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Washington Commanders

Commanders fans understand the need for patience as the rebuild process is undertaken under new leadership



Commanders owner Josh Harris has been preaching patience to long-suffering Washington fans,


reminding them that building a winning franchise takes a bit of time, and that going fast may not be compatible with building an organization that will consistently compete for championships.


The message appears to have been received by Washington fans, who appear to be ready to embrace a one- or two-season process of restructuring the front office, installing a new coaching staff, and constructing a highly competitive roster.


In this week’s Reacts survey of Hogs Haven readers, we asked Commanders fans to express how much patience they have for the coming rebuild.


I have to say that I was personally surprised at the degree of acceptance expressed by the results of the survey with respect to spending another year or two getting it right.



Overall, 83% of those responding to the survey said that they could live with a losing season in 2024, or are expecting one or two losing seasons as the renovation of the Washington franchise is undertaken by Josh Harris, Adam Peters, and the yet-to-be-hired coaching staff.


For a fan base that has been clamoring for a return to the glory days of the 1980s and early 90s, this willingness to spend another season or two outside of the playoffs demonstrates that hard lessons have been learned about the hope for, or expectations of, quick turnarounds.


Washington has had only three 10-win seasons since 1999, and hasn’t won a playoff game since 2005.


The last time the team had 11 wins or more was 1991, when Joe Gibbs coached the team to a 14-2 season and a 3rd Lombardi trophy. Washington hasn’t been back to an NFC championship game since.


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Dan Snyder, when he first took over the team in 1999, tried to buy a championship team in free agency, leaving a lasting bad taste in the mouths of Washington fans for that approach.


The recent proclamation by newly-hired GM Adam Peters in the final words he uttered at his introductory press conference seem to have struck the right note with the Washington fan base:


We’re going to be very process driven and diligent in who we select in free agency. But we’re going to build through the draft here.


In fact, in his introductory press conference, Adam Peters echoed many of the sentiments that Josh Harris had been preaching since the end of the season.


We’re going to build this team the right way. We’re going to build it with a great process and a clear vision and you guys are going to see that on the field with the energy, the passion, the toughness, the physicality and all those things that are going to resonate in the DMV area.


It’s going to remind you guys what this franchise was built upon. The foundation and the resources that this ownership group has given us is all we need. It’s my job to execute that vision.


We need leadership and an aligned vision. So that’s what I’m going to bring here along with Josh and our head coach.


We’re going to surround ourselves…with the very best people and be aligned in everything we do, working toward that common goal.


That process starts right now with the [first] critical step — we’re going to hire the new head coach here soon. This is something we dove into headfirst as soon as I was hired.


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We’re going to work tirelessly to build this franchise. This is one of the cornerstone franchises in the NFL, [one of] the pillars of the National Football League.


It’s an incredible area — the DMV, our nation’s capital. I could not be more thrilled to be here. Our family could not be more thrilled to be here.


I know how much this franchise means to our fans. I’m extremely, extremely motivated to deliver [to] everybody what they deserve.


You can’t put timetables on it, but all I can tell you is that you’re going to see great competitors; you’re going to see a physical team.


You’re going to be really impressed with what you see on the field — and [that part] is going to happen right away.


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Whether the [wins] come right away [remains to be seen]; there are a number of different factors, but you guys are going to be very proud of the team that we’re going to put on the field.


It will be interesting to see if the patience of fans survives intact if 2024 starts out as rough as did Joe Gibbs’ inaugural season of 1981 when the Redskins lost the first 5 games of the rookie head coach’s tenure.



If Peters is right, though, and the team is playing hard, that may be enough. We’ve seen too many bad rosters and too much bad coaching.


If the team is well-coached and the players are disciplined, the talent can be accumulated.


For the moment, fans are putting their trust in Adam Peters, who has a massive job ahead of him to restore past glory, and we seem prepared to give him enough time to assemble what he needs to achieve that lofty goal.

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