Back to Beck
A few weeks ago we did a piece giving a little insight on just Who is John Beck, if you didn’t read it you can do so here. In any case as we continue to get to know the man who may be taking the reins from Donovan McNabb, I want to point out what goes a little beyond what we can track on Paper.
Though Beck’s stats from Indy were extremely impressive, the things that impressed me the most cannot be found on a stat sheet.
From his very first pass, an absolute laser to new WR Jabar Gaffney for what I thought was a TD, Beck looked razor sharp. He was pinpoint accurate on every throw, and was extremely cool in the pocket. His 19 yard strike to Donte Stallworth under pressure was beautiful. But the first down toss to Terrence Austin on 3rd and long was my favorite of the evening.
Why do these plays stand out? Because they show that this guy is absolutely in tune with what is going on during the play and where everyone is supposed to be.
We all saw how McNabb butchering this offense worked out last year. Sure he threw for a lot of yards but the offense did not function as intended because the guy absolutely refused to play within the system. It has been reported that McNabb frequently called the wrong checks and in all reality tailored the offense to do what he wanted in spite of what Mike and Kyle Shanahan called.
That my friends is why he is not here. Mike needs guys to play within the system not to be above it.
Back to Beck. John Beck during his post game interviews referenced that in Shanahan’s offense the QB has to be able to execute the assignment and move the chains.
Against the colts first string defense Beck did just that, while going 14-14 for 142 yards with an 82 percent completion rate and a QB rating of 110 AND 2 rushes for 17 yards (while Mr Vick of the Dream Team had a rating of 13ish).
All of this is a welcome change for Skins fans who have grown far to accustomed to watching the first team offense look completely lost during the preseason.
Again stats during the preseason are about as use full as a tooth brush in Dallas (ZING), I still am impressed by what I saw in my 2nd and 3rd looks at Becks performance.
This is a guy who in his first start as a Redskins looked completely and totally comfortable. Never for one minute did I feel like the game was too big or too fast for him (and that is crazy important). Under pressure the guy just delivers and does not panic or do something stupid which is typically the downfall of Mr. Grossman. He didn’t rush anything and took what was there for him.
The biggest thing is the guy is an unquestioned leader, and a passionate one at that.
We all saw his leadership during the offseason, during the lockout he organized everything and that is commendable. But on the field the guy is a general, and absolutely owned the huddle.
As you can see in the image above, he gets pretty fired up and the players will absolutely feed off that energy.
Watching him manage the huddle, and the pre play calls reminded me a lot of watching Drew Brees (whom Beck spent part of the offseason with to train). He also had a confidence that I see in Tom Brady, you know that look that Brady has in his eye that you just believe that the guy is going to get it done no matter what. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that John beck is on the level of Drew Brees or Tom Brady, but I do enjoy seeing characteristics of those two great Qb’s in Shanahans latest pet project.
The only knock I have is he didn’t really take any shots downfield. Maybe that was by design to keep what is reportedly his biggest weakness, a lack of a big time arm, out of the spotlight while he learns. Maybe he just can’t throw the ball farther than 15 yards. In any case the lack of a big arm doesn’t scare me too much.
We all know Shanny loves to run the football, and during the preseason the offense has excelled at doing just that.
Hightower has been so impressive that it will be virtually impossible for Ryan Torain to regain his starting spot, unless Hightower’s fumble problems (which have been non-existent during the first two games), rear their ugly head.
In Hightower Helu, and Torrain, this offense should have the type of ground game that doesn’t require Beck to play like Peyton Manning. If he can manage the game he can be successful. If he can lead this offense, this team may be able to continue doing what they have done so far in the preseason.
Kyle Shanahan himself said that this QB competition was not going to come down to stats, and I believe him.
Call it attitude, call it Swagger, call it what you will. In his first outing at least, John Beck showed flashes of having that sixth sense that the great ones have.
For his sake and the sake of Redskins Nation, I hope last Friday was only just the beginning.