John Beck rolls to his left in his own end zone, fires a deep long ball to Donte Stallworth in single coverage, Lardarius Webb makes an unbelievable play and comes down with the interception. Normally I’m none too pleased when the Redskins throw interceptions, but this is an exception. After enduring countless games where Jason Campbell would rather take the sack and fumble than throw up a 50-50 ball, it was refreshing to see a quarterback take a chance.
That’s all Santana Moss could say during Campbell’s tenure; give the receivers a chance to make a play. If the defense isn’t worried about big play potential then say goodbye to the running game and quick passing routes. I’ll take a punt-like interception over a sack and a fumble every single time.
Say what you want about Rex Beck. Far from Rodgers and Brees, further from Manning and Brady, light years from Montana and Marino. Even with a Super Bowl win this year they wouldn’t be close to Hall of Fame consideration. Closer but still out of reach are Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien. Is that such a bad thing? The Redskins had their untouchable superstar quarterback in Sammy Baugh, but they’ve proven they don’t need one to win it all.
I convinced myself before pre-season began that Beck needed to win the starting job quickly and unanimously for me to believe the Redskins had a snowball’s chance in Dallas to get this team winning again. Oddly, the only logic supporting my wishful thinking towards Beck derived from a fuzzy memory of people being high on him when he was drafted, Shanahan’s unabashed confidence in him, and the fact that I knew very little about John the man and Beck the quarterback.
Rex, on the other hand, is no mystery. He’s been consistently inconsistent, showing flashes of brilliance marred by bad decisions and poor throws. Forty career touchdowns and 40 career interceptions subliminally translates into an 8-8 season. Even though that would be an improvement from 4-12 and 6-10, I think that most Redskins fans want to believe at least 10-6 is attainable. Is Grossman capable of a 10-6 season? Of course. He led the 2006 Bears to the Super Bowl with a 13-3 record, heavily-scrutinized after every interception and rarely congratulated after every touchdown. He’s also been in Kyle Shanahan’s offensive system for three years, which is more time with any system since the Brad Johnson era. But Rex isn’t the guy.
Beck did not win the starting job quickly and unanimously, but whether this is because Beck was over-hyped or Grossman exceeded expectations is unclear. They’ve both looked sharp and solid in the pre-season, in part to the upgrades at offensive line, running back, and receiver. Forgive me Rex, but I’d like to see Beck start against the Giants and I personally think this decision has already been made. Rex’s start would signify a second chance for himself. Beck’s start would signify a new beginning for the Redskins. If the competition is too close to call then symbols become much more significant, especially for a franchise and fanbase that is desperately hoping for a clean slate.