The remainder of the 2023 season is very important for anyone currently employed by the Washington Commanders. Under new ownership, Josh Harris is going to be re-evaluating everything once the season comes to an end.
At 4-6, the Commanders are currently on the outside looking in of the playoff picture. If they fail to make a late-season run at the postseason, everyone could be on the chopping block, from players on the roster to the coaching staff.
Despite the losing record, there have been some positive developments this year. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has helped elevate Sam Howell’s level of performance, as he leads the NFL in passing yardage and is inside the top 10 in numerous categories. However, there aren’t nearly as many positives on the defensive side of the ball.
What was once among the most dominant units in the NFL has become a get-right spot for opponents. The Commanders are 29th in the NFL in total defense through Week 10 after being No. 3 last season. That is a huge indictment against head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio.
Barring a change in fortune, no one would blame Harris and the new ownership group for making a change. If they do, one person to keep an eye on is current New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick.
Rumors have been floating around that Belichick’s time in New England is going to be coming to an end. ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky took it a step further, saying the destination for Belichick has already been decided.
“I have heard that’s going to be the case, and it’s kind of, who knows the likelihood of it? But I’ve heard that’s going to happen. And I’ve heard the location is kind of already determined, as well,” said Orlovsky. “I’m not giving [names] — I just have heard that. …It’s people who know what they’re talking about.”
Long-time host Dan Patrick asked Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated if he had heard anything close to what Orlovsky was sharing. While a definite destination for Belichick hasn’t been chosen from what Breer has heard, the Commanders have been linked to him previously in league circles.
“I don’t know that a destination has been determined, I will say this though, the Washington stuff as been out there for a while,” Breer said. “It’s something that’s been talked about in NFL circles for more than the time than it’s been out there in the public.
“That one is interesting to me, because if you look at the history of things, Dan, like, we’ve seen owners bring in coaches with a track record… it’s generally a credibility play. Like Shad Khan needed credibility in Jacksonville so he brought in Tom Coughlin. At the beginning of Steve Ross’ ownership in Miami, they had Bill Parcells there as the football czar.
It would make sense if you’re trying to restore credibility to your organization if you’re Josh Harris, and Josh Harris would be able to negotiate this with the New England Patriots because he went to Harvard Business School with Jonathan Kraft and they have a relationship going back over 30 years. So there are some dots connecting there that make a lot of sense.” (H/T Heavy)
Breer makes a lot of good points when talking to Patrick. Belichick would bring instant credibility to a franchise that has been lacking it for years. They haven’t had consecutive postseason appearances since the 1990-1993 seasons, making the playoffs only six times in the following 30 years.
While Belichick has struggled with the Patriots post-Tom Brady, he would be a huge upgrade for the franchise. He is the exact kind of coach the Commanders could use to right the ship under Harris and his new ownership group.