Seriously…John Beck?

July 25, 2011

The Situation: So the skins that I have grown to expect the worst from, have done it again. John Beck has been named the starter. Not just that, he has no apparent competition either. Rex Grossman is on the roster with him, but he is there for moral support apparently. Consider him the Kleenex box to our cries of ‘why?’

Normally I would say that our Redskins don’t care about winning but if you look closely, you’ll see its actually the opposite.  For over a decade now, Dan Snyder has been playing fantasy football with his boyhood team. But I think if he came out today and declared to be a closet Giants fan, not one person in DC would be surprised.

With moves that included (an old) Deion Sanders, (an old) Bruce Smith, (an old) Donovan McNabb, (an old…but still successful) Joe Gibbs….u get where I am goin with this?  He finally made one good decision and that was paying (an old) Mike Shanahan a wad of cash to bring his son Kyle in to light a fire under someone hinepots!  Little did we know those hinepots would be smooth, young,and Mormon as well.

The player:  John Beck was drafted from a terrible class that includes Jamarcus Russell, Drew Stanton and Brady Quinn going before him. All have flamed out extravagantly and probably have a better chance of writing a hit children’s book, than they do becoming a starting qb in the NFL again.  Beck on the other hand got his chance in Miami to start his rookie season after taking over in week 11. He struggled his rookie season throwing for only one TD and three INTs, with all three INTs coming in a blowout against the Jets.

Miami then started selling minority stake to celebrities and brought in Bill Parcells in to help out. That combined with the splitting of reps between the hanging Chads, Pennington and Henne left little room for Beck to show his stuff.  He was even placed behind wildcat quarterback, Ronnie Brown.

Therefore, he flopped (like a fish…get it?) out of Miami and landed in good Ol Bawlmore! Where his old coach Cam Cameron picked him to stand behind unibrow boy wonder, Joe Flacco.  Shanahan continued to have wet dreams about the tough kid that he didn’t draft in Denver and saw a chance to send an awful Doug Dutch away to Bawlmore. He spent two years there and didn’t play at all until he was traded to Warshington where he sat behind Rex Grossman and Donovan McNubbs.

When he was drafted, many pegged Beck as being too short and being too raw to play in the NFL.  The stormin’ mormon actually reminded me of top draft pick Steve Young in the way he played in college.  He was tough as nails, quicker than he appeared and had the quickest realease of any QB in the draft.  He’s the type of QB that is better on the run making plays, and not phased by pressure.  He is better than Ty Detmer and Koy Detmer, the former of which was a Heisman trophy winner, but his stats were padded by being in a shotgun spread type of offense.  Much like a lot of the western college QB and every Texas Tech or Hawaii QB  to come out of college in the past 10 years.

Below are his stats for College and while at Miami


Rk G Cmp Att Yds TD Int Y/A Cmp% Rate Y/G
2 John Beck 8 73 145 864 5 5 6.0 50.3 104.9 108.0
3 John Beck 11 192 343 2563 15 8 7.5 56.0 128.5 233.0
3 John Beck 12 331 513 3709 27 13 7.2 64.5 137.6 309.1
3 John Beck 12 289 417 3885 32 8 9.3 69.3 169.1 323.8
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 7/19/2011.
Miami Dolphins
Rk Year G# Opp Result Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int
1 2007 10 @ PHI L 7-17 9 22 40.9% 109 0 0
2 2007 11 @ PIT L 0-3 14 23 60.9% 132 0 0
3 2007 12 NYJ L 13-40 23 39 59.0% 177 0 3
4 2007 13 @ BUF L 17-38 1 2 50.0% 6 0 0
5 2007 16 CIN L 25-38 13 21 61.9% 135 1 0
60 107 56.1% 559 1 3
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/19/2011.
Every throw from his first game.


In the video above, he makes some very quick reads.  Lightning fast even and most are correct.  I only saw one bad read on the fade down the sideline that almost got picked.  I did see about 10 bad throws though that were mostly unprovoked, which isn’t good.  Many should have been completions, but his release is so quick that it’s inconsistent and awkward but that could have been because of his rookie nerves as well. He took chances down field a lot but had a lot of trouble with shorter throws.  This is troubling given our TEs being our strength, but his footwork has a lot to do with that.

His inconsistency can also be attributed to his poor footwork. This can be a hard habit to break, but he’s had 4 years to break it.  Who knows if he has yet or not.  7 step drops took 14 steps….he’s got a case of the pitter patters!  That drives QB coaches crazy, but if you make throws, they can look past it. His foot speed helps him quite a bit in escaping pressure though.  In his first start, he didn’t get sacked which is great being on that awful team.    7 step drops took 14 steps….he’s got a case of the pitter patters!  That drives QB coaches crazy, but if you make throws, they can look past it.

Looking at his stats, they weren’t gaudy by any stretch but that was a product of the system.  They were primarily a run first team so seeing 25+ attempts per game were a rarity to say the least. In his 5 games in Miami he had to deal with being under-prepared by an overwhelmed head coach, a putrid O-line (of which most are out of football or in the UFL), and a 4th string RB.  The WR position was so shallow, that a glorified Kick returner was starting. To say the least, he was not given a fair chance to display his skills and after going from throwing the ball 35+times per game in college to less than 25 and running for your life can be a huge dagger to your confidence and rhythm as a rookie QB.

In college, the best thing is that he got better every year.  That is more than many first round QBs can say.  He learned a new system as a 24 year old Junior and thrived immediately throwing for 1200 more yards and 12 more touchdowns.  He followed that successful campaign with another even more successful one throwing only 8 INTs for the season against 32 touchdowns. He also finished with the second highest passer rating in the nation in front of Jamarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy and others.  Colt Brennan was the only player to have a higher rating in a weaker conference with a complete spread eagle offense.

Prediction and Comparison: I don’t see him being the next Steve Young, nor the next David Carr.  I see him at best being the next Matt Schaub if given a chance.  Schaub pretty much played 2nd fiddle for his first 4 years and got a chance to start and did very well.  In the last two years he’s thrown for over 9000 yards in two different offensive schemes with no TE, and a dynamic running game.  At worst, Beck will become

Finale: So what’s my main take from this whole John Beck era that’s upcoming.  I like it.  No actually, I love it.  I love the fact that they are backing a kid grown man who they have faith in to be the next starter.  I don’t care if he fails really.  I just want a season without drama and a season where we don’t underachieve.  With an inexperienced QB, there are no playoff/Super Bowl aspirations.   Don’t me wrong, it could happen, but probably won’t.

I have seen videos of this kid taking his team on his shoulders and winning on final plays.  I have seen videos of Beck juking out defenders and lowering his head for an extra yard or three.  Even lowering his head into punishing blows that leave him unconscious.  I’ve seen the stats of what he could do when given a chance.  It’s unfair to him that he hasn’t had a chance since 2007.  He doesn’t have any health or character issues.  In fact, he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain in a system that probably reminds him a lot of what he used to do at BYU.

Oh yeah,  and then there’s Mrs. Beck!