Rahne applauds former Monarch Heinicke's competitiveness

Packers Commanders Football
Posted at 9:32 PM, Oct 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-24 21:32:32-04

NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Old Dominion head coach Ricky Rahne doesn't have much free time on Sundays. He's watching film from the day before and preparing for the upcoming week of practice, but when he knows Taylor Heinicke is playing, he makes it a point to at least see how the Commanders fare.

"I at least check out the score," Rahne said on Monday. "I think that's the only thing [Taylor] cares about, too, is what the score was and if his team won. I think I know him at least well enough from that perspective."

The former Old Dominion quarterback made his first start of 2022 for Washington on Sunday, rebounding from a slow start to lead the Commanders to a 23-21 victory over the Packers. Heinicke completed 20 of his 33 pass attempts for 201 yards, throwing for two touchdowns and one interception. After hitting on just one of his first seven attempts, he settled in and took control of the offense.

"I think he just once again showed that he's one of the best competitors, certainly that I've ever seen. You just watch him and he competes and it's pretty special to see," noted Rahne.

Heinicke picked up his first win of 2022 over his childhood favorite team. His father is a Wisconsin native and the ODU record-holder grew up cheering on Green Bay. The franchise has a personal connection to him as well.

"I grew up watching these guys," Heinicke said following Sunday's win. "My dad was born [in] Wisconsin and so the moment I was born I was deemed a cheese-head, grew up watching Brett Favre and that's the reason I started playing ball. [I] grew up watching Aaron Rodgers do his thing and one of my last fond memories of my father is watching the Super Bowl when the Packers beat the Steelers and Aaron Rodgers did his thing."

"When he retires and he gets to say that he's gone toe-to-toe with Brady and Aaron Rodgers and all these guys, that's a pretty sweet thing to say," Rahne said.

Heinicke's NFL success certainly isn't the worst thing for the Old Dominion program. The silver and blue gets mentioned every time the former Monarch takes the field, making him what Rahne calls "a walking billboard."

"They say ODU about 422 times when he's up there, so that's a pretty awesome thing to have our name keep coming up," the ODU head coach pointed out. "We've got guys in our program now that have talent to play in the NFL, so hopefully we can continue to put guys in the NFL, but each time those guys, they do well at the next level, it certainly doesn't hurt."

Heinicke owns pretty much every passing record for the Monarchs, including career passing yards (14,959), career passing touchdowns (132), single game passing yards (730), single game passing touchdowns (7), single-season passing yards (5,076) and single-season passing touchdowns (44). He set 36 school records during his college career and holds a handful of NCAA high-water marks as well. The former Monarch is one of just 20 Division I quarterbacks to have thrown for 10,000 yards and rushed for 1,000 yards.

The Commanders return to action on Sunday when they visit the Colts. Kickoff from Indianapolis is set for 4:25 PM.