Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young is playing for his football future, and former Green Bay Packers receiver James Jones has put the onus on Young to show his talents once again.
“You have a Pro Bowl as a rookie, and then you just went missing,” Jones said on FS1’s Speak. “We know you coming off an injury, we did not pick up your fifth-year option. It is time to go. Show the world that you are that dude. Chase Young, the pressure is on you to say that you are one of the premier pass rushers and defensive players in this league.”
With the Commanders defense under Jack Del Rio, one of the better units in the NFL last season without Young, so many understand Washington’s stance.
Having burst onto the scene as a rookie, Young is now fighting for his Commanders career. The talent is there, no doubt, but now after being well removed from his ACL injury, the time is now to start putting consistent production together.
It worked for Daron Payne last season as he played for a contract, and for Young, if he harbors any intention of remaining in Washington, production needs to follow next season.
Despite the obvious worry - especially coming from two of the most respected Commanders reporters in the business - some good news emerged courtesy of A.J. Perez from Front Office Sports. Another whose been at the forefront of this story revealed via sources that any complications should be resolved in time for everything to proceed as anticipated on July 20.
“Despite the rumblings, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Front Office Sports that any issues are expected to be resolved ahead of next Thursday’s vote. An NFL spokesperson declined comment. It’s been widely expected that when the sale goes to an official vote, Harris will have no problem surpassing the 24-vote threshold needed for approval. The Commanders sale process has seen its fair share of twists and turns — but by this time next week, everything should be history, and the Commanders can move forward under Harris.”
- A.J. Perez, Front Office Sports
This could have been one final ploy from Snyder to make Goodell and others sweat before making concessions. While he achieved this objective to a certain extent, the disgraced figure is probably looking forward to disassociating himself with the NFL after such a turbulent time.
As always, nothing can be ruled out entirely where Snyder is concerned. He could decide to dig in his heels and drag this ongoing saga out a while longer - even though Tanya Snyder might have something to say about risking generational wealth just to save face.
Perez has earned enough trust from his reporting to take him at face value. If he’s getting information from sources that everything will work out satisfactorily, that should be good enough for most Commanders fans given how he’s approached things with comprehension and integrity during all the rumors and speculation.
Whenever the rookies weren’t on the field during OTAs and minicamp or learning the playbook, they were spending time getting to know the rest of the team, the DMV and each other. One of the first things the group did together was go to the mall, get something to eat and get more acquainted with their new teammates. “We’re in this thing together,” Jones said, so it’s important that they build a strong bond.
“They’re gonna want to bond with the rookies, but they’re also gonna want to bond with the vets,” said director of college personnel Tim Gribble. “We’ve got a great group of vets here. They want to be successful, and we’ve built a strong foundation of quality character guys. And we’re bringing in another strong group of character guys.”
It’s also important for the rookies to introduce themselves to the fan base and the DMV community. Aside from taking a tour of Washington, D.C., which included seeing the Lincoln Memorial and standing in the same spot where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech, the team also has the rookies participate in various charity events to show the fans they can offer more to the DMV than winning football games.
One of the first events on the list was the Commanders’ first ever flag football clinic, which saw the rookies offer local kids a few pointers as they ran through drills. All of them were enthusiastic about chipping in because it helped put a smile on kids’ faces.
“It’s a great opportunity to come out here to show support and give back to the fans that show us support and give us love every day,” Braeden Daniels said.
Bullock’s Film Room
Breaking down the Drive concept and how Eric Bieniemy could look to use it in Washington.
Bieniemy comes from the Andy Reid coaching tree, which bases their offense on the west coast system but with their own unique version of it. One of the core passing concepts of the west coast offense and really of just about any modern passing attack is the Drive concept. Drive, traditionally known as Flanker Drive, is a concept based around two receivers running crossing routes at different depths. The receiver tagged with the Drive concept runs a shallow cross while a second receiver, typically a tight end, runs a basic cross at a depth of 10-12 yards.
The reason this concept is a staple of west coast offenses is because it has answers against multiple types of coverages. If the defense plays man coverage, then good luck to whatever cornerback has the horrific task of trying to run with [a speedy wide receiver] on a shallow cross. If the defense drops into zone, then [the TE & WR] combine to give the quarterback a high-low read.
While that shallow crossing route is the primary option on the Drive concept, it’s not always available. Certain coverages will take away that option and force the quarterback to look to the next read. The beauty of this concept is that most coverages that will match the shallow cross will also end up leaving the basic cross open behind it.
When the defense starts focusing on the crossing routes and worrying about those horizontal options, that can leave them vulnerable to being attacked vertically.
For the Commanders, it’s easy to imagine any one of Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson or Curtis Samuel being...successful on that play, but it’s not just a play for wide receivers. In 2022, the Chiefs lost Tyreek Hill and relied more on multiple tight end sets. Even so, the Drive concept was still prevalent in the offense.
