Heinicke Is Still WFT’s Best Option
If you watched the NFL season preview we did here on The Greg Nosar Show I said the Chiefs would go undefeated in the regular season. I also said the Bengals and Raiders weren’t going to amount to much. I picked the Washington Football team to win the NFC East on the backs of their defense. So far all of that was pretty much crap. But I am still standing on the belief that Taylor Heinicke is the best option at QB for the WFT.
When he came in week 1 for the injured Ryan Fitzpatrick he was finally getting his chance to be the starter. Previously, and kind of still, he was a stopgap starter. A fill in. He led the WFT in the Wild Card round last year against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Talk about being thrown straight into the fire. He didn’t play great, but he wasn’t terrible either.
A lot of this I covered in an earlier article I wrote. Scroll down and you can find it. I covered who he is, where he came from and how he got to Washington. So far this year his play has not been at a high level capable of leading Washington to the top of the NFC East. But it isn’t all his fault. There have been many questionable throws. A few to many interceptions. Some times where he held the ball to long. A handful of ‘weak’ throws. And quite a few bad decisions like the loss to Green Bay where he gave himself up before crossing the goal line.
That one play against Green Bay is going to be what everyone points to when they say he can’t be a NFL quarterback. But I say that play could be the play that catapults his career to a place where he could man the helm of QB in Washington for quite a few years.
For that to happen, the coaches and management needs to accept what he is, a blank slate. With that blank slate comes the coach’s opportunity to mold him into a NFL quarterback. Very few of these ever come along. Most NFL QBs did come from a high profile college with a skill set ready for the NFL or at least that could be adapted into that role.
Unfortunately for Heinicke, head coach Ron Rivera is employed by Dan Snyder. My earlier article covered Snyder and his issues as an owner. He is the head of the organization and has an ego larger than any other owner refusing to ever say he’s wrong or that bad decisions have been made, and worst of all he refuses to put the team in a full rebuilding mode. Time after time the WFT has had a couple down years where they could have gone to a rebuild and made all the necessary decisions to sell pieces, amass some draft picks, bring in people who know football to pick the right players, and sacrifice a season or two for long term success.
Easy case in point was last year. They stumbled into winning the NFC East. They got a home playoff game to swell the head of the owner believing that successful season would turn the tide. Well, with winning a division you also get the reward of playing the other division winners the following season. Sorry WFT, you just aren’t good enough after that lucky year to have success like that the next year.
BUT THEY SIGNED RYAN FITZPATRICK!!!!
Sure, that’s the piece that was missing.
See what I mean? The management of this franchise thinks they know best and won’t look at a truly successful team to mirror what they do to win long term. Fitzpatrick wasn’t the answer, even if he had stayed healthy.
Now is the time for Washington to commit to a rebuild. They are looking at a top 5 pick on next year’s draft, a draft that is sorely lacking in quality QBs to build a team around. And Washington doesn’t need to reach for one in the draft because they have what they need to guide them through a rebuild in Taylor Heinicke.
If management and the coaching staff would fully commit to Heinicke as their starter, stop making it look like he’s just a place holder by saying they are still looking for a franchise QB, quit being lazy in the terms of coaching, they can teach him the necessary footwork, reads, progressions, and situational awareness. Then in a couple years of rebuilding you have the QB that you have created and has grown and grown up to become the real leader of the team.
Unfortunately all of this is just a pipe dream. The ego of Dan Snyder is to massive. Ron Rivera will not finish out his contract. Taylor Heinicke will not last past this season. The ‘brain trust’ running the WFT will pick a stupid new name for the team. Thankfully, for the team, the fans are all to used to being treated like garbage and they will eat it all up buying new jerseys with the name of a yet to be signed QB and continue to be hoodwinked into thinking their team has a chance to compete. They don’t and won’t until the ownership realizes a complete rebuild is needed. At which time Taylor Heinicke will be long gone and their chance to develop him into the quality QB he could be was wasted.