Washington Comanders QB Jayden Daniels Says NFL 'Learning Curve' Biggest Adjustment

Reviews of Washington Commanders rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels are positive, but that doesn't mean he hasn't faced some struggle.
Jun 5, 2024; Ashburn, VA, USA; (L-R) Washington Commanders quarterback Jeff Driskel (16), Commanders quarterback Marcus Mariota (0), Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels (5), and Commanders quarterback Sam Hartman (11) drop back to pass during an OTA workout at Commanders Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2024; Ashburn, VA, USA; (L-R) Washington Commanders quarterback Jeff Driskel (16), Commanders quarterback Marcus Mariota (0), Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels (5), and Commanders quarterback Sam Hartman (11) drop back to pass during an OTA workout at Commanders Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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ASHBURN, Va. -- For most onlookers Washington Commanders rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels is looking pretty good just about a dozen practices into his NFL career.

Of course, the entire Commanders operation is looking pretty good these days, so perhaps that helps things a bit.

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On Tuesday the big story of the day was Daniels' presence as the first-team quarterback in 11-on-11 drills, and on Wednesday he was there again, only it wasn't such a big development this time around.

So it's been easy to get excited about what head coach Dan Quinn and his staff are building this offseason, even if there's not a promise of immediate success or double-digit win seasons that the fans so desperately crave.

Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels
Jun 5, 2024; Ashburn, VA, USA; (L-R) Washington Commanders quarterback Jeff Driskel (16), Commanders quarterback Marcus Mariota (0), Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels (5), and Commanders quarterback Sam Hartman (11) drop back to pass during an OTA workout at Commanders Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

But what looks easy often times is not, and even Daniels himself admits to their being one part of the NFL game that has been more difficult to adapt to than the rest.

"I would just say the learning curve of going out there and learning how to be a pro," Daniels said when asked about that very topic. "I know I said that previously at (rookie) minicamp that I just want to go out there and learn how to be a pro and that's probably the biggest (thing) for me is learning how to be a pro. Having a routine, the playbook, stuff like that, and I'm just trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible."

If that's the hardest part many teammates and coaches have been raving about his ability to do it, to be a pro so young and so early in his NFL career.

Veteran defensive tackle Jonathan Allen even commented about how he prides himself on being one of the first players in the building but that his rookie teammate has been beating him.

The early attendance is impressive, sure, but there has to be a reason for it. So what is Daniels coming in so early for?

"I get here around like 5:45 a.m. and (I'm) just walking through in the bubble, watching film and stuff like that, just trying to prepare myself for the day," he said.

Daniels added that he and fellow rookie wide receiver Luke McCaffrey have been coming in together and holding pre-practice walkthroughs together. A sure sign of professionalism and exactly the kind of rookie dedication you want when trying to turn a franchise around.

READ MORE: Commanders Hire Former Texans Executive


Stick with CommanderGameday and the Locked On Commanders podcast for more coverage of the Washington Commanders throughout the 2024 season.


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David Harrison

DAVID HARRISON

David Harrison has covered the NFL since 2015 as a digital content creator in both written and audio media. He is the host of Locked On Commanders and a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. His previous career was as a Military Working Dog Handler for the United States Army. Contact David via email at david.w.harrison82@gmail.com or on Twitter @DHarrison82.