Washington quarterback (QB) Taylor Heinicke continues to be disrespected despite showing the fight and will to win.
I do not know what it is about Heinicke, but the team’s fan base has been clamoring for another QB ever since Heinicke’s heroics against Tampa Bay in last season’s playoffs.
The only other times I have seen anything like this is with QB’s Tim Tebow and Tua Tagovailoa. No matter what they have done with their teams, everyone wanted to run them out of town on a rail.
After Washington’s discouraging loss to Buffalo, 43-21 loss last week, I went back and watched Heinicke as an evaluator on NFL Game Pass to see if he was the problem.
Yes, there were a couple interceptions, and he never should have thrown the one into the middle of the field, but outside of that, I liked everything else I saw out of him.
Heinicke looked crisp and functional and he moved around in the pocket like Houdini. His ball placement was also spot on most of the time. I loved when he dove for the end zone again and made it, just like he did against the Buccaneers. He also sacrificed his body another time, diving head-first for the first down marker. Even late in the game when the game was out of reach, he threw a perfect looking touchdown pass on 4th and goal. I liked that.
There is no quit in Heinicke. He never gives up. He is great for the team and great for morale. Heinicke is great for the game itself. This kid reminds me more and more of Joe Theismann, the more I watch him play. He’s got a hell of a lot of moxie.
I ordered my Heinicke jersey after the Giants game as a fan, and I continue to love him as an evaluator.
Deshaun Watson, Tua Tagovailoa and Taylor Heinicke are three star-crossed QB’s, Watson wants out, Tagovailoa does not and Heinicke has done everything anyone could ever have imagined. He has gone from living on his sister’s couch and being out of football, to being the first QB in Washington since RGIII, to give this team hope.
I also continue to believe the Washington Football Team has their franchise QB in Heinicke, which I wrote back on May 23.
Washington is 1-2, but I think that has a lot more to do with their over-hyped 29th ranked defense (lineups.com) than Heinicke. I counted one deep pass attempt drawn up in what felt like a very conservative game plan against Buffalo. It felt like Heinicke was harnessed watching the game and he was being held back.
I realize the QB is always the focal point, but let’s at least try to balance the narratives.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.