What are some key observations from Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell's performances over the first half of 2023?
After speculation to the contrary throughout the offseason, the Washington Commanders opted to move forward with Sam Howell as the team's starting quarterback in 2023. A move that many thought head coach Ron Rivera was betting his job on as Josh Harris' ownership group got set to enter the fray.
Howell had the full support of Rivera and was made to earn the gig during camp. Jacoby Brissett pushed him hard on and off the field, but it was clear from some way out who the particular winner of this quarterback battle was going to be.
The former fifth-round selection's gone through some expected growing pains, but there's been far more good than bad. Eric Bieniemy's presence as Washington's play-caller also seems to be helping the signal-caller enormously.
With this in mind, here are four key observations from Howell's performances at the 2023 midseason point.
Sam Howell is a gunslinger
Not since the days of Robert Griffin III have the Washington Commanders had such an exciting quarterback. Sam Howell makes mistakes - that's the nature of the beast when deadline with inexperienced players - but he keeps swinging and brings a gunslinging mentality that's been sorely lacking.
Eric Bieniemy has tasked Howell with significant responsibilities within a pass-heavy scheme. This hasn't exactly been ideal given how the offensive line's struggled to provide the consistency needed, but the North Carolina product is doing a good job at bouncing back from adversity to keep the chains moving.
The better the opposition, the better Howell performs. That's the hallmark of every great gunslinger around the league.