Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera says Ryan Fitzpatrick still has to compete with Taylor Heinicke and others for the starting quarterback job.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is the clear favorite to be the starting quarterback for the Washington Football team in 2021. Head coach Ron Rivera isn’t going to hand him the job for free, however.
Rivera spoke with reporters ahead of the team’s upcoming training camp, stressing the existence of a quarterback competition.
“It’s going to be a good competition,” Rivera said, per ESPN. “I look forward to it. It’s going to push our football team and make our football team better. I just feel that going into this knowing we have a proven guy [Fitzpatrick] there that has the ability to lead us, but again, we have a guy in Taylor [Heinicke] that shows us he can do it. They are going to compete, they are going to push, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Ron Rivera wants to see what Ryan Fitzpatrick and Taylor Heinicke can do
Fitzpatrick signed with the team as a free agent this offseason after two seasons in Miami. The veteran had a 9-11 record as a starter for the Dolphins, but he was a respected figure who put up good numbers. He even delayed the introduction of high draft pick Tua Tagovailoa by beating him out in training camp.
The expectation is for him to lead Rivera’s team, but Taylor Heinicke and other quarterbacks on the roster will have their shot to dethrone him.
Starting a playoff game against eventual Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay, he threw for 306 yards and scored two touchdowns in a heroic effort ended by injury. He earned himself a two-year contract extension with that performance.
Heinicke was a pleasant surprise, but there’s still no telling if he can really challenge an established pro like Fitzpatrick. That’s the beauty of Rivera’s plan, which involves Fitzpatrick getting the majority of reps with the first team while other quarterbacks like Heinicke rotate in with that unit as well. He’s going to have a chance.