Commanders WR Terry McLaurin says QB Sam Howell has ‘taken the bull by the horns’ this offseason

All offseason, Commanders coach Ron Rivera has insisted the QB1 gig was Sam Howell’s to win. Those proclamations have come with some raised eyebrows, given the fifth-round pick has played one career game.

So far, the reports out of DC from Howell’s teammates have been positive during OTAs.

“He’s taken the bull by the horns, and he’s really led us a lot this offseason,” star receiver Terry McLaurin told the team’s official website.

McLaurin knows a thing or two about breaking in a new QB. The Pro Bowl wideout has played with a whopping 10 starting quarterbacks in his four seasons in Washington.

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So far, the wideout likes how Howell comports himself as a leader.

“I think Sam has a real quiet confidence about him,” McLaurin said. “He’s not gonna tell people what to do, but he knows what he’s doing when he gets out on the field.”

Howell will have to fend off Jacoby Brissett for the starting gig during training camp later this summer. And the veteran will be waiting in the wings if the second-year QB wins the opening-day job but falters early in the season.

But McLaurin noted that Howell’s confidence allows the signal-caller to work through tough situations.

“He’s very confident in his ability, and he’s not afraid to give guys the opportunity to make plays,” the wideout said. “You can really tell he has a good grasp of playing football, especially for a young guy coming in with a pretty challenging offense.”

McLaurin, who remains one of the most underrated WRs in the NFL despite inking a big contract last season, has been at his best with QBs who give him a chance to make plays even when it appears he’s covered.

One of Howell’s best passes on the QB’s lone Week 18 start was a pretty 52-yard bomb to McLaurin. It’s the type of play the Commanders hope to see more out of the young QB.

The wideout hopes to see Howell’s aggressive nature much more this offseason and into the fall.

“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. “It was just so good to see him smiling and see that light coming on.”

Perhaps Howell can hit the ground running in Year 2 and stop the cycle of quarterback turnover in Washington. Otherwise, McLaurin’s starting QB figure will hit 11 and beyond in the years to come.

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