And while Theismann ultimately did some rallying, his first inclination was to disagree with the call.
“I just don’t agree with the decision to start John Beck,” Theismann told Mike Wise and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan. “I thought he did a good job making plays last week against Philadelphia, but when you sit down and study the interceptions that Rex threw — this sounds like a quarterback talking, I know — not all of them were his fault...and I just think that this is a little bit of a quick hook, to be perfectly honest with you.”
Theismann went on to praise Beck’s arm strength and mobility, and to argue that Rex Grossman will not be damaged goods if they have to go back to him. He said it’s easier for a new starter to break in on the road, that “I don’t see this as a panic move at all.” And he said that Beck now should be given at least several games to display what he can do.
“John now has an opportunity,” Theismann said. “He had an opportunity in the last preseason game, didn’t capitalize on it. Now he has an opportunity to go out and lead this football team....This is John’s job to keep. I think these next couple games are John’s.”
Theismann also said that the starting quarterback has “been, I think, the biggest problem that we have had in Washington in the last 27 years, basically since I left.” And he said the Redskins must almost immediately start thinking about where they’re going to find their next franchise quarterback. Still, he wasn’t worried about Rex vs. Beck dividing the team.
“The Redskins have to rally behind the guy who’s under center,” Theismann said. “And here’s the thing, everybody says oh, you lose your football team, because players in the locker room will side with one quarterback or another. That’s a crock of baloney. Players in the locker room want to win football games. You go out there and win, they’re behind you. You go out there and lose, they’re looking for somebody to help you win.”