Commanders News: Chase Young, Sam Howell, Jadeveon Clowney and Terry McLaurin

Terry McLaurin
Terry McLaurin / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders QB Sam Howell's fine line

This is a quarterback-driven business. No matter how many improvements the Washington Commanders have made to their roster and coaching staff throughout another eventful offseason, any success is primarily on the shoulders of Sam Howell in 2023.

Washington's defense will keep games close. But unless Howell meets expectations and comes through in the clutch, then another mediocre campaign within the highly-competitive NFC East will surely follow.

Howell has plenty of jobs in his hands looking at the big picture with Josh Harris' ownership group analyzing every move closely. But according to Mike Clay of ESPN, the quarterback position remains the one problematic weak link that the Commanders have to overcome by any means necessary next season.

"Washington seems to have an eyebrow-raising amount of confidence in Sam Howell -- a 2022 fifth-round pick who attempted 19 passes as a rookie. Perhaps the Commanders have found a diamond in the rough, but he's an unknown. Jacoby Brissett was brought in as veteran competition, and while he's coming off a career year, the 30-year-old is more a "stop gap" than a "solid starter.""

Mike Clay, ESPN

This all comes down to Howell's ability to seize the moment. The opportunity is there to potentially become the team's long-term option, with Eric Bieniemy's expert offensive mind something else working in the former fifth-round selection's favor.

Jacoby Brissett is a capable understudy if things go wrong. But if the Commanders give up on Howell, that's likely spelled the end of their playoff chances in 2023.