-end draft picks tend to learn on the job these days. Teams invest heavily in their services and want to see an immediate return on their investment. That's the way things work in the modern era for good or bad.

The Heisman Trophy winner is experienced enough at the college level to ensure complications are kept to a minimum. Daniels knows the margins will be slimmer in the NFL and there will be times of struggle. Fortunately, he's got a solid support system in place when things get difficult.

Mariota's role as a mentor is integral to Daniels' early development. But in an ideal world, that's as far as his contribution will go in 2024.