Redskins quarterback John Beck, who will start Friday night against the Indianapolis Colts in the team’s second preseason game, says that while he had to watch rival Rex Grossman put on a strong performance last week, he doesn’t feel added pressure to do the same.
“I’m just excited to play,” said Beck, who was sidelined for all of last week with a groin injury and missed the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. “It would’ve been good to get out and have that good week of practice leading up to the game and play in the game, but I wasn’t able to. So, for me, this is my first opportunity to go out and play in the game, and that’s what I’m looking for.”
Beck was Washington’s third-string quarterback last season, but is competing for the Redskins’ starting quarterback position this year. He took all the first- and second-team snaps during the first week of training camp because Grossman, a free agent, didn’t sign until Aug. 2 and couldn’t practice until Aug. 4.
Last week, Beck was limited to half-speed 7-on-7 drills while he nursed a groin injury suffered on Aug. 6.
Grossman completed 19 of 26 pass attempts for 207 yards and a touchdown against Pittsburgh, while directing first-half drives of 88, 82 and 55 yards.
Beck watched and waited. The Redskins were leery of allowing him to do too much too soon in fear he would be risking further injury. But after monitoring him, they believe he is fully recovered.
“Yeah, he’s fine,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “I think he’s close to 100 percent. Maybe he is 100 percent. They never tell you the truth. You just have to watch them and see in practice: sometimes roll-outs, how he scrambles out of the pocket. But he looked like full speed, or at least pretty close.”
Beck has worked primarily with the first team this week in practice, and he believes he has regained his rhythm and timing now that he has practiced three straight days. He appeared rusty Monday, but looked sharper Tuesday morning. The fifth-year pro hasn’t started a game since 2008 – in the preseason of his second NFL season. But he believes he will be able to play well Friday while he also sets simple goals for himself.
“Just put the ball in the end zone,” Beck said. “That’s what this offense is designed to do, and that’s what we’re supposed to do. Manage the offense, find a way to get points on the board, and if you’re in there on a bad play and something breaks down, don’t let a bad play become a terrible one. Just move on and play.”