Every team in the league will run the Drive concept, but the west coast offenses have it as a core staple. Eric Bieniemy will likely be no different, so expect to see the Drive concept and all of its variations regularly in Washington this season.
! @CraigHoffman, Logan Paulsen, and special guest @JourdanRodrigue from The Athletic break down how the "human element" enters an NFL Head Coaches mindset & is shown in their play calling on 'Take Command' this week!— 106.7 The Fan (@1067theFan) July 13, 2023
LISTEN: https://t.co/MjsPu6g7xy pic.twitter.com/zCaRtc26pF
NFC East links
Big Blue View
The Giants appear to have set Daniel Jones up to take another step forward
The Giants should be better at quarterback in 2023. Jones had the best, most efficient season of his career in 2022. He enters the upcoming season with several advantages he did not have a season ago.
- Darren Waller. A year ago, the Giants entered the season hoping they could get adequate play out of a position group headlined by an unproven rookie fourth-round pick. Daniel Bellinger became a nice player and will continue to be an asset, but he’s not Waller. In Waller, the Giants have a game-changing player who is a matchup nightmare for defenses when healthy.
- Speed at wide receiver. Darius Slayton has pretty much had the ‘fast guy’ or deep threat moniker to himself among Giants’ receivers during his career. Except for that brief period John Ross managed to get on the field in 2021. Not anymore. Parris Campbell, Jalin Hyatt, and Jeff Smith might all be faster. Wan’Dale Robinson isn’t faster than Slayton, but injuries meant we only saw a hint of what Robinson could do as a rookie.
- A second season with Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka. Jones has never had the continuity and quality of offensive coaching he is getting now. As a rookie, he operated a system Pat Shurmur devised for Eli Manning. Under Joe Judge, Jones had Jason Garrett and Freddie Kitchens running the offense. Oh, and he dealt with a bunch of in-fighting around the offensive line. Last year, he had excellent coaching but still dealt with a new system. This year is different.
NFL league links
Pro Football Talk
Mixon and the Bengals have agreed to a new deal that will pay him a base salary of just under $6 million with incentives that could earn him up to $8 million a league source tells PFT.
Although Mixon had been due more than $9 million this season, that was non-guaranteed, and Mixon decided it was better to re-work his contract now than to risk finding himself in the same place as Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliott, two running backs who were released from their pricey contracts this offseason and are currently free agents.
Mixon, who will turn 27 this month, was a second-round draft pick of the Bengals in 2017. Last year he had 210 carries for 814 yards and seven touchdowns.
New York Jets
It feels like everyone’s jumping on that J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets bandwagon. The buzz is understandable given that Aaron Rodgers is the most talented quarterback the Jets have had in a generation. But did the acquisition of the 39-year-old, four-time league MVP really make the Jets Super Bowl contenders? Simple answer: probably not. While many around the league believe he certainly gives the Jets a legitimate chance, it’s a tall feat. The instant success experienced by Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in 2020 is rare.
Jerry Jones and the fans of his team always believe this is their year. There’s always an excuse for the previous season’s shortcomings and a declaration that they are ready at last to make a run at the Super Bowl.
This year’s scapegoat is departed offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Coach Mike McCarthy believes that the offense will be better under his direction. However, McCarthy’s demise in Green Bay came amid criticism that his offense was unimaginative, out of date and predictable. Is this the year he gets his groove back? The acquisition of Brandin Cooks could help, but the Cowboys likely will miss Ezekiel Elliott, at the very least as a goal-line threat. (He had 12 rushing touchdowns last season.) They also could miss tight end Dalton Schultz. The defense should again thrive under Dan Quinn’s direction, but it’s debatable whether Dak Prescott has enough support to take the Cowboys on a deep playoff run.
Loser: Aaron Rodgers
Yes, he got what he wanted in his exit from Green Bay and reunion with new Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, his former Packers OC. He also gains a more potent cast of wide receivers. But in leaving the NFC for the AFC, he now has a significantly tougher road to the Super Bowl. If beating Jared Goff and the Lions was too tall a task in 2022, what makes Rodgers think he can win a shootout with Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Trevor Lawrence, Deshaun Watson and Tua Tagovailoa? After generally rolling through the NFC North annually, Rodgers will learn that winning a first-round AFC playoff game will be much more challenging — and that’s if Rodgers and the Jets even get out of the AFC East, where the Bills, Patriots and Dolphins all boast tough defenses.
Loser: Las Vegas Raiders
They may eventually regret parting with Derek Carr, who brought stability to their quarterback position for nearly a decade. Jimmy Garoppolo knows Josh McDaniels’ system. But can he stay on the field? Trading away Darren Waller also could come back to haunt the Raiders, and if they don’t do right by Jacobs, this offense could again struggle with consistency. But maybe it’s not about this year. Maybe the Raiders, who passed on drafting a quarterback, are all-in on Caleb Williams with the top pick of the 2024 draft.