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Extended absence could spell doom for Jack Del Rio

Chase Young will miss the beginning of the NFL season, and it could be a loss the Washington Commanders protection can’t compensate for. Jack Del Rio’s protection entered 2021 with lofty expectations, a few of which they set for themselves. The unit was anticipated to provide the most effective outcomes of the season, propelling an underwhelming offense to a potential playoff push.

But that’s not what occurred. In reality, they fell on the other finish of the spectrum. Washington’s protection was horrendous, ending twenty ninth in EPA and twenty seventh in DVOA. And though they misplaced Young after Week 10, they had been thirty first in defensive EPA by 10 weeks.

Washington Commanders are unlikely to show it round with out Chase Young

The defensive position continues to be good. Washington has three strong defensive linemen: Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, and Montez Sweat. And in true Washington trend, the Commanders added one other inside defender excessive within the NFL draft (forty seventh general) with Phidarian Mathis.

However, the Commanders lack depth, significantly on the sting. William Bradley-King and Shaka Toney each struggled to constantly beat NFL tackles as rookies. However, they obtained fewer alternatives than gamers reminiscent of James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill, who’re each nonetheless on the roster.

Few groups are as reliant on their two beginning defensive ends as Washington. Although Young’s affect early in his profession hasn’t been as evident as we believed popping out of Ohio State, he’s nonetheless one of the crucial gifted younger go rushers within the league.

Del Rio and linebackers coach Steve Russ have to get essentially the most from second-year linebacker Jamin Davis. He was a developmental prospect with excellent athleticism, however it didn’t present as a rookie. Cole Holcomb is about as common as linebackers within the NFL come, however that’s nonetheless ok to start out within the league.

Their secondary was essentially the most disappointing side of the protection final season. While Kendall Fuller was wonderful, the remainder of the cornerback group struggled final season. William Jackson must return to the participant we noticed in Cincinnati, and Benjamin St-Juste wants to indicate development in his second season.

Washington’s offseason of controversy could have frayed strings

The Washington group has not had a very good offseason. They’ve been underneath federal investigation, and proprietor Dan Snyder did his greatest Houdini act for some time to keep away from testifying. And whereas Washington’s organizational flaws had been already within the information, Del Rio added to that along with his feedback on the tried coup on Jan. 6, 2021.

Another disappointing defensive effort could be the ultimate straw for the long-time defensive coach. The crew lacked self-discipline final season, taking part in very inconsistent project soccer. Losing Young for any prolonged interval to start out the season solely makes a defensive turnaround much less doubtless.

Dalton Miller is the Lead NFL Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can learn extra of his work right here and comply with him @daltonbmiller on Twitter and Twitch.

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