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Daily Slop - 16 Jan 24: Texan’s OC Bobby Slowik’s stock on the rise as Commanders’ coaching search heats up

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NFL: AFC Wild Card Round-Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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DC Sports King

Commanders new GM Adam Peters signs five-year deal

Peters signed a five-year deal with the Commanders. He will immediately begin his search for the team’s new head coach.

Peters is considered one of the NFL’s great talent evaluators. He spent the previous seven seasons as an executive with the San Francisco 49ers. He was the assistant GM for the last three seasons under GM John Lynch.

Peters was also in the front office with the Denver Broncos from 2009-2016. He started his executive career with the New England Patriots as a scout after his playing career ended in college at UCLA.

Peters has been a part of Super Bowl runs with the Patriots, Broncos, and 49ers. He was arguably the most sought-after candidate for this year’s GM hiring cycle.


Commanders.com

Commanders hire Adam Peters as general manager

The Washington Commanders have officially hired San Francisco 49ers assistant general manager Adam Peters to be their general manager after a thorough but rapid process to find a new voice to lead the franchise, the team announced on Monday.

“I am incredibly grateful to Josh Harris and the Washington Commanders ownership group for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” Peters said. “My family and I are thrilled for the chance to be a part of the DMV community and look forward to connecting with such a storied, passionate Commanders’ fan base. I am eternally grateful to the York family, John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan and the entire 49ers organization for an amazing experience. Throughout my career in the NFL, I’ve learned that successful organizations begin with a strong ownership group willing to commit the resources needed to foster a culture of winning. We have that here in Washington and it’s my responsibility and privilege to carry out the mission of delivering a team that will ultimately compete for Super Bowls. I know how much the Commanders mean to our fans, our owners, the legends who paved the way for this franchise, and the NFL. The work starts now.”

Peters, one of the most coveted executives on the market this offseason, takes over a Commanders roster with nine draft picks, including the No. 2 overall selection and some of the most projected available cap space in the NFL when the new league year begins. There are also pieces to build around on both sides of the ball like wide receiver Terry McLaurin and running back Brian Robinson Jr. along with defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.

The next step for Washington will be to hire a new head coach, a search that has already reportedly begun.

“When we embarked on this process, our goal was to find a leader with a track record of excellence and strong work ethic, as well as an innovative and strategic approach to building a championship organization,” Josh Harris, Managing Partner of the Washington Commanders, said. “The DMV and our fans deserve a winning culture and organization. Adam is an impressive executive who is committed to cultivating elite talent, building a positive culture, and helping restore this franchise to the highest levels. I look forward to working with him for many years to come, especially as we navigate this important offseason. I am also extremely appreciative of the support I received from my partners, including Mitch Rales, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and David Blitzer, as well as advisors Bob Myers and Rick Spielman, during this process.”


NBC Sports

Turning Washington from NFL pariah to top destination, Josh Harris scores big with Adam Peters

Harris hit the ground running for the offseason, and that work paid off with the Peters hire.

Imagine the excitement for Commanders fans, after two decades spent watching Vinny Cerrato and Bruce Allen bumble major football decisions with Snyder frequently and unfortunately pushing his agenda, to get the top personnel man on the market?

Sure, Jay Gruden won some games and Rivera brought some stability to the team, but the personnel decisions were lackluster at best. The RG3 rocket ship was good for one season, and beyond that and due to a myriad of reasons, it was a disaster.

This just feels different.

From an NFL pariah to an NFL destination

The Washington job is desirable. There’s about $75 million in cap space, the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and five picks in the top 100 to go along with - most importantly - competent, professional ownership.

Peters wouldn’t take this job if Dan Snyder offered it to him. Peters probably wouldn’t even have taken the interview. He’s turned others down before and both the Chargers and Raiders were pursuing him this offseason.

In about seven months, the Harris group has turned Washington from an NFL pariah to an NFL destination. That’s remarkable.


ESPN

NFL coaching changes 2023: Latest firings, hirings and rumors

Head Coach

Pros of the Washington job: Washington has a new owner with a reputation for providing resources and for being patient. The Commanders are in a far better spot under Harris than they were with previous owner Dan Snyder. Also, they have the second overall draft pick and five selections in the top 100. Plus based on early salary cap projections, they’ll have the most space in the NFL.

