John Beck didn’t try to hide his disappointment. He’d prepared himself mentally to be the starting quarterback of the Washington Redskins, and as the team readies for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants, Beck now must accept his backup role.
“I knew a decision was going to have to be made,” Beck said Wednesday, speaking for the first time since Coach Mike Shanahan named Rex Grossman the starter for Sunday’s game. “One of us was going to be the guy and the other one was going to be pissed. I was the guy that was pissed. But I’m not going to let that disturb me. I don’t want that to hold me back from anything.”
Beck said he wished his performance in last Thursday’s final preseason game had gone better, but accepted that the outing alone didn’t cost him the competition. Beck said he felt coaches were fair and considered each quarterback’s full body of preseason work.
“There’s always things I could’ve done better. No question,” Beck said. “I felt like there was a lot of times out there when I would see something or go through something, which was a newer experience. ‘Alright, now I can take that back and I can improve on it.’
“They were all good experiences. The one thing I’m not going to do is let this hold me back from what I can do in the future. I gave it everything I had. That, I’m not ever going to question. I prepared myself as best I could for every situation. I went out there and tried to do my very best. Now, did it always shake down the way I wanted? Not always.”
Beck hasn’t seen a regular-season NFL snap since 2007, but he knows as well as anyone that the No. 2 quarterback is just a play away from being the starter. Though Shanahan said he hopes to use Grossman all season, the coach also says he has every confidence that Beck could lead this team.
While Beck and Grossman split reps with the first-team throughout the preseason, that will no longer be the case. As the Redskins take the practice field Wednesday afternoon, it’s Grossman who will see the vast majority of reps with the starters. Beck likely will run the scout team and only occasionally work with the first-team offense.
“How can I improve when I’m not getting the reps? I have to find ways,” Beck said. “I got to find time after practice, I have to come in on the off days like I’ve always done and continually improve, so that if something does happen, I can be ready for it.”