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Too Soon to Consider Taylor Heinicke WFT's 'Franchise' QB?

One clutch drive and one rally over an NFC East rival has fans convinced they've found their QB of the future

Play after play and throw after throw, Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke continues to certify why he is potentially the quarterback of the future in D.C.

The 29-yard touchdown pass to running back J.D. McKissic against the Carolina Panthers last season in relief of quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The touchdown right on the money to former Washington wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. and a diving run touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Wild Card. Leading his team to victory against the New York Giants last Thursday. At every turn, the former Old Dominion standout has proven he just might be the answer at the quarterback position in Washington.

"Even as a backup, I prepared every week like I was the starter," Heinicke said. "So if those guys in the locker room and the facility believe in me, that's all that matters."

For the majority of Heinicke's NFL career, he's been a backup or on the practice squad. He was even close to quitting football before Washington called him up to be its emergency "COVID" quarterback in 2020. Backup or not, Heinicke is earning the trust of his teammates.

"He's always ready for his moment and I love guys who are always ready for their moment ... always prepared," wide receiver Terry McLaurin said. "We're lucky to have Taylor and I know he's just going to continue to grow and help us going forward."

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What's different about Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kyle Allen compared to Heinicke is that he's able to move the offense and extend plays consistently. Whether he's calm in the pocket throwing back-to-back first downs or scrambling outside the hashmarks to find McLaurin, the man makes plays and gives you a chance to win. 

"That is exactly how he played; he was very gutty," Rivera said about Heinicke's performance against the Giants. "But when given the opportunity, he stepped up again."

So many in Washington continue to wonder when will Washington ever get its next 'franchise' quarterback. He's already here and his name is Taylor Heinicke.

READ MORE: Rivera Reveals What Washington D is Missing