Who is John Beck?
When I first started dating my now wife, my mother in law had a “Who is John Galt” sticker on her car. I remember asking her, just who is this John Galt? And why would she put the bumper sticker on her car. She told me it was from a book she read Atlas Shrugged, and to me that was that. I didn’t really give a flying monkey for who John Galt was anymore.
Today I find myself asking “Who is John Beck?” I mean we all know he is the punching bag of the national media, and apparently is ready to lead the Redskins right into the arms of Andrew Luck. But, really, who is he? I did a little digging and what I found honestly shocked me.
Believe it or not, Beck had impressive career at BYU. He was ranked by ESPN as the Number 2 quarterback in the nation going into his senior year, seriously (even though they are absolutely KILLING the guy right now). Beck’s senior stats absolutely solid. His QB rating of 116.3 and a 69% accuracy along with putting up 32 TDS to his 8 INTs, earned him honors like;
Two Time First – Team All Mountain West (2005 – 2006 Beck’s Junior and Senior year)
Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year (2006)
Finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award (2006)
Finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (2006)
The guy was a second team All American, and generated some serious Heisman buzz toward the end of his senior year and created quite a bit of intrigue during the NFL combine in 2007. Suddenly Kyle Shanahan saying that he was the number one QB in the draft in 2007 doesn’t sound so insane, especially considering the two QB’s taken ahead of him were Jamarcus Russle aka “Purple Drank” and Brady Quinn who hasn’t exactly been able to find the field in a QB starved Cleveland or in Denver, who appeared ready to hand the franchise over to the legend of Tim Tebow until earlier this week.
The only QB who may be of note in his draft class, is the now Savior of Arizona, Kevin Kolb. Kolb, who was traded from Philly for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick in next year’s draft has started a whopping 7 games and has thrown 11 TD’s and get ready for this 14 INT’s.
The scout.com assessment of Beck is pretty good as well. They called Beck an “Intelligent passer accurate in the short and intermediate field. Stands strong in the pocket, poised under the rush and consistently finds the open wide out. Sells, ball fakes, looks off the safety and goes through receiver progressions.” Here is the part that I really like, “Displays a great sense of timing, hits receivers as they leave there breaks and nicely sets up the screen throws. Immediately gets rid of the ball on quick tosses. Stays away from the errant pass.” Let me repeat, “Stays away from the errant pass.”
The only negative, which I am sure that you have guessed by now is that he lacks a top deep arm. This should come as no surprise since the overwhelming knock on Beck thus far into training camp has been receivers having to wait on the ball to get to them. It’s no secret that he doesn’t have a mind blowing deep ball, but what if he doesn’t have to?
Mike Shanahan is absolutely notorious for being a control freak, even down to how players play within his system. Last year with Mcnabb and Haynesworth, Shanahan sent a clear message. He doesn’t care who you are, and isn’t interested in what you have done before, either play in my system or I have no use for you. We could argue for months over if this is the right way to coach in the NFL, and believe me ESPN, and the NFL Network did just that for the last 8 months. But honestly in this offense Mike is more interested in a QB who can manage the game, have a great tempo and play within this offense, than he is about throwing deep bombs all over Fed Ex Field.
I believe that Mike is building a team here, not a group of “Superstar” players. Beck’s leadership and intangibles were on display during the NFL lockout, and that may be just what this team needs. A player who is team first, not me first and who cares more about team wins than Pro Bowl appearances and endorsement deals.
Maybe the guy is terrible and gets booed out of DC, maybe this whole experiment is going to be a total disaster. But what if he doesn’t? What if he plays to the promise he showed in college? For me, based on how he handled the offseason during the lockout, and for what he has shown in the past he is capable of, I think he deserves a look if nothing else.