NFL quarterback is "quiet assassin" and being tipped as surprise package in 2023

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Sam Howell has been praised heavily ahead of his first NFL season as starter (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) (Image: 2023 Scott Taetsch)
Sam Howell has been praised heavily ahead of his first NFL season as starter (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) (Image: 2023 Scott Taetsch)

The NFC East is always one of the most competitive divisions, and last year none of its members finished with a negative record.

The Philadelphia Eagles won the division with a 14-3 record before going on to win the NFC Championship, the Dallas Cowboys (12-5) were just behind, and the New York Giants finished 9-7. The Washington Commanders remain the outlier, struggling to make the playoffs consistently.

They managed a respectable 8-8 record last season in tough circumstances, as controversial owner Dan Snyder was being investigated by the NFL before selling the franchise for a record sum this offseason. The team may be under new ownership and also have a highly-respected new offensive coordinator in Eric Bienemy, but it's very much being treated as a transition year.

However, wide receiver Jahan Dotson is confident that young quarterback Sam Howell can surprise teams during the 2023 season. Dotson is fully behind the 22-year-old who has only played one game for the Commanders after being drafted in the fifth-round last year.

Howell was the 144th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and his only appearance during his rookie campaign was on the final day of the season against the Cowboys. Howell inspired an upset as the Commanders won 26–6, and the rookie ended the game with 169 yards with a passing and rushing touchdown.

He's been given the starting role this season by head coach Ron Rivera and Bieniemy, and he will have to prove himself to stop them searching for a new quarterback next offseason. That won't be an issue according to Dotson, who sent a warning to the rest of the NFL.

"Sam Howell, he is a question mark for a lot of people. But to us, I feel like he's the exclamation mark," Dotson told the Up & Adams Show. "He's a guy who we know has all the arm talent in the world. Who's going to put us in the right positions to succeed.

"We are just trying to make his life easier, we're trying to get open, catch the ball and do our job. Make his life easy so that he succeeds. He's truly one of his own. I've never met anyone like him. He's like a quiet assassin, like myself. He doesn't say much but he just goes out there and he makes plays. It's truly just exciting to have him leading our team."

NFL quarterback is "quiet assassin" and being tipped as surprise package in 2023 eideziqkeiqhhinvJahan Dotson is feeling confident ahead of next season at the Commanders (2023 Scott Taetsch)

Dotson was also drafted in 2022, selected 16th overall by the Commanders after they traded their No. 11 pick with the New Orleans Saints. It was a brilliant first season for Dotson, and he was recognised as Rookie of the Week on his debut in Week 1.

After signing a four-year rookie contract worth $15 million (£11.8m) in May 2022. He caught three passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 1 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but missed five games with a hamstring injury during a Week 4 loss to the Cowboys.

Dotson returned in Week 10, and picked up one more Rookie of the Week award in Week 15, as he recorded 105 receiving yards and scored a touchdown against the Giants. He finished the season with seven touchdowns off 31 receptions, and will be hoping to form a strong partnership with Howell.

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