Commanders QB Sam Howell's toughness
Much has been made about quarterback Sam Howell's resilience given how many hits he's taken over the opening six games. While the offensive line isn't without blame, a lot of this punishment is self-inflicted and stems from the former fifth-round selection holding onto the football for too long.
This needs to be eradicated from Howell's game, and quickly. Otherwise, it's hard to envisage a scenario where he sees out a full 17-game slate for the Washington Commanders in 2023.
Hopefully, Howell's pocket awareness and reactions to pressure can grow with more NFL experience. Until then, head coach Ron Rivera lauded the North Carolina product's toughness in the face of adversity via Sports Illustrated.
"Oh, believe me, I'm very impressed with that [Sam Howell's toughness]. He's a tough young man, he does a great job. He's a very resilient guy. It's one of those things when you watch him and I think that's part of when he runs the ball, he kind of feels like he can handle it, and that's great, but we'd much rather see him slide a little bit more. He's very tough, smart, sharp, resilient, just the kind of guy that gets his teammates behind him. It's really kind of a neat thing."- Ron Rivera via Sports Illustrated
It's clear Howell is making believers in almost everyone based on his full body of work so far. When he does get time in the pocket and the football out rapidly, there's a lot to like - it's the level of punishment being taken by the signal-caller that represents the biggest concern.