Every year, the quarterback competitions are well known. In Washington, there’s still reason to believe that there’s a quarterback competition that has yet to land on the national radar.
Coach Ron Rivera has not officially named Ryan Fitzpatrick the Week One starter. On Thursday, Rivera explained to reporters that he’ll reveal the decision at the right time.
“There’ll be a proper moment when I sit down and talk about the guys that are going to start for this team, but that’ll be a moment for us, for the team,” Rivera said. “I like to do that. I like to let the guys know who is our starter. I think that’s important. I’ve been in some situations and it was Cam Newton‘s first year and when it was time I got in front of the team and told him he was going to be our guy. I think that’s something that I need to tell everybody as opposed to it leaking out.”
For Fitzpatrick, it’s not a matter of anything leaking. It’s presumed he’s the guy. But maybe Rivera is thinking about riding with Taylor Heinecke, who played very well in the 2020 playoffs against the Buccaneers.
Of course, Heinecke played that game with a reckless abandon that surely wouldn’t be sustainable for 17 regular-season games. Still, there’s an argument to be made for riding him as long as he can go, and then using Fitzpatrick if/when Heinecke is injured.
The problem with Fitzpatrick is that, on multiple occasions throughout his career, the bottom drops out just at the moment where it’s widely believed he has arrived. If he can perform more consistently at a high level, he can help Washington get back to the playoffs and may win a game or two in the postseason.
There’s still no reason to believe that Fitzpatrick is in serious danger of not being the Week One starter. Still, until Rivera names a starter, there’s always a chance that Rivera will choose Heinecke instead.