Taylor Heinicke’s poise reminds Washington teammate Russell Wilson of Seattle – Washington blog



LANDOVER, Md. – Washington soccer quarterback Taylor Heinicke did not enter the squad and did not make a big proclamation at the end of Thursday’s 30-29 victory over the New York Giants. He also didn’t make any jokes to lighten the mood.

He’d been to these places before the NFL – mostly in college or in practice, sometimes just in his mind – and he knew what to do. Even if he had never done it at this level.

Heinicke led two goals in the last five minutes, crossing “winning practice” off his never-before-made NFL roster. And if Washington is to fight in the NFC East while quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is on the injured list with a hip injury, Heinicke will have to continue doing things he has never done before in the NFL. .

In a game he nearly missed with a late interception, Heinicke did what mattered most: he stayed calm. That’s a big reason Washington is 1-1 heading into a Week 3 road game against the Buffalo Bills. The Washington defense, which ranked No.2 overall in the league last season, did not perform as well as hoped, so the team needed Heinicke to win in the hard times.

“He reminded me [Seattle Seahawks QB] Russell Wilson, ”said running back JD McKissic, who spent three years in Seattle, of Heinicke’s composure. “He was calm; he wanted to do a play. He wanted to do whatever it took. The only thing he had in mind was to win. “

Heinicke has now played 11 quarterbacks for Washington, but Thursday was the first time he had to lead a two-minute run with a chance to win a game. In a 31-23 playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, Heinicke had a chance to tie a run, but it ended with an incomplete fourth down from his own 40-yard line. to the two-minute warning.

But it wasn’t just the last practice on Thursday. In the final 4 minutes and 5 seconds of the first half, he completed all seven passes for 66 yards while leading a touchdown. In the final 4:50 of the game, he finished 7 of 10 for 102 yards, one touchdown and one interception. This included putting Washington in position for the winning field goal.

“He’s very calm and he’s also direct,” said wide receiver Terry McLaurin. “No one is going to be confused when they step into the caucus with Taylor, from protection to the number of shots to the routes of the receivers. He does a really good job speaking loud and clear and putting us in a great position. to be successful. “

As they left the group, Heinicke said to the receivers, “Be ready, be available.”

Heinicke was a replacement with the XFL St. Louis BattleHawks in 2020, but his coach Jonathan Hayes told ESPN last winter that Heinicke excelled at performing two-minute drills in practice. He also quizzed other players about their missions, trying to make their preparation match his own.

“I coached quarterbacks for 32 years; I only had one guy at five readings, and that was Taylor,” former Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder told ESPN in December. “He could go from one to five in 2.6 seconds because of his ability to take one or two pre-instant readings and then get into the game.”

Heinicke was part of 12 return wins at Old Dominion, where he executed a hasty attack.

“It’s basically what a minute is and I’ve been doing it for four years, so I’m very comfortable with that,” Heinicke said. “The defense is on their heels; they’re a little tired. They’re starting to play a kind of basic defense and we’ve been training for that every day, so again, to make it happen and so we can Achieving that goal in a game was good for us. “

Washington coach Ron Rivera, who deleted Heinicke ahead of the 2019 season, said Heinicke’s balance has improved since he coached him in Carolina.

“I really like the way he’s matured and grown in the position,” Rivera said. “There is a lot of confidence and you see the arrogance.”

Rivera liked how, at the end of the first half, Heinicke heard a run based on the New York front and McKissic scored on a 2-yard run. On the touchdown pass to Ricky Seals-Jones, Heinicke looked first at tight end Logan Thomas along the right seam, then left again for McLaurin on a post road.

He had a gap he could have walked over, but instead he stayed calm. He noticed the 6-foot-5 Seals-Jones running towards the right corner of the end zone. Heinicke could see he had a height advantage over cornerback Adoree ‘Jackson 5-11, so he gave Seals-Jones a chance.

It’s just another reason his teammates are sold on him.

“He’s got that ‘umph’,” McKissic said. “He’s a lovely guy. We know he can do anything. He can pass, he can sit in the pocket, he can also run. He just wants to win. He loves the game.”


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.