4 critical observations from Commanders 2023 training camp Day 1

There was a lot to pick apart from Day 1 from Commanders training camp in 2023.
Chase Young
Chase Young / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Solid day from Commanders QB Sam Howell

Although head coach Ron Rivera insists that the quarterback battle remains open, Sam Howell is getting the first shot at the starting job in 2023. The Washington Commanders handed him the majority of first-team reps throughout early workouts and this trend continued on the opening day of training camp.

Howell had a solid first day overall. There were a few miscues, but he was the only signal-caller not to throw an interception and made some eye-catching throws against a defense that looked intent on making their presence felt right out of the gate.

The former North Carolina standout conjured some impressive completions to Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson. Howell's chemistry with veteran tight end Logan Thomas continued in red-zone situations, which is another positive ahead of the pads going on in the coming days.

Washington's defense is only going to get better as camp progresses, so Howell must do the same in pursuit of gaining the confidence needed to hit the ground running in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals. He knows very few are expecting him to maximize this opportunity, which is all the motivation needed to become one of the league's surprise packages next season.

It's been a positive start from Howell, but no more than that. The tempo is going to increase further throughout camp, with joint practices against the Baltimore Ravens also set to provide a solid measuring stick.