Washington Redskins quarterback John Beck on Sunday faces the team that drafted him out of BYU back in 2007, made him a starter with four games left in his rookie season and then basically gave up on him the following year.
Beck said he doesn’t really have any fond memories of his time with the Miami Dolphins, with whom he spent 2008 as a backup before the team cut him the following offseason.
Former teammate Jason Taylor — who was a member of that 1-15 Dolphins team, came to Washington in 2008 for a season, returned to Miami the following year and now is back with the team after a year with the Jets — says that Beck was put in a bad position as a rookie.
“He came in at a tough spot. He came into a situation where we weren’t playing very well. We had a bunch of injuries. We had a new coach, a new coaching staff,” Taylor recalled. “Things weren’t always great around here and he was thrown to the wolves, kind of, in that season – thrown out there and told, ‘Go make something happen. You’re a second-round pick, and everyone wants to see what you have, so go do it.’ I think he was kind of put into an unfair position a little bit and not really given all the tools he needed to succeed, and that started from the top down.”
The Dolphins experienced an overhaul of their front office at the end of that 2007 season, and Bill Parcells came in and hired Tony Sparano as head coach. Parcells and Sparano believed that Miami was better served by bringing in Chad Pennington to take over as quarterback.
But Sparano said on Wednesday evening that although the Dolphins went away from Beck, he has good qualities that serve him well.
“A really smart player. Very, very bright. Threw the ball well,” Sparano said via conference call. “You know, at the time, when we had John, we obviously had several young players, and then we brought in Chad Pennington, which was the first year there that we had him, but [Beck] was a really bright player who had just come off of a season prior to that where he played towards the end of the season, so I got a chance to see him play a little bit there. Moved really well. Threw the ball on the move well. But John was always a very curious guy – always wanted to learn, always wanted to soak up as much knowledge as you possibly could and threw the ball very well.”
Beck was one of few words when asked about his return to Miami, and looking back, he said, “I was just kind of a guy there.”
Can he shake the struggles that have plagued him and the Redskins’ offense the last four weeks and on Sunday, show his former employers that he is more than just “a guy”?