The Washington Redskins’ offense continued to struggle Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, but coach Mike Shanahan said he observed improvements in quarterback John Beck.
A week after he was sacked 10 times and failed to lead Washington on a single scoring drive in a 23-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Beck on Sunday completed 30 of 47 passes for 254 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked once.
Against Buffalo, Shanahan said, Beck was guilty of holding onto the ball too long, contributing to those franchise-record ten sacks. But Shanahan said Beck corrected that problem against the 49ers.
“I like what John did from one week to the other,” the coach said. “We had 10 sacks the week before and we had one sack against a team that can really get after the quarterback. Was it a perfect game? No, not by anybody, but we’ll keep on working to get better and hopefully we can do it this weekend.”
Shanahan said Beck still has areas he must improve, however. As Beck said after the game, he could have been more patient at times, and rather than settling for dump-off passes, he missed open receivers downfield.
That timing and balance between knowing when to hold onto the ball and when to get rid of it will come with more playing time.
“You have to be disciplined enough to know where to dump the football,” Shanahan said. “Those are the things you have to do as a quarterback. You have to understand the clock and John would probably like to have four or five throws back to actually throw a little bit farther downfield. … It’s a combination of all of those things. You can have some hot reads, you can have a four-man rush. You’ve got to know where your outlet is. I thought John did a great job on a number of throws getting the ball out when they did a good job on a couple of stunts and he dumped the ball off a lot quicker than the week before. Then, a couple of times, I thought he did a little too quick where, the week before, he was kind of standing in there because we were going against a team that wasn’t known for a great pass rush and this team was a lot better. And it’s a growing experience.”