3 critical observations from Sam Howell's preseason performance at the Browns

How did Commanders QB Sam Howell fare in his first preseason outing?

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

How did Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell look during his first preseason outing at the Cleveland Browns?

All eyes were on Sam Howell as he took the field for his first taste of game-day action since an encouraging Week 18 performance against the Dallas Cowboys to conclude the 2022 campaign. That was enough for the Washington Commanders to move forward with the former fifth-round selection as their starting quarterback this time around, which is a big-time risk with new ownership ready to make landmark changes if things don't go well.

Howell's done well overall at camp against an elite-looking Commanders' defense. It's not been easy and Eric Bieniemy's rode him hard, but it's brought a positive response heading into last night's warmup contest at the Cleveland Browns.

Although Howell was in for only three series' during the clash, there was a lot to like about the way he went about his business. With that in mind, here are three critical observations from the North Carolina product's performance.

Sam Howell looked confident

Much has been made about Sam Howell's lack of experience. That doesn't seem to be bothering the Washington Commanders too much and judging by the quarterback's level of confidence on Friday evening, it's something he's taking in his stride.

Howell looked in command pre-snap, didn't force the issue at any stage, and put his mobility to good use when called upon. He was also largely accurate and came away with a touchdown after connecting with second-year wide receiver Jahan Dotson on a filthy route.

This was a solid foundation from which to build. The Cleveland Browns had their first-string defense out there with Howell aside from stud edge rusher Myles Garrett, so it was encouraging to see the signal-caller more than hold his own.