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BGO.C.D.: The Usual Suspects


The Commissioner
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Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC
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I’ve taken to calling John Beck 'Keyser Soze’. Up until last night, everyone had a story about him, but I couldn’t find anyone who’d actually ever...

After the first-half performances of the first two preseason games I've come to the conclusion that my earlier prediction of four wins is suspect.

I'm now stretching it to five.

Probably about right Chris. I'm cautiously encouraged by what I'm seeing, but we need to keep it real. We don't have starters really coming after the QB in the pre-season. We aren't seeing complex defenses, or true offensive packages.

That's why no matter how hard it is, we really need to temper judgments made based on pre-season games. Hard not to try and draw conclusions though.
I think the one thing that seems pretty clear based on the last few regular season games and this preseason is that McNabb was a bad fit and part of the problem. He never was able to execute like either Beck or Grossman.
Yep. You look at Beck and Grossman, neither of whom are even in the same universe as McNabb in terms of raw talent and experience, yet both appear more solid running the offense.

Bringing McNabb in was a serious gaffe. Good news is, we recognized it early, and despite Shanahan's reputation for believing he's never made a mistake, did something about it.
The problem I have with all this is the lack of a downfield passing game so far. When defenses actually start to, you know gameplan and scheme against us, they will stack the box to stop Hightower and Helu, and beg Beck to throw deep, until he proves he can do it.

Problem is, I don't see us unleashing the Beck-beast until the regular season. Shanahan seems content to allow Beck to dink and dunk and occassionally throw a mid range pass in the preseason; question is, is that so opposing D's won't know what Beck can do or what our playbook is, or because those plays don't fit Beck well? Hopefully, it's the former, otherwise, I fear it to be a long year.
Neither quarterback has a dynamic arm so my bet is the coaches are counting on Moss, Davis, Hightower and Helu to make short plays into big gainers. When the Skins are successful, There are going to be a lot of 11 and 12 play drives, with one big play that eats up 20-30 yards.
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Saw the same thread on ES, so I'm just going to copy and paste what I wrote there:

Originally Posted by Tarhog
I actually like this post a lot. Agreed with 90% of it. Only exception being the bash on Grossman throwing as many TDs as he did INTs. Technically, it's exactly correct. 40 career INTs to 40 career TDs thrown. But as we all know, how many TD passing opportunities one has is largely dependent on opportunities. Chicago, where most of Grossman's stats derive from, was hardly a passing QB mecca. TD passing % is a far more fair stat to look at. When looking at Grossman's career from that vantage point, he's statistically right there with lots of solid NFL QBs. He's equal to Kyle Orton, and just slightly worse than guys like David Garrard, Matt Hasselbeck, Joe Flacco, and Matt Schaub. So that's really another urban legend.

I can't argue with the fumbles - I'd agree that's a weakness for him.

1) Great blog post, Tarhog. I actually *just* saw the movie for the first time a few weeks ago. How I made it 27 years without it being spoiled is beyond me.

2) Aside from the great points that are going back and forth, like the quoted exchange between Tarhog and Skinsinparadise, is another major thing that only a few people seem to be seeing: We're having this discussion. We're discussing which quarterback is better among two quarterbacks who have played pretty well. When's the last time that this happened? Really, let's go back and look (I'm just picking 1999 since it's the beginning of the Snyder era and Gus was a pretty solid choice for a few years):

1999 - Brad Johnson versus Rodney Peete: No real contest here. Johnson was arguably the best quarterback we've had since Rypien.

2000 - Brad Johnson versus Jeff George: The first of many moments for the Snyder years. Arguably the watershed moment for the "Deadskins" moniker, a 7-4 Brad Johnson is replaced by Jeff George who comes in and, well, is Jeff George. At least he threw the ball really far during that 1-4 collapse.

2001 - Tony Banks versus Jeff George: Sigh. Tony Banks was our best quarterback. I know, he had a winning record, but Tony Banks? Seriously?

2002 - Shane Matthews versus Patrick Ramsey versus Danny Wuerffel:

2003 - Patrick Ramsey versus Tim Hasselbeck: At least Hasselbeck was something. Ramsey had some growing pains. Well, maybe not growing pains so much as Fun 'N Gun in the NFL pains. Nothing to write home about for our quarterback situation unless you're requesting a new quarterback situation.

