Washington Commanders defensive end issues an ultimatum: ‘It’s a now or never situation’

Efe Obada, the defensive end for the Washington Commanders, recently shared his insights with Mirror Sport concerning the team’s personnel and his aspirations to sack specific quarterbacks within the NFC East franchise during the upcoming 2023 season.

With the announcement of Sam Howell as the starting quarterback for the 2023 season, Efe Obada sees a crucial opportunity for the Washington Commanders to seize the moment. As the inaugural player to transition directly from a European football league to the NFL, Obada is determined to guide his team back to the playoffs, a feat he hasn’t achieved since his tenure with the Buffalo Bills in 2021. Despite the challenging landscape of the NFC East, where his Commanders concluded the previous season at 8-8-1, Obada remains resolute in his pursuit of success.

The Washington franchise has navigated a dynamic offseason marked by significant changes. Against the backdrop of the team’s transition from disgraced former owner Dan Snyder to the leadership of the Josh Harris-led consortium, the emergence of Howell as the chosen starting quarterback has been a focal point.

Under the continued guidance of Ron Rivera, who leads the Commanders once more, Efe Obada has expressed admiration for his fellow members of the defensive line. He remains steadfastly prepared as the 2023 season prepares to kick off.

Expressing his enthusiasm, Obada shared with Mirror Sport during the commencement of training camp, “I’m genuinely excited. Our defense exudes tenacity. We are fueled by the desire for sacks and victory. With the return of Chase Young, the presence of Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, [Montez Sweat], and myself, we possess a cadre of individuals willing to put in the hard work.

“We’ve notably reinforced our secondary, and on the offensive side, our group of receivers distinguishes itself not just through its ample talent but also its unparalleled excellence. With a solidified quarterback in our ranks, there’s a unifying force that we can rally behind. The pieces are aligning, and under the guidance of a coach who boasts Super Bowl experience, we’re poised to absorb the lessons he brings to the table.

“This is unquestionably a pivotal juncture, marked by resolute dedication from each person involved.”
Efe Obada’s glowing praise for Howell, who was formally designated as the Commanders’ starting quarterback for the 2023 season, resonated intriguingly. At 22 years old, Howell boasts remarkable achievements, holding school records for both single-season touchdown passes and career passing yards and touchdowns at North Carolina.

The arsenal at his disposal is formidable, with standout names like Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel among the receiver ranks, while the running back room features Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson. Orchestrating the offense is the esteemed offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, renowned for his role in the Kansas City Chiefs’ dual Super Bowl victories alongside figures like Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. The allure of the Washington offense in 2023 is indeed evident, justifying Obada’s palpable enthusiasm.

However, there are numerous commendable aspects within Obada’s own defensive unit. As the defensive end highlighted, the Commanders’ defensive lineup eagerly anticipates the return of a fully recovered Chase Young, adding depth to their ranks. Daron Payne, fresh off his impressive 11.5 sacks in 2022, aims to carry that momentum forward. Notably, the Commanders have painstakingly constructed one of the most promising secondaries, complementing the substantial investments made in the defensive line.

Washington’s cornerback lineup includes three starting talents: rookie Emmanuel Forbes, Kendall Fuller, and Benjamin St-Juste, with the addition of another rookie, Quan Martin. The safety positions are equally robust, featuring names like Kamren Curl, Darrick Forrest, Percy Butler, and Jeremy Reaves, thereby fortifying a deep and skillful collective.

The Commanders are poised to make their mark primarily through their defensive line, a force intended to dismantle opposing offenses, and Efe Obada is prepared to embrace that challenge fully. In 2020, Obada notably brought down high-caliber quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady in rapid succession. With an impressive tally of 15 career sacks, the 31-year-old has highlighted the prominent names that he’s determined to sack in the upcoming 2023 season.

“With joint practices with the Baltimore Ravens leading up to a preseason game, I’m eager to step up and face Lamar Jackson,” Obada expressed, a smile playing across his face.

“While Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen continue to be significant names on my list, it’s true that every quarterback in the league presents an appealing opportunity. Yet, those three are my top priorities.”
As the season kicks off, Obada’s Commanders will welcome the Arizona Cardinals to FedExField on September 10 for Week 1.

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