Allen: Fans should keep 'same energy’ when Commanders start winning originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Four weeks into the NFL season, Washington fans’ level of concern with the Commanders is already high. The team is 1-3, last place in the NFC East, and at or near the bottom of several important statistical categories.
It’s fair for fans to wonder what direction the team is headed going forward. But Commanders’ defensive tackle and team captain Jonathan Allen knows the team will turn things around and also wants fans to be as excited about the wins as they've been frustrated with the losses.
“As far as the fans, I get it, I really do. I get their frustration. I’m frustrated with them—when the fans have nasty things to say, so be it,” Allen said on the Sports Junkies Tuesday. “Only thing I’ll say is when we do get it turned around, keep that same energy.
“All those fans who aren’t here now—and I get it, I understand the frustration, however many years, I understand. I’m not calling you out, I’m not saying none of that. But when things do get turned around, just understand. Just understand.”
Allen’s comments come just 24 hours after head coach Ron Rivera took note of Washington fans’ frustration with the current state of the team. He pointed to the team’s history as a valid piece of context for the lack of fan satisfaction.
“I understand everybody's frustration, especially how proud this organization is," Rivera said Monday. "[Expletive], this organization's got five championships. Are you [expletive] kidding me? I get it. I understand how important it is to win."
The lack of fan engagement has not been lost on Commanders players or coaches. Following Week 3’s home loss to Philadelphia, a few players couldn’t help but take note of the overwhelming number of Eagles fans at FedEx Field.
Still, Allen maintains faith Washington can and will turn it around. He wants fans to match that enthusiasm down the line.
“Cheer as loud as you’re booing,” Allen said.
Washington’s next test will come against Tennessee at home this Sunday. If the Commanders were to lose, that’d put them in a 1-4 hole with a difficult stretch of games against Green Bay, Minnesota, and Philadelphia within the following five weeks. Even though it’s only Week 5, this Sunday’s game could be critical to the outlook of this group.
Rivera still steers the ship, and Jonathan Allen and company have faith in him. Coming from someone who was played for Nick Saban at Alabama, Allen knows what high-level coaching looks like.
“I think coach Rivera is a great leader of men,” Allen said. “I feel like any great head coach has to be that…I don’t think it’s fair to put it one guy, but him being the head coach, he’s gonna take most of the criticism.”