Former Eagles lineman says Philadelphia would rather face Heinicke over Smith

Matt Weyrich
·2 min read

Former Eagles LT: Philly would rather face Heinicke over Smith originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Football Team is no stranger to quarterback controversy. Even after releasing Dwayne Haskins this week, the team has yet to announce who will start under center against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night with the NFC East title on the line.

Alex Smith returned to practice this week and took reps with the first-team offense after battling a calf injury that forced him to miss Washington’s last two games. If he’s unable to play, head coach Ron Rivera will turn to Taylor Heinicke. The former undrafted quarterback has only appeared in eight games during his NFL career but impressed with 137 passing yards and a touchdown last week against the Carolina Panthers after coming in for the benched Haskins.

Former Eagles offensive tackle and NBC Sports Philadelphia analyst Barrett Brooks talked about the Eagles’ approach to their upcoming game and why they would rather see Heinicke on the other side of the ball over Smith.

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“At this point, I think the Eagles would rather have Taylor Heinicke at the starting quarterback position as opposed to Alex Smith,” Brooks said. “We all know what Alex Smith brings to the table. Even though he’s banged up, he brings that veteran leadership to this team. He brings a sense of calmness to this game. You already have a great defense. But you put Alex Smith in there and they bring that stability to that offense, it could really problem for this Eagles team.

“Taylor is a young guy, but Alex Smith — probably Comeback Player of the Year — will bring a spark…that the Washington Football Team needs to go out there and win that game.”

Smith, 36, has thrown for 1,420 passing yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions in 11 games this season. He returned to the field in Week 5 for his first game since suffering multiple fractures in his leg and undergoing more than a dozen surgeries nearly two years prior.