First and foremost I want to congratulate Taylor Heinicke on signing a two year deal with the Atlanta Falcons for up to $20 million!
Washington Commanders Buried Taylor Heinicke
Washington made a mistake by not keeping this man. He should have been their starting quarterback for the past 2 years, but for some reason he never got the respect he deserved from the Washington Commanders.
I say that because there’s no way in hell anyone with subpar vision would ever think that Carson Wentz was ever any good as a quarterback, much less better than Heinicke. Did you see the season he had with the Indianapolis Colts? Horrible.
But for some reason Wentz got the starting job over the consummate professional Heinicke, who has never complained when he should have, who was always grateful to be there, and most importantly was always ready when called upon. Unlike Wentz or his predecessor Ryan Fitzpatrick I don’t remember the last time Heinicke ever got hurt.
I’ve seen people complain about Taylor, saying he’s not any good, he’s not the answer, he’s always going to be a backup, but yet as a starting backup quarterback for the Washington Commanders he has a winning record with 32 touchdowns with 21 interceptions. He went 12-11-1 as a starter for Washington, that’s not counting the games he came in as a backup when their starting quarterback got injured.
Considering their horrendous offensive line, terrible play calling by former offensive coordinator Scott Turner, and their clueless head coach Ron Rivera, he did pretty damn good.
Rivera who in my opinion cost his team the playoffs by making a stupid decision to start Wentz over Heinicke against the Cleveland Browns who ended up eliminating them from the playoffs, then Rivera being clueless claiming he had no idea they would’ve been eliminated. This says it all.
Is Heinicke the starting quarterback for the 2023 season?
There’s been conflicting stories that I’ve seen, but Heinicke himself today has finally confirmed that he is not there to start but solely backup Desmond Ridder.
I’m not sure where this decision is coming from to start Ridder over Heinicke, whether it’s from the head coach, the GM or the owner himself, but they have have to give both of them the same amount of reps to actually compete fairly for the job.
I question this decision, Atlanta has never been high on Ridder regardless of the draft pick he was, nothing that he did towards the end of the season impressed anyone.
As a quarterback guy I always look for a gleam in a young drafted quarterback and I truly did not see one, that’s not saying that he isn’t going be great, but my eye test says for now, says this is bad decision.
Atlanta has invested most of their money in the defensive line and offensive line, this would be a perfect test to see how good Taylor Heinicke truly is as a starter, everything is there for him to be successful and if he isn’t then you start the rookie quarterback.
To even evaluate these two men correctly, the Falcons best bet is to have the quarterbacks compete for the starting position to determine who can win their team the most games.
Let’s hope the people in charge in Atlanta are smart enough to choose wisely between Ridder or Heinicke. They need that person to lead, to win your team games and to play hard for that leader.
This decision can make or break a team as I believe it was doing in Washington, the players did not like Carson Wentz, and they appeared for the past two seasons to truly love and play harder for Taylor Heinicke.
Decisions like these have happened for decades, and it impacts team morale and fan commitment.
My NFL GRIPE
One of my biggest pet peeves in the NFL is how teams never give the backup quarterbacks enough reps just in case for an emergency, it’s a detriment to the team and it’s a detriment to the quarterback play as a whole.
Just look at last season!
Numerous quarterbacks went down from Jimmy Garoppolo, to Brock Purdy, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Matthew Stafford, Dak Prescott, Zack Wilson and many more.
I don’t care about the quarterback’s ego, you play to win the game, not stroke the ego of a star player. They put these backup quarterbacks in positions that are immediately counterproductive.
I’m not saying he’s perfect, he’s a gunslinger, but gunslingers are going to throw interceptions no matter who they are. The man can definitely launch the ball down the field, because of that his teams are always going to have a chance to win the game because he’s mobile, he can launch the ball and he’s very elusive for his size.
His favorite quarterback growing up was Brett Favre and he truly reminds me of him, regardless of what you think about Favre nowadays. He plays backyard football mirroring Favre and Mahomes with everything on the line as if every down is a 4th and goal. That’s what I see.
If the Atlanta Falcons were smart they would just start the 30-year-old quarterback this season over Desmond Ridder and not do the automatic placement or the job competition. Ridder would benefit being Heinicke’s protege, as we’ve seen it’s very important for young quarterbacks to learn from veterans.
We saw this in San Francisco with Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick and then again with Alex Smith in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes.
You’re probably wondering why I mentioned the XFL in the title, it’s because Taylor Heinicke is a product of the XFL, and he always will be.
Heinicke was a backup to current DC Defenders starting quarterback Jordan Ta’Amu In St. Louis for the BattleHawks in 2020.
To those that criticize this league if Taylor heinecke started the season, made the playoffs, outperformed expectations and had a good run in the playoffs it would cement the necessity to the broader public that XFL league is more important than they believe it to be.
Taylor Heinicke Is a quarterback who came from the XFL and has defeated many of the biggest names in the sport from Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Jalen Hurts to name just a few.
But it wasn’t just Taylor, PJ Walker, the officia/unofficial MVP and stand-out quarterback of the league in 2020 from the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks also defeated Tom Brady, as he started for the Carolina Panthers several games in the 2022 season.
As of recently PJ Walker has now signed with the Chicago Bears as a backup to Justin Fields.
According to the critics of the XFL this could never happen, because they’re not on the same level of NFL quarterbacks say many of them, but it did happen and it’s going to continue to happen whether they like it or not.
To owners, GMs and coaches alike your future may be with a balance of XFL quarterbacks and college quarterbacks. Regardless of what the traditionalists of the game say, they have prevented the league from going forward by being overly protective, this league is a good thing for the future of the game.
Here’s to wishing luck to Taylor Heinicke, PJ Walker and others like them on their futures in the league, especially Taylor’s as the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons.