1. Taylor Heinicke is an undertalented overachiever
While this may not at first glance appear to be a compliment bear with the reasoning for a moment if you will. Heinicke is far less talented than Desmond Ridder and many other starting and backups in this league.
What has made Heinicke so well-liked and given him consistent chances at starting over the last two seasons is how well he processes the game and his leadership. Heinicke doesn’t have one physical trait that wows you when you turn on the tape. What does is his continual effort, ability to read the field, and using his athleticism to create needed space to make plays or take what the defense gives him with his legs.
Heinicke is a far better quarterback than Marcus Mariota despite not having better arm talent or a better ability to scramble. Heinicke plays at a level that defies his talent speaking to the road he has taken throughout his career. He is the perfect player for Arthur Smith’s system and would have been a far better bridge option a year ago.