It is great to have the NFL back, even if it is the lousy, uninspired play of preseason football. Of course, that is not fair of me to say, since it was quite inspired for Rex Grossman and the Washington REdskins last week in the win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rex was far from Gross, finding a great rhythm, especially with Santana Moss. Most importantly, he committed zero turnovers.
It should be pointed out that the two best Pittsburgh defensive players -- James Harrison and Troy Polamalu -- did not bother to dress for the game. However, there was no John Beck for the Redskins. I am writing this standing on a table. The good news: the Beck Era begins this week, appropriately in Indianapolis.
John Beck Gets Ball, Kurt Warner 2.0 Time!
The guy who has talked more than any Redskins player since Deion Sanders will get to back it up Friday in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, we will not get an epic battle of gunslingers, because Peyton Manning is still dealing with a "minor" neck injury (which is complete BS because there is nothing "minor" about Peyton's neck, which would put to shame any of the giraffes at the national zoo. Hell, former 49ers star Merton Hanks is laughing at Peyton's big neck).
Anyway, where was I ... oh yeah, Beck. He's finally on the field and in the spotlight. Now, it is time for a guy many said showed a weak arm in camp to be put in a game situation? What would be a successful night for the 29-year old journeyman?
"Putting the ball in the end zone," he said. "That's what the 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. If you're in a bad play or something breaks down, don't let a bad play become a terrible one."
I am very interested in seeing if Beck can give us a glimpse of what turns into Kurt Warner 2.0. If not, perhaps he puts the franchise in a better spot for Andrew Luck in 2012. If you believe in karma, it should be pointed out that Beck's first game just happens to be in the stadium where all 32 NFL teams hope to end their season: the Super Bowl.
Mike Shanahan Not Backing Down on Beck
It will not just be Beck in the spotlight on Friday at the future site of this years Super Bowl. D.C.'s first family of football, Mike and Kyle Shanahan, will be too. They have been openly and perhaps overly supportive of the guy some think has the inside track to become the Redskins' starting quarterback. As we get closer to the moment or moments of truth, the elder Shanahan is not dialing back expectations.
"I've been doing this for a few years. I know people that can play," Mike Shanahan told me. "So I don't even worry about what people say. I know John Beck can play in this league. Why hasn't he played? Why hasn't he had a chance? I really don't care what the different thought processes are, but I know John can play in this league. He hasn't had a chance. Everybody needs a supporting cast, so we'll do the best we can to give him a good supporting cast -- him and Rex -- and give those guys a chance to compete."
OK, so Shanahan is not ever going to admit he was "wro.. wr..." -- he can't say the word like Fonzi in Happy Days. Even if Beck falls flat on his face on Friday night, do not be surprised if he gets more chances. Let's face it: he does not have a ton of options. Grossman was good last week but we have seen this movie before. "Good Rex" is usually followed by "bad Rex" when the heat is on.
Last Long-term Redskins QB Says be Patient
Patience is not a popular word among Redskins fans, but the franchise's last long-term quarterback solution thinks it should be used when evaluating that position this season. I had a chance to catchup with Joe Theisman last week before the first preseason game for an interview on Yahoo! Sports Radio. Here is what Theisman shared via Sports Talk Radio's No. 1 rated transcriber, Dan Steinberg.
"You have three guys that I believe can run the system," "Everybody seems to want to just bury the Redskins at the quarterback position, say they don’t stand a chance, these guys are terrible. And I constantly say just wait a second.
"Before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, let’s take a look at what we’ve got, let’s give ‘em a chance to play in preseason and then let’s evaluate their performances. They have three guys that I think can run this offense. To a large degree, for most quarterbacks in this league, with maybe an exception of two or three, it depends on the people around you, whether you’re going to be successful or not."
DeAngelo Hall Vs. Chris Horton
One of the side effects of the lack of two-a-day practices in pads this year in NFL training camps has been fewer fights in camps. The Redskins had one in Tuesday's practice, as DeAngelo Hall and Chris Horton got into it. Because camp is over, filming of practice is no longer allowed, so there is no tape to break down. Anyway, here is what the guys involved had to say.
"Some words were exchanged and punches thrown and we hug and make up," Hall said. "That wasn’t much of nothing. I’m used to drag down all-out type brawls. So that was a little teaser. In Atlanta, we used to get down. We used to riot out there."
"It’s done," Horton said.
Riots in Atlanta! Wow, those must have been some heated practices, or Hall needs to YouTube actual riots.
Mike Rizzo is a Great Boss
Too bad Mike Rizzo was not my first boss in radio. He is throwing so much money around with signing unproven draft picks that the Nationals are suddenly the talk of baseball. At least that's what baseball people tell us.
"I can't emphasize enough that this ownership group has allowed me to be me, to be aggressive and go after these guys and get the best players available," Rizzo said. "And worry about signing them later. What they showed me in the room tonight, I can't put into words. It was great stuff. You talk about the trust in a staff. They don't talk about it. They show it. It was a huge night for us."
If the Shanahans fail in D.C. do not be surprised if Rizzo gets a call from Dan Snyder. They could have some fun together.