Pete's Post Office: The pre-Commanders training camp edition


Every Tuesday, Pete Hailey will answer questions from Commanders fans about their favorite and always-interesting team. From inquiries about the depth chart to random ones about what it's like to cover Washington, he hopes to provide insight on whatever is on the mind of those who care so much about the organization.

In this edition, Pete touches on his big-picture 2022 outlook, the state of the linebackers and much more — all with two-sentence answers.

Very much appreciate the bluntness here, and my response is a fairly-confident no. While Ron Rivera's squad still has holes (particularly on defense), I believe Carson Wentz's presence, better (cross those fingers now) injury luck, a more manageable schedule and better performance on third downs will push this club to at least nine wins, if not 10.

I do expect Brian Robinson Jr. to carve out a nice role in Washington's backfield, but Antonio Gibson is still my pick when it comes to drive-finishing duties. Of Gibson's 18 career rushing touchdowns, 13 have come from the 10-yard line and in, indicating that he knows how to punch it in.

Rivera said in June that he wanted to see what he has in the young players at the position during the early portion of the offseason before adding a veteran (since a vet would likely be able to contribute rather quickly), so I predict he'll add at least one new name to the group before Week 1. However, it's unlikely that potential acquisition will be hugely impactful, and I'm overall rather baffled that this is what linebacker looks like for the Commanders.


I don't want to make DeAndre Carter sound like a Hall of Famer, because there are lots of DeAndre Carters in the NFL today. That said, he did inject life into Washington's return unit, and the only option that could bring the same dynamic is Jahan Dotson, though of course inserting Dotson into Carter's old spot brings its own risks.

Dotson in jersey No. 1 nearly breaks the Swag Meter. This year's rookie class appears to have a few new pros who should contribute early on, but none of them come close to matching Dotson in this particular area.

Before OTAs and minicamp, I would've slotted Antonio Gandy-Golden's chances of sticking on the roster at about 10%. But one of his competitors, Sammis Reyes, was sidelined for all of those sessions, and AGG impressed me way more at tight end than he ever did at receiver, which is why I presently have him at 33%. 

This is, sadly, one of the more fun things we as reporters get to track during camp, and it's an exercise that was pioneered by my podcast co-host/golfing buddy Mitch Tischler. Holmes is a solid guess, as it most likely will be someone of that more random variety, but I'll counter with undrafted wideout Marken Michel. 

Speaking of Mitch, yes, he's a gem. He's almost always in a good mood — the only times he isn't is if he's coming off of a triple bogey or a poor peanut butter and jelly sandwich — and is quite generous and funny. 

A couple of years ago, Kam Curl put together a standout camp and ended up cracking the secondary rotation in Week 1. There's a path for Butler to do the same, but I really like where Jeremy Reaves is at right now as the third safety and instead project Butler to make his early impact on special teams, where he was a total stud in college.

People ask me quite often for my go-to short version of the Commanders name, and while I don't have a favorite, "Ders" makes me chuckle. Regardless, I don't hate the thought of putting a few hypothetical chips on Chase Young to be Comeback Player of the Year (and for way more than two sentences of analysis on why, head right here).