ASHBURN, Va. — It's the final week of the NFL regular season and Taylor Heinicke is still standing as the starting quarterback for the Washington Football Team. With one game left, what better time to look back on what's happened. For Heinicke this season has been quite a ride. He says, "As hard as this season's been, the roller coaster of ups and downs and COVID, injuries, off the field stuff, it's been a dream come true. I've wanted to start in this league since I was born."
Lots of highs and lows for Heinicke and his teammates. There are some things that stand out former ODU star, "It’s the four game skids, whether it's winning or losing. You learn a lot through those things. You feel like you do some good things through those losing streaks and you kind of feel like kind of the world's falling apart and trying to piece it together. You learn a lot through those winning streaks as well. So, it was a huge learning experience for me."
It's been some kind of growth experience. You wonder what Heinicke has learned about himself over this past season, “I don't think it's something I learned. I kind of reaffirmed that I just feel like I'm a resilient guy, not playing and still working. And then a lot of, again, a lot of the stuff going on this year, whether it's good or bad, kind of just sticking to it, grinding through it. That's for everybody on this team too."
The jury is till out as to whether Heinicke will be a starting quarterback next year, but there is one important thing he has proven, "One checkbox I've checked was the whole durability question. No one really thought that I could go 16, 17 games and here we are. So that's a positive. Another thing too is again, I never started this league and you just don't know if you could ever play in this league until you're in it for a while."
About his role next year, Heinicke makes it sound like he's good with however things shake out, "Whatever my future holds. If it's back up, if it's starter, I'm happy either way. I just wanna be in this league playing football, but it's gonna be weird if I'm a back up and just going through this year, kind of preparing and playing and all the reps you're getting and then kind of taking a step back, it would be weird."