‘Better than I was expecting’: Washington players look ahead to team’s new name

'Better than I was expecting': WFT players look ahead to new name originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

It would take quite a while to get to “excitable” when creating a list of words to describe Jonathan Allen, so when Washington’s Pro Bowl defensive tackle does express enthusiasm for something, it’s notable. 

That’s precisely what he did on Monday when discussing the squad’s soon-to-be-real rebrand.

“I think the whole package is complete,” Allen told reporters one day after his team’s season concluded. “It’s better than I was expecting, to be honest. I had my doubts going into it, but after leaving it I was super happy and you could see the time and the effort put into it.”

Along with Terry McLaurin and Chase Young, Allen is one of the players that Washington is leaning on to build interest in the club’s Feb. 2 announcement. Allen has posted graphics about the change on his social media channels and was featured in one of the franchise’s tweets regarding the switch, too. 

The significance of that isn’t lost on him.

“It was really cool, actually, just being able to get your hands on the uniforms and the jerseys and just being a part of it before it’s official is a really special moment,” he said. “I’m super appreciative that they chose me to help be a part of it.”

McLaurin can relate to his fellow star’s gratitude.

“That’s humbling,” the wideout explained. “With this rich history of this organization, to be a guy in his third year to be able to help with this rebranding and this new culture shift, I don’t take that lightly. I would like to think that speaks to what they think of me and what I mean to this organization. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since I got here is just add value. Not only as a player but a person and in the community as well.”

When asked if he knows the final name, McLaurin avoided the inquiry like it was an oncoming cornerback. Instead of answering, he just laughed, shrugged and moved on. 

Allen, though, was more forthright. No, he didn’t spill the next moniker, but he did provide an extremely positive review of Washington’s upcoming threads.

“The jerseys look phenomenal,” Allen said. “Everything works. I’m just really happy with the way things turned out, and I think the fans are going to love it.”

“They’re tough, I ain’t gonna fake,” Young added about the uniforms.

Other members of the roster beyond Allen, McLaurin and Young faced questions about their employer’s future chapter on Monday. 

Tress Way, for one, was giddy about multiple choices; Redhogs, which would allow the “HTTR” rallying cry to live on, and Commanders, which “just sounds like DC,” are two candidates he supports. Charles Leno Jr., meanwhile, was perturbed that Red Wolves fell out of the running.

“They ruled my favorite out,” Leno Jr. said, sounding decently hurt by that decision. 

As for McLaurin, he stayed away from identifying any favorites. To him, the most crucial thing will be what happens after the transformation, regardless of what Washington lands on.

“At the end of the day, I feel like people are going to feel some type of way whatever the name is, but at the end of the day I just hope it’s something that we can all rally around.”

And with that response, McLaurin proved he’s just as good a pitchman as he is a pass catcher.

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