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Eric Bieniemy says Sam Howell is beyond his “rookie” status

While Eric Bieniemy understands there will still be new things to learn for Sam Howell, Bieniemy puts “rookie” status behind Howell in Thursday’s press conference.

NFL-Washington Commanders at Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images

It has been a long time since Eric Bieniemy has been associated with a season as poor as the Commanders 2023 campaign. From the looks of it, he has been navigating it as best as he could when speaking with the media, but internally it has undoubtedly been a tumultuous season for his unit. Bieniemy’s unit is bottom half in the league in points scored and 16th in yards per game, but more importantly, he never had the resources or talent that would have made the offense a legitimate threat to dominate a defense. Bieniemy was not going to have enough time to turn things around in one season, nevertheless, he took the risk and hitched his wagon to Ron Rivera. Bieniemy also hitched his wagon to Sam Howell, and at 4-9 with four games remaining, Bieniemy says he has been excited about Howell’s development and growth.

In Bieniemy’s weekly presser, one of the most notable things he said was that he communicated to Howell that the second-year quarterback is beyond his “first-year status as a rookie.” Howell is young by age, but he has accumulated nearly 1,000 career snaps at quarterback for the Commanders and with that amount of snaps he has developed habits as a quarterback.

The last four games for Howell will not be smooth sailing, the worst defense that Washington will see is the Los Angeles Rams, who are ranked 18th in the NFL. Each of the remaining three defenses in the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, and Dallas Cowboys are top ten units. While Bieniemy is excited about Howell’s progress, the quarterback’s remaining four games will provide the incoming talent evaluators with plenty of information about his competitive toughness against some of the league's best defenses.

Check out the latest Trap or Dive Podcast, we discuss if it benefits Washington more to stay with Sam Howell or move on to a top quarterback prospect. We also discussed if the Commanders head coach opening is overrated locally compared to the rest of the potential head coach openings around the league.