Sam Howell - Commanders QB
There are few players around the NFL with more pressure on their shoulders than Sam Howell in 2023. The quarterback has many jobs lying in the palm of his hands as the first starting quarterback under the new ownership era led by Josh Harris' group, so the ramifications are going to be severe if he cannot meet expectations.
Howell's taken most things in his stride with customary calmness throughout the offseason so far. It's been a mixed bag in terms of production, but the former fifth-round pick is gradually improving and becoming more comfortable as Washington's lead man over the team's training camp to date.
It's never going to go completely Howell's way against such an imposing defense. But the signal-caller is placing the football well, knows how to recognize pressure, and is improvising well on the move for good measure.
Eric Bieniemy is demanding a lot of Howell and the offense. Things need to be a little smoother pre-snap and urgency in the huddle isn't as consistent as his play-caller would like, but there has been far more good than bad where the North Carolina product is concerned.
There's no doubt Rivera has bet his future on Howell becoming the consistent presence needed at football's most pivotal position. It's a lot to ask - a journey into the unknown with one career start - but confidence surrounding the gunslinger is growing with every passing practice session.