Commanders’ defense has more issues than Jamin Davis

After the Washington Commanders lost to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, head coach Ron Rivera met with the media as he does after every game. Rivera discussed the game, taking the blame for a poor start by saying it was a total team effort from him on down.

Midway through Rivera’s media session, he was asked about second-year linebacker Jamin Davis, and he said the following:

“Well, he was a little inconsistent,” Rivera said. “And, again, as a young guy, he’s going to learn and grow, but we’re running out of time as far as that’s concerned. We gotta go out and be consistent. That’s a big part of it; he’s got to continue to work it and get better at it; he had some good things, did some good things in the run, then some things he was inconsistent in.”

What’s the one thing that stood out here?

Rivera indicated the team was running out of time for Davis. What I believe Rivera meant was the young player excuse needs to go. It’s time to perform like a first-round pick.

He’s right. This wouldn’t receive any attention if not for defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s comments about Davis last week and then Rivera essentially agreeing with them the day after.

Again, they aren’t wrong. Davis must be better. He did some good things Sunday, but he also struggled.

On the first series of the game, Del Rio sent pressure on third down, leading to Davis bringing down Detroit quarterback Jared Goff to force a punt. That was encouraging.

However, while Davis did have his share of struggles, so did Cole Holcomb, Kendall Fuller, William Jackson III and others. Were they publicly called out? It isn’t Davis’ fault the team reached for him in the first round last spring. After all, you’d think a team with a head coach and a defensive coordinator who played linebacker in the NFL can find out how to best employ Davis.

Rivera mentioned at some point in his presser, that the coaches need to put the players in the best position to succeed and the players must also do their part. Again, he’s right.

But this staff picked Davis. If he has issues in coverage, even with his athleticism, get him out of coverage. What if Davis is best used as a pass rusher? Then Del Rio must find ways to put Davis in the position to change the quarterback. You don’t give up on a player this quickly; you find out what he does best and focus on that strength.

As for the public critiques of Davis, maybe the coaching staff should start calling out others by name. It’s not just Davis. Is he perhaps struggling more than some? Sure, but he’s not alone.

The trajectory of this defense is not good. Chase Young will help, but he can’t solve the issues at linebacker and cornerback.

It’s past time for Del Rio to begin figuring things out.

 

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire