Homecoming weekend for former stars as 49ers visit Commanders

Must read

Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy was asked what impressed him about the San Francisco 49ers.

“I mean, what doesn’t impress you about what they do?” he asked with a chuckle.

He added: “Everything starts up front. (Nick) Bosa is doing a hell of a job, and then we get to see our ol’ pal Chase come back.”

Chase Young, Trent Williams and Kyle Shanahan will indeed make appearances at FedEx Field on Sunday, a homecoming for three of the most significant figures in the Washington franchise’s history.

Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in 2012 when Robert Griffin III was setting records, and then presided over one of the most disastrous seasons in franchise history the next year, as it all unraveled.

Williams was the anchor of the offensive line before his time in Washington ended acrimoniously over allegations that a cancerous tumor on his head was misdiagnosed by team doctors.

And Young was the No. 2 overall selection in coach Ron Rivera’s first season with the team before being traded for a compensatory selection earlier this year.

Young’s tenure was rocky as well. After winning defensive rookie of the year, he sat out the next year’s offseason workouts before regressing during the season.

“I was making money, baby,” he said back then of his time away from the team. “None of y’all would have ducked the money. At the end of the day it’s a job. You feel me? Just like y’all do your job, I do my job.”

Young’s job this weekend will be to sack Jacoby Brissett in his first start as the Commanders quarterback.

“Oh, trust me, I know he’s on the other side,” Brissett said with a laugh.

Running back Antonio Gibson joked Thursday that he’ll finally get the opportunity to chip Young, which wasn’t allowed during practices.

Washington will have its hands full on defense, too, as defensive tackle Jonathan Allen ticked through the stars who will suit up for San Francisco.

“They’ve got a lot of weapons,” Allen said. “You know the ball is going to get out quick. They’re a well-coached team. Phenomenal play calling. Christian McCaffrey, Debo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk – I mean, they have a lot of weapons.”

While Shanahan has returned since his departure, this will be the first game at FedEx Field for Williams and Young — Williams faced his former team in a 2020 game in the Bay Area, which the Commanders won.

Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin played with Young at Ohio State, and said Young will come ready to go.

“He’s gonna be excited for every game he plays, that’s the kind of energy that he brings to a team,” McLaurin said. “He’s going to be super juiced up to be back home and playing against his former team and everything.”

Young dismissed the notion that it was anything other than just another game during his Wednesday press availability in California. He said he’s most looking forward to spending time with his dogs on Saturday before the game.

Commanders down another running back: The Commanders put running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. on injured reserve Thursday, ending his season after a handful of breakout performances over the past few weeks. Rodriguez, a rookie, averaged 4.8 yards per carry this season.

With Rodriguez out, and Brian Robinson Jr. continuing to miss portions of practice, Washington may be forced to rely on Antonio Gibson and Jaret Patterson this weekend.

Lawsuit filed over sale of team: Robert Rothman, a former minority owner of the team, has filed a suit against Bank of America in a federal court, alleging the bank should have divulged to him that Dan Snyder was in financial peril because of loans he had taken out.

Rothman, along with two other investors, sold their collective 40% stake back to Snyder for $875 million in April 2021. That price was substantially less on a per-share basis than what Josh Harris paid for full control of the team earlier this year.

The lawsuit seeks financial damages, but has no bearing on the validity of the sale to Harris.

More articles

Latest article