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Sam Howell has played exactly one game as an NFL quarterback, leading the Washington Commanders to a win over the Dallas Cowboys in last year’s regular-season finale. Despite his inexperience and the very real mystery about whether he’s an NFL-caliber quarterback, Ron Rivera sees him as the franchise’s No. 1 QB heading into next season.
And Rivera is doing his damndest to get you to believe that.
“The biggest thing we decided is he will start out as QB1,” Rivera said of Howell on PFT Live. “He will most certainly get the first opportunity. We go into OTAs and minicamp, he’ll be QB1. He’ll fight for that position. We’ll give him every opportunity to earn it, and we’ll see what happens when we get into training camp and through it.”
READ: WASHINGTON COMMANDERS INFORM OC CANDIDATES OF STARTING QB PLAN FOR 2023 INVOLVING SAM HOWELL
While Rivera made it clear that Howell will have to fight to keep his QB1 title, he also shut down the idea of the Commanders trying to acquire a veteran starter.
“No. No,” Rivera said. “I think the biggest thing is we have to find a guy to come in that’s going to compete, but in terms of finding a guy you’re going to have to spend a lot of capital on, no. We’re not looking for a guy we’ve got to spend a lot of capital on.”
In other words, the Commanders seem content going into next season with an inexperienced fifth-round pick in Howell under center and a couple of other quarterbacks on the roster not good enough to start in the NFL.
That seems like a bold strategy for a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since 2005.