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Rivera open to idea of Taylor Heinicke as potential franchise QB

11/23/2021 7:33:12 PM
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 Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera is open to the idea of Taylor Heinicke continuing as the team's starting quarterback beyond the 2021 season according to Chris Lingebach of 106.7 The Fan.

During his radio appearance, Rivera saidhe expects Heinicke to continue “growing and developing” as the rest of the season plays out.  “Let’s not forget he’s only had 11 starts and as he continues to grow and develop, hopefully the offense will come along with him, the team will come along with him,” Rivera said. “We talked about it earlier in the year. What we want from that position is a guy that can manage it and then make plays when he needs to. And this is what this guy does. He’s smart. He understands the game. He’s just a guy that, again, has only had 11 starts and we’ll see how it continues to go.”

The much-traveled Heinicke stunned much of the NFL when the former XFL backup almost led WFT to a playoff upset to the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and arguably outplayed the legendary Tom Brady in that game.  That success led to a contract last spring and a QB competition this summer between Heinicke and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick that Fitzpatrick eventually won.  But Heinicke was thrust into action again in Week 1 when Fitz suffered a serious hip injury and he has been the starting QB out of necessity ever since.

Predictably, Heinicke struggled for much of the season but there has been a sea change since the team's bye in Week 9.  He went 42-of-54 for 462 yards and four touchdowns in wins over Tampa and Carolina that have put Washington on the fringes of the NFC playoff race.  Few would have predicted this when Heinicke started his NFL journey as an undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion but, if the 28-year-old continues to play like he has the past two weeks, he has a real shot as opening the 2022 season as WFT's starting quarterback.

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