NFL QB Cramming On and Off the Field

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By James Onuska, Sports Editor

Originally published January 6, 2021.


While most NFL players were preparing for the next week’s football game by watching film, former Monarch quarterback Taylor Heinicke was juggling cramming exams and game film.


When Heinicke was signed to Washington’s Football Team early December, no way he envisioned that he would called upon to fill in a Thursday game versus the Carolina Panthers. With starting QB Alex Smith recovering from a calf injury, backup QB Dwayne Haskins was struggling at home which allowed for Head Coach Ron Rivera to make the move.


Heinicke came off the bench and played very efficiently while giving the team a spark which fell short of a comeback. Heinicke completed 12 of 19 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. What made this feat even more impressive, Taylor Heinicke had just completed two online exams for Old Dominion.


The one time Monarch star now has to get prepared for the upcoming NFL playoffs. The team has released Dwayne Haskins resulting in Heinicke now the immediate backup to Alex Smith. Heinicke’s fourth quarter play that Thursady night showed Coach Rivera that he was the right man for the job. His fourth quarter, eight play, 91-yard drive capped off with a 29-yard strike to running back J.D. McKissic gained the respect of his staff and teamates.


While at ODU, Heinicke thew for nearly 15,000 yards while slinging 132 touchdowns which also included a mind boggling 730 yards versus New Hampshire in 2012. Now the quarterback continues to fight for a spot on an NFL roster which he may have found in Washington. As the playoffs prepare to get underway, regardless of which team you cheer on, keep an eye on the backup quarterback in D.C. looking to prove that he belongs. Go Monarchs!