My favorite thing about the offseason of 2011 is how “John Beck is the Redskins’ starting quarterback” became a thing because of some radio interviews and a zillion blog posts.
I mean, I had as much fun with this as anyone, and Rex Grossman wasn’t technically a Redskin during the offseason, but I think a close reading of the historical transcript would likely confirm that no one — not Beck, not Mike Shanahan, not Kyle Shanahan, not Albert Haynesworth — ever came out and said that John Beck was actually the Redskins’ starting quarterback. (Although Beck said he was thinking of himself as such.)
“Somehow John Beck became the quarterback of the Washington Redskins this summer,” Yahoo! Sports’s Les Carpenter wrote last week.
“John Beck is emerging as the top choice,” the Examiner’s Rick Snider wrote last week.
“John Beck begins tenure as Redskins starter,” read the Salt Lake City headline.
“Do you anticipate opening up a quarterback competition between [Rex Grossman] and John, or is John still gonna be the starter going forward,” the NFL Network’s Albert Breer asked Mike Shanahan last week.
“Still gonna be the starter?” Concerning a guy who hasn’t started an NFL game since 2007, and whose primary public qualification is an amazing ability to give great radio interviews? Love it so much.
Anyhow, just to complete the historical record, here was Shanahan’s response to Breer.
“First of all, I’ve never mentioned a starter,” Shanahan replied, which is true. “I’ve never even insinuated a starter. I said I had a lot of belief in John Beck, I had a lot of belief in Rex Grossman. We’re gonna play the best player at the end of camp, but I do believe in both those guys. I’ve watched them practice. You make decisions based on practice. I’ve watched both these guys for a year, I like what they bring to the table. Now I get a chance to watch them compete on a day-to-day basis.)”
“All I said was, ‘Hey, I like John Beck,’ and it turns into this thing where he’s anointed the starting quarterback,” Shanahan also told Yahoo!, in a quote suggesting amusement at the madness Beck hath wrought.
Hey, we were starved for news.