The Washington Commanders introduced Adam Peters as their new general manager today. Here are five takeaways from his introductory press conference.
1. Why Washington?
As one of the most coveted front office executives in the league, Peters had plenty of options in terms of where he could go next. He even reportedly turned down some of those opportunities to work elsewhere.
But when he was approached by Managing Partner Josh Harris and the Commanders' ownership group about being their next general manager, he made it clear that he was all in on coming to Washington.
Why? There are several reasons, but most of them revolved around Harris, the ownership group and the vision they had for the team.
"Everything is exactly what a person in my seat would want," Peters said. "A great ownership group, a great fanbase, the ability to start new with a new head coach, all of those things were so appealing to me that going through this process, it was very clear to me at a very early time, right when I met with Josh, this is where I wanted to be."
Like Harris, Peters wants to attract the best people to help him build the franchise and hold them accountable. He's inclusive and wants to incorporate people with diverse backgrounds to get different perspectives on how to craft the best roster possible. He also wants to work one step at a time to create sustainable success.
Those qualities made it an easy decision for Harris, and the same could be said for Peters.
"This was the best opportunity, in my mind," Peters said of Washington.
Peters made it clear how he feels about the Commanders, saying "this is one of the cornerstone franchises in the NFL." He knows the fans are passionate, and he is "extremely motivated to deliver everybody what they deserve."
2. He gave his thoughts on the roster, including quarterback.
Peters just got started with the Commanders, so he's not going to start giving out his full opinions on how the team is structured.
However, he did offer some glimpses of how he feels about the roster he's inheriting.
"I believe that there are a few cornerstone pieces on this roster," Peters said. "I believe we have a lot of work to do, and that's just evaluating everybody. That's going to start with the coaches. We hire a head coach, we sit down together with the personnel department, and we...evaluate everything and figure out where we need to be. That's an ongoing process that I've started a little bit, but we have a lot of work to do."
Peters didn't say which players came to mind for him, but there are a few candidates on both sides of the ball. An easy one to guess would be Terry McLaurin, who is coming off his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season and is known for being a leader for his teammates. There's also Brian Robinson Jr. to consider as well; though he fell short of surpassing his rushing total from last year, he improved as a pass-catcher and had 1,101 total yards with nine touchdowns.
On defense, the duo of Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne is considered one of the best in the league. They weren't as dominant as they have been in years past, but still combined for nearly one-quarter of the team's 39 sacks.
Quarterback will be one of the biggest questions Peters will face in the coming months. Peters offered little information when asked about the position, but he did discuss how deciding what to do will be a group effort.
"Quarterback, just like all the positions, we're gonna sit down and evaluate," Peters said. "That process will start once we hire the head coach and his staff, and we're gonna do that collaboratively with the head coach, his staff, the personnel department, R&D [research and development], analytics and come up with evaluations for all that before we move forward."
3. He wants the best leader to be Washington's head coach.
As important as finding the next quarterback is for Peters and his new staff, getting the right head coach in the building is the decision that will require most of his immediate attention.
Peters doesn't want to put any restrictions on the new head coach's qualifications in terms of whether they have an offensive or defensive background. There will be a set criterion of what he and Harris want, but they aren't going to exclude someone just because their philosophy comes from one side of the ball.
The most important question head coach candidates will need to answer is whether they can be a good leader.
"Leadership, great communication, being able to be honest, direct and up front...and they're all intertwined," Peters said. "You have to be very smart, you have to be very driven. There's so many different qualities that make up a great head coach and a great leader, but really, it's just about being a great person, a great human being that people will follow."
Washington reportedly has already begun interviewing candidates, and several more will be conducted throughout the week. Obviously, Peters will be involved in that, but so will Harris and the search committee he has put together.
No matter who emerges as the final candidate, Harris wants to make sure that they, like him and Peters, share the goal of being a steward for the city.
"Ultimately [we want] a partner where the three of us can be aligned and work for the city, on behalf of the city, to win."
4. The No. 2 overall pick is "a great opportunity."
Peters often mentioned how the amount of resources Washington had to build a new roster was a key factor in his choosing to be the team's new general manager. The Commanders have nine picks in this year's NFL draft, including the No. 2 overall selection.
Like everything, Peters is taking a measured approach with what to do with that pick.
"It's a great opportunity," Peters said. "But like I said earlier, we still have to hire the head coach, and we're gonna do that whole process collaboratively. We're gonna have a great process in deciding what we do there. But...we're far from making the decision on that. We're looking forward to diving into that process."
There are several options as to what Washington could do with that No. 2 pick. Quarterback seems to be one of the top positions to address, although we've already gone over how Peters feels about that. They could trade back and acquire even more picks to bolster their roster even further, or they could stay at No. 2 and take one of the best players available at another position.
But Peters is right, of course. There are several steps that need to be taken before that decision is made. They need to attend the Senior Bowl at the end of the month, evaluate prospects at the combine and go through free agency.
What's important to remember is that Peters will not rush into any decision. He will take his time, gather information and do what he thinks is best for the future of the roster.
5. Washington does not need "wholesale changes."
The Commanders finished the season 4-13, which certainly indicates that a lot of work needs to be done to make them playoff contenders.
Peters isn't shying away from the work, but he doesn't believe he's starting from the ground up.
"This is not a total rebuild," Peters said. "This is a wonderful group of people here that just needs leadership. That's what I think is the biggest thing, is we need leadership and an aligned vision."
Peters is going to change some things about the Commanders' roster, and those changes will likely be justified. He'll incorporate some ideas he picked up from the 49ers, Patriots and Broncos to help Washington improve the problems it had not just at one, but multiple positions.
But the good part about having all the resources that Washington has is that not all of them need to be used on completely reshaping the roster. As Peters said, there are some players to build around already on the roster, and as recent examples like the Houston Texans have shown, change can happen quickly if a team is pointed in the right direction.
I don't think there's wholesale change needed," Peters said. "I just think we need leadership here and that's what we're here to bring."