Commanders News: Sam Howell, Eric Bieniemy, Ron Rivera and Week 7

Delving deeper into the latest Commanders news and rumors from around the media.
Eric Bieniemy
Eric Bieniemy / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders OC Eric Bieniemy on sack issues

One complication that remains a big thorn in the Washington Commanders' side centers on quarterback Sam Howell taking too many hits. The sack numbers remain on a historic pace, which is down to subpar protection from the offensive line and the signal-caller failing to react quickly when pressure arrives.

That's a dangerous combination whichever way one looks at it. When discussing the topic recently offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy stated via Sports Illustrated that there must be a collective approach to improvements to avoid further concerns with the business end of 2023 fast approaching.

"Well, obviously you never want to have the high number of sacks that we have. You know, first and foremost, the young quarterback is still learning how to play the game. Then on top of that, he just needs to continue to improve with his mechanics and the things that he's doing. I think that'll help everything out. Our O-Line, they're doing a heck of a job, they just need to continue protecting. But on top of that, as you know, this game goes hand in hand. It doesn't make a difference who's making the mistake. We all get the blame for it. When it's all said and done, we got to make sure that we're giving our guys the right info, the right details, so they can just continue to improve. But the thing I like is our guys, our mindsets, are in the right place."

Eric Bieniemy via Sports Illustrated

Perhaps some schematic adjustments would also help - quick releases and short routes with the potential for big gains yards after the catch, for example. Either way, this cannot continue for much longer if the Commanders want to harbor realistic hopes of entering the playoff picture.