When John Beck entered the Washington Redskins' game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the crowd at FedEx Field rose to its collective feet in applause. Were they celebrating the entrance of the next great quarterback of the Redskins? Celebrating the changing of the guard in D.C.?
No. They were actually celebrating the benching of Rex Grossman, as I understand it.
Grossman finished the day with four interceptions and a quarterback rating of 23.7 after completing just nine of his 22 attempts. What's worse, he wasted the palpable shift in momentum that happened late in the third quarterback when Vince Young threw the football directly to DeAngelo Hall while under pressure from the ever-present Redskins pass rush. And yet Young wasn't the worst quarterback who was on the field Sunday.
Grossman had quite possibly the worst performance by a Redskins quarterback in a whole generation of pretty bad quarterbacks. And he didn't even ram his head into a wall.
To be truthful, Beck wasn't that much better, but at least he looked good while throwing incompletions. At least he had confidence, and an ability to scramble out of the pocket without fumbling. At least he threw the ball short of his teammates rather than into the arms of his opponents.
Grossman looked like ... Well, he looked like Rex Grossman. He looked pretty much how we expected him to look, and that right there is the problem.
After one quarter of action on Sunday, no one is going to argue that Beck is the future franchise quarterback of the Redskins. And we sure know by now that Grossman isn't either.
So where does that leave the Redskins? It leaves them looking for a qualified player to satisfy the gaping hole that exists in the most important position on the team. And they'll likely look to fill that hole in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Sporting a 3-2 record means that the Redskins may already be out of the sweepstakes for the consensus projected No. 1 overall pick and top college quarterback Andrew Luck, but that doesn't mean that the Redskins won't be able to find a solid prospect later on in the draft.
Landry Jones of Oklahoma and Matt Barkley of USC are always ranked highly, and could be better than any of the numerous quarterbacks who were drafted highly last season. And Robert Griffin III has been electric for Baylor, and is quickly climbing the experts' draft boards. Griffin has elicited comparisons to Cam Newton for his athleticism, but he may be an even better passer. Through three games of the college football season, Griffin had more touchdowns than incompletions. Is that good? Yeah, it is.
The Redskins won't be the only team targeting a quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft, but they may be one of just a few. The 2011 offseason worked out just fine for the Redskins' hopes of drafting a quarterback in 2012, because several teams have already drafted their future franchise quarterbacks. The Cincinnati Bengals have Andy Dalton. The Minnesota Vikings have Christian Ponder. The Jacksonville Jaguars have Blaine Gabbert.
Finishing last in the league might not prohibit any of those teams from taking Luck, just like having Jimmy Clausen didn't prohibit the Carolina Panthers from taking Newton last year. But once Luck is off the board, guys like Jones and Griffin might just hang around for a little while. They might just hang around until the teams that finish around 7-9 are picking.
I'm not in any way advocating that we root for the Redskins to lose. I'm just saying that we should be rooting for other teams in the market for a quarterback to do surprisingly well. Go Dolphins! Go Seahawks! With some luck, the Redskins could still get their guy.
Their guy isn't Grossman, and it isn't Beck. The guy who will lead this team for the next several years won't be known until April 26, 2012. I can't wait.