Wide receiver Jahan Dotson is coming off a brilliant rookie season for the Commanders and is, to ascribe one specific word to it, excited about the opportunity to build off of that foundation with new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
The former 16th overall pick, who brought in 35 catches for 523 yards and seven touchdowns in 2022, was an open book in an interview with 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier when discussing the Bieniemy hire, Sam Howell and the future of the Commanders offense, and former college teammate Joey Porter Jr.
"I was fired up," Dotson said of Bieniemy being hired. "To be able to work with such a great mind who's had so much success at the highest level of football, it's definitely pretty cool to be able to work with someone like that. I'm extremely excited to have the opportunity just to pick his brain a little bit and just be able to be a sponge. I'm really excited for the hire. I can't wait to get to work and I know there's big things coming this year."
Dotson hasn't had the opportunity to talk shop with Bieniemy yet, but he did try to help the new OC feel welcome during his introductory presser.
"We haven't really chatted too in depth about that yet, it's a new hire," he said. "Just making him feel welcomed a little bit, making sure that he knows that the guys in here in the room, in our facility are gonna die for him. We're gonna put it all on the line for him and we know he's gonna do the same for us, so it's just a really exciting opportunity."
It's no secret that Bieniemy has interviewed for vacant head coaching positions for several years and continues to get passed over. Taking the job in Washington is somewhat of a lateral move but one that does offer him a chance to be the sole play-caller, which is a step in the right direction.
Despite that stakes now riding on Bieniemy's time in Washington, Dotson says he doesn't feel any added pressure to help the OC succeed.
"Not really. But one thing he said in his press conference that really sticks out is he can help us and we can help him at the same time," Dotson said. "Our success on the field and making sure that we do everything possible to win can help him at the same time."
"I know he has dreams and aspirations of being an NFL head coach one day, and we have dreams and aspirations of winning Super Bowls and winning a lot of football games," he said. "The more we help him, the more he's gonna help us and vice versa, so it's a two-way street.
"Like I keep saying, we're really excited for the opportunity to get to work with such a great mind and really just learn. That's the biggest thing. It's all about learning, learning the different things that you never knew you would know some day. It's pretty cool and I can't wait for it."
Dotson is also excited for Howell to get an opportunity to win the starting job entering his second year in the NFL
"That's my guy. I keep using the word excited because I am truly excited," Dotson said. "I can't wait for the opportunity for Sam. You know, he had a different rookie year than I did. He got to sit back and learn the ropes of the NFL through two very good veterans in his room, in Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke."
"I know he's ready for the opportunity," he said. "He has all the talent in the world. Literally, he can make every single throw on the football field and he makes it look effortless. We always say when we were at practice and stuff, you know, he looks so cool in the pocket. Like he makes it look very effortless, the throws that he makes."
"I remember we were playing Dallas and he hit me and Terry about 50, 60 yards down the sideline, opposite hash, and he just hit us in stride and it's very hard to do that," he continued. "That's not an easy thing to do and he made it look so easy and so effortless. I can't wait for the opportunity for Sam. I can't wait to just build that relationship with him. I'm already pretty close with him, but I can't wait for our relationship just to excel."
Dotson believes Washington's wide receiver room is something truly special.
"This past season I knew that we were most successful when we got the ball in our playmakers' hands," he said. "When I talk about the receivers, I truly think that we have the deepest receiver room in the NFL. Like, one through five, one through six can all go and make plays for the team at any point in the game."
"So I know that when we as an offense can make plays through the receivers, it can only build the offense and really just give us a jumpstart," he said. "It's pretty cool to see, too, because not only are you making plays, but your peers, the guys that you're in your room with, they're making plays too. It just fuels the fire and it gets things started."
Joey Porter Jr., a teammate of Dotson's at Penn State, is one of the top cornerbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft class and many mock drafts have him falling to Washington at 16.
"That's my dog, man. That is my dog," Dotson said. "The crazy thing is, last year when I was in my combine process and my draft process and my interviews and everything, the coaches would ask me, 'Who is the best corner you've faced in your college career?' And I was always asking them can I say someone who was on my team? Because I feel like the best person on my team was the best corner I would go against my entire college career, and it was Joey Porter Jr."
"He was the one person who really gave me fits and really helped me to have so much success on Saturdays," he said, "because every day in practice it was like a game. We were going against each other, we were making each other better. It was like a game every single day. So I always say that Joey Porter Jr. was the best talent that I've played against at the corner position by far my college career."
"That's my guy. We might as well — see, we've got the 16th pick again — we might as well run it back, go to Penn State and go get my guy," Dotson added. "He's gonna make our football team that much better. And I'm just super excited for him, just for him to be mentioned in the first round. I knew he had a bright future coming in a Penn State, but for him to put it into fruition and make the things happen to be in this [position], I'm truly excited for him and I can't wait to see him go."
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