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Five Moves That Could Change The Washington Organization

The Washington Commanders find themselves in the midst of a pending organizational restructure after another disappointing season under Ron Rivera and Dan Snyder's organizational-remains.

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According to Albert Breer, Washington owner/managing partner Josh Harris has indicated he would like to model his newly acquired franchise after the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have been a staple of consistency and excellence over the 21st century, so it is not hard to see why Harris would want to emulate that.

Washington's New Head Coach?

So...modeling your organization after the Ravens, how do you do that? You would need to obtain members of their staff, whether it's coordinators, scouts, personnel managers, etc. But they can't take the Ravens' current GM Eric DeCosta. And they definitely can't take Harbaugh...right? Or can they?

John Harbaugh is obviously not leaving the Baltimore Ravens for the Washington Commanders, but maybe another Harbaugh who could return to the NFL as a HC possibly might want to. John Harbaugh has said that Alabama and Michigan were the two best programs to churn out NFL caliber players. Biased take or not, he has a case. And that can be thanks to his brother, Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines HC since 2015.

Now Harbaugh is currently preparing his Wolverines to play against the University of Alabama on New Year's Eve for the College Football Playoffs, so he probably isn't focusing too much on his future yet. His future includes deciding on whether to agree to Michigan's new contract offer that would be pretty lucrative. The only catch is that there is "No coaching in the NFL" clause for 2024. There is reportedly another offer on the table that is shorter deal but is offering over $11M annually. It has not been confirmed whether that contract offer has a "No leaving for the NFL" clause, but that would not be the only obstacle.

Jim Harbaugh also reportedly gave the impression last cycle that he would look into the Chargers' Head Coaching position should it become available. He had interviews with other NFL teams also, as well as a pending NCAA investigation, so Washington has their work cut out for them.

Washington's New Defensive Coordinator/Head Coach?

Just in case that Jim Harbaugh is off the table, there is another promising Head Coach candidate. This one is younger and could fit the brand of new NFL coaches. Mike Macdonald, the Ravens current DC, has been garnering a lot of noise recently about being a potential HC. Coincidentally, he has ties to both Harbaugh brothers and the Ravens' organization.

Macdonald first joined the Ravens' organization in 2014 as a coaching intern. He then elevated to defensive assistant before then becoming their DB and LB coach the following years. Macdonald also was a DC for the other Harbaugh at the University of Michigan in 2022. He was "referred" by John Harbaugh to Jim, and he found success there at Michigan before being called back to the Ravens for his first NFL DC stint. During his Michigan stint, he was crucial in the discovery of now second-year NFL linebacker, David Ojabo. He was drafted last year by Macdonald's team, the Baltimore Ravens.

If Harbaugh is interested in Washington, would it be a possibility that Jim Harbaugh thinks about taking Washington's pending open HC position and brings along Mike Macdonald as the Defensive Coordinator? Could he then make him the Assistant Head Coach, leading to Macdonald being a potential successor for Jim Harbaugh in the near future?

Washington's New Offensive Coordinator

Another coaching candidate is the current offensive coordinator for the Wolverines, Sherrone Moore. Like Macdonald, he is also 37 and has coached under Jim Harbaugh. Not only is he overseeing a successful Michigan offense as the coordinator, he is also their Offensive Line coach, a position that could also improve the Washington team. Not only was he the OC and OL coach, but he was also the interim head coach while Harbaugh served his three game team suspension. Sherrone could come along as the OC should either Macdonald or Harbaugh become head coach.

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Washington's New General Manager

Aside from coaching, how else can they model their organization after the Ravens? They can interview Joe Hortiz the Director of Player Personnel for Baltimore. He and DeCosta have worked wonders with the personnel management for the Ravens while also learning from Ozzie Newsome. That would be a way to get some Ravens culture and talent into your organization fast.

So hypothetically a quartet of Jim Harbaugh-Mike Macdonald-Sherrone Moore-and Joe Hortiz, or even just a trio of Hortiz, Moore, and Macdonald, can help fix the holes at HC, likely OC, DC, and GM. Now for one more big question...will they take a QB in the draft? If so, who and when?

Washington's New Quarterback?

One QB that has been flying under the radar, who I personally feel has a sound feel of the game and won't be too expensive is J.J. McCarthy. he has been solid this season finishing with solid passing grades and demonstrated a good feel for the position by taking what the defense gives him before pressure arrives, which Washington could use if Howell does not improve with that aspect. He has a current second round draft grade, so Washington can get a top-tier prospect in the top-four while also getting additional QB help.

QB may not be a position they feel they need to spend extremely valuable draft capital on, given the teams that Hortiz has won with, if they feel they can address other needs.

The highest picks at QB with Baltimore have been with Kyle Boller at 1.13 in 2003 and then Joe Flacco at 1.18 in 2008. Lamar was taken at 1.32 ten years later in 2018.

Talented QBs are needed, but they did not need to be high-profile. Lamar is now high-profile, but that's where Hortiz's scouting expertise comes in to be able to get him at the end of the first round. However, they also won two championships without a high-profile QB. How? With a sound consistent defense (incoming Mike Macdonald), efficient offense (incoming Sherrone Moore), great coaching (also incoming Mike Macdonald, maybe Jim Harbaugh?), and great scouting (incoming Joe Hortiz).

The Ravens and Wolverines are tied together though the Harbaughs, and it might not be a bad idea for Harris to model his newly acquired team after one of the most successful organizations in the 21st century.

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