This Ron Rivera quote on a backup QB could be good news for Taylor Heinicke

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Ryan Homler
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This Rivera quote on a backup QB could be good news for Heinicke originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

For the Washington Football Team, priority No. 1 this offseason is to stabilize the quarterback position. That, of course, means finding the right starting quarterback, but it isn't just about the first name on the depth chart.

During his time with the Carolina Panthers, Ron Rivera learned how crucial it was to have the right backup. While he had Cam Newton, he also had the more-than-capable Derek Anderson as his No. 2. When Newton was hampered with injuries, Rivera was at least able to worry a little less given he was confident in Anderson.

Yet, when Anderson left Carolina after the 2017 season, finding stability at the backup position became a challenge. As Newton continued to struggle to stay fully healthy, Carolina was unable to weather the storm in his absence.

Now as Washington prepares for its QB1 search, the hunt for QB2 is important as well.

“So now as we start putting this together, we are looking at all our options," Rivera said on 106.7's BMitch and Finlay. "We’re looking at not just who can be the number one but who’s the number two and is that number two a guy that’s going to have a chance to grow in to be the number one."

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When examining that quote, it's hard not to believe that is good news for Taylor Heinicke. Though some feel he deserves a chance at being the starter, there's an argument to be made that he'd be a perfect backup option in Washington.

Just 27-years-old, Heinicke still has some youth on his side. He has also only been around the NFL for three seasons and made just two starts, meaning there is plenty of room for growth and development as he gets more experiences under his belt.

And what he displayed in Washington's NFC Wild Card Round game against the Buccaneers shows that there is raw skill there. He has pocket presence, an NFL arm and mobility. Those are all things a team wants in a quarterback.

Heinicke also did all that and nearly beat Tampa Bay despite being on the team for just a month. Now imagine he gets a chance to stick around and develop in the system long term. Learn the plays and the intricacies of the game all while learning under a consistent starter. That could do wonders for his development and potentially turn him into a player that could become a No. 1 option if needed.

Even in the short-term, should injuries impact the starter, Heinicke has shown that he is capable of filling-in and providing the offense with enough to compete. It's that type of effort that has already caught the attention of the new administration.

Finding the starting quarterback in Washington is the most important thing that needs to happen this offseason. Having another consistent option behind that passer, however, should not be downplayed. Rivera knows that.

Given the way he views the position, and what Heinicke brings to the table, there's a chance that the instant-favorite quarterback could be the perfect backup option that Rivera wants to have.