Taylor Heinicke was the toast of the town on Saturday night despite him and the Washington Football Team coming up short against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Wildcard game.
Heinicke gave great effort and performed well, but it wasn’t enough as Brady and the Bucs prevailed by the score of 31-23. Apparently, this wasn’t the first time Heinicke has come up short to Brady. The 27-year-old was a member of the New England Patriots‘ practice squad back in 2017 when Brady was obviously still a part of the team.
Still trying to break in and make a great impression with the coaching staff, Heinicke showed up at the Patriots’ facility on his first day between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m. He had planned to be the first one there. The only problem was, Brady was already there and studying film when he arrived.
Heinicke expounded on the situation in an interview with The Athletic’s Ben Standig.
He had no idea that they had just signed a practice squad quarterback. He was like, ‘Who the hell are you? It’s one of those things where you don’t want to say anything stupid and he’s like, ‘Get this guy out of here. Again, I just kept my mouth shut and really soaked it in. That’s when Jimmy [Garoppolo] was still there and really try to soak it in with those guys. They’re successful for a reason, and I feel like I learned a lot from them.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
The Heinicke Return Talk
As you might expect, members of Patriots Nation erupted into Heinicke-to-Patriots chatter on social media on Saturday night. Heinicke looked good for sure, but it was just one game and the Buccaneers didn’t have an opportunity to properly prepare for him the way they would a quarterback they’d been studying for an entire season–or even for a few games.
I don’t want to take anything away from his performance (26-for-44 with 306 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 rushing TD), because it was truly electrifying, but you’d like to see more before you go anointing Heinicke as the answer at QB in New England, or elsewhere.
Did Heinicke’s Play Give Him a Leg Up on the WFT Job in 2021?
WFT has tons of questions at QB after this season, but after the way Heinicke played on Saturday, you’d have to think he’s at least a possible answer for the team moving forward.
Alex Smith would have started if his calf had been healthy, but he couldn’t get ready in time to be cleared. Smith can be a free agent after this season if Washington decides to release him with a very low liability for cutting him loose.
Given his age and injury history, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that happen. While one game isn’t enough to stake your future on a QB, Heinicke definitely turned some heads on Saturday.
- Cam Newton Projected to Land Back in the NFC South
- Former Patriots QB Shines in Playoff Loss, Stirs Talk About 2021 Return
- Former Patriots QB Asks if Future HOFer Is Next up in New England
- Wild Deshaun-Watson-to-Patriots Trade Discussed
- Patriots Sign 10 Players for Upcoming Season