Maybe the question isn’t really Beck or Rex.
Because NFL teams couldn’t hold minicamps or OTAs during the lockout, it will be more important than ever for teams to carry more than one capable starter into training camp, says Joe Theismann, the former Redskins quarterback. He explains:
“One of the challenges for every coach, including Mike and Kyle (Shanahan), is how much work do you give your starter and how much rest do you give his arm. Remember, they will not have thrown near as much through OTAs and minicamps as they normally do,” Theismann said. “It really has changed the preparation standpoint for that particular position.”
Those player-organized workouts? They’re good, Theismann said, but they don’t perfectly replicate the coaches’ practices.
“It’s keeping it warm but believe me, it’s nothing like regular throwing,” he said. “You talk to most guys, their arms are going to get sore and tired, I don’t care who you are. That’s why they’re basically on pitch count - throw count. ...You’re dealing with a very, very intricate mechanism when it comes to throwing. The worst thing you can do with this short offseason is to have a tired arm going into the regular season. This is where both John (Beck) and Rex (Grossman) being familiar with the system is a positive. They’ll have to work on timing, but they don’t have to worry about learning the system as they throw.”
If you were worried the Redskins might chase a starting quarterback in free agency, fret not, Theisman said. The lack of a traditional offseason means a new quarterback probably won’t have time to report to training camp and master the new offense before Week 1.
“I think the Redskins are pretty much set at the quarterback position... They’ll probably bring in someone, possibly a rookie, to be able to give you another arm in the limited amount of camp,” he said.
Theismann, of course, is never at a loss for words and rarely without a business venture. His latest alignment is with Defense Sport Mouthguard Rinse, a new product designed to clean dirt and bacteria from athletes’ mouthguards.
“Think about it: Inevitably, you take the mouthguard out of your mouth and what do you do? You stick it in your sock, if you play hockey it goes in the glove, in football it goes on the helmet. Maybe you dip it into a bucket of water that everyone is using, Theismann said. “Everybody says gosh it makes so much sense, it’s so simple why didn’t someone think of this before?”
Theismann remembers a CFL game 40 years ago in which his team played in a stadium that had just hosted a livestock show. Theismann developed an infection that he couldn’t shake for a month.
“It’s the kind of thing that probably could have been avoided,” he said.