Martin Mayhew: Sam Howell has the skills to be a starter

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The Commanders traded for a veteran quarterback last year, but Carson Wentz proved to be just as disappointing as he was in his previous stops and he has already been released.

Taylor Heinicke is now a free agent after also starting games last year, which leaves 2022 fifth-rounder Sam Howell as the de facto No. 1 quarterback in Washington. Head coach Ron Rivera resisted calling him the starter earlier this week and General Manager Martin Mayhew did the same on Wednesday, but he did add that he sees the skillset of a starter when he watches Howell play.

“Sam will have every opportunity to win that starting job,” Mayhew said. “I was very impressed with the way that he played and practiced last year. Obviously very small sample, he only played in one game, but we got to see him the whole offseason. We gotta see him all through training camp, every week in practice. He has the skills that it takes to be a starter in this league, in my opinion.”

While the small sample size limited the ability to evaluate Howell in game action, Mayhew doesn’t think the lack of playing time is a negative. He believes an area “where we really have failed” as a league is developing quarterbacks because young players are forced into the lineup too early and he feels Howell will benefit from his time on the bench last season.

Mayhew and Rivera both said the team will continue to look at other quarterback options and the moves the team does or doesn’t make at quarterback in the coming weeks will show just how much they believe Howell has benefitted from that approach.

6 responses to “Martin Mayhew: Sam Howell has the skills to be a starter

  1. You can’t judge a QB unless he has 2 years experience against NFL defenses, and some continuity with the other guys in the huddle, and the coaching staff. Generally the problem with that is you need to be a first round pick, or teams aren’t willing to wait. The bigger the investment, the more time you get to “prove” yourself.

  2. They need to hook these GMs up to a lie detector before they speak at the combine.

  3. Martin Mayhew traded two of our high draft picks for Carson Wentz and paid his full salary last year. He also tried to give away our draft for a physically declining, walking drama and diva in Russel Wilson last year! You’ll have to forgive me if I have ZERO confidence in his ability to make good acquisition decisions, particularly at the QB position!

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