If Taylor Heinicke's scouting ability matches his diving-for-the-pylon-in-the-end-zone ability, then the Washington Football Team is going to love its major free agent addition at wide receiver.
While doing an interview with Chris Russell and Pete Medhurst of The Team 980 on Tuesday, Heinicke was asked for his take on Curtis Samuel. The two overlapped for a bit in Carolina, meaning Heinicke had some time to gather serious intel on the player that the Burgundy and Gold handed a pricey contract to earlier this offseason.
Heinicke first started off with Samuel's top physical trait.
"You see it on film," he said. "The guy's fast. He's probably one of the fastest guys in the league."
Heinicke impressed fans with his accuracy against the Bucs in the NFC Wild Card round, and he was just as on point with his assessment there. Now, to be fair, it doesn't take a savant to watch Samuel play and conclude that he moves quicker than essentially any other person in the NFL or on the planet for that matter, but still, the QB was correct to point that out.
Heinicke continued from there.
"The guy's an astonishing player, and again, when the ball's in his hands, it's really exciting," he said. "You just never know what's going to happen. He can take a five-yard hitch and run it for 80 yards for a touchdown, you can hand him the ball and he'll make five people miss and get the first down."
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Scintillating first downs and game-changing touchdowns? Yep, there should be room for those every Sunday on Ron Rivera's club. The coach ought to be able to find a place for those types of contributions.
Yes, there are skeptics out there who wonder if Washington overpaid for the former Panther and who question if Rivera's staff, which had Samuel on its side in Carolina but watched him really take off once it departed, can maximize his talents now that it's working with him again.
Judging by Heinicke's thoughts, however, getting the most from Samuel financially and in terms of production sounds pretty easy: All you have to do is put the oblong thing in his hands one way or another and then pay attention to what he does with it.
"He's a very dynamic player and we're all excited to have him," Heinicke said.