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Redskins Journal: How Does John Beck Fit Into the Redskins' QB Search?

Lanky Livingston

As draft analysts wonder whether the Redskins will select a quarterback in the first 41 picks and let him develop on the sidelines for a few years, it’s easy to envision John Beck in the back of the room with his hand raised.

“Um, excuse me, I’m a top-41 quarterback who has spent the last three-plus seasons learning from the sideline. And I’m under contract and ready to go.”

Beck seems to have been forgotten as a possible solution for the Redskins’ quarterback dilemma. However, it appears that he is the only quarterback working with teammates at their informal minicamp, which begins today.

Donovan McNabb is not participating in the practices, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Of course, some players will stay away because injuries suffered during this unofficial minicamp are considered non-football injuries. Players essentially are practicing and attempting to build camaraderie at their own risk. However, these practices were organized by team captains—of which McNabb is one—yet he is not there. If you needed any more evidence that he’s not going to be a contributing member of the Redskins in 2011, here you go.

Beck is Washington’s only other quarterback under contract for next season. He is at the informal minicamp, I’m told, and undoubtedly recognizes the opportunity in front of him.

He is an intriguing option when you think about it. Truth is, we don’t really know what he can do.

Mike and Kyle Shanahan both liked Beck coming out of BYU in 2007, the year the Miami Dolphins drafted him 40th overall. He lost all four starts his rookie season, as the Dolphins went 1-15. He hasn’t played a regular-season game since.

Head coach Cam Cameron was fired after the 1-15 season, and the organization quickly gave up on Beck under new coach Tony Sparano. Beck re-united with Cameron in Baltimore in 2009 after the Dolphins released him, and he was traded to Washington last summer.

Beck, who turns 30 in August, played for the Redskins last preseason, but it’s unfair to judge him mere days into the process of learning a new offense. He spent all but two weeks last season running scout team plays in practice.

Click link for the rest of the article.
It would be quite a story for Beck to be able to emerge and contribute here in DC. By all accounts he’s smart, has a decent arm and is a good decision maker. I agree that it’s not fair to judge his NFL value solely based on a couple of starts for a very bad team in Miami and one pre season here. He seems to fit the mold for a WCO type of QB. That’s probably why he’s here.

That said there are some realities that have to be faced when we look at John Beck. First off he’ll be 30 years old at the start of the season. That’s not too old (I hope for my sake) but its old when you talk about a guy who has never gone into a season as a number one starter for any team. Miami didn’t think he had a future with them and they essentially had no one waiting in the wings. If they thought he was good enough to become “the man” they would have given him more time I think. I realize there were other factors at work in Miami once Parcells came into the picture but still, it raises questions. They didn’t even want to keep him around as a backup for Chad “Mr. Glass” Pennington.

The Ravens didn’t want him either. Yes I know Flaco is the starter there but I don’t think I’d call him elite. Beck would seem like a cheap insurance policy there. Nope, they traded him, and to us no less.

Everyone loves the idea of the back-up QB. Who wouldn’t want to see Beck as the dark horse coming from nowhere to lead the team to glory? I hope he can be that guy. Truth is that hardly ever happens outside of the movies and I don’t expect it to happen here. We’ll see though. I’ve been wrong before. I think Grossman still has to be the odds on favorite to start the season even if we draft someone. One way or another if we don’t get some stability and consistent play at QB this team is going to be bad again next season regardless of what other pieces we add.
great question! we'll have a better idea following the draft.
Schefter actually addressed this just a few minutes ago. The Redskins apparently compared Beck to all of the QBs available in this year's draft and graded Beck higher.
Just sayin'.


Kyle Shanahan has raved about the signal caller since he came out of BYU and the Miami Dolphins selected him in the second round of the 2007 draft.

"He was just as good a quarterback as there was in the draft," Shanahan said of Beck, who was the fourth quarterback taken, behind JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, and Kevin Kolb. "He's a very pure, good passer. And he can also run around and make plays. He reminded me of Rich Gannon, with the way he played in college."
That's all well and good. But Beck should also be treated like a rookie. He's got exactly 4 more NFL games under his belt than these brand new draftees do. He's essentially in the same position as a rookie who has been sitting on the bench for a year holding a clipboard.

That's not to say everything Shanahan says here isn't exactly right. God knows, if he does get a chance, I hope it is. But he hasn't done a thing in an NFL game so far. He's totally unproven. We also heard glowing praise of McNabb when Shanahan decided to bring him to DC. Let's face it - everybody loves the backup, even the coaches, until they get in there. So I'll reserve my enthusiasm for Beck until I have a reason to believe he can be that guy.
I think that we can at least feel confident that they consider Beck better for their offense than anyone they could have drafted this year. So if you were going to get excited about anyone the Redskins drafted at QB, at least that same level of excitement should be applied to Beck. :)
I do buy that SNF. Beck got thrown into the fray out of sheer necessity on a horrible 1-15 Miami team. Jesus couldn't have carried that team to wins. And if the Shanahan's decide to give him the reigns, I'll be excited for him. He's waited for another opportunity under better circumstances. I just really have no idea what we have in him beyond his BYU days.

He is an Eagle Scout. That's got to count for something :cheers:
Personally I like the restraint. If you don't think the guy you could draft is better than the guy you already have, go in another direction with the pick. Smart move.

As a fan, ending up with Grossman and a guy who is already 30, hasn't shown a thing in his few years in the league and has basically been cast off by two other teams already is a major disappointment. But if it is clicking for Beck in this offense, that will be fun. We didn't get to see him run it, since he came to the Skins too late to have learned it before his pre-season opportunities.

We'll have to see what they do if FA and trading ever open up as well. The long term QB for the Redskins is very possibly not on the roster and won't be this year, but it sounds like that's based on what was available in this year's QB draft class. Better to have high round starter at another position for years than a high round QB who ultimately won't be in your future plans.

Beck! Beck! Beck! Beck! :)
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I really do hope Beck is the guy - what a coups that would be!

In all honesty....I'm laughing more than anything else. In my heart of hearts I know Rex isn't anywhere near what is needed. to be blunt....I think Rex is a F-up under pressure. And pressure is what you face once the going counts in the playoffs or end of season games where wild card or division position is in the balance. And all of sudden endorsements for a guy they didn't even play last season? smells fishy to me. I think they have a huge problem and they know it. but.....there have been late bloomer QB story-lines in the NFL before...let's hope we luck into one of them.....so that we can focus on restoring the o-line.

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