What were some critical observations from Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell's performances during early offseason workouts in 2023?
No player on the Washington Commanders will shift the pendulum more than Sam Howell in 2023. The quarterback is getting the chance to prove he has what it takes to be a productive starting presence under center, which represents a big gamble from head coach Ron Rivera with his own job on the line.
Howell has the support of everyone within the organization, even if there is a relatively small sample size to go off with just one start as a rookie in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys. The Commanders are placing a tremendous amount of faith in the former fifth-round pick, who gives those in power one of the cheapest contracts to build around over the next two years if he makes the position his own.
It's been a fascinating start to the preparation period in Washington. The sale approval remains a distraction, but plenty of intriguing dynamics are already taking shape before the team descends on Ashburn for their annual training camp.
With this in mind, here are three critical observations surrounding Howell throughout early offseason workouts in 2023.
Commanders QB Sam Howell is a work in progress
First of all, such a steep transition was never going to be a bed of roses completely. Sam Howell knows this is going to be a gradual process, which was reflected in a mixed bag of throwing consistency during drills at OTAs and the Washington Commanders' mandatory minicamp.
It's also worth noting that Howell is going up against one of the league's most imposing defenses daily. This will be a trial by fire for the signal-caller and something that should make things easier when competitive action arrives.
Nothing is perfect, not yet anyway. But head coach Ron Rivera has liked what he's seen from Howell so far according to his comments via Zach Selby from the team's website.
"He's mobile, he's got good foot movement, he's got quick twitch to him, good decision maker. He is still learning to make those decisions, but he's also got the arm talent and that's the thing that excites us."- Ron Rivera via Cimmanders.com
Once Howell becomes more familiar with the scheme and develops further chemistry with teammates, then the processing aspect should enhance. And the more reps accumulated by the one-time North Carolina star this summer, the better his chances will be.