3 Commanders to watch for against the Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns face the Washington Commanders on Friday and these 3 opposing players are worth keeping an eye on

Washington Commanders Training Camp
Washington Commanders Training Camp / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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All signs point to the Washington Commanders coming to town ready to test offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy's new offense by slinging the ball all over the ballyard on Friday night against the Cleveland Browns

Before identifying three opponents to look for this Friday, let's think about how the Commander's offense is supposed to function in 2023. There are at least four reasons to make us believe that they'll try to open things up and emphasize the air game.

First, Bieniemy has been brought over from the Chiefs, and he has a chip on his shoulder to prove that it wasn't all Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City and that Bieniemy deserves some of the credit for their consistent success on offense.

Second, he will be assisted by Ken Zampese, the quarterback coach for the Browns in 2018. Zampese did a great job with Baker, so maybe he will help Washington's quarterbacks also.

Third, their team is built around speed demon wide receivers, two of whom are familiar to Ohio State fans. Namely, Terry McLaurin (4.35) and Curtis Samuel (4.31) both blew the doors off at the Combine 40-yard dash after successful college careers.

Jahan Dotson from Penn State is also very fast, but within subsonic limits. Even if the starters don't play much on Friday, they have influenced the design of the offense.

Fourth, the Commanders haven't had success on the ground. Both Brian Robinson, Jr. and Antonio Gipson averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry last year.

Thus, whoever plays quarterback for the Commanders in 2023 will be expected to air it out much more than last year. So, who might the 2023 franchise quarterback be? Well, Browns fans might bet on Jacoby Brissett, though he's currently second on the depth chart.

3. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett, who made a lot of friends in Cleveland in 2022, will assume a lead role in the first exhibition game for the Washington Commanders at Cleveland Friday, August 11. At the moment, Brissett finds himself in the second-string position in the Washington depth chart.

In the first exhibition game, the second-string quarterback usually takes more snaps than the starter. Thus, fans can expect to see a lot of Brissett on Friday. Brissett has never been a gunslinger, but is very good at running the offense, standing tall in the pocket, and making his reads.

With the Browns, he proved himself to be a capable leader and very well-suited for a run-first offense. Cleveland had Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and didn't need Brissett to throw the ball all over the field in order to win games, or at least that was the idea at the time.

As the season progressed it became clear that the Browns defense was under-achieving and they probably did need to throw the ball more than they thought. Brissett played well enough to win, but the defensive unit played poorly enough to lose.

Brissett isn't blindingly fast, but he proved himself to be a deadly runner in short-yardage situations, one of the absolute best in the NFL. We should look for Brissett to have the opportunity to air it out more for Washington than he did for the Browns last year.

As mentioned previously, Washington has crazy speed at wide receiver and they don't have a rushing alternative remotely like Nick Chubb. Browns fans would probably not bet against Brissett.