Brian Mitchell and JP Finlay offered their reactions Thursday to the Washington Commanders ranking dead last among 32 teams in the NFLPA's first ever report card.
That report card sampled 1,300 players confidentially from across the league to rank teams in eight categories: Treatment of families, food service/nutrition, weight room, strength coaches, training room, training staff, locker room and team travel.
It's important to note that players were not asked questions about any club other than their 2022 employers.
You can read the full Commanders report card here.
"This report that came out yesterday is about people that are inside your building that did grades," BMitch said.
"Last season!" Finlay said. "This isn't 10 years ago."
"People that are inside your building," BMitch continued. "Now let's remember this as well: A lot of the people that were inside your building last season, they came from other teams, and so they have a base point to compare to."
"So, I don't care if it's our people on our station, 106.7, or 980 or other people around the country," he continued, "nobody really gives a damn what you think about the report. If you have any sense and you are a person who basically are involved with that franchise, you need to be concerned about what your people think about your damn facility, what they feel about how you treat their families, what they think about how all of your stuff is compared to others around the league. This is not about reports."
"I always felt when you're more comfortable, and you have a belief and you think somebody gives a damn about you, you perform a lot better," BMitch added.
"I totally agree with you," Finlay said. "So let's run through kind of the facts of the matter and then I want to try to provide some clarity, because there's some stuff I know. I talked to a number of former players, current players after this came out just via text message and a couple phone calls. And I do think there's some confusion here."
"I tried to point some of that stuff out on social media," Finlay said. "But let's start with just the facts. The NFLPA — and I bumped into an NFLPA official yesterday after this came out when I was still in Indy — and I said, 'Oh man, your survey is getting some attention.'
"And they said, 'Good. We're trying to shine a light on the people doing it right and shine a light on the people doing it wrong.' And that was all that was said — there was no specific this team, that team. But the NFLPA wants it known what teams are taking care of players and what teams aren't."
"The NFLPA is the NFL Players Association," Finlay continued. "Every player in the NFL is a member... their goal is to protect players. Thirteen-hundred players provided information to share with one another about their current club to not only help them make important career decisions, but also help raise standards across the league."
"There's 32 teams in the NFL," he said. "The Commanders ranked DEAD LAST, 32nd out of 32nd."
A Commanders spokesperson issued the following response to the NFLPA's findings: "Player health and safety is our top priority, and we continue to invest in our facilities, including a new practice field, new turf in the practice bubble and increased meeting room space. We know there is more to do, and we regularly talk with our players about ways to improve their work environment and the experience for their families."
Here's a snippet of the NFLPA's overview of the Commanders' report card, which singled out Dan Snyder specifically: "The Washington Commanders are ranked 32nd (last) in our team guide. Besides the strength coaches who received great feedback and grades as one of the best groups in the league, the rest of the club’s operations and facilities were rated by player respondents at the bottom of every single category."
"The locker room does not have confidence that club owner Dan Snyder is willing to invest to upgrade the facilities, as player responses rank him 31st in this category," it goes on to say. "Players had significantly more concerns with each area of the facility than the player respondents on any other team. For example, they were the team most consistently identified as having an understaffed training room."
Neither BMitch nor Finlay could wrap their heads around why the Commanders pushed back against the NFLPA's report, as it reflected direct feedback from the organization's own players.
"The problem is I think we are so defensive here in Washington now, every time something comes out, we want to dispel the story before we can even pay attention to it," BMitch went on to say.
"I don't understand trying to dispel this," Finlay replied. "This is your own players."
"There are players that are saying we need better," BMitch said.
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