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OF: Redskins vs Ravens Spotlight: Beck and Big Men


Burgundy & Gold Jacket
Staff member
BGO Ownership Group
Apr 11, 2009
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Montclair, VA
Time to get out front on the whole Beck vs Grossman thing. Seems only fair to do it before tonight's meeting with the Baltimore Ravens.

I will not denigrate Rex Grossman. He has more than earned respect in this town—or should have—for both his on- and off- field performance as a Redskin. But the truth is, if I’m coaching against the Redskins offense this season, my preference is to defend Rex Grossman over John Beck.

Why? Because I know where Rex is going to be. Because I feel confident that if I can take away his first option more often than not, and force him to move, re-load, improvise, I stand a pretty good chance of forcing errors. Of creating that one key errant pass, logging that one key sack, and, given his proven penchant for losing control of the ball when hit, creating that game-altering turnover.

Yes, Rex Grossman is going to challenge me down the field. Particularly if his first option comes open. But over the course of a game, I like my chances of keeping him generally under control, and more importantly, generating that crucial turnover if I can take away his first option and apply consistent pressure.

Beck, meanwhile, is the kind of opposing quarterback that drives me to distraction.

You can have the perfect defense called. You can break a pass rusher clean. You can have the man dead to rights and in the cross-hairs for a crunching sack ... only to see him whip a siderarm dart out of traffic with that quick-trigger release. Or sidestep a pass rusher, drift into open space and go downfield quickly and accurately.

A guy like Beck will throw off his back foot, drifting sideways, at full gallop—from any platform—and find a receiver operating outside the confines of the initial play call and improvising on the run as well.

It's a morale-killer.

If the John Beck we saw against the Indianapolis Colts last week is any indication...

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And no, for those of you already reaching for your keyboards, I am not suggesting John Beck is the new Joe Theismann. What I am suggesting is this:

Dang it! I was halfway poised over the keys -

Of the two, I much prefer Beck because Rex has shown me as well what he can, and also cannot bring to the table. With Beck I can dream. Hopefully that doesn't twist its way into a nightmare as the season unfolds, because I believe Shanny makes him our starter over Rex. Don't know why. I just do.
After watching the Colts game, I think John Beck is the better quarterback. His technique looked more sound, his decisions came faster, and his accuracy was pretty crisp. I'd like to see some deep tosses from Beck this week, but what I've seen so far was pretty good. He's also surprisingly mobile - dude can run! He's not going to light the field on fire with his feet, but he can turn a busted play into a 10-yard scamper for sure.

EDIT: It will be interesting to see what he can do in the regular season, when defenses aren't so vanilla. The Giants & their pass-rush will be a huge test. They will disguise coverages, hide blitzers, and make life very confusing for Becks - we shall see what happens and how he handles it.
@ Lanky

He (Beck) definitely has the better upside. But I am worried about his breakdown. It seemed to me he was misreading the blocking schemes. I'm sorry I don't have specific examples. I'm just worried he could get himself into trouble.

But I'd give him the starts if for nothing else than being "just as good" AND for organizing those lockout period git-tagethas.
Been trying to pin down what it is about Beck the other night that jumped out at me. The zip on the ball was nice. The timing was there. The accuracy was good. The mobility was refreshing. But all of those are tangibles. And it can be argued Rex was pretty good in those areas too, and even managed to add a couple deeper passes.

I think I may be close to boiling it all down to one thing though (I mean besides that I'd rather defend a guy like Rex than I guy like I think Beck might become):

It looks like the game isn't moving too fast for him, even in his first action. Like he's dictating the pace within each play, rather than the other way around. Rex shows that too sometimes, but not once the plays break down. At least not consistently.

It LOOKS to me like Beck is under control and one step ahead of the action, even when being sacked. Which may explain the ball-security issue when hit that Rex suffers.

Anyway, not a Theory so much as a hypothesis. We'll get another sample to weigh as evidence soon enough.
Om, I completely agree. Rex almost looks anxious out there - the same kind of feeling I got when Jason Campbell dropped back.

With Beck, you almost start to think he was panicking and then ZIP - 19-yard bullet to the chest of Stallworth. He looked good!
He (Beck) definitely has the better upside. But I am worried about his breakdown. It seemed to me he was misreading the blocking schemes. I'm sorry I don't have specific examples. I'm just worried he could get himself into trouble.

Without examples, I'm not 100% sure what you're talking about. His breakdown? You mean, when the pocket collapses and he scampers?
Essentially, Rex has always struck me as the type of quarterback that has a ceiling in terms of success that he can achieve.

With John, I believe there is more upside...the ceiling is higher.

The sense of the unknown that remains with John (due to lack of playing time) keeps me hopeful that he can reach levels that we know are out of reach for Grossman.
I just don't see the same thing you guys do. John Beck has not shown me that he is confident in the pocket. Everything I have seen has shown me the opposite, even the first half against the Colts and I watched it twice. He was solid, but still looked scared in the pocket.
Pretty weird, El. I read it completely opposite. I saw quick, decisive, on rhythm. Not saying I'm right and you're wrong, just that I for the life of me can't figure how you'd deduce "scared" from anything he either did or didn't do.
You mean, when the pocket collapses and he scampers?

Among other things, yeah. The pocket is going to collapse. Depending on the D look, it's designed to break a particular way. Now, was Beck having to scamper because he didn't read the protection properly? That's what I have to answer this week - it should be evident against Balmer in the early series.

This was Campbell's biggest problem imo. Part of his "no time" issue was that he didn't understand where his actualy protection was in the blocking scheme.
Killed us week after week.
Pretty weird, El. I read it completely opposite. I saw quick, decisive, on rhythm. Not saying I'm right and you're wrong, just that I for the life of me can't figure how you'd deduce "scared" from anything he either did or didn't do.

The very thing I think you are excited to see from him, the ability to scramble, may have been the thing that made me see him as scared. It seemed like he was too quick to get out of the pocket at the first hint of pressure. Maybe some of that was by design, but he did not look as confident standing in the pocket, going through his progressions and hitting anything other than the outlet receiver to me as Rex.

I have to admit, I am also going off what I saw from him early in the pre-season practice I attended so I was looking for that in him. I just didn't feel as confident that Beck was comfortable in the pocket. He reminded me of Jason Campbell a little in that he got happy feet. Again, maybe that was by design, I don't know enough.
Jaws has reported in an interview I listened to this afternoon on 980 that Grossman will start the game, then Beck will come in. He claims they will flip flop a few series at a time each throughout the first half. Apparently the Ravens starters are playing on defense well into the third quarter. It looks as though Mike wants to evaluate both these guys against the same level of competition. This line of thinking makes sense, but it definitely also presents more of a challenge to the QBs in terms of establishing a rhythm tonight. I really think that the decision to flip-flop these guys tonight shows that this competition is truly coming down to the wire.
Om said:
No team has gotten more mileage over the past decade out of a reputation for physicality on the lines than the Poe boys. Seeing these new Redskins go toe-to-toe in the trenches with that group, and hold their own, would go a long way to convincing this admittedly intriuged, but still skeptical, Redskins fan, that things may finally be turning around.

mmmm...po boy...


Oh wait, you said Poe Boy, I get it now,


It must be dinner time, my mind is somewhere else.

I'll be happy if the Redskins' line holds up and Beck and/or Grossman don't look like their running for their lives and the running game has some room.

Even though it is just a preseason game I think this one will give us a good indication of how the team will fare in the trenches this year.
I rewatched the game Sunday night and I'll confess, I thought Beck looked better the 2nd watching...I'm trying to keep an open mind. Still give Rex the nod, but it's pretty close any way you cut it.

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