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Media roundup | Taylor Heinicke praises Sam Howell's arm strength, says the rookie QB 'can sling it'

07302022 Training Camp 048

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, Taylor Heinicke and Sam Howell addressed the media following Day 9 of training camp. Here are the highlights from their press conferences.

Ron Rivera

On LB Jamin Davis not being on the field with the first team defense for a couple of rotations:

  • "That's just kind of the way some of the defenses are set up. We have a couple defenses where we have certain elements of it where it's what we consider our big group. Other elements we just have one linebacker on the start. So for the most part, the first guy in is gonna be [LB] Cole [Holcomb]. It's just really the group."

On those drills being very physical:

  • "Yeah. And you always worry about that because that gets amped up. That gets hyped up. The hard part today, we were down at the tight end position. Those guys with some nicks and stuff like that. And Cole [Turner] came up with a hamstring. [TE] Sammis [Reyes] came up with a hamstring today as well. So, the guys that you normally would have in there, weren't in there."

On what DE Chase Young brings to the defense when he is healthy:

  • "Well, he brings some energy. He's an energetic guy. He plays fast, he plays hard. I think that also, you know, helps his teammates."

On if how much he wants to see WR Terry McLaurin be a mentor for WR Jahan Dotson:

  • "Well, as far as Johan's concerned, I just want him to go out and be who he is. You know, there's no expectations on him as far as that type of stuff is concerned. What you want him to do is go out, learn, grow, and develop, and let those things happen naturally, let him happen organically. So, we're not gonna try and force anything on him, you know, whatever he adapts to and how he assimilates, you know, that'll be him."

On Wide Receivers Coach Drew Terrell has come along as a coach:

  • "I think Drew has really come along nicely. Having Jim Hostler, our offensive senior assistant around has been really good for Drew. You know, Coach Hos [Jim Hostler] has got a tremendous amount of experience, especially in this league and he's really helped Drew a lot, but you watch Drew take command, take charge. You see him being proactive with a lot of things and he really has done a nice job in terms of the growth of not just himself, but his unit, his guys. It's a thing that he has a good relationship with those guys. He works very easily with them. I think the future's very bright for a young man like him."

Taylor Heinicke

On how camp has been going:

  • "It's been hot, but I think it's been going pretty smoothly. It kind of picked up where we left off in OTAs and you see the guys starting to learn the offense a lot better, get more comfortable with it. So I feel like we're doing a good job."

On RB Brian Robinson:

  • "I mean, there's sometimes where I hand him off the ball and I just want to watch him run. He's a big dude. If I was a corner, I wouldn't want to tackle him. So I think, you know, he's a big guy he's going to be tough to bring down and I'm excited to see what he can do."

On QB Sam Howell:

  • "He can sling it now. Like Sam he's got a lot of upside to him and, you know, I'm excited to see what he can do. But he's a good addition to the quarterback room. We have a lot of fun with him and again, he's getting better every day."

On helping QB Sam Howell's development role:

  • "Yeah, so I should try and help him out any way I can. I remember being a rookie and, and [Former Minnesota Vikings QB] Sean Hill kind of took that approach to me as well, and it helped me out big time. So, I'm just trying to be the Sean Hill to him. And again, you see him every day working hard at it and getting better. So, it's really cool to see and I'm excited to see what he can do in the preseason games."

On his and QB Carson Wentz differences in the offense:

  • "This offense is one that we want to push it down the field. You know, we have a lot of weapons and stuff like that. So, I think the biggest part is just being smart while doing it, you know, making the smart decision so when it's there, we take it, if it's not, you know, give it to one of our backs and let them do their thing. So again, we're all still learning. We're all trying to get better but yeah, you know, Carson and I have a really good relationship and we try and help each other out there."

Sam Howell

On his relationship with QB Taylor Heinicke:

  • "Taylor's been awesome for me. Obviously, he's been in this offense for a long time and he knows his job. I'm just very appreciative that he is willing to help a young guy like me. We have some really good chemistry in the quarterback room and both Taylor and Carson [Wentz] are really good players. They've been fun to watch."

On getting more comfortable with the playbook:

  • "Yeah, I think it's all about reps. Just getting reps and trying to maximize every single rep that I have out there. And even when I'm not in, taking mental reps. I try to get a mental rep on every single play that we run in practice. So, I think it's only gonna come with reps and these preseason games."

On building rapport with the receivers:

  • "Yeah, it's a lot of fun. We have so many talented guys in that room and they're all really good guys. It is just a blessing to be out here to come on the practice field with such great players around you. It's been a lot of fun."

On how we goes about practice:

  • "Yeah, man, I just try to do what I'm coached. The reads and the progressions that I'm coached to do. That's what I try to come out here to do. In this offense we have, we have the ability to take a lot of shots. So definitely when those opportunities come, I definitely try to take advantage of them. I just try to do what I'm coached and try to execute the offense, how [Offensive Coordinator] Coach [Scott] Turner wants me to."

On his biggest improvement and step so far this year:

  • "I think each and every day, I'm just trying to come out here and get more comfortable with the offense and I feel like I'm doing some good things. We got a lot of really talented guys on offense. It's been a lot of fun trying to get, get some chemistry going with these guys. So, it's been a lot of fun."

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