One Commanders player to benefit most from each head coaching candidate

The incoming appointment has big implications for Washington's players.

Aaron Glenn
Aaron Glenn / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Commanders could hire Mike Macdonald

  • Player to benefit most: Emmanuel Forbes (CB)

Mike Macdonald has been the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator for the past two seasons. Along with Anthony Weaver, he has been primarily responsible for the consistently excellent play of their flourishing unit.

Unlike Weaver, who has worked exclusively with the defensive line, Macdonald had experience with both linebackers and defensive backs. That knowledge is not why I think he would help the Washington Commanders beleaguered young cornerback Emmanuel Forbes though. I think he will help because of the overall style of defense he will play.

Macdonald is not a showy coordinator. The Ravens do not run lots of blitzes. Though he does create inventive ways to free up pass rushers out of his 3-4 base, Baltimore typically only sends four men after the quarterback.

That allows them to drop into a Cover 4 pass defense on many plays. The Cover 4 is a hybrid system that allows corners to engage in man-to-man principles while having the extra protection of a deep shell.

It requires very sound pass rushers and linebackers who are strong in pass coverage. That is something the Commanders will need to build. My money would be on Macdonald to build such a defense in short order should he be the hire. If he does, the Cover 4 will be ideal for Forbes.

It would allow him to use his excellent press-cover skills without worrying about being beaten deep, as often happened in his rookie year. As a bonus, Macdonald's defense tackles very well. Forbes will improve one of his major weaknesses.