FULL VIDEO EPISODE: Blake Bortles Saved Taylor Heinicke's Football Career
On today's Pardon My Take... TAYLOR HEINICKE! The Washington Commanders Quarterback joined Mr. Cat and Mr. Commenter on today's show to discuss the new team name (this was recorded before the Commanders name was announced), his relationship with Ryan Fitzpatrick, the ups and downs of this past season, and much more. Heinicke also told an awesome story on how Blake Bortles played a role in getting today's guest back on a NFL roster. It seems like it wouldn't make much sense, but let Heinicke explain:
Mr. Cat: I was reading some stories about you and you were admittedly, you said you were kind of close to like being done with football. How real close were you? Because I'm sure that's obviously a very hard decision. You played football all your life. You've been on some NFL teams, XFL. Was it really like, "Oh man, if I don't get picked up here, it's over?"
Taylor Heinicke: Yeah, and it was a really tough time. So, you know, obviously, we're in the XFL, COVID, you know, canceled all that. So, I'm going home and I'm thinking, "What am I going to do now?" And you know, I called Coach Scott Turner, our OC, and asked him if he has any coaching positions open. He said "You've got to go finish school first." So, I came back down to Georgia, started taking online classes, I was living with my sister at the time, you know, living on her couch and sitting there just watching football... maybe an injury happens, maybe some COVID stuff happens, maybe I'll get a call. And I think it was Week 10 or 11, and I still haven't got a call. And I was like, you know what? I might have to start looking for that next chapter in life. And sure enough, remember when Denver had all those quarterbacks go down and had the receiving one...Mr. Cat: Yes.
Mr. Commenter: Blake Bortles, yeah.
Taylor Heinicke: Yeah, that's the only reason Washington called me up just to get an emergency COVID quarterback just in case that happened.
Mr. Cat: So, Blake Bortles kept you in football.
Taylor Heinicke: Pretty much.Mr. Commenter: Yeah, domino effect, verbal meme - Blake Bortles being in a room with the other quarterbacks without a mask on … Taylor Heinicke covers in a playoff game against Tom Brady.
Taylor Heinicke: Yeah, so it was wild, man. And then, you know, obviously some things happened with [Dwayne] Haskins and Alex Smith, and there I am playing Brady in the playoffs. So, it was a wild ride.
Mr. Cat: That's awesome, shout out Blake.
Well, there you have it, folks. If it weren't for Blake Bortles, Taylor Heinicke would not have gotten a shot at living out his dream as a starting quarterback in the NFL. There are only 32 of them in the entire world, and Heinicke made the cut thanks to the BOAT himself.