Cons of the Washington job: Washington needs to rebuild both lines and find a quarterback. The roster needs work, which it can address in the draft. The stadium needs upgrades and the team will be there for at least another six years. The team facility is small and, despite recent improvements, considered outdated. They might not build a new one for several more years.

Latest intel: Harris has hired two prominent executives — former Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers and former Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman — to assist his ownership group with searches for a new head of football operations and a head coach, franchise officials told ESPN. Myers, the architect of four championships with the Warriors and a current ESPN NBA analyst, and Spielman, a 30-year NFL front-office executive, will work with Harris and his limited partners as part of an advisory committee designed to reshape the Commanders’ front office and coaching staff, team officials told ESPN. — John Keim

Defensive Coordinator

The Commanders fired Del Rio after a 45-10 loss to the Cowboys, which was their eighth loss in 10 games. They had hoped the defense would be a consistent force, but instead, the defense became an albatross, as the team ranked worst in points allowed. Coach Ron Rivera took over the defensive playcalling for the rest of the season.


Sports Illustrated

Will Commanders Bring Texans Coach Bobby Slowik Home?

Should the Washington Commanders target former assistant Houston Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik as their next head coach?

Is Bobby Slowik the former Washington Commanders assistant that’s meant to come back and lead them to prominence?

After the Houston Texans’ dominant 45-14 win over the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Wild Card Round, Slowik should be near the top of every coaching search for a team with a head coach vacancy. Cleveland had the No. 1 defense in the regular season but had no answers for Slowik and rookie phenom C.J. Stroud. Stroud picked apart the Browns, completing 16 of 21 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns, all of which came in the first half.

Stroud’s performance was another chapter in one of the most impressive seasons from a rookie quarterback in NFL history, and the man behind the offense and his development, Slowik, could be poised to lead his own team next season in the aftermath of their success.

Slowik cut his teeth in Washington as a defensive assistant from 2011 to 2013 and was part of a star-studded coaching staff under former head coach Mike Shanahan....

Slowik arrived in San Francisco alongside the Commanders new head of football operations, Adam Peters. He was a defensive quality control coach from 2017-2018 before going to the other side of the ball as an offensive assistant in 2019-2020. He was the offensive game passing game specialist in 2021 and the offensive passing game coordinator in 2022.

[I]f the Texans make the AFC championship game as a heavy underdog regardless of who they play, Washington shouldn’t hesitate to do whatever it takes to make the Slowik its next head coach and bring him back where his NFL coaching career began.


Bullock’s Film Room (subscription)

Head Coach Candidate Profile: Raheem Morris

Taking a closer look at Rams DC and the scheme he runs in LA

Morris is another that came from that famous Washington staff of 2012 and has worked with Kyle Shanahan on multiple occasions. Shanahan himself said recently that if he was hiring a head coach this offseason, Morris would be the guy. Given Adam Peters just spent the past seven years in San Francisco with Shanahan, those words could well carry some significant weight.

On this play, the Rams show two deep safeties before the snap, making it look like a potential quarters coverage again. However, the Rams are actually in Cover 1 Robber, which is a man coverage with a single deep safety and what’s known as a robber safety. This is a safety that drops into the hole in the intermediate area of the field and is ready to rob any throw over the middle.

As the ball is snapped and the play develops, you can see how each receiver is picked up by an individual defender, while the safeties both complete their rotations. The safety that steps down towards the box is the robber and has his eyes on the quarterback the whole time. He follows the quarterback’s eyes to his intended target and immediately drives down on the route. Just as he goes to make the throw, the quarterback is suddenly pressured by a stunting Aaron Donald, which causes the quarterback to deliver an inaccurate pass. That worked out better for the offense because had the ball been on target, the robbing safety was in the perfect position to intercept it and potentially take it all the way back too.


Riggo’s Rag

Cowboys meltdown comes at the perfect time for resurgent Commanders

Could the winds of change be turning in the NFC East?

The Cowboys are the most valuable and most hyped NFL franchise by a considerable margin. Owner Jerry Jones does a great job of keeping Dallas in the spotlight. The on-field product always seems to thrive in the regular season. When the postseason arrives, it’s a different story.

