Former Washington safety Matt Bowen enlightens listeners

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Former Washington safety Matt Bowen (2003-2005) is ALWAYS informative and he did not disappoint when on the latest episode of the “John Keim Report” podcast.

Bowen said he immediately notices Carson Wentz’s size and strength in the pocket, his sliding out of the pocket, ability to extend plays, arm strength to attack the third level. Bowen feels sometimes Wentz plays to his own detriment, wanting so badly to extend a play, and go deep when he could simply complete the easier pass underneath.

Bowen continued that Wentz’s mechanics sometimes are not in sync, because he is trying to make the big play, and not take the layup that is present. “He is going to challenge opposing defenses. He is going to challenge tight windows…He has high-level tools and you want him to make those plays.”

According to Bowen, Wentz is definitely an upgrade over Taylor Heinicke, though he was quick to praise Heinicke as the Commanders’ backup. He expects offensive coordinator Scott Turner to call more skinny posts, more shots down the field, more max protection to throw deep, and he also expects Dyami Brown and Curtis Samuel (both injured in 2021) to be stretching the middle and deep of the field in 2022. He also believes Logan Thomas can (along with Brown and Samuel) be effective on mid-level throws and quick deep 18-20 yard throws.

“You are the leader of a football team when you are the quarterback, even if you don’t want to be,” said Bowen. Players are going to look to you, how you practice, how you prepare, what you do pre-game and post-game is important. It sets the tone for the football team and has to come from that position. Mark Brunell (Washington 2004-2006) was one of the best leaders, I’ve ever been around… You have to be able to talk to every player in that locker room. The quarterback in my opinion has to be the number one guy in the locker room.”

Bowen spoke of how one of his coaches at Iowa told his players, when you retire, you want your teammates and coaches to say two things about you. “One, you were tough, and two, you were a great teammate.”

He feels the Commanders will be in the mix for the NFC East next year, have an experienced, good head coach, good staff, Wentz is an upgrade and Thomas is that middle of the field stretch-option they really need. “Can they get consistent production and high-level play from the quarterback position? Can he make the plays in critical moments to win? Can he make the plays on third down and score touchdowns inside the 20?”

He volunteered he believes Kyle Hamilton could fill the hybrid role for Washington and be very effective. As for Landon Collins, he understands that Collins may actually not get a very good offer in the league, and could refuse to play the hybrid, get put in the post and be exposed in coverage. He was not predicting such, simply attempting to be empathetic, saying he knew what it was like to be cut in the NFL.