2022 Washington Commanders

PhillyBirds

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2022 Washington Commanders "Pre"view
With a new (but familiar!) face at quarterback in Carson Wentz, Washington looks to improve on last year's third place finish and show the NFC East that they're ready to fight every week.

Total White players on 53-man roster: 15
Total White starters: 5
Starters listed in bold.

OFFENSE
QB: Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke, Sam Howell
TE: John Bates
WR: Dax Milne
C: Chase Roullier
G: Andrew Norwell, Wes Schweitzer
T: Sam Cosmi

DEFENSE
DE: Casey Toohill
LB: Cole Holcomb, David Mayo

SPECIALISTS
K: Joey Slye
P: Tress Way
LS: Camaron Cheeseman

RESERVE/PUP
C: Tyler Larsen

PRACTICE SQUAD
CB: Troy Apke
WR: Alex Erickson
G: Noah Laufenberg, Wes Martin
C: Jon Toth

The strange career odyssey of Carson Wentz continues this year in Washington. It appears to be an offensive situation where he should be able to succeed, as playmakers like Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson should give him the tools he needs to put up some respectable numbers. Washington fans are hoping he can recapture some of the unbelievable athletic ability he showcased earlier in his career in Philadelphia that made him once one of the most promising young QBs in the NFL. Taylor Heinicke was serviceable as the Commanders' starter in 2021, but apparently did not show enough to prevent Washington seeking out a new starter in the offseason. He joins the club of capable QBs resigned to backup roles throughout the league. Rookie Sam Howell of North Carolina is the third quarterback.

WR Dax Milne serves as the primary kick returner for Washington. Any hopes of the former BYU star taking on a larger role this year were apparently squashed after being targeted all of once in week one. Hopefully the talented Milne can capitalize on any opportunity scrap thrown his way by a coaching staff that seems bent on ignoring him.

The Commanders' O-line is a mostly veteran crew. Ninth-year man Andrew Norwell plays LG in his first year in Washington, after spending the beginning of his career with Carolina and Jacksonville. Wyoming's Chase Roullier and Texas's Sam Cosmi complete the interior of the line. Veteran Wes Schweitzer backs up at guard.

Former Philadelphia draft pick Casey Toohill plays rotationally at defensive end. Linebacker Cole Holcomb returns to anchor the middle of the Commanders' D. His 142 combined tackles were good for tenth in the NFL last season. Veteran David Mayo plays OLB, and is about as dependable a backup as you'll find on any defense; his long career is a testament to that. However, despite playing in 103 games in his career, he has somehow only been allowed to start on defense in 23 of them.

Few White players in recent memory have taken more withering abuse from all sides than DB Troy Apke. A physical specimen coming out of Penn State, he earned a starting safety job, but was relentlessly blasted by fans and the media for every mistake made in his young career. Eventually, Washington demoted him to backup, but then wisely (and surprisingly) switched him to cornerback. The change has been mostly academic, however; he saw the field only as a special teamer last season, and has been demoted further to the practice squad this year. Veteran WR and return specialist Alex Erickson waits for an opportunity on the PS, though it's surprising (or not) that Washington didn't make space for him on the 53-man. Laufenberg, Martin, and Toth are all reserve linemen waiting for the inevitable injury to make their way back onto the field.
 
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Freethinker

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In recent years they were slightly better, having a good number of White players on defense. Of course almost all of them were reserves so they were easy to purge. Looking at Washington’s roster, they now settle in as a middle of the road Caste Squad. Not the worst but certainly nothing to get excited over.

Like most of us here I think the big rooting interest is for Carson Wentz to have a really good year and silence all of the many haters. He was one of the best QBs in week 1 so hopefully he can ride that momentum. Cole Holcomb, on the other hand, had a quiet first week. I’d like to see him build off of the last few years and establish himself as a top linebacker.
 

Leonardfan

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Washington claimed Rookie DT John Ridgeway off waivers. He was released by the Cowboys. The Redskins defensive line has been bad through two games, hopefully he can get playing time and serve as an effective player against the run. He was a very good player in the SEC.
 

Don Wassall

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Wentz throwing up big numbers right away is one of my highlights of the first two games of the season. Many obituaries for White QBs turn out to be wildly premature. Wentz getting back to elite level for an organization that's always had a love affair with Black QBs would be particularly satisfying.
 

Don Wassall

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Cole Holcomb missed the past four games because of a foot injury and today was placed on IR. That means his season is likely over, which is a shame because he was playing really well (again) and was finally getting some of the recognition he deserved as the centerpiece of Washington's defense after years of going through the usual crap directed at most White defensive players of being a weak link who needed to be placed by someone better.
 
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