Commanders must capitalize on NFC East uncertainty

They have had few accomplishments over the last three decades when it comes to the playoffs. It’s been a constant stream of underachievement. Their latest at home to the Green Bay Packers was arguably the worst.

Unsurprisingly, there’s been plenty of ridicule from analysts and rival fans alike. While the likes of Skip Bayless and former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin cut dismayed figures on FOX Sports’ Undisputed, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN was reveling in their misfortune. For Dallas’ fans, it’s yet another case of what might have been.

Head coach Mike McCarthy’s job status is hanging by a thread. Quarterback Dak Prescott’s potential contract extension is another contentious issue. The Cowboys are also bracing themselves for cap complications with studs such as Micah Parsons and CeeDee Lamb seeking lucrative deals.

There is a lot of uncertainty in Dallas right now. Flaws became exposed. Problems seemingly brushed under the carpet as the team put together a 12-win regular season came under a glaring spotlight. Make no mistake, this comes at a great time for the Commanders.

While there is a lot of hard work ahead before Washington seriously enters the NFC East title picture. They looked light years behind the Cowboys in their two meetings this season. But all signs point to an immediate resurgence if new football supremo Adam Peters maximizes the substantial assets at his disposal this offseason.

The Commanders have nine draft picks - the No. 2 pick and six in the top 102. They also boast the league’s most salary-cap space, which could increase further once cuts and contract restructures come to light. There are significant holes to fill, but Washington can take advantage of a shaky landscape around the division if those in power nail the weeks and months ahead.


Commanders Wire

Caleb Williams declares for the 2024 NFL draft

As of Monday morning, USC quarterback Caleb Williams had yet to declare for the draft. That changed Monday afternoon when Williams took to social media to declare for the upcoming draft.

Williams officially in the draft makes the top of the draft much clearer. Sure, we don’t know who goes where, but the draft likely begins with Williams.

Will the Chicago Bears take Williams? That would mean trading Justin Fields. Or, could the Washington, D.C. native fall to No. 2 to the hometown Commanders? Or would another top move to the top like the Carolina Panthers did last season?

There will be plenty of intrigue at the top of the draft. Chicago, Washington and New England could all be in the market for a quarterback in this draft. These teams hold the top three selections.


ESPN

Four-time Pro Bowl QB Norm Snead dies at 84

Norm Snead, an NFL quarterback for 16 seasons in the 1960s and ‘70s who was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, has died. He was 84.

Snead was the second overall pick in the 1961 NFL draft, selected by Washington, and he also was taken 33rd by the Buffalo Bills in the American Football League draft that year. He chose Washington and played there for three seasons, with two Pro Bowl appearances, before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for Sonny Jurgensen and Claude Crabb.

Snead spent seven seasons with the Eagles during an era in which they never reached the playoffs. Despite that, he was picked for the Pro Bowl in 1965, when he threw for 15 touchdowns and 2,346 yards and led a league-high three game-winning drives for a team that finished 5-9.

He bounced around near the end of his career, playing one season for Minnesota, 2½ for the New York Giants and 1½ for San Francisco. He returned to the Giants in 1976 before calling it a career in 1977.

Snead went 52-100-7 in 159 NFL starts with 196 touchdowns. His 257 interceptions rank sixth-highest on the career list.

A native of Halifax County, Virginia, who played football, basketball and baseball at Warwick High School, he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.


Podcasts & videos



INSTANT REACTION: Adam Peters is Washington’s New GM | Command Center


Locked on Commanders: Washington Commanders Free Agency: Wild Card Players Darnell Savage, Dalton Schultz, Mike Edwards


NFC East links

Bleeding Green Nation

Eagles-Buccaneers: The good, the bad, and the ugly from Philly’s playoff loss

Highlights and lowlights from Philadelphia’s final game of the 2023 season.

If you were to somehow cast a poll among the millions of Eagles’ fans asking how many thought the Eagles would beat Tampa Bay, it’s a healthy, educated guess that as many as 95-percent would have probably said that they would not.

They knew.

With 10:44 left to play, ESPN color analyst and NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman brazenly—and accurately—announced to the nation that the Eagles were a … “a defeated team and they were when they came in. And there’s been no life to this group really throughout the entire ball game.”

