In this week’s Reacts survey of Hogs Haven readers, we asked two questions:
- Are you happy with the steps that Josh Harris and the ownership group have taken and announced since Sunday?
- Are you confident in the direction of the team?
The answer to both questions was a resounding, “Hail Yeah!”
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Of those responding to our survey, 93% were confident in the direction of the franchise. The only time this year that a higher percentage of respondents said ‘yes’ was after the Week 2 victory over the Broncos, when the Commanders were 2-0 and tied for the NFC East lead. This week’s result is a sharp uptick in comparison to the 34% figure from two weeks ago — that was the week Ron Rivera initially decided to bench Sam Howell in favor of Jacoby Brissett. It already feels like a long time ago.
The 98% of respondents who declared themselves happy with the steps taken by Josh Harris since the 2023 regular season ended on Sunday were responding in light of early reports that Harris had fired Ron Rivera, and was moving quickly to interview 5 candidates for the position described as ‘head of football operations’. Significantly, at the time of the survey, fans did not yet know the identity of the new guy in charge of the front office.
In the past several hours, it has been widely reported (but not yet officially announced by the team) that 49ers Assistant General Manager Adam Peters has accepted the role of GM in Washington. There will be a lot of organizational details to clarify in the coming days given that Washington has not made any announcements regarding Martin Mayhew, the current GM of the team.
Peters has generally been considered the most-prized GM candidate this year (and perhaps in previous years as well). It was widely reported last year that he refused interview requests from the Titans and Cardinals in order to stay with the 49ers in his AGM role. Given that Peters, from a practical standpoint, had his pick of jobs, the ability of Josh Harris to make this happen is likely to — if possible — increase the enthusiasm of Washington fans.
Once the organizational structure is publicly clarified this week, the next big item on the to-do list will be hiring the head coach who will replace Ron Rivera. The favorite of the oddsmakers and the media-darling seems to be Ben Johnson, OC of the Detroit Lions, but Washington appears to be casting a fairly wide net, and other high-profile candidates like Bobby Slowik, Raheem Morris, Aaron Glenn, Anthony Weaver, Mike Macdonald, and Dan Quinn are expected to be interviewed.
Josh Harris has indicated that he will rely heavily on the advice of the new front office leader — Adam Peters — in making the decision about the next head coach. With Peters not yet in the building, and with face-to-face coaching interviews on hold (by NFL rules) until January 22nd, there is a little breathing room on that decision. Peters, of course, may have different ideas than do the oddsmakers and bloggers about who he wants as the Commanders’ next head coach.
For the moment, there’s a lot of excitement among Washington fans. With free agency still two months away, the draft another 6 weeks after that, and preseason still a half-year distant, there’s plenty of time for us to enjoy the warm & fuzzy feelings and bask in the glory of the first big step(s) in the new era of football in in the DMV. In the meantime, we can probably keep the mock drafts in the drawer for another couple of weeks as the restructuring of Washington’s front office and coaching staff unfolds. After that, we will have plenty of time to argue about drafting quarterbacks.
Strap in...it should be a fun ride!