When word broke that John Beck had arranged for a friend from church to tape the Redskins’ player-only workouts, and when Rich Campbell from the Washington Times provided this photo of said friend, some sad cynics wanted to be cynical. To wit, here’s reputable Skins fan Jack Kogod, writing at KSK:
The man who is certain to take over as the team’s starting quarterback by sheer force of positive will has enlisted the help of a friend whose job it is to record the proceedings. Because John Beck is a LEADER OF MEN, and filming fake practices screams of leadership and other intangible qualities that will make the Shanahan duo swoon.
He probably doesn’t believe in unicorns or tooth fairies, either. Because when you listen to Beck talk about the videography, the Shanahans won’t be the only ones swooning.
“I’m just trying to do what I can to provide guys an opportunity to get better,” he told reporters on Wednesday, via 106.7 The Fan. “I mean, that’s really what it’s about: I’m trying to get better, they’re trying to get better, but it’s tough when you don’t have tape to go back and critique. That’s really the story of the lockout, just doing what we can. It would be ideal if we could be at our facility, with our coaches, talking with them, watching their tape, but we can’t. So we’re stuck plugging it into a TV at the house, getting to the house and watching it.”
That would be Chris Cooley’s house, where the film sessions are held. Reporters asked Beck if Cooley paid for refreshments; “we’re gonna divide that up, you can’t put it all on one guy,” the quarterback said.
Someone joked about how it must be nice to have film sessions without coaches barking out corrections, but the Leader of Men disagreed.
“No, you may think that they would be yelling, but it would be awesome to have a coach there, because they know what we’re needed to do,” Beck said. “They know exactly what’s asked of us, and they can critique us, because they’ve been doing this offense for years.”
Still, “we can learn a lot from this,” he said. “Even though it’s very basic, you can still learn a lot from watching tape.”
As for the apparatus pictured above, “that was actually for the receivers,” Beck explained. “When we were watching [film on Tuesday], they were saying it’s a little tricky to see all of our lateral steps from up in the stands. So then Chris had the idea, let’s bring a ladder out. So we remembered that that stand was out there, so we set it up, and that was just for the receivers and the tight ends, so the camera was focused in on them. So then they can have a chance to kind of see their lateral steps. When they’re trying to double stick or get out of a break, now they can see it better.”
(And while I’m mostly joking about all this, there’s probably something to what the Redskins and Beck are doing.
“There’s a benefit to this in terms of guys taking ownership of what we’re doing,” Cooley said, again via The Fan. “You really establish who the leaders are on your team....I think there’s a benefit in terms of ownership. I feel like the more guys that are here, the more we feel like this is our team.”)