The Redskins hit the practice field Wednesday morning for a walk-through and for the first time since 2007, John Beck was slated to be their starter in a regular season game.
“Definitely excited,” Beck said. “There’s been a lot of hard work that’s gone into this. You never know when your opportunity is going to come. You always got to stay ready. I’ve tried to do that. Just want to go out there and perform my best.”
Shanahan informed Beck earlier in the week that he would start Sunday’s game at Carolina. Beck said he was at Redskins Park Tuesday, studying film of the Panthers. Though Beck finished last Sunday’s game against Philadelphia, he said he wasn’t initially sure whether Coach Mike Shanahan would make a permanent change.
“The quarterback position is a tough position to be in. There’s so many factors that play into your success or things not going well,” Beck said. “Sometimes it’s not necessarily the quarterback. And when you watch the tape, you can see things clearly.
“I really didn’t know. Was just kind of saying, whichever way it goes, I’ll be fine with it. I’ll just continue to work, regardless if they decide to go with me or not.”
Shanahan also informed Rex Grossman Tuesday that he would be losing his starting job to Beck. “I was frustrated,” Grossman said Wednesday. “Not completely surprised, but disappointed that I wasn’t able to come back off that game.”
Grossman won the preseason position battle with Beck, but despite the team’s 3-2 record, Shanahan felt the need to give Grossman the hook. Beck said he’s not sure how long a leash he’ll have as the starter, but it’s not something he’s worrying about.
“I’m not thinking it, [Shanahan’s] probably not thinking it. We’re just saying, let’s go try to beat the Carolina Panthers. that’s our goal,” Beck said.
Sunday’s loss to the Eagles marked Beck’s first NFL action since his rookie season in 2007. He was 8 of 15 passing for 117 yards. He ran for one touchdown and perhaps most importantly, had no turnovers. In 2007, Beck appeared in five games, starting four. He finished with a passer rating of 62.0, and in his four starts had no touchdowns and seven turnovers -- three interceptions and four lost fumbles.
Beck believes his second stint as a starter will be different.
“The situation I stepped in as a rookie was a difficult one,” he said. “We were winless, the organization had been through a lot of struggles that year. We were already 0-9. This is still the beginning part and this team has a good feeling about it. When we’re together on gameday, when we’re with our coaches, we feel good about the situation. That’s different than the one I was in.”
While Beck was disappointed to lose the job to Grossman in September, he says he’s a better quarterback heading into Carolina because of what he’s learned the past several weeks.
“I’ve been able to learn the offense a little bit more,” he said. “Now when I watch Rex at practice or in games, my knowledge is greater. So I kind of look at things with a different eye. So it’s been good to see him in practice because he’s been in this offense for years.”