It made headlines earlier this week when the head coach of the Washington Commanders Ron Rivera said he wasn’t ready to name Sam Howell the starting quarterback.
It was only a matter of time before Rivera went to Howell for the veteran. jacoby brissett. Not because Brissett was bad, he wasn’t, but Howell has been the plan for the Commanders since their Week 18 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in January.
Rivera emphasized the word “competition” when referring to the quarterback position. But was it really ever a competition? Brissett is a quality starting quarterback in the NFL, better than anyone Washington has had in a few years at the job. However, the Commanders saw Howell’s advantage and cost, hoping to build around him.
Rivera took the podium on Friday morning and announced Howell as Washington’s starting quarterback.
“I’m going to name Sam our starter this year going forward,” Rivera said. “He basically met the challenge we talked about, and that was seeing the growth and improvement of OTAs and minicamps, and then he talked about going to training camp and continuing to grow and show us what he’s capable of. We are very happy with that and to the point where I decided yesterday that we would name him the starter for the regular season.”
So why was Friday the day for Rivera to make this decision? He explained the timeline.
“I think after the first practice against Baltimore,” Rivera said. “That was the high point for me in terms of having to see him show us that he’s capable of doing the things we need him to do. You know, it was a really good day.”
Howell had two terrific practices against the Ravens, following a successful preseason opening performance against the Browns.
“I feel confident enough and comfortable enough to say that Sam is our guy, and we really believe that he has done those things,” Rivera continued. “There is still more growth ahead, and he will continue to improve; We believe that, and I’m very confident moving forward.”
Commanders should be happy with how Howell responded to each challenge. Now it’s all about staying healthy and preparing for the arizona cardinals in Week 1.