Washington Commanders are not the Texans, but “close to that path”
Washington Commanders are not the Texans, but “close to that path”

It’s hard to imagine a world where the Washington Commanders aren’t making a lot of progress as a franchise, changing the culture and taking promising approaches. But that doesn’t always translate to the track record.

Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports recently began his NFL rankings and offseason preview series, which starts with the lowest-ranked team. This year, that was the Carolina Panthers at No. 32, the New England Patriots at No. 31 and the Denver Broncos at No. 30.

Just ahead of these three teams, the Commanders themselves are in 29th place.

The Commanders have accomplished just about everything fans could want from a rebuilding team – there’s new ownership, a new general manager, and even a new coaching staff. Despite all of that, the Commanders spent the offseason revamping the roster and producing their lowest performance since the previous season.

READ MORE: Former teammate of Washington Commanders QB Jayden Daniels predicts Bucs win in Week 1

Yet they are just that – a rebuilding team. Jayden Daniels, selected with the No. 2 overall pick and considered a new potential franchise quarterback, has not yet proven himself. Head coach Dan Quinn’s defense will have to back him up. Can the offensive line keep Daniels’ jersey clean? There are still a lot of unanswered questions about this team.

Many of the Commanders’ recent moves are similar to those of the Houston Texans, who won three games in 2022 before climbing to 10 wins in 2023. They had an unexpected No. 2 pick who happened to be a quarterback and a head coach in his first season with the team.

Any team trying to replicate the Texans’ quick rebuild will face a tough time. The Commanders, however, could come close and do it within two years.

“But the Commanders could be a team that comes close to that path,” Schwab wrote of the Commanders’ rebuild versus the Texans. “Why not? Ownership doesn’t seem to be interfering in personnel decisions anymore. The Commanders have a GM who already commands respect around the league, a head coach who deserves a second chance and a quarterback who may not be Stroud but could have a tremendous impact right away.”

There are so many factors that could explain a No. 29 ranking. Betting on Daniels to turn the team around with four wins in his first year is asking too much. Quinn and the rest of his coaching staff need to establish a culture and get everyone on the same page.

However, players who have come to terms with the franchise’s mediocrity will feel like they’ve moved on to a new team. New signings will experience a culture the Commanders aren’t quite used to.

“The Commanders already had some good players and then added a ton of talent as free agents,” Schwab continued. “They signed more than 20 experienced free agents in the offseason. The Commanders had the most roster turnover in the league, and that’s not a bad thing after a 4-13 season.”

With an already decent roster, strong free agency, and an even better 2024 NFL Draft, the Commanders should perform better in the upcoming NFL season. The question is how much they improve, and the answer will be found in the performance of Daniels and the new roster in the first year of the turnaround.

READ MORE: Why receiver Terry McLaurin is a Commanders player worth cheering for

Stay at CommanderGameday and that Commanders in the crosshairs Podcast for further coverage of the Washington Commanders during the 2024 season.

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By Everly