HomeTrade RumorsIs the HC Position of Commanders Viewed as Desirable?

Is the HC Position of Commanders Viewed as Desirable?

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The Commanders have already made one coaching change this season with defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio being fired. More changes are expected, though, which would make the team one to watch in the upcoming hiring cycle.

Head coach Ron Rivera is in his fourth season in Washington, and the 2023 campaign will be the third which ends in a losing record. The Commanders have made just one playoff appearance in his tenure (due to a division-winning 7-9 record in 2020), leading many to view this season as his last. Signs continue to point that way, and a firing after the end of the season would leave the team in need of a new coach for the first time since Josh Harris became owner.

“From an outside perspective, Washington is the best job now that Dan Snyder doesn’t own it,” one coaching agent said about a potential Commanders vacancy (h/t Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post).

The emergence of Sam Howell as a genuine starting quarterback this season is among the top reasons coaching candidates could be attracted to a posting in the nation’s capital. The 2022 fifth-rounder has served as the team’s starter throughout the 2023 campaign, offering reasons to believe he can retain the job for years to come. While his 14 interceptions and 58 sacks taken lead the league, Howell has reached 300 passing yards five times this season while adding 243 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

In addition to a potential quarterback of the future, the Commanders are set to have five picks within the top 100 of April’s draft. That is due to the decision to trade both Montez Sweat and Chase Young at the deadline, moves which eliminated the requirement of signing either edge rusher to a new deal in the offseason. Washington is currently projected to have the second-most cap 2024 cap space in the league, so a busy offseason could be in store for the front office.

On that note, it very much remains to be seen if general manager Martin Mayhew will be retained after the campaign. It would come as little surprise if Harris were to clean house on the sidelines and in the front office in his first full offseason in charge, and the Commanders’ 19-27-1 record during Mayhew’s time in Washington could justify a shake-up in its own right. Replacing him could be a priority for Harris and the new ownership group before hiring a Rivera successor.

The Raiders and Panthers have already moved on from the coaches they had at the start of the season, and they will be involved in searches for outside hires in the near future. Other teams will no doubt join them once the campaign is over, so the Commanders will have competition with respect to bringing in an in-demand coaching candidate. If the franchise is seen as one worth committing to, however, they could gain an edge on others in their search for a new bench boss.

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