Jahan Dotson senses a difference in Washington entering Year 2, and he attributes the shift to new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
"I feel like he's brought culture to our team," Dotson said Saturday at his youth football camp, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. "He's brought a sense of energy, a sense of urgency. It's been really good just being able to learn from him and just get familiar with the things he wants us to do and the things we want to do."
Bieniemy comes to Washington after five years of unrivaled success as Kansas City's OC, where the unit he led in tandem with Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes twice placed first in the league in points and three times paced the NFL in yards. If he brings even a portion of that success through his installation of a new vibe in D.C., it could mean massive improvement for the Commanders.
His new boss, head coach Ron Rivera, is likewise well-respected for instilling the type of culture needed to win in the NFL, but Rivera has nonetheless found victories hard to come by the past three years.
Washington has never finished a season above .500 during his tenure, the offense never ranked better than 23rd in scoring under his old offensive coordinator Scott Turner and -- in a problem that predates the Rivera era -- the Commanders have had a different Week 1 starter at quarterback every year since 2017.
When 2022 fifth-rounder Sam Howell likely takes the first snap of Washington's first game this season, he'll be the seventh straight new QB1 to kick off a campaign. He'll play a massive role in Bieniemy's revival efforts after attempting just 19 passes last year, as will Dotson.
The former Penn State wide receiver battled injuries to appear in 12 games his rookie season, but he flashed potential with 35 catches for 524 yards and seven scores.
Now in his second year, already feeling the impacts of Bieniemy's arrival, he has the potential to form a terrific duo with Pro Bowl WR Terry McLaurin to give their young QB a cornucopia of much-needed open looks.
The pieces are there in Washington. Bieniemy is already imparting a valuable approach learned from his time contributing to a Super Bowl-winning culture with the Chiefs.
If he can shed the shadows of Reid and Mahomes to gain his rightful recognition by turning that foundation into results, the Commanders should have a chance in an NFC East that boasted three postseason teams a season ago.