Taylor Heinicke impressed Mike Zimmer with toughness


Mike Zimmer knows one thing about Taylor Heinicke: the man can take a hit.

Heinicke took more than his share of shots from Titans defensive scrubs Thursday night and the rookie UDFA out of Old Dominion just kept picking himself up and playing on.

And believe me, Zimmer noticed (via Vikings.com):

"Well he got hit…he’s tough now. He’s a tough kid. He hung in there, got back in control of the offense, made some good throws. Some good throws in the two-minute drill in the end. There’s a lot of things that happen throughout the course of the game that he showed he’s got something to him."

Heinicke finished the game with 279 yards on 27-of-41 passing and also added two rushes for 21 yards.

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The rookie’s decision-making was solid all night, granted against pretty basic coverages. He showed the ability to spread the ball around, hitting a variety of receivers. He also threw one decent deep ball to Stefon Diggs that just missed being a huge play.

Heinicke also showed calmness and command during the two-minute drill, nearly leading the Vikings down for a score late in the game when they were behind by a TD.

And the rookie did all of this despite a pretty relentless pass rush from the Titans, whose defenders had little problem getting past David Yankey, Bobby Vardaro, Babatunde Aiyegbusi and the rest of the Vikings’ second- and third-line offensive linemen.

As much as we (and Zim) learned about Heinicke and his scrappiness, we learned even more about the lack of depth on the O-line. The Vikings will certainly be scouring the waiver wire once final cuts are announced on Saturday.

The Vikings won’t have much to choose from on the wire in terms of top talent but hopefully they can pick up a veteran swing tackle they can trust in a pinch.

Who wants David Yankey out there blocking for Teddy Bridgewater if God forbid something should happen to a starting tackle? Yeah, Matt Kalil doesn’t seem so bad now does he?

It’s one thing to watch Taylor Heinicke take shot-after-shot from defenders, but it’s quite another to watch it happen to Teddy.

We know Bridgewater has some toughness to him as well, but let’s hope we never have to see a demonstration of that toughness like the one Heinicke was forced to put on Thursday night.

Next: Stefon Diggs saves Cordarrelle Patterson

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