Heinicke shares hilarious story of first time meeting Brady originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Taylor Heinicke's professional football career has been filled with several stops along the way.
But come this Sunday, there's a chance the quarterback plays against Tom Brady in the NFL's Super Wild Card round of the playoffs in what would unquestionably be the biggest game of Heinicke's career thus far.
Just over three years before Heinicke was Alex Smith's backup in Washington, the former Old Dominion star spent a brief few weeks as Brady's teammate in New England when Heinicke was signed to the practice squad.
On Thursday, Heinicke shared an incredible story of the first time he met the greatest quarterback of all time, and what he attempted to do to make a great first impression on No. 12.
"The first day I was there, I said [to myself] 'I'm going to make a great impression. I'm going to be the first one in the building,'" Heinicke said.
As the quarterback walked into the Patriots' quarterbacks room between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m., Heinicke found Brady already deep in film study.
"He had no idea that they had just signed a practice squad quarterback," Heinicke said. "He was like, 'Who the hell are you?'"
After introducing himself to Brady, the two got to watch film together for the first 15-20 minutes of that day. Heinicke said he "got to pick [Brady's] brain and "learned a lot" from him, which is to be expected when studying with one of the all-time greats.
While Heinicke certainly took in that experience as much as he could, the young signal-caller was worried about something else while breaking down defenses with the GOAT.
"It's one of those things where you don't want to say anything stupid and he's like 'get this guy out of here,'" Heinicke said. "Again, I just kept my mouth shut and really soaked it in. That's when Jimmy G [Garoppolo] was still there and really try to soak it in with those guys. They're successful for a reason, and I feel like I learned a lot from them."
Asked specifically what he learned the most when watching film with Brady, Heinicke quickly pointed to just the speed the New England veteran was able to analyze the opposing defense.
"Just how he goes about his reads," Heinicke said. "It was obviously a different offense, different playbook. But just how quickly he went about the reads, the protections and where he knew exactly where he was going with the ball on certain looks... it was very impressive."
Although he only spent around three weeks with the Patriots, Heinicke was impressed by Brady's professionalism through it all.
"It was kind of like an eye-opening experience," Heinicke said. "That's why he's great. He can do it all."