Get to know Steven Montez, who'll back up Taylor Heinicke against Tampa

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Peter Hailey
·2 min read
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Get to know Steven Montez, who'll back up Heinicke vs. Bucs originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

With Taylor Heinicke jumping into the starting lineup to replace Alex Smith for Saturday's Washington-Tampa Bay playoff showdown, many on social media began asking a simple question.

Who the hell is Heinicke's backup then?

The answer to that would be Steven Montez, an undrafted rookie out of Colorado.

The 23-year-old, who wears No. 6, was with the Burgundy and Gold throughout training camp and was waived, but he latched onto the practice squad soon thereafter. He has yet to take a meaningful snap as a pro, though; in fact, he was only active for the last three weeks.

Here and there throughout the Burgundy and Gold's campaign, Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner faced a few inquiries about Montez's development. At one point, Rivera praised the first-year signal caller for how he made a point of getting close to Smith and learning whatever he could from the veteran. 

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However, this more recent quote from the head coach is more notable and also more concerning.

"He's raw," Rivera told reporters on Dec. 28. "I would've loved to see him in a preseason game because he's done some good things in practice, but you worry about it. Part of the worry, too, came from watching him in warmups [before the Panthers matchup in Week 16]. At one point, even though we didn't have any fans in the stands, you could kind of see he had a little bit of awe in his face."

Going into a mid-January battle with Heinicke versus Tom Brady is already crazy enough. Hopefully nothing happens to Washington's starter, though, because Montez trying to take out Brady would, somehow, be even wilder.