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Sam Howell | 'Definitely a blessing for me to be in this opportunity'

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On if he had a chance to speak with Washington Commanders Managing Partner Josh Harris:
"I actually haven't had the chance. Today was really the first day I've seen him. I know we're going to meet with him later on here this afternoon. So super excited to have him out here, obviously super grateful for him taking over the team. I think it's an awesome deal for us. The fans are excited, there's a lot of momentum for the team. So, it's just an awesome opportunity to be on this team right now with so much momentum. So, really, it's our job as players to go out there and capitalize on the field."

On proving himself to the new ownership group:
"The way I look at it is, it's a great opportunity for me with the position I'm in to really compete here and be the starter of this year. It's a great opportunity for me to go out there and just show what I can do. I know if I go out there on the field and play a type of football that I think I can play, everything will work out for itself. But, you know, I'm really just taking it one day at a time. Trying to put some consistent ball on tape. Just try to do everything I can to get better each and every day."

On where he feels he has made strides mentally in terms of the QB competition:
"I think at this point I have total command of the offense. I studied a lot this summer and trying to get really comfortable with the system obviously because it's new, and just tying my feet into the concepts that we're running. And I feel like I've made a lot of progress in that area so I'm excited to be here in camp and to have all the guys together and get an opportunity to prove that."

On how he balances his confidence being named starter going into camp:
"I just try to do everything I can. I focus on myself and try to be the best player I can be whether I'm the third string or the starter, I'm still going to go about my business the same way and try and do everything I can to become the best player I can at that time. And put my best foot forward and try to give our team a chance to win."

On how it felt to know he is QB1 on the first day of camp:
"Obviously it's an ultimate blessing, especially from kind of how last year was. It's definitely a blessing for me to be in this opportunity that I'm in. And it's definitely not something that I take for granted but at the same time, I think there's a lot of work left to be done. I'm not complacent at all. I know still everything is ahead of me and I still got to go out there and earn it and prove it each and every day so I'm going to continue to do that. I like that [Carolina Blue] color shirt you got on by the way. A lot better than that gentleman to your right [Dark Blue]." 

On how familiar he is with the RPO offensive scheme:
"RPO man, that's pretty much all we did in college. So, all of our run game stuff in college was RPO stuff. And last year's offense wasn't near as much as that, but in [Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator] Eric Bieniemy's offense there is a lot of RPO stuff and a lot of stuff that I'm very familiar with. Similar concepts, some of the same exact concepts that we ran at UNC [Chapel Hill]. So, I'm very confident in my RPO game and I'm excited to have the ability to do that because I love that type of stuff and I think you can really make defenses wrong in the run game when you have the RPO ability. So, I'm excited that EB has kind of brought that stuff over to us."

On working with several players in the offseason in Florida:
"It's definitely something I wanted to do this offseason was try to get the guys together. So, the quarterbacks kind of planned it all together and we tried to get everybody down to Fort Lauderdale for a couple days and had some throwing sessions in the morning and went out to dinner and stuff at night. So, it was good just to see everybody. We did it like a week before, a week and a half before everyone had to come back. So just trying to get everybody thinking about ball and start talking and trying to get on the same page before we all come back here. So, I thought it was very beneficial for us. I was appreciative of the guys for coming out and spending their time on their summer break. And I think it showed out there today that there was definitely some strides made when we were in Florida."

On if he was focusing on anything particular in the offseason:
"I'm always trying to get better mentally and be more comfortable in this system. I think I did a lot of good work at that stuff and then just get with my private quarterback coach back home, Anthony Boone, and working on my feet and tying my feet to the concepts that we have. Some of 'em are new, some of 'em are things that I haven't done before. So just trying to sharpen those things up and I feel like I'm in a good place."

On how much different his now since the Senior Bowl:
"Light years ahead. And I think last season, even when I wasn't playing, I got a lot better. That's really a credit to [Senior Offensive Advisor/Game Management] Ken Zampese. I was with him all last year and he spent extra time with me before practice, after practice, just getting extra reps and really working on my feet, so really a credit to him. And then in the offseason I just try to do the same stuff and I feel like I've gotten a lot better and I feel really comfortable where I'm at."

On what specific things he does to benefit the mental part of the game:
"Obviously studying the playbook itself, you know. I have different ways that I kind of go about studying that. And then just putting myself, I do a lot of like walkthroughs in my head and I like call plays and play it on my phone and act like I'm calling it a huddle, then walk through it, just stuff like that. And just trying to stay on top of that stuff throughout the break just so I don't have to come back here and try to relearn it all." 

On what parts of his game he feels he is better at now than from in the spring:
"Yeah, I think just more confident. More confident in the system. More comfortable in the system. I feel like in the spring I was kind of still learning because that was kinda the first time I saw all the information and now I've had that spring and now I'm really comfortable. Like when [Coach Bieniemy] calls a play, I'm not even thinking about it. I know exactly what it is. I know exactly what my job is. I'm just way more confident and comfortable and I can help guys kind of get lined up and if someone ever has a question about anything, I can answer it, so I feel very comfortable."

On if he has paid any attention to people on the outside doubting him entering camp as QB1:
"Honestly, not really. Only thing really is a lot of my friends kind of send me like the Madden ratings and stuff like that. But it is what it is. I know that some people might think it's crazy just because of how the draft went and I hardly played at all last year. But for me, it doesn't really change anything for me. I know the type of player that I can be in this league. I feel like I've worked very hard and put myself in a position to go out there and succeed, so I really could care less what other people say. It's really about what I hear in this building and what I hear internally."

On if he has seen the Netflix show Quarterback and on if he would ever want to be featured in it:
"I did watch the show. It was a great show. I thought they did a great job. I don't know. I'd have to think about it. Honestly, probably not. Especially this year. I think I would kind of like to focus on football. Not that those guys weren't, but I don't want any distractions or anything like that. I don't know, maybe somewhere in the future, but probably not this year."

On if anything stood out to him about watching the show:
"I mean obviously it was cool just to kind of see behind the scenes of kind of how they all went about things. And they're all three very different guys. It's just cool. I mean all those guys play football at a high level. Like even Marcus Mariota didn't have his best year last year, but for me growing up, he was one of my favorite players when he was playing at Oregon. So, it was super cool to see all those guys and kind of see how they all go about the game differently. Even though we all play the same position, everyone kind of has their way of doing things, so it's super cool to see those things."
On if he has noticed Coach Rivera with more of a pep in his step now that he can solely focus on football:
"Yeah, for sure. I think obviously with how the situation was and how it is now, you definitely, you can just kind of see there is kind of a weight off his shoulders, where he can just come out here and coach ball and that's what he loves to do. So yeah, I definitely think you can see it. Obviously he's always brought energy even with whatever else he had to deal with, he was always still energetic and was still giving feedback to both sides of the ball. But yeah, I think he will be more involved this year for sure."

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