(Photos from Day 1 of Redskins training camp can be found here)
Just two quarterbacks were present at the first day of training camp, and one of them was an undrafted rookie. That means that John Beck had an especially busy morning, running the first-team offense and handling the vast majority of the reps.
“I’m loving it,” he said. “I want all those reps. Reps for me equals experience, and experience helps me learn.”
No surprise there, from a guy who hasn’t exactly hidden his eagerness to play quarterback for the Redskins.
Beck has been showing up at Redskins Park daily since the lockout lifted but said he has yet to have a conversation with Mike Shanahan or with Kyle Shanahan, the offensive coordinator, about his exact role this season.
“The coaches have been actually caught up in all the free agency stuff,” Beck said. “Although we were around the building, most of my meeting time was done with Matt [LeFleur], the quarterbacks coach.”
Beck, who hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2007, won’t be handed the starting job. He’ll have to compete with Rex Grossman — assuming Grossman signs, as everyone expects — but Beck has definitely made a solid impression on coaches.
“As far as his attention to detail, everything he does, John’s the type of guy that I’ve got to tell him to leave me alone,” Kyle Shanahan said. “He can’t do any more. He does as much as he possibly can, and he’s on it. It’s his first day out there and it’s his first day out there and I don’t have to correct him on anything.
“That’s what everyone wants. That’s what you need. Look at the top guys in the league: [Tom] Brady and [Peyton] Manning and then it goes to [Drew] Brees and tell me which one of those guys doesn’t have an A-type personality and demands perfection. The guys that are like that usually do.”
In fact, Beck spent some time working out with Brees, and he thinks it helped prepare him for the unusual start to training camp. Kellen Clemens won’t be able to join the team until at least Aug. 4 — Grossman, too, if he signs — so that means Beck will be handling a heavy workload for at least a few more days.
Brees “keeps it really high-tempo — a lot of passes, fast-paced,” Beck said. “It was good to be around him because it simulated this work-style — a lot of throws, fast pace, a lot of drops.”
One of the chief complaints heard around Redskins Park about former quarterback Donovan McNabb was the pace at which he practiced and the ran the offense. It sounds like Beck is at least aware that was a problem last season.
“I’m trying to do the very best I can to start by example, just try to be the guy who’s the first one out, trying to do things right,” Beck said. “I think the biggest thing that we’re trying to do also is just have a good tempo in practice, to execute out plays at a high level and to get a lot done. But when we do get a lot done, it’s doing it right, just doing things properly.”