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Washington is the perfect spot for Jeremy Chinn

Carolina Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn (21) plays against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
Carolina Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn (21) plays against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

Of all the things that Jeremy Chinn can do -- and that encompasses a lot -- running and hitting are two of his favorites. The Washington Commanders are the right place for him to use both those skills.

"I think that's perfect for my game and what I can do on the football field," Chinn said.

The Commanders and new defensive coordinator joe Whitt Jr. are in the process of remolding their defensive philosophy heading into the 2024 season. Their mindset is going to be based on physicality, creating turnovers guessed it...running and hitting.

"The way that we live is not for everybody, okay?" Whitt said during his introductory press conference.

Well, Chinn is about that life, and he's going to be all over the field for the Burgundy & Gold doing what he does best.

"There's no facet of my game that I can't excel in," Chinn said.

It shouldn't take long to see why Chinn and Whitt were attracted to each other. Whitt, who came to Washington with head coach Dan Quinn, gave some fiery sentiments about his expectations for his unit when he addressed the media in February. There's a reason why the Commanders haven't spent much time explaining what scheme they're going to use on that side of the ball. The structure, Whitt said, doesn't matter to him.

The most important question is whether his defense is creating chaos for offenses.

"We're gonna run and put our bodies on people in a violent manner," Whitt said. "The main thing that matters to me is, are we gonna be arriving violently? And we're gonna turn the ball over. We're gonna make sure we disrupt these quarterbacks."

Making sure those prophesies come to life is where Chinn comes into the picture. A second-round pick from 2020, Chinn doesn't just talk a big game; he backs it up with a relentless style that can be effective all over the defense. A mixture of injuries and usage have prevented from having more impact for the Panthers in 2022 and 2023, but his first two seasons saw him record 224 combined tackles with 10 quarterback hits, 10 pass breakups and three forced fumbles.

Check out some of the top photos from Jeremy Chinn's time with the Carolina Panthers. (Photos via The Associated Press)

The way Chinn sees it, being part of Quinn and Whitt's defense in Washington is the right situation for him to highlight his best traits. Quinn played a vital role in turning around a Cowboys defense that gave up 29.6 points per game in 2020. In the time that he was the Cowboys' defensive coordinator, the defense finished top 10 in points allowed, ranking fifth during the 2023 season. The Cowboys were also fifth in total yards allowed and tied for 12th in turnovers.

"Just seeing what he was able to do in Dallas and also in Seattle, just his style. Just run-and-hit-type defenses," Chinn said.

Chinn played multiple roles during his four seasons with the Panthers, starting at outside linebacker before transitioning to strong and free safety. Former defensive coordinator Phil Snow didn't even give him a defined role, and Chinn responded by saying that "you can use me wherever, as long as you're using me."

Quinn acknowledges that Chinn can fill multiple roles, but he already has an idea about where Chinn can be his best.

"I think he's down by the line of scrimmage," Quinn said. "He's blitzing. He's guarding tight ends, and so that was one of the things that we thought would be really important. We want to play tight. We want to play aggressive, so the more man-to-man, the more blitzing ability, that's what we're looking for into that spot."

Take a look at all the new players that were part of the Washington Commanders' free agency haul.

We'll have to wait until September to see exactly how Chinn fits into the scheme, but on paper, which is all we have at this point, it seems like an ideal match. If Chinn can recapture some of that production he had at the start of his career, the Commanders might have found a weapon that can enforce the identity they want to establish on that side of the ball.

"I'm just excited for this opportunity that's in front of me," Chinn said. "I'm ready to take full advantage of it, and I can't wait to get to work."

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