Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell addressed the media before practice on Oct. 3. Here is a full transcript of the press conference.
On his growth in Week 4:
"Yeah, I mean, I think the main thing is I took care of the football, and just went through my progressions and just trusted what I saw. I think I did a decent job for most of the game. Obviously we came up short and I would've liked to have made more plays and given us a chance to win. But Philly's over with and we've moved on to Chicago. Got a short week, so been pretty busy trying to get ready to go for that, but we're excited."
On mentally getting through a hard loss:
"Yeah, I mean, I pretty much go through the same process. I never let my confidence change, no matter what my performance is, whether it was good or bad, I always kind of stay true to who I am and I know who I am as a player and I know what I'm capable of. So just falling back on the things that have got me to where I am today and just the base fundamentals and my base knowledge and just trusting what I see. I feel like I did a decent job of that last week, so hopefully I continue to make those strides."
On the differences in preparing for a short week:
"Yeah, it's a little different. You don't have all the practices that you usually have in a normal week. But yeah, just being here last year and going through that same short week with the Thursday game last year in Chicago, I kind of got a good sense of what it's like. We had some Thursday night games in college as well. Obviously, you get the one extra day because you play on Saturday, but yeah, I mean it's different. You don't have near as much time to prepare, but you just got to put a little more time in and you might have some later nights than you usually would on a normal week, but you just got to do whatever it takes to make sure you're go into the game fully prepared. I think we've done a really good job of that so far."
On balancing the run-pass game more in Week 4:
"Yeah, I mean I think we always want to have more of a balanced attack. I think it's just kind of a flow of the game thing and I think we were running the ball well and we were doing a good job on first and second down that allowed us to continue to keep that balance. I think that's part of [Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy] EB's plan every week is to try to have balance. Every good offense has balance and that's definitely something we want to have and it's just more of a how the game is going type of thing. Whether you're running the ball well or not, and if you want to get away from running the ball. It all depends week to week on how the game is going, but I think the plan every week is to have a balanced game plan."
On if he measures himself to other young quarterbacks:
"No, I wouldn't say I do. I really don't measure myself up against anyone else in the league. I just try to be the best version of myself, the best player that I can be each and every week and kind of just let my play do the talking, but I don't look and try to say I'm trying to be better than whoever. [Chicago Bears QB] Justin's [Fields] a heck of a player and he's done some really good things. Had a good week last week, so we definitely have our hands full with him, it'll be a fun matchup."
On team mentality in a short week after a tough loss:
"Especially after a loss, the first thing that everyone wants to do is they want to get back on the field and kind of get this feeling out of their body. I think everyone wants to go out there and try to get back on track and so we're excited. We have a short week so we can't really think about the Philly game too much just because we have so much preparation to do in a short amount of time to get ready for Thursday night. I think it's good for us that we have this Thursday night game this week. Hopefully we can go out there and put our best foot forward and have a chance to win."
On if him running more in Week 4 was drawn up:
"It's not by design. I think they were all, I mean obviously, they were all scrambles, there's no design quarterback runs. I mean it's just one of those things just throughout the game and it just happens. Whether I might just see a hole and I think the way they rushed to pass or maybe there was just a few extra running lanes that I noticed throughout the game. Obviously, my first thought is to try to keep my eyes downfield and throw the ball to one of my play makers down the field. But it's just one of those things that just happens week to week, it's just not really anything specific."
On if consecutive third down conversions built confidence to continue to succeed on third down:
"Yeah, for sure. I think it's all about momentum. Once you kind of pick up one third down and you pick up another third down, once you get to third down, you just have so much confidence. I think it's just one of those things where you can kind of get the defense on their heels. I just think the more you can convert on third down, the better you're going to be on offense. I think that it's definitely something that creates momentum and helps you moving forward."
On what he did to have make quicker decisions:
"I mean a little bit of everything. I think just being more decisive and when there is running lanes, taking it and getting what I can and trying to get the ball out quick. That's always my mindset going into every single game and I think I did a good job of it last game and I'll continue to try to do a good job of that. Credit to the guys I have around me. I think offensively we played, overall for the most part, a pretty good game. Obviously, would've liked to like to finish it out and got the win. Definitely some things that we can build on. I think the main thing is we feel like we can play a lot better. We're excited to have an opportunity to play Thursday night."
On what he sees from the Chicago Bears defense:
"They're talented. Obviously, the record is what it is, but it's definitely not a team you can take lightly. There's no easy games in the NFL and they have a lot of really good players on their defense and they fly around. They play hard and you can tell they want to win and it's definitely a challenge for us and we definitely have our hands full. They do a lot of good stuff schematically on defense as well. It's definitely a tough defense. Every defense in the NFL is tough to play against, so you definitely got to be ready to go and you got to prepare. We're excited for the challenge."
On how important the opening script of plays are for him:
"Like you said, the first script, we call it the first 15. The opening script of plays is very important. It sets the tone for the game and usually those plays are the ones that you really liked the best that week. Some things where you can kind of see how they're relating to certain route combinations and certain coverages and just plays you really like and you know they'll be good against the opponent. You just want to go out there and try to set the tone early. I think that was probably our first time scoring on the opening drive this year, I think. It's definitely a big part of winning in the NFL is going out and setting the tone early. Hopefully we'll continue to do that."
On working with C Nick Gates:
"Nick's awesome. I love Nick to death. He works so hard, he prepares. We're definitely excited to have him here and he fights, you guys see it. He competes so hard and he's so tough. That's what you want, as far as having someone blocking him for you. You want someone that's going to fight until the end and he's just a tough guy and I love having him up there."
On if he's learned or been surprised by anything as a starter so far:
"I wouldn't say anything surprised me. I just think we lost some games that we could've won. Obviously, we're 2-2 right now. We have an opportunity this week to get back on track and take another step as far as where we want to go. The four games that we've played are behind us. Those don't really matter anymore. It's all about Thursday night. This next game is the most important game of our season. That's how it'll be every single week. That's just kind of how we're looking at it."
On if the chemistry building between him and the receivers has stood out:
"Yeah, for sure. Getting those game reps and just I think the more games that we play collectively as an offensive unit, the better we'll be. The more we get more comfortable with EB calling the game and just everybody, the whole process, players, coaches, everybody included, the more we can do that together, the better we'll be. I think just the chemistry overall has gotten better each and every week. Hopefully we continue on that trend and continue to get better."