Joe Judge, the New York Giants sophomore head coach, is not lightly preparing his team for the divisional clash against Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Football Team.
Heinicke is an undrafted 28-year-old player. He played for the Minnesota Vikings (2015-2017), New England Patriots (2017, practice squad only), Houston Texans (2017), Carolina Panthers (2018), St. Louis BattleHawks (2019 in the XFL), and he has been with the Washington Football Team since last year.
Heinicke’s not-at-all consolidated career may suggest an easy win for Judge’s Giants in the Thursday Night game, but that is not what the HC thinks.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for this guy as a player,” Judge told reporters on Monday. “Seeing this guy out there on the field, he’s going to be a challenge for us.”
Joe Judge on the Heinicke-Fitzpatrick comparison
Heinicke will start his second game for the Washington Football Team. And for the second time, he gets the starting role because of an injury.
Last season, in the wildcard playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the QB started after Alex Smith’s injury. Now, Ryan Fitzpatrick and a hip injury give Heinicke the QB1 status.
“I’d say with Heinicke, to me obviously, it’s not the same guy, but there’s a lot of the same characteristics,” Judge compared. “I think you can get a little of a gunslinger in both these guys and I don’t say that in an insulting way. I say that in a very complimentary way.”
Joe Judge on Heinicke’s playing characteristics
“He’s a guy that can go out there and can really function and operate and think outside the box, extend plays, be creative within the system. Obviously, he’s been very competitive in all the games he’s been in.”
Joe Judge went on in his Monday interview, “He’s a competitor, and he’s going to look for ways to extend plays and get the ball downfield to their receivers,” Judge said.
New York Giants @ Washington Football Team
Joe Judge’s Giants lost their opening game 27-13 to the Denver Broncos. The Washington Football Team also lost their first game, 20-16 Los Angeles Chargers.
After Fitzpatrick’s hip injury, Heinicke was thrust into action and finished the game with 15 passes attempted, 11 completed for 122 yards and one touchdown. He also ran three times and gained 17 yards, 5.7 on average.
The performance wasn’t enough for his team to avoid defeat. But like his game against the Buccaneers, a win seemed possible.
Joe Judge is right in getting anxious about facing Heinicke.