Newly-acquired QB John Beck tries to learn the system
The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind for the newest member of the Washington Redskins. On Monday morning John Beck was participating in some post-practice passing drills for the Baltimore Ravens when he received word that he had been traded to the Redskins. By Monday evening, he had made the trip south to Redskins Park, where he met with his new teammates and coaches and was handed the team's oversized playbook.
The drive may have been simple enough -- it took Beck less than two hours to reach his new team -- but grasping the new offense is going to take more time.
"The offenses are very different," said the fourth-year quarterback. "So I feel kind of like a rookie where it's your first OTA and your head is spinning a little bit. But I am going to do everything I can do get up to speed as soon as I can."
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan told reporters the transition will not be seamless for the new arrival. Beck is slotted as the No. 4 quarterback until he can grasp the offense, something Shanahan said the three others have not entirely accomplished in their four months studying it.
Beck faces an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster, especially considering Mike Shanahan has a history of carrying only two quarterbacks during the regular season. Donovan McNabb's backup, Rex Grossman, ran a similar offense a year ago in Houston, where Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator.
"I'm just trying to get concepts down," Beck said. "Verbage is kind of the big thing because they're totally opposite, so right now I'm just trying to get accustomed to the words and have them make sense, so when I hear them I know what's going to be done."
Kyle Shanahan has raved about the signal caller since he came out of BYU and the Miami Dolphins selected him in the second round of the 2007 draft.
"He was just as good a quarterback as there was in the draft," Shanahan said of Beck, who was the fourth quarterback taken, behind JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, and Kevin Kolb. "He's a very pure, good passer. And he can also run around and make plays. He reminded me of Rich Gannon, with the way he played in college."
Beck began his rookie season as the Dolphins third-string quarterback but by Week 11 was in the starting role on a team that finished 1-15.
In five games that season, Beck threw for 559 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. He finished the campaign with a quarterback rating of 62.0.
Before the 2008 season, Miami signed veteran Chad Pennington and drafted Chad Henne, relegating Beck to third string. He was released in April 2009 and signed with Baltimore, where he didn't see action for the entire 2009 season.
"That was a tough spot, those years in Miami, but I was able to learn a lot," Beck said. "I don't look back at that with any frustration. It was a tough thing to go through but I had an opportunity to play in five games as a rookie, which gave me some experience. That experience can then help whenever that next opportunity comes."
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