4 critical observations from Commanders 2023 mandatory minicamp Day 3

Percy Butler
Percy Butler / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Indifferent day for Commanders QB Sam Howell

It was never going to be all smooth sailing for quarterback Sam Howell this summer. The step up in responsibilities is enormous compared to what the signal-caller had last season, so there were always going to be a few bumps in the road during such a steep transition.

Howell's production was indifferent during Day 3 of the team's mandatory minicamp. Getting picked twice on consecutive plays during red-zone drills wasn't ideal, but the former fifth-round selection ended on a high thanks to an outstanding touchdown throw to tight end Logan Thomas.

When discussing Howell's performance so far, head coach Ron Rivera stated via Zach Selby from Washington Commanders' website that it's a gradual learning curve for the North Carolina product, but he would like to see some footwork issues resolved by the time training camp gets here.

"We know he's young. He's a second-year player who got an opportunity to start last year, but there is a lot of room for growth. We know that, but he's got a good skill set. That's [footwork issues] probably one of the things you always want these young guys to understand how important it is, especially coming from one program to another. You've gotta understand that it's a little bit different. The speed is a little bit different, so we've gotta make sure those things are corrected."

Ron Rivera via Commanders.com

Howell is likely to start camp as No. 1 on the quarterback depth chart. However, veteran free-agent signing Jacoby Brissett is breathing down his neck, so he must continue to work hard during his time away from the facility in readiness for some stern upcoming challenges.