In 2022, Washington’s tight end unit finished the season with 60 receptions on 98 targets. The 90 targets ranked t-19th in the NFL per fantasy pros. Logan Thomas had 39 receptions on 61 targets, and John Bates was next best with 14 receptions on 22 targets. It was painful to watch the offense go through an entire season without finding a way to utilize this unit better, so it makes sense that new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has quickly found ways to emphasize the tight end usage in practice. As a byproduct, second-year quarterback Sam Howell has developed much chemistry with the unit, specifically Logan Thomas.
Commanders insider John Keim of ESPN joined the Trap or Dive Podcast and discussed the connections that Sam Howell has been developing during Washington’s practice sessions. “I think the biggest thing is the tight ends,” Keim began. “I know that’s not receivers, but the tight end usage has been heavy. Now, my thing is, which it’s great to get the tight ends involved, but when you’re getting the tight ends involved, it means the receivers aren’t as involved. Those [wide receivers] are still your playmakers. I think there is a good connection with Sam and Logan Thomas. The receivers, there’s certainly Jahan Dotson, a guy that you see he has looked for a lot. I’ll be curious to see how he develops with Terry. In the Dallas game, his first throw and touchdown were to Terry, and he had a deep one to him, too. But, I think in practice, the tight ends have jumped out, and he looks for Jahan a lot.”
A lack of targets for wideouts like Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Dyami Brown is not indicative of what things will look like when the season starts. However, practices show that Bieniemy philosophically believes that the tight end can be a quarterback’s best friend as long as the trust is there on every play.
What are your thoughts on the tight end vs. wide receiver usage with Howell under center? Comment and let us know.
Watch or listen to the latest Trap or Dive Podcast with AJ, Dre, and myself, featuring ESPN’s John Keim. We discuss Howell, Bieniemy, how the starting CB positions will look, Ricky Stromberg and Nick Gates, Hard Knocks, and more.
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