Aikman in that brief statement may have inadvertently blurted out the epitaph of Nick Sirianni’s three-year stay as Eagles’ head coach.

The scary part of it was the apathy shown by the Eagles’ loyal and fervent fanbase. They had a right. They knew the direction this team was going. They lost interest and checked out. The Eagles themselves soon followed with how they played in the regular season finale against the New York Giants.

The Eagles went out losers of six of their last seven games.

What was terribly unfair was how Eagles like Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce kept playing hard despite the score and the general ennui of their teammates.

Jalen Hurts looked disinterested. The Eagles, as a team, looked disinterested. They seemed more interested in getting their lockers cleaned out at the NovaCare Complex to arrange tee times and schedule their reservations to watch the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

The Eagles went the entire game without converting a third down and were 0-for-2 on fourth-down conversions. They gave up 426 total yards of offense to 276, while Tampa Bay’s Baker Mayfield completed 22 of 36 for 337 yards and three touchdown passes. Hurts completed 25 of 35 for 250 yards and a touchdown, running for his life most of the night under the constant Bucs’ blitzes.

The Eagles and Sirianni did not help offset that. They ran the ball 15 times and threw it 35 times, while Tampa Bay had much greater balance, running it 29 times and throwing 36 passes.

This was a mess.


Pro Football Talk

What’s next for the Eagles?

What will Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie do next?

During the fourth quarter, he looked stone-faced and stunned. It wasn’t quite a poker face. It was more like the face of someone who wanted to take a red-hot poker to someone else.

Will it be the head coach? Nick Sirianni has three years on the job. He’s taken the Eagles to the playoffs three times. Twice, the road ended in the wild-card round in Tampa. Tonight, the 32-9 blowout loss was the punctuation mark of a stretch that featured a team that seemed to be listless and disinterested.

Maybe it’s the fact that both coordinators got head-coaching jobs after the 2022 season. Even when things were going well, the defense was sputtering. Quiet changes apparently were made, with defensive coordinator Sean Desai reportedly losing authority over third-down game planning. On offense, the loss of Shane Steichen to the Colts wasn’t sufficiently countered by Sirianni (a former coordinator) and new coordinator Brian Johnson.

Maybe it’s the fact that, at a time when the Eagles had started with 10 wins in 11 games, they were stomped at home by the 49ers, 42-19. It’s easy for a team to conclude then and there that this year just won’t be their year. If the players entertained that thought, the coaching staff never coached them out of the ensuing funk.

Regardless, the funk came. And it stayed. At a minimum, there will be a new defensive coordinator in 2023. There could be a new offensive coordinator. Plenty of fans will want a new coach.


Blogging the Boys

The McCarthy Chronicles: Will anything ever change for the Cowboys?

Another promising season for the Cowboys was undone in the playoffs

[N]ow it’s all over. An embarrassment at the hands of the Packers, a team that barely snuck into the playoffs with the youngest roster in the league. A quarterback making his first playoff start ever dominating a supposedly elite defense. And an offense that’s put up gaudy numbers at home all year couldn’t get going until the two-minute warning in the first half.

Understandably, there are already deafeningly loud calls for Mike McCarthy’s job. That reaction makes sense, because this really did seem like the team’s best shot through the playoffs in years. And there’s no telling what Jerry Jones might do, even as he’s become more patient in the last decade or so.

While fans can easily shout “fire everyone” as a kneejerk response to this kind of disappointment, Jones has more to consider. Namely, what comes next?

Jones had stuck with Jason Garrett for a long time in large part because he wasn’t sure there was a material upgrade out there. Sure, Jones could go hire some up-and-coming coordinator, but that was what Garrett had been when he was elevated to interim head coach. And a big part of the struggles for Garrett was a coach who was learning on the job with sky-high expectations.

When Jones did eventually make a move, he did so because of who was available: Mike McCarthy, a seasoned coach with a Lombardi on his bookshelf. He had crafted electric offenses, built and rebuilt successful coaching staffs, and navigated all the trials and tribulations that a coach has to manage. And he did all of that while living up to the expectations of a storied franchise like the Packers.

