Redskins rookie running back Evan Royster was on WRC’s “Sports Final” this week, and was asked whether any of his new teammates have reached out to him.
“I talked to John Beck,” Royster said. “He sent me some of the install stuff the first day. I mean, I’m just trying to get a grasp on the playbook a little bit now.”
Wait, so John Beck is now the guy reaching out to rookies? Yeah, and he’s the guy helping to plan offseason workouts, too.
“We have stuff going on,” Beck told 102.1 The Game in a recent interview. “We have plans in the future for another big giant group, full-team type deal, like we did last time — and hopefully we get some more guys out — but we have things. This is important to us, it’s important to the Redskins, to the players. We’re doing the best we can in this kind of crummy situation. We’re trying to find a way so when the doors are open, we can go out there and be the best football team we can be.”
Mike Shanahan, remember, said he “think(s) the world” of Beck after the Redskins declined to draft a quarterback. And so now Beck is sending out install stuff and helping plan workouts, oh, and also giving passionate quotes to radio stations on the meaning of football. Here’s what he said when asked what kind of player he’d be. Please imagine some regal NFL Films instrumentals in the background.
“I love football,” Beck said. “I love playing the game. I love standing in there on third down and getting whacked in the chin and completing a pass and quieting the crowd. When you’re playing on the road and it’s third down and they’re screaming, and you can rip a pass in there and get it and shut em all up? I love it.
“I love scoring a touchdown and knowing exactly what that person that I threw the touchdown pass to put into it. I like knowing that my O-line never gets to touch the football, but they’re busting their butts because they want to win, and they’re ok with not touching the football....
“I love seeing everybody excited. I love the feeling after the game when you put in all that work and you won. And at times, even though I hate losing, sometimes I love the feeling after a loss, when you say you know what, that sucked, and I never want that to happen again. Let’s find a way to work even harder, let’s find a way to play even better so we can go out there and win next week. Sometimes I love that feeling.
“There’s SO many feelings that I have missed because I haven’t been able to be the guy. I’ve been the backup. I can’t tell you, I’m so excited for the first time in a real game that I get drilled under the chin while throwing the ball. I’m probably gonna smile, because I’ve missed it so much.”
This is already getting long, but one of the chief complaints from some Redskins fans about Beck’s bizarre snap-less rise up the depth chart has gone like this: If he’s so awesome, how come he’s this far into his career without ever being the guy? Well, first, you have to look at what happened to him in Miami. Beck explained:
“When [Bill Parcells] first got there, I really liked Bill,”the quarterback said. “Bill treated me like I was gonna be the guy. I would be in the weight room working out and he would come and stand by my squat rack, talk to me. He’d catch me in the hall or he’d tell somebody hey John, Bill wants to see you. I’d go sit in his office and he’d tell me hey I believe that you can do this for us, I really like what you do, I think you remind me a lot of Tony Romo, things are gonna be great.
“And then all of the sudden Brett Favre goes to the Jets, Chad Pennington becomes available, boom, that was it, done. And I went from competing for the starting job with Josh McCown to then the No. 3 on the roster overnight. So it was crazy, and then as the season went on they focused on Chad Pennington’s our guy, Chad Henne’s who we drafted.
“So when the season ended, I went in and asked for a release. I kind of saw the writing on the wall. I don’t want to be the backup. That’s not why I play the game. I’m not the type of person who can be happy getting a paycheck and not playing. I want to be the guy playing, and I went and asked for a release, and me and Bill got into it a little bit there. So at this point, I’m not the biggest Tuna fan.”
And what about with the Redskins last fall? Why didn’t Beck get a shot when Donovan McNabb got benched?
“Coach Shanahan knows what he’s doing,” Beck said. “He has a plan, always. And if I’m the head coach, and I have a player that has only been on my team a couple months, that didn’t do OTAs with me, has never ever been in the West Coast Offense, who just barely had to start learning the offense....When that season ended, I had hundreds of questions for Kyle Shanahan — ok, now that we don’t have to play anybody, I have questions, because I’m still learning this offense. So I think Coach Shanahan knew that.”
And so, his status in 2011 as the presumed starter?
“Obviously nothing’s done,” Beck said. “Right now, where we stand, it looks like that’s gonna be a great opportunity for me to battle for the job and to go out there and prove that I can do it.”