Where It’s At
Life’s little ironies are what make it worth living. In August Rex Grossman declared that the Skins were going to win the NFC East, that statement just could be true but it won’t be Rex leading the team to the promised land.
Bad Rex seems to have pounded good Rex into submission and thus the time has come… Beck finally gets his chance and Mike Shanahan puts his reputation on the line.
If you are a fan of the Redskins, chances are you have seen this move coming since the preseason, if not sooner. The legions of Rex Haters in DC can be silenced now lets see how long it takes for the Anti Beck team to get rolling.
I am not going to go into what cost Rex his job, or any of that we have been there done that and read all about it. I am also not going to break down what we know about Beck (We did that in August and you can read it here).
Today we talk about what this means for the team and how it potentially makes them better.
Sadly, we are getting pretty close to the halfway mark of the season and we find the Skins right in the thick of things in the NFC East. If you listened to fans after this weeks loss to Philly you would think that the season was already over…It’s not.
The Redskins have a legitimate shot to win this division, the defense is arguably the best in the East and they have a run game that is always dangerous.
Fact: The Washington Redskins DO NOT need a Tom Brady or Drew Brees type player to win this division. Wisely Mike Shanahan did not sacrifice the season by drafting a “Franchise QB” in April. He upgraded this team at arguably every position and most importantly taught a broken team how to believe in itself again.
John Beck does not need to nor will he be expected to throw for 400 yards and 4 TD’s a game he simply has to manage this offense. Beck is the epitome of a team guy and no one can question his leadership, he just may be what this team needs to continue its march on the East.
You have to believe this week is the perfect week to make this switch. The Panthers are not the scariest defense in the league (ranking in the bottom half in total defense and 31st in run defense). They don’t have a scary pass rush or shutdown corners.
The difference between the Philly Defense that was Struggling and the panther is this; Philly had the pieces and were under performing … the Panthers D is just bad.
Even with a beat up (and that’s putting it nicely) Offensive Line, I expect the Skins run game to come back with a vengeance on Sunday which works in Beck’s favor big time.
Mike Shanahan’s whole offense is based on the run period. The run game opens the pass game with play action and QB Bootlegs, something Beck is pretty good at.
Rex, God love him is about as mobile as Ethan Albright with a sprained ankle, while Beck has the mobility that Shanahan has always coveted to run this style offense.
A lot of people don’t realize it but QB mobility is a lot more than just being able to escape sacks. Sure it’s nice to be able to elude pressure and run for a first down, but creating passing lanes is really where mobility comes in handy.
There are times (like with Rex) where a receiver beats a coverage but at the angle the QB is throwing from that WR is not open. This is pretty much the whole point of a QB Bootleg, you want your QB to shift the pocket and create holes in the coverage where there may not necessarily be.
Donovan McNabb made a career (and a lot of money) off this. A majority of his success early in his career was predicated off his mobility. I cannot tell you how many times he would complete passes to guys that were covered simply because he could move the pocket and create new passing lanes.
If you want a bold prediction I think the Beck could actually be the fix for the Redskins RedZone woes as well. Because the passing game in the Redzone has been so ineffective teams have been able to take away the run and force Rex to make mistakes. Beck showed Sunday that he has the ability to take what he’s given in the RedZone and make a play that is all you can ask for.
Don’t forget that Beck has always been a Mike Shanahan guy and all things being equal, I am pretty sure had he not got injured in camp and missed the first week of preseason, I would bet he would have started week one anyway. Even without the reps Beck was a breath away from beating Rex out of the Job week one. Shanahan elected to go with experience and give Beck a little more time to get ready.
Good or bad Beck is finally getting his chance. It’s do or die but don’t think this season is over. Beck is capable of executing this offense and doing what he is asked, if he does that without the turnovers that Rex has we could actually see this offense take a huge step forward.