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Good And Bad For Beck In First Redskins Start

Posted Oct 23, 2011

Making his first start since Dec. 30, 2007, John Beck had an up-and-down day in the Redskins' 33-20 loss to Carolina. He completed 22-of-37 passes for 279, one touchdown, one interception and one lost fumble.


John Beck had waited for this day for three years and 10 months.

A backup since Dec. 30, 2007, his last NFL start, Beck finally had an opportunity to show what he could do.

The 30-year-old Beck was under center in Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers a week after he replaced Rex Grossman in the Redskins’ lineup.

Beck had an up-and-down day in the Redskins’ 33-20 loss to the Panthers

Overall, he completed 22-of-37 passes for 279 yards, one touchdown, one interception and one lost fumble. He was sacked three times. And his QB rating was 80.8.

Beck opened the game with two pass completions to wide receiver Santana Moss, but he would lose his top receiving threat in the first half with a fractured hand.

The opening drive ended at the Panthers’ 45-yard line. Facing a 3rd-and-15, Beck dropped back to pass but he was sacked by defensive end Antwan Applewhite and the ball popped loose. Linebacker Terrell McClain recovered the fumble for the Panthers.

Beck seemed to develop some confidence on the Redskins’ third drive midway through the second quarter. He completed a 3rd-and-7 pass to Anthony Armstrong for a 9-yard pickup and a 3rd-and-9 pass to Jabar Gaffney for 18 yards.

The drive ended with a 49-yard field goal by Graham Gano which tied the game at 6-6 at the time.

A pivotal play occurred early in the third quarter.

The Redskins faced a 4th-and-2 at the Panthers’ 40-yard line and head coach Mike Shanahan opted to go for it instead of punting.

John Beck dropped back to pass but it appeared his first option was well-covered. He hesitated as he looked for a second receiver, and the hesitation cost him as blitzing linebacker James Anderson sacked him for a 7-yard loss.

The Panthers had overloaded the interior and Anderson slipped past center Erik Cook for the sack. The pla sparked the Panthers, who scored a touchdown one play later for a 16-6 advantage.

Beck and the Redskins’ offense responded, though.

Beck seemed to find a rhythm with the Redskins’ tight ends, completing a 22-yard pass to Fred Davis and a pair of 24-yard passes for Logan Paulsen to move the offense into scoring range.

Facing a 3rd-and-goal at the Panthers’ 4-yard line, Beck dropped back to pass and waited for a receiver to get open in the end zone. The pocket started to collapse, though. He rolled left and opted to try to score himself. He dove into the end zone with a defender draped on his back for a 4-yard touchdown run, narrowing the Panthers’ lead to 16-13.

The Panthers would score touchdowns on their next two possessions to open up a 30-13 lead over the Redskins.

Beck completed four consecutive passes – one each to Niles Paul and Jabar Gaffney and two to Davis – to put the Redskins into scoring position. He capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Davis.

Beck’s next drive ended with an interception/

Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, making his NFL debut, ran a deep route down the right sideline but there was miscommunication on the route with Beck.

Beck threw short while Hankerson kept running deep and the pass was easily picked off by cornerback Chris Gamble.

Prior to Sunday’s game, Beck said he expected to feel comfortable in the Redskins’ offense. He had watched from the sidelines since the end of preseason, picking up the nuances of Kyle Shanahan’s system and learning from Grossman.

“Well, the thing that was good was – because of the missed time with the lockout and because I missed a week of training camp [with a groin injury] – there was really only a couple weeks that I had to practice,” he said. “It was good to be in the No. 2 position the first six weeks. Last year, I was only in that position for a couple games at the very end of the season while still learning the offense.

“Since that time, I’ve been able to learn the offense a little more, and when I watched Rex at practice and in games, my knowledge was greater. I can kind of look at things with a different eye...The quarterback room is a different feeling now with the knowledge I have.”

Beck was keeping Sunday’s start in perspective in the days leading up to the game.

He knows there is more work to be done to establish himself as an NFL starting quarterback.

“I just want to go out on the field and play the way I can play,” he said. “The quarterback position is tough, especially in the NFL. Windows are small. You need to take calculated risks [throwing the ball] and sometimes those risks don’t work. That’s part of the quarterback position. That’s part of the game of football.

“Sometimes the ball does not bounce your way but you have to continually battle. Sometimes there’s going to be adversity and I just try to prepare myself as best I can for all those unforeseen adversities that will come. I try to do the best I can to put our team in a position to win.”