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Wake Up Washington | Sam Howell embraces his new role


You have to go way back in Sam Howell’s playing career to find a time when he wasn't the starting quarterback. It was seventh grade during an all-star game; the coach's son played quarterback, and Howell played defensive end. 

Howell won't be on the Washington Commanders' defensive line anytime soon, but he is in a similar situation. A fifth-round pick in April, Howell is the third quarterback in a room that features veterans Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke. 

The Commanders are high on Howell's potential, but his goal for now is to learn and grow. And as he prepares to help the team at some point in his career, that's exactly what he's been trying to do this offseason. 

"It's been a lot of fun just trying to come out here and get better each day," Howell told reporters. "I'm in a great room with some great guys and a great coaching staff here." 

Washington was one of Howell's preferred destinations during the draft process. He was a fan of the offense and the weapons he would be playing with, and he was excited to learn from Wentz. 

Moving from college to the pros has naturally come with some hurdles, most notably the playbook and style required to direct the offense. Howell operated primarily out of the shotgun in an air raid system at North Carolina. With Washington, he's lining up under center and running more play-action. 

"I feel like I'm making some good progress, though," Howell said. "I'm taking all the coaching well. They're doing a really good job. I'm getting a lot of advice from Carson and Taylor as well." 

We don't need to take Howell's word for it. While he's made some mistakes, he's also shown flashes in OTAs and minicamp. He had a solid two-minute drill during Wednesday's practice, fitting passes into tight windows. 

When it comes to the playbook. Heinicke has called the system "wordy," and Howell backed that up. The only thing that can help him get more comfortable is time. 

"I kind of have my own process of how I learn things, and I do that same process that I've had for a long time," Howell said. "I feel like I'm in a pretty good place. It is wordy, but it's really good as well." 

Howell is still a long way from contributing in a major way. He still needs to get acclimated to the speed of being on the professional level. Still, Howell is taking steps to make sure that he is ready whenever that time comes.

Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Thursday, June 16, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Football Team.

The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.

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