Commanders QB Sam Howell cannot get complacent despite recent seal of approval

Sam Howell
Sam Howell / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With Jahan Dotson's recent approval of Sam Howell, has the newest Washington Commanders' quarterback battle been settled for now?

When it comes to the quarterback position, the Washington Commanders have been in a rut. The franchise has had 20-plus starting players under center since 2000 - an astounding NFL record and a clear catalyst behind some woeful campaigns.

The team is no stranger to quarterback controversy and this offseason has been another similar case. Second-year player Sam Howell is battling it out with veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett for the starting job, and Ron Rivera stated whoever performs better will be Washington's top option in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Commanders pass-catcher gives Sam Howell a confidence boost

However, according to Commanders' starting wide receiver Jahan Dotson, the situation is already done. Especially if his recent podcast comments are any indication.

During an appearance on The Jim Rome Show, Dotson was asked about the team’s current quarterback situation - one that has been brewing for months. The Penn State product felt via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk that Howell has done well throughout early offseason workouts so far and earned the job.

"I think we got our quarterback situation settled. I think Sam Howell’s gonna be our guy. I have complete faith in him. He makes throws look super effortless on the field. He’s been a great leader. He’s learning how to lead an NFL offense. . . . So I’m super excited for him. I can’t wait to make plays for him."

Jahan Dotson via Pro Football Talk

With the co-signing of one of his star receivers, Howell’s stock as the starting quarterback seems to be rising. A key to that has been noted, but numerous sources have been his confidence.

Star receiver Terry McLaurin stated that Howell has a “real quiet confidence” about him. Head coach Ron Rivera has also noticed his potent confidence as well via Sports Illustrated.

"He's pretty much shown us what we want to see. I mean, again, he's young; we know he is young. He's a second-year player who, you know, got an opportunity to start last year. But there was a lot of room for growth, and we know that, but he's got a good skillset. He's mobile; he's got good foot movement. He's got a quick twitch to him, good decision maker. He is still learning to make those decisions, but he's also got the arm talent, and that's the thing that excites us."

Ron Rivera via Sports Illustrated

As is well known at this point, the 2022 fifth-round pick only started in the regular-season finale for the Commanders against the Dallas Cowboys. A game where Howell connected with Dotson three times for 72 receiving yards.

After his sole performance, Washington is looking to him to lead in 2023 and potentially the foreseeable future. But there is absolutely no room for complacency on Howell's part given his lack of experience and how much is at stake for the Commanders under the watchful eye of new owners.

Brissett was brought in earlier this offseason on a one-year deal worth up to $8 million. Though things are certainly trending in Howell’s favor, the battle is not officially done until Rivera says so.