The Washington Commanders had their first day of training camp in Ashburn as they prepare for the 2023-24 season under new ownership from Josh Harris and his investment group. Today’s practice was roughly 90 minutes, but that time will increase starting tomorrow when fans will have their first opportunity to watch the team practice.
Sam Howell, Antonio Gibson, Jamin Davis, and Darrick Forrest spoke to the media after today’s practice. Howell talked about earning the QB1 spot, his improved footwork, Eric Bieniemy’s offense, and more. Gibson said he’s expecting to slide into the third-down back role that J.D. McKissic played here for several years. Jamin Davis is looking to put some respect on the Washington Commanders LB groups’ name this season. Darrick Forrest is excited about getting more playing time, and making some noise alongside Kamren Curl.
LIVE: QB Sam Howell speaks to the media after Day 1 of training camp https://t.co/GjgO5R7jhB— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) July 26, 2023
Sam Howell is addressing the media now. Said he has a great opportunity to be the starter. He's taking it one day at a time, putting consistent football on film, and if he plays the way he's capable of, everything will take care of itself. #HTTC— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) July 26, 2023
Howell said it's a blessing to be named "QB1" heading into training camp, but he feels that there's still a lot of work left to be done #HTTC— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) July 26, 2023
Organizing workouts with teammates in Florida:
“It’s definitely something I wanted to do this offseason was try to get the guys together. So, the quarterbacks kind of planned it all together and we tried to get everybody down to Fort Lauderdale for a couple days and had some throwing sessions in the morning and went out to dinner and stuff at night. So, it was good just to see everybody. We did it like a week before, a week and a half before everyone had to come back. So just trying to get everybody thinking about ball and start talking and trying to get on the same page before we all come back here. So, I thought it was very beneficial for us. I was appreciative of the guys for coming out and spending their time on their summer break. And I think it showed out there today that there was definitely some strides made when we were in Florida.”
5th round pick:
Howell says he knows what some experts think “it’s crazy” about him starting as a 5th rounder. “I really don’t care what other people say, I know what I can do.”— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) July 26, 2023
New starting QB (most likely) on new owner (definitely): pic.twitter.com/d49z06RvBO— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) July 26, 2023
Sam Howell on new ownership: “There’s a lot of forward momentum and it’s our job as players to take advantage of it.” pic.twitter.com/qFyt1Mfzcq— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) July 26, 2023
Do you want to know what Commanders quarterback Sam Howell worked on during his summer break?— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) July 26, 2023
Good, here's the answer.
Howell said he is "light years" ahead of where he was last year in terms of his footwork. Credits Ken Zampese for the work he's done to improve that area of his game #HTTC— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) July 26, 2023
Howell says his footwork is “light years ahead” from this time last year. That will be important, the development showed from preseason to Week 18. If that growth continued this offseason a lot of national folks will be surprised when they watch.— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) July 26, 2023
Eric Bieniemy’s offense:
Commanders fans will like hearing this from QB Sam Howell— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) July 26, 2023
"At this point I have total command of the offense"
Time to show it during training camp! pic.twitter.com/CbcfMICboD
Sam Howell said he’s excited with the RPO elements Eric Bieniemy has brought over in his offense. He mentioned how it has some of the same concepts that he ran in college at UNC. #httc #NFL pic.twitter.com/CWqboJUMjl— Lake Lewis Jr (@LakeLewis) July 26, 2023
Howell said he's more confident in the system than he was during OTAs. He's not thinking as much before the play is called. He knows exactly what he needs to do and where to put the ball when the ball is snapped #HTTC— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) July 26, 2023
Sam Howell on his Madden rating (66): "It is what it is. Hopefully it'll be different at the end of this year."— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) July 26, 2023
Asked Sam Howell if he would consider getting filmed for "Quarterback" if Netflix asked.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) July 26, 2023
He said he watched the show, but not for him this year. Learning the position/starting is the priority. Understandable.
LIVE: RB Antonio Gibson speaks to the media after Day 1 of training camp https://t.co/3IcUKUbQUP— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) July 26, 2023
Antonio Gibson's thoughts on Day 1 and his perception of his role (Said third-down back, for now.) pic.twitter.com/frAoM6as8c— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) July 26, 2023
Antonio Gibson, on if he has clarity on his role in Eric Bieniemy's offense: "Right now, I would say third-down back ... almost like that J.D. [McKissic role], third-down back, end-of-game situation, end-of-half situation and things like that ..."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) July 26, 2023
RB Antonio Gibson said he expects to be a 3rd-down back in a JD McKissic-type role.— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) July 26, 2023
“I’m fine with it,” he said. He watched KC tape and got excited by how Eric Bieniemy used RBs in the passing game.
Antonio Gibson couldn’t ignore the fan reaction to the ownership change. Said he saw all the “crazy memes” and instant flip in attitude toward the team. Hopes to see it continue come the regular season— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) July 26, 2023
Antonio Gibson is asked if he expects fewer ownership questions from the media post-sale. Proceeds to note half the questions asked to him at the point were about the ownership. Good point!— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) July 26, 2023
That will change by the next time he's at the podium.
On Sam Howell, Gibson said he has shown since OTAs that he can step up and be a leader. He looks relaxed, and he's excited to see how he develops— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) July 26, 2023
Antonio Gibson: "The potential is crazy... I've been excited to see how we put it together. We've got a nice core. I'm really excited. It's going to be nice."— John Keim (@john_keim) July 26, 2023
LIVE: LB Jamin Davis speaks to the media after Day 1 of training camp https://t.co/QlNEGUmWYj— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) July 26, 2023
Excited to be back on the field after offseason knee procedure:
Jamin Davis is addressing the media. Said he was excited to be back on the field and he was highly anticipating rejoining his teammates after not participating during team drills in OTAs— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) July 26, 2023
Jamin Davis said he's working himself back into playing shape after missing the offseason program with a knee injury, but otherwise feels good.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) July 26, 2023
Jamin Davis on the Commanders LB room: "We're doing what we need to do to earn some respect"— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) July 26, 2023
Darrick Forrest is at the mic. Said the defensive emphasis is creating turnovers during this year's training camp. The defense had four picks today #HTTC— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) July 26, 2023
Forrest said he and Kam Curl are going to be explosive, will open things up and create different looks for quarterbacks #HTTC— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) July 26, 2023