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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Bryan Manning

Report: Commanders letting OC candidates know the plan is for Sam Howell to start at QB

When Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Martin Mayhew met with the media Tuesday, many fans came away worried the team was planning to take another swing at a veteran quarterback this offseason.

Over the last two offseasons, head coach Ron Rivera has tried the veteran approach. In 2021, Washington signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, who didn’t even make it out of the first half of the first game and was lost for the season.

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In 2022, the Commanders traded multiple draft picks to the Indianapolis Colts for Carson Wentz. The trade didn’t make much sense because the Colts would have likely released Wentz. But Washington’s desperation led to the panic move.

Wentz started seven games in 2022, and the experience went as expected.

Shortly after Rivera and Mayhew’s presser, the Commanders fired offensive coordinator Scott Turner.

That meant the Commanders would be looking for a new offensive coordinator and quarterback. Or would they?

According to a report from Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, Washington is letting prospective offensive coordinators know the plan is for Sam Howell to start at quarterback in 2023.

Howell, a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft, started the final game against the Dallas Cowboys and played well. Howell completed 11 of 19 passes for 169 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also showed off his legs, rushing for 35 yards and a score.

While Turner did a good job of limiting Howell’s reads in his first start, the rookie passer made multiple impressive throws at all levels of the field, including a 52-yard strike to Terry McLaurin.

Jones also noted the Commanders hope to bring Taylor Heinicke back as the backup to Howell.

It’s smart of Washington to let potential coordinator options know your plan ahead of time. That’s something this franchise hasn’t always done, often forcing players on coaches. Now, if a candidate wants the job, he needs to sell his plan to maximize Howell.

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