Beck’s moment came in the past season, and truth be told, it wasn’t much of a moment. There were losses to Carolina, Buffalo and San Francisco, losses that in retrospect seemed to have something to do with the quarterback.
“When we took Rex out those three games, we stopped moving the ball, we stopped making plays,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan recently said.
And yet Beck’s spirit is unbowed. Unbreakable. Unyielding. Perdurable. He told the world last offseason that he was fit to be an NFL starter, and he is telling the world that again.
“Last season didn’t go any way I would have liked it to go,” he recently told a Utah radio station, via Hogs Haven. “I mean, I was happy when I got a chance to play, I was happy with how I played the first couple games, but we were in a tough spot as a team. And I went out there, and things didn’t really work out the way I wanted, I didn’t get to finish the season as the starter.
“But I’m pretty excited about this upcoming year, because this last year there were a lot of things going into it we knew was going to make it difficult. And this year I got to get some more experience, and now, going into this year, I really feel a lot more comfortable.”
Comfortable? You don’t say. Because if John Beck ever starts another game for the Redskins, I have a feeling many fans would be feeling as comfortable as a chair made of poison ivy-wrapped rusty nails coated with rotten sheep entrails.
“I’ve talked to a lot of guys that are considered Hall of Fame guys that had great careers,” Beck went on. “And they’ll tell you, listen, nobody’s path is just all roses. Everybody has to fight through something. Some may have to go through more than others, but there’s always gonna be tough times, and the ones that win are the ones that can last through those tough times and find a way to come out at the end.
“And did I expect there to be this much tough time? Not at all. When I went through the crap in Miami and we sucked and I was there playing as a rookie on the worst team in football, I kind of thought, ok, that was my tough time. It really kicked me in a hole, because the people that drafted me, that picked me, were gone, they all got fired. Ok, so that’s my adversity, I’m battling through it.
“I spent the last three years working through that, came to Washington, I knew I was gonna get a chance, I really worked my tail off this offseason. When I got my opportunity to play, the game that I got put in I did well, things started off good, and I thought ok, things are gonna roll. But then wouldn’t you know it, we just continually battled injury. It’s kind of tough to have a mindset where you feel extremely confident, when you’re in this changing world where you don’t know how things are gonna shake down because you’re not comfortable with it. So it makes it tough.”
But the mindset where you feel extremely confident will eventually return, if you are a person who believes in yourself the way Beck does.
“Some things are out of your control, and what you have to do is just be able to learn how to deal with it and then try to find a way to come out the other end a winner,” he said. “You know, did this season go the way I wanted? No. But because last season went that way, does it mean this season has to go the same? Not at all.
“So you kind of scissor your ties to last season. It’s done, it’s over, I can’t change it. You have a mindset of ok, what can I learn from that, how can I build myself to be better, so that when my opportunity comes again this fall, how do I be a better quarterback?
“And I feel without a doubt, I know I can be. I told our coaches this at the end of the season. I went into Coach Shanahan’s office and said, ‘I want to play right now.’ This is very frustrating for me to have had my opportunity, to have made the most of it. When he put me in, I made the most of it, but then in the games following it didn’t go the way we wanted.
“It’s tough for me now to say ok, now I’m not playing. I’m like ‘Coach, I want to play, because I feel like having that experience I know I can play better.’ And he said, ‘I know you can too, but right now we’re in this situation. And you know what, there’ll be another opportunity down the road and you’ve just got to make sure you’re ready for it.’
“So, that’s kind of where my mindset’s at. I believe that there will be another opportunity. When it comes, I have no control over. The only thing I have control over is when it does come, I make the most of it.”
That is just simply an amazing level of confidence. Kudos to him. Me, I’d have already applied for a job behind a cheese counter.