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Wake Up Washington | Sam Howell thankful for opportunity to be backup QB


Gamedays are going to look a little different for rookie Sam Howell for the next month, starting with the Washington Commanders' Week 7 game against the Green Bay Packers. For the first time in his career, Howell is going to be in uniform on Sunday, as he was named the backup behind Taylor Heinicke.

It is an important moment for Howell, who was inactive for the previous six game. However, Howell does not plan to change his approach.

"It's definitely an opportunity I'm excited for," Howell told reporters on Tuesday. "I'm just keep preparing like I've been preparing. I've been trying to prepare like I'm a starter. And now, being only one play away, I'm gonna try to do everything I can to be ready if I need to go in."

The past few months have been a time for learning and growth for Howell. As the third quarterback on the depth chart, he has spent most of his time getting up to speed on the offense as well as fine tuning his mechanics to match the demands of the NFL.

The last time Howell was on the field was during the preseason, when he led the league in passing yards. Since then, his development has gone well by his and Ron Rivera's account. His footwork has been his biggest area of growth. For him, that was the most notable change from college to the pros, and he has begun to grasp the necessary timing to operate NFL plays.

"We're really strict on trying to be on time with all of our throws and being on time with our feet," Howell said. "I think I've grown a lot in that area, and I've put a lot of time into it."

And Howell also has players like Heinicke and Carson Wentz to guide him through his rookie season. He has picked up little things from them since OTAs, but the most important things he has learned from them revolve around preparation through watching film and picking up more minute details about their opponents.

"Little things that the defense shows you what they're going to do," Howell said. "And you get out there in the game, and you see it's actually true."

The team still feels Heinicke gives the Commanders the best chance to win on Sunday, but the staff also believes that Howell is on track in his development. What's more, he knows that he will be ready if he needs to be in the game.

Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.

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.

The Washington Commanders were on the field for a bonus day of practice to prepare for their Week 7 matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Check out the top photos from the day. Photos by Emilee Fails and Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders

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