Taylor Heinicke to again face the Bucs

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Taylor Heinicke made one start last season.

When Coach Ron Rivera had plenty of Dwayne Haskins’ immaturity and lack of focus, he called on Heinicke to join the team to back up starter Alex Smith.

Smith hampered by a weakening calf on his injured leg, Rivera quickly gave Heinicke his first NFL start, in a playoff game, no less!

Heinicke responded completing 26 of 44 passes for 306 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Number 4 also displayed good mobility, totaling 46 yards and a touchdown in six carries against Tampa Bay in a 31-23 loss.

Sunday, when he again starts against Tampa Bay, he will have played in all eight previous games this season, starting seven.

Though Heinicke’s performance in the playoff game, created unfair expectations from some fans, he appears to have thus far remained level-headed.

Taking math classes and sleeping on his sister’s sofa, Heinicke believed his career was most likely finished. “I thought I was done with football last year,” said Heinicke Wednesday. Since that game until now, I have made some good money and I feel a lot more comfortable in life. So it is a totally different feeling from what I was feeling at this point last year.”

“I don’t know how much I’ve evolved as a quarterback; it’s only been eight weeks (games). I feel like I am getting better every week and I am learning something every week. But my life has changed dramatically.”

Washington fans recall Heinicke was offered and signed a two-year deal after the playoff game.

Though he has not played well enough at this point to be considered the long-term starter, has the former ODU Monarch exhibited he can serve as a sufficient NFL backup, prolonging his career?