Lions head coach touts Commanders’ ‘explosive athletes’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell has been in the NFL inner circle for over two decades, both as a player and coach. That knowledge of the game helps Campbell know what players make a true impact on the field.
And he thinks the Washington Commanders have a slew of players that fit that mold, starting with the wide receiver core. He took note of the Commanders’ trio ahead of their Week 2 matchup.
“[Terry] McLaurin can play inside, outside; Dotson can do a little of both, so these guys are explosive athletes and they have speed,” Campbell said Wednesday. “They’re not the biggest guys, but it gives them a lot of versatility offensively.”
That offensive versatility allowed Washington to put up 390 total yards of offense vs. Jacksonville in Week 1, 313 of which came via the air. The trio of McLaurin, Dotson and Curtis Samuel were all able to haul in at least one touchdown pass each to boot.
From one coach to another, Campbell credited Commanders’ offensive coordinator Scott Turner.
“There’s a number of things that I know that coach Turner likes to do and he’s got plenty of weapons,” Campbell said. “He’s got gadgetry, he’s got slots.”
Turner used every weapon at his disposal on Sunday and was praised for his creative offensive schemes after the win. Former Detroit QB Dan Orlovsky even went into detail about one play--a midfield pass to Curtis Samuel--was laden with a nuanced knowledge of how to gain chunk yardage.
Apart from the passing game, Washington’s run game looked up to snuff as well in Week 1. Antonio Gibson, who went under the radar yet was a huge reason for the win, carved the Jaguars up for 130 total yards of offense. That’ll also be a point of emphasis for Campbell’s Lions squad on Sunday.
“And then with Gibson in the backfield, I mean this guy’s a big man that can run,” Campbell said. “We cannot let him get going, we cannot let him get going.”
Washington meets Detroit on Sunday and will have a few ‘explosive athletes’ of their own to deal with. Running back D’Andre Swift and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown top the list, but defensive prowess might be the name of the game.