The Washington Commanders have a general manager. On Tuesday, Adam Peters was introduced to the Washington media, one day after signing a five-year contract to head the franchise’s football operations.
The next step for Washington and Peters is to find a head coach.
Last week, the Commanders requested permission to speak with seven potential head coaching candidates:
Lions OC Ben Johnson
Lions DC Aaron Glenn
Ravens DC Mike MacDonald
Ravens AHC/DL coach Anthony Weaver
Rams DC Raheem Morris
Cowboys DC Dan Quinn
Texans OC Bobby Slowik
Most of these candidates have either interviewed with Washington or will interview this week. Peters wasn’t yet hired when the Commanders interviewed MacDonald and Weaver, although he will be if there is another round of interviews.
Some consider Johnson to be Washington’s top target. What does that mean? Nothing. While the Commanders may like Johnson, he could get another offer with more money or more power and choose that offer. Or, Peters could meet with Johnson and decide to go in another direction.
It’s a bit early to claim a favorite.
With Peters now at the head of football operations, will he expand beyond the seven initial candidates?
Frank Smith is the offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins were phenomenal on offense in 2023. However, Smith isn’t a household name because he doesn’t call plays. Head coach Mike McDaniels calls plays. But, Smith has quietly emerged in some places as a candidate. He’s scheduled at least two interviews for this cycle.
Could Peters bring the 42-year-old Smith in for an interview?
There are connections. While Smith has never worked in the same building as Peters, McDaniel worked in San Francisco for five seasons with Peters. McDaniel brought Smith to Miami in 2022.
While Smith has experience under McDaniel, Sean Payton gave him his first NFL job with the Saints back in 2010. He’s also worked for the Raiders under Jon Gruden. Payton and Gruden are highly respected offensive minds.
Ben Volin covers the NFL for The Boston Globe and is also hearing Johnson in connection to the Commanders. But he also brought up Smith’s name in a recent appearance on “The Sports Junkies” on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C.
“You look at how Harris runs some of his other teams, it’s the young, analytics-based guys, and Peters is 44 and comes from the organization that everyone wants to try to emulate right now,” Volin said via Lou DiPietro of Audacy.
“I gotta think that they’re gonna look for a similar profile with their head coach. It looks like they probably want a young, good-looking offensive coach. The two names that you keep hearing are Ben Johnson, who several teams want him, and then Frank Smith, the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, who has been getting a lot of buzz – I actually heard a few weeks ago that he might be the favorite in Washington – but I think it will come down to that type of coach. It’s a new day in Washington.”
If Peters and the Commanders do prefer Johnson, MacDonald, Slowik or any of the other coaches whose teams remain in the playoffs, he can take his time. That would favor someone like Smith having the chance to interview with Washington.
Will it happen? It seems unlikely, but Peters may view things differently based on feedback he’s received from others he trusts.