A long list of candidates to replace McCarthy in Dallas has since popped up with just about every sports book, and the most common names are veteran coaches. Bill Belichick is the most prevalent one, and for good reason. Belichick is regarded as the greatest coach in history, with six Super Bowl wins to his name. He’s also close with both Jerry and Stephen Jones.

But Belichick is, for the first time in his career, a coaching free agent. And that’s for a reason. Those six rings all came with Tom Brady under center. Since Brady left New England, Belichick is 29-38 with just one playoff appearance and no playoff victories.

Aside from Belichick, the other two most common names are Mike Vrabel and Jim Harbaugh, two other experienced coaches. Vrabel posted winning seasons in his first four years as head coach of the Titans but, like his mentor Belichick, things fizzled out as the offense became stale and unreliable.

Harbaugh had great success in his last NFL stint, leading the 49ers, but his eccentric personality clashed with the general manager and, when push came to shove, ownership chose the general manager. Harbaugh then went to his alma mater and just led the Michigan Wolverines to a national title, though not without controversy.

All of these coaches are popular flavors of the month right now, but it seems as if their best attribute is simply not being the coach who just lost to the Packers.


CBS Sports

Overreactions, reality checks for Super Wild Card Weekend Sunday games: Cowboys moving on from Dak Prescott?

The top overreactions from the Sunday games of Super Wild Card Weekend

Jerry Jones should do whatever he can to hire Bill Belichick

Overreaction or Reality: Reality

What else can the Cowboys do at this point? The coach with the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history is available for anyone to get, and Jones has a checkbook to give Belichick any salary he commands.

Here’s where the issue lies. Would Jones give Belichick the power to run the football team that way he sees fit? Would Jones stay out of Belichick’s way when asked to? Jones is the president and general manager of the Cowboys for a reason, but Dallas is just 5-13 in the playoffs since winning their last Super Bowl in the 1995 season.

Jones has landed Bill Parcells and Mike McCarthy, two Super Bowl-winning coaches, in the years since his last Super Bowl title. Hiring Belichick would be a gamble, since Belichick is 84-103 without Tom Brady at quarterback. Of course, Dak Prescott is the best quarterback Belichick would have not named Tom Brady (assuming Cowboys keep him).

The Cowboys won 12-plus games in three straight years. They are closer to a Super Bowl than many think. Jones has to concede some things in order to see if Belichick can give them that Super Bowl glory.


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Articles

CBS Sports

Overreactions, reality checks for Super Wild Card Weekend Sunday games: Cowboys moving on from Dak Prescott?

The top overreactions from the Sunday games of Super Wild Card Weekend

McVay may be an offensive maestro, but his timeout management left a lot to be desired in Sunday’s loss.

The Rams were trailing 21-17 with 59 seconds left in the first half at their own 5-yard line with all three timeouts at their disposal. McVay decided to head into the half with all of them in tow, having a 6-yard run and 7-yard pass to end the half. With the Rams getting the ball to open the second half, wouldn’t the smarter move have been to try to be aggressive and go for points?

The Ford Field crowd caused McVay to blow two timeouts in the second half, leaving him with just one on the Lions’ final drive. All Detroit needed was two first downs to win the game, getting the ball and holding a 24-23 lead with 4:07 left. The Lions could kill time off the clock before forcing the Rams to burn their final timeout, after Jared Goff found Amon-Ra St. Brown for the first down that sealed the win.


Barstool Sports

Ultimate Loser: Dallas’ NBC Channel Refused To Show The Lions Win, Cut Away Early To Deliver A ‘Special Weather Report’ That It Was Cold Outside

Oh come on. You can’t do this. You just can’t. We’re not talking a tornado, we’re not talking a hurricane or anything like that. We’re talking that it’s cold outside! I know Texas isn’t necessarily always used to this, but you never, ever cut away from a sporting event early to deliver a weather report unless it’s a legit emergency. Even then it’s 2024. We have phones. We all get alerts on our phones, even old people and you know their volume is up as high as it goes.

I don’t even care if Sean McVay fucked the Rams by not understanding time and using timeouts wrong. You can’t cut away from a game early, not when the Lions are about to snap one of the biggest losing streaks in sports. People care about sports, no one gives a shit that’s going to be colder on Friday and Saturday. Loser city.