New Day for Washington Commanders, ‘Feels Like I Got Traded,’ Says WR Jahan Dotson


Washington Commanders receiver Jahan Dotson has been through a lot in two short NFL seasons, and it’s not just the fact he’ll be playing for his third offensive coordinator in as many years that’s changing in 2024. The whole vibe around the team is different.

“I do feel like it is completely different,” Dotson told ABC7’s Scott Abraham during the Commanders‘ NFL Draft party over the weekend. “This is funny to say, but I was talking to some of the guys in the locker room and I just feel like it almost feels like I got traded, and it feels like I came into a better opportunity. I feel like the confidence is (at an) all-time high. Not only for the team but for myself included. So I’m really excited. It’s really cool.”

Dotson came into the NFL as a first-round pick by Washington in 2022 and immediately established himself as a player opposing defenses needed to have a gameplan for.

Dec 4, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Jahan Dotson (1)

His 12 catches in the first four games – really three and a half – of his career produced four touchdowns, and while three of those contests ended in losses his ability to come up big in key moments helped outsiders to see the potential in the team in the first quarter of that season.

He then suffered a hamstring injury in the fourth game of the year, a loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and subsequently missed five full games before getting eased back onto the field starting in Week 10 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

By that time the team he played with in Week 4 was gone, and the one he rejoined on the field in Week 10 was totally different.

It took some time for that version of the team to get Dotson back in the mix fully, but once they did he ripped off 70+ yards receiving in three of the last four games his rookie year and scored two more touchdowns.

When Washington brought in his second offensive coordinator, coach Eric Bieniemy, it was expected he’d help unlock Dotson’s abilities even further. Instead, the whole offense struggled to keep up with the large point totals being scored on the other side as first-year starting quarterback Sam Howell and the new OC struggled to find a rhythm that was both effective and sustainable.

The struggles impacted everyone, including Dotson and veteran receiver Terry McLaurin who both went through overall production dips in 2023.

But the new staff led by head coach Dan Quinn, and yet another new offensive coordinator in Kliff Kingsbury, has reinvigorated the energy around the Commanders franchise and judging by Dotson’s comments that effect is being felt inside of it as well.

The addition of dual-threat quarterback Jayden Daniels is only fueling the flames of that anticipation and Dotson himself was one of the first to congratulate his new teammate.

“I texted him right when he got drafted,” said Dotson. “I said, ‘Congrats, man,’ (and) he said, ‘Let’s get to work,’ So it’s exciting. We’re going to get to it and the fans should be really excited for this one.”

Dotson needs 56 catches in 2024 to enter the top five all-time in receptions for Washington receivers through three NFL seasons. He needs eight touchdowns to lead the franchise in scoring catches.

With Daniels’ big-play ability and high scoring output in college combined with Kingsbury’s reputation for seeking out explosive opportunities both milestones are in play this season.

Stick with CommanderGameday for more coverage of the Washington Commanders throughout the 2024 NFL Draft.

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