Taylor Heinicke, I Believe in You!
Updated: Mar 24
As much criticism as I'll get for writing this, I have to get something off of my chest: I believe Taylor Heinicke deserves a shot to be the starting quarterback in the 2021 season for the Washington Football Team. We all love a good underdog story. What better story could we get than Taylor Heinicke getting a chance to be the starting quarterback after securing the absolute bag a month ago. After years of being sent from team to team in his NFL career, he may have found his true home. With the Football Team parting ways with the Come Back Player of the Year, Alex Smith, I believe it might be time to see fan-favorite, Taylor Heinicke, win a possible starting position in the NFL. Let's be real, most of us wouldn't even know that name if it wasn't for his playoff game against Brady and the Bucs. The man who managed to play on six different teams in a matter of six years including an XFL team, the Saint Louis Battle Hawks, deserves a chance to prove himself in Washington. He was added to the Washington roster while finishing up his engineering degree at Old Dominion. In a matter of two months, he went from studying for engineering exams to signing a two-year extension deal of $8.75 million dollars in the offseason. While some may call me crazy, I think we might be seeing the bloom of a QB who might deserve a start.
I believe the guy who managed to throw for 306 yards against the Bucs defense, which is more than Brees or Mahomes did, could be the answer for the quarterback controversy we saw from the Washington Football Team last season. A lot of people may be asking, "Why would they ever consider a no-name like Taylor Heinicke to be their starter?" The truth of the matter is; Heinicke may have some of the best collegiate stats from any quarterback playing in the NFL. Granted, he played for Old Dominion who didn't play the toughest schedule in the NCAA. The versatile quarterback was able to throw for a total of 132 touchdowns and rush for another 22 in his four-year career at Old Dominion. He had a little under 15,000 passing yards and 1,300 rushing yards during that time as well. His athletic ability didn't stop there, Heinicke was also used as a punter and had the longest punt on his team in 2013 which was 61 yards. His mobility to get out of the pocket and use his legs was shown in the playoff game against the Bucs. After having some pretty incredible stats in college, he was never given a real chance to prove himself as a starter on either NFL or XFL fields. That is correct, Heinicke was also a second-string quarterback when he played in the XFL. While he lacks time on the field, he has been able to learn behind some pretty good quarterbacks from his former teams.
The Washington Football Team is in desperate need of a quarterback after having to start four different ones last season. As it looks right now - Alex Smith, Dwayne Haskins, and Kyle Allen were not the answers for their team last year. They managed to win a very weak NFC East conference with a 7-9 record before going into the playoffs. They happened to secure that division with a waving of the white flag from the Eagles in their last game of the season. I think it comes as no surprise saying that their defense brought them there and can probably do it again next year. However, should they go out and try to find a quarterback in this year's draft or free agency? Or should they stick with the guy who has been looking to make the most of an opportunity in the NFL for the past six years?
I think that sticking with Heinicke might be the best option for the Washington Football Team right now. They have the 19th overall pick in the 2021 draft this year. I don't think one of the favored quarterbacks will fall that low and they're not in a position to trade up. They have a lot of room in cap space to find some pieces to add to their struggling offense, but I just don't see them going after a quarterback with that money; especially with the quarterbacks who are still left around. It would be a long-shot for them to land Deshaun Watson although there were rumors of looking at shopping for him. As it looks right now, Houston won't be letting go of Deshaun for some time to come. What I see them doing is looking to solidify their linebacker core and begin building depth in offensive positions. Logan Thomas has become a pleasant surprise at tight end, Terry McLaurin has proved to be a stud at wide receiver, and Antonio Gibson showed promise at the end of the year as a running back--but I still don't believe that they have enough. I wouldn't be surprised to see them shop around for another wide receiver and bring more pieces to help to their offensive line that could use it. In Taylor Heinicke, you get a quarterback who can not only make things happen with his feet but has the arm strength and accuracy to throw for three-hundred yards a game. As a matter of fact, his senior year in high school he threw for nine three-hundred-yard games. He showed in the playoff game against the Bucs that he has poise and doesn't back down from a challenge. He also showed in college that he can throw for some pretty impressive numbers too. You'll save a lot more money by keeping him and building pieces around for him to work with rather than shopping for a quarterback who might be asking for twenty to thirty million dollars a year. Most of all, the expectations are on the floor for Washington Quarterbacks so you have got nothing to lose.
A Look Ahead
For now, the Washington Football Team looks like they're in a good position to win the division again next year. I can see them making some key additions to their team in the off-season that will provide some depth for their team. By doing so, I think that they can make the most of their broken quarterback situation by allowing Taylor Heinicke to start for them. He has the defense to back him up, the offensive weapons to make him shine, and one hell of a coach who can lead him back to the playoffs. Taylor Heinicke, I believe in you!