4 Commanders players who didn't stand a chance in 2023

The Commanders should have done more for these players.

Cole Turner
Cole Turner / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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Sam Howell - Commanders QB

Sam Howell got a big audition to potentially become the Washington Commanders' starting quarterback long-term. Ron Rivera made him earn it, but the signal-caller left a big enough impression to start the campaign despite free-agent veteran Jacoby Brissett bolstering the team's options.

The early signs were promising for Howell. He looked assured despite having one start as a rookie. There was a fearless mentality that was hard not to love. Even in losses against the Philadelphia Eagles, the gunslinger left a notable impression as someone who could perform under the most glaring spotlights.

Ron Rivera proudly claimed that although the Commanders were going through some difficult results, they'd finally found their guy. It didn't take long for things to turn south after that.

Howell regressed considerably over the second half of 2023. He was benched twice after becoming more turnover-prone than ever. Had it not been for Brissett's hamstring complication, the former fifth-round pick wouldn't have become the first Washington quarterback to start a full season since Kirk Cousins.

Rivera admitted recently he put too much pressure on Howell. Eric Bieniemy did the player no favors by failing to establish the run effectively within a pass-dependent scheme. The Commanders offensive line was a disgrace as the North Carolina product become the league's most sacked presence under center.

These factors indicate Howell was fighting a losing battle despite his best efforts. Unfortunately for the player, that won't matter much to the new regime in their quest to finally get a franchise quarterback to take them forward this offseason.

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