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Sam Howell adjusting to backup role again

A year ago, Sam Howell was the Commanders' starting quarterback. He started all 17 games, but after leading the league in attempts, interceptions and sacks, he no longer is with the Commanders and no longer a starter.

Washington traded Howell to Seattle for a swap of picks.

He now is the backup to Geno Smith, though the Seahawks showed a measure of confidence in Howell by not drafting a quarterback last month. Smith and Howell are the only quarterbacks on the roster for now.

"In this league, to be able to play, you’ve got to compete and that’s what I’m willing to do, no matter what the situation is, no matter who the starter is," Howell said Thursday, via Tim Booth of the Associated Press. "If I’m the starter, I’m coming to compete every single day," Howell said. “Geno has been great. I’ve learned a lot from Geno, and he’s a great player. I have a lot of respect for him and everything he’s been through in his career.”

The biggest lesson the 2022 fifth-round pick learned last season is how costly his mistakes can be for the football team. He threw 21 interceptions, lost two fumbles and took 65 sacks.

“I think I could play some smarter ball. I think there were times where we were down big in some games, I was a little too aggressive just trying to make something happen trying to get us back in the game,” Howell said. “The turnovers are just way too high for what I wanted and what the team needed. I think that’s definitely something I can take from last year.”

Howell now gets another chance to sit, watch and learn, hoping to get better prepared for his next starting opportunity.