McLaurin impressed by Howell during Commanders OTAs: 'He's really led us'
Sam Howell is still competing to be the Washington Commanders' starting quarterback, but he's already impressing one of his top offensive weapons.
"I think Sam has a real quiet confidence about him," Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin said Tuesday, according to team reporter Zach Selby. "He's not gonna tell people what to do, but he knows what he's doing when he gets out on the field."
McLaurin added: "He's taken the bull by the horns, and he's really led us a lot this offseason."
Howell, 22, won his first and only start during his rookie campaign last year, leading the Commanders to a 26-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys in their season finale. The 2022 fifth-round pick passed for 169 yards, accounted for two total touchdowns, and posted a 57.8% completion rate.
McLaurin, who earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2022, has experience building a rapport with quarterbacks after playing with 10 passers since entering the NFL in 2019. He noted Howell has taken charge of Washington's offense during offseason activities, an important trait for new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
"For him to come in and be aggressive the way he was, I think that says a lot about who he is and his ability to prepare," McLaurin said.
Howell has a good chance at winning the starting job, but the North Carolina product will have to fend off veteran Jacoby Brissett to secure the role.
Washington will be hoping Howell can offer stability under center after Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke both departed this offseason following an 8-8-1 campaign in 2022.