2004 - Mark Brunell versus Patrick Ramsey: The first year back for Shanah-- err, Gibbs after inheriting what had become a complete mess made by two years with a rookie coach Zo--, err, Spurrier. Bring in a mobile quarterback who was able to do something before in Donov--, err, Mark Brunell. Yes, we had Ramsey, but he was the abused stepchild whose father ran out on him and Brunell had actually had some success in Jacksonville and cost us a third rounder, so go with Brunell.

2005 - Mark Brunell versus Patrick Ramsey: "Patrick Ramsey is our starting quarterback," is what we heard from Coach Gibbs. What we didn't hear was the last three words: ". . . for two series." One clothesline and in comes Brunell who throws for three field goals. The next week is the Monday Night Miracle and, well, Brunell has a 23 TD/10 INT season with a very underrated team that came a blown two-point conversion call from being the second seed in the conference.

2006 - Mark Brunell versus Jason Campbell: If it could go wrong, then it went wrong. Late in the season when we had already mailed it in, Campbell comes in. It's the Gibbs guy that we'd all been hoping for. Does he throw short? Oh, no, he's going deep and . . . Brandon Lloyd, a vaunted addition costing a third and fourth if I'm remembering correctly, warms us up for Albert Haynesworth by doing nothing with the pass. It was a sign of things to come.

2007 - Jason Campbell versus nobody and then Todd Collins: Campbell's our man for flashes in the pan until his kneecap takes a page from future quarterback Rex Grossman and says, "***** it, I'm going deep!" And successfully leaves where it's supposed to be. Collins comes in, lights it up for the rest of the season, and then craps out a few lame ducks in his playoff appearance.

2008 - Jason Campbell versus Todd Collins: Jason Campbell plays all 16 games. It looks good to start and then goes to crap. Again, not a battle of titans.

2009 - Jason Campbell versus Todd Collins: Like 2008 without the good start. Pretty sure that Hunter the Punter was our best passer that year.

2010 - Donovan McNabb versus "two-minute drill"/Rex Grossman: McNabb blows, Grossman actually does something productive and gives fans a glimmer of hope for at least a 2-14 season in 2011.

As you can see, we haven't had a discussion about who was the better quarterback; we've only had discussions about who wasn't as bad. So far, in our extremely limited sample size, Beck and Grossman have given us the problem of having two legitimately solid quarterbacks vying for a starting position. Neither is a world-beater by any length, but the "tank the season for a quarterback" has let up a lot, and that's really saying something.
Nice post, NC. Having said that, if you could refrain from reminding me about the Brad Johnson/Jeff George nightmare in teh future, that'd be great. God, I hated that year.

I have said it in other threads and I'll say it here. System is so important in the NFL, but all anyone ever focuses on are the measurables talent provides. It is possible that this system fits Rex and Beck better than any other system they have been in to date. I don't necessarily agree with your premise that we have two very, very good QBs from which to choose talent-wise; however, it is possible that we may have two very, very good QBs from which to choose because they fit the system well.

Time will tell, I suppose.
Someone over on the other board posted a Super Bowl stat that was quite the eye opener. It clearly stated that many SB winning QBs have been late first round picks or lower - in some cases, much lower. It really demonstrated how we really don't need to "Suck For Luck" or have "Groans for Jones" (hey, it rhymes - ok?).

It's nice to see that Beck had a good game and by all appearances, he can do well in this offense. Ditto for Rex. It's a good luxury to have two QBs who know the system and can operate it in an efficient manner.

That being said, we will need to address QB in the next draft. As stated in the blog by Boone, Coach Shanahan knows more than us when it comes to football knowledge. We're armchair coaches who have strong opinions - sometimes we nail it and sometimes we look like incompetent morons. That is why Coach is making $7 million a year and we are hopeless wannabes. The QB project that we choose next year could be a big name prospect, but don't be surprised if it is someone else and the Shanahans prove that it is the right choice.

In the meantime - doesn't it feel good to know that we have two QBs who know the system and could thrive in it? Would it be a surprise to see the Redskins carry just two QBs on the roster this season? I'm thinking that is what will happen.

On to the Thursday night game against the Ravens. That will be a stern test - a stern test that is needed.
Neither quarterback has a dynamic arm so my bet is the coaches are counting on Moss, Davis, Hightower and Helu to make short plays into big gainers. When the Skins are successful, There are going to be a lot of 11 and 12 play drives, with one big play that eats up 20-30 yards.
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