Are The Washington Commanders A Sleeping Giant? | NFL Insiders Believe So In Wake Of Eric Bieniemy Tough Love Fiasco

In many ways this week in Ashburn, Virginia, unfortunately resembled the 24 years that former owner Daniel Snyder ran a once-proud organization into the ground. During his tenure there were always leaks of drama-filled stories in and around the team’s practice facility which is about 35-40 minutes outside of the nation’s capital.

That was no different this week, as head coach Ron Rivera says he “put his foot in his mouth,” when he revealed that players had come to him complaining about new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy hard-nosed, direct and at times abrasive coaching style. Since then Rivera has done his best to do damage control, after pretty much undermining his new offensive playcaller. 

And, while most saw it as a sign that the team will likely struggle again in 2023, two NFL insiders/analysts believe they could use that hiccup as a rallying cry and surprise some folks this season. 

NFL Analysts Say Commanders Are Flying Under Radar

During a recent episode of ESPNs “First Take,” and in wake of the Rivera mistake, ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick spoke pretty highly of what he witnessed out at Commanders camp concerning the offense. He also spoke directly to Bieniemy, and this is what he got. 

“He thinks that the offense has really had some of its best string of practices that they have had all during training camp,” Riddick said. “I think Washington is one of those sleeping type of teams that no one is going to give a whole lot of of chance in terms of being a contender in the NFC East. They’re one of those teams that could really explode.”

Riddick isn’t the only one who sees the Commanders in that light. His fellow ESPN colleague Sam Acho seemed to piggyback those comments. 

“To your point that, yes, the culture needs to change. To your point, there could be, maybe won’t be fractures and fissure. And to your point, this Washington team could be a sleeping giant,”

Strong words from the both of them, but it’s not as far fetched as it may sound. It’s not as if the Commanders roster is devoid of talent, they just need to find a viable signal caller under center. 

Is Sam Howell That Guy? 

For a franchise that arguably hasn’t had a franchise quarterback since Joe Theismann, is Sam Howell the answer? 

Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins don’t count. One was always injured after year one, and the other never seemed to gain the trust of upper management. 

As for Howell he did look the part in last year’s season finale win over the archrival Dallas Cowboys. And he looked really comfortable running Bieniemy’s version of the West Coast offense in Friday’s preseason opener. 

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