If John Beck won’t stand up for himself and make the clear case that he should be QB1 for the Washington Redskins, I’ll do it for him, because there’s absolutely no reason that Rex Grossman should get the opportunity ahead of him.
Mike Wise wrote an article for the Washington Post (8/28/11) about the “Rex and Becks” battle for the position to start at Quarterback for the Washington Redskins, and the quotes from Beck in the article are frustrating.
Thus far, Beck is acknowledging that he wants to be the starting QB for the team, but the fire with which he showed his convictions during the lockout – before Rex Grossman was signed to a 1 year contract to remain with the team – has been replaced with a polite, empathetic perspective.
“Everybody wants to portray this like we’re not talking to each other in meetings, we’re not talking to each other on the field, because that whole rivalry thing sounds cool, but I can remember last year during the season, watching tape together, talking about our roads, what we’ve been through. I’m thinking ‘Hey, he’s trying to be a starter.’ I remember him talking like, ‘I’ve gone to a Super Bowl with a team – and now I’m a backup and I’m trying to become a starter again.’ So I know he’s probably got the same chip on his shoulder.”
“The best way I can explain it is, we know what each other has been through, you know what it’s like trying to be the guy to succeed, but each of us want to be the guy.”
Rex Grossman had his chance in Chicago. He “helped” guide the Bears to the 2006 Super Bowl despite turning the ball over more times than he threw for touchdowns that season (23 touchdowns to 25 turnovers – 20 interceptions and 5 fumbles). The next season, he only started 8 games for the Bears, then 4 starts in 2008 before he went to the Texans in 2009. Grossman is in Washington because he learned Kyle Shanahan’s system in Houston and could fill in as an adequate replacement if an on-field injury created a need.
John Beck never got a chance like that, which is why it’s so surprising he’s not putting up more of a fight now. He was drafted by the Dolphins in 2007 and saw on-field action after starter Trent Green went on IR after suffering a concussion and QB2 Cleo Lemon proved to be an inadequate replacement. Beck had to deal with facing the ever-tough Eagles, Steelers and a trip to London during the 4 starts he was given that season, one in which the Dolphins amassed a historically-bad record of 1-15, and he never played another game for the Dolphins after that. The following season Miami would completely re-tool after bringing in Bill Parcells to turn around the team.
Looking at a 30 year-old QB who had a rough start to his NFL career on a woeful team and is now looking for resurgence with a new team, with his mobility and the nice-guy attitude… I’m forced to consider the case of Steve Young. Also a graduate of Bringham Young University, Young was the same age as Beck when he took over the reigns for the 49ers. He had a rough start, but after getting through that first season of ups and downs, Steve Young became a Hall Of Fame quarterback.
There’s no reason to think that John Beck is somehow a Steve Young in the making, but critics shouldn’t point to the first part of Beck’s career and his age in an attempt to say what he can’t accomplish.
That said, the Washington Redskins don’t NEED John Beck to become Steve Young in order for John Beck to be the right option to be the starting QB of the team. He doesn’t need to be a perennial Pro Bowl QB like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees or even Ben Roethlisberger. If he is able to manage the game as well as Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Matt Cassel, Chad Pennington or even Tavaris Jackson, that could be good enough to go to the playoffs. Each of those guys have lead their teams to the post season in the past couple of years.
There is plenty of game film on Rex Grossman to know what he’s going to give on the field. He turns over the ball roughly the same amount of times he’s going to get you to the end zone. At this point, if he and John Beck look to be offering the same value, then Beck needs to be the choice. He deserves the chance to grow as a quarterback in the NFL, and Redskins fans deserve the right to see him mature into a quality NFL quarterback. Rex Grossman has already become the type of QB he’s capable of being, and the Redskins have a better option on their roster.
If the team starts with Beck and halfway through the season he is clearly not the answer, Rex Grossman is still just as motivated and ready to get onto the field as he is right now. If John Beck is passed up for the opportunity right now, his confidence won’t be as high if he’s called to step up in November to replace Grossman, so he’d be less capable to lead the team at that point than he is now.
The choice is clear.The right choice is John Beck.