Will John Beck be the Redskins’ starting quarterback in 2011?

Washington Redskins quarterback John Beck warms up for the game against the New York Giants at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on January 2, 2010. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg

Rotoworld has two interesting tidbits today on the quarterback situation in Washington:

John Beck is expected to enter training camp as the Redskins’ starting quarterback, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“It will be his job to lose,” said Schefter, who is tight with coach Mike Shanahan after the two collaborated on a book in the late ’90s. Per Schefter, the Redskins bypassed QBs in the draft because they believe Beck is better than most of the group that was available in the middle of the first round. Beck doesn’t have a touchdown to show for his four NFL starts. He completed 27-of-48 passes (56.2 percent) for 300 yards (6.2 YPA) with a 2:2 TD-to-INT ratio against backups in last year’s preseason. Former Dolphins coach Cam Cameron has given up on Beck twice now, which leaves Shanahan as the 30-year-old’s lone backer.


Free agent Rex Grossman appeared on ESPN 980 Radio Wednesday and said he is under the assumption that he will re-sign with the Redskins.

“I’m assuming that’s what’s going to happen,” he said. Grossman added that OC Kyle Shanahan and QBs coach Matt LaFleur personally asked him to throw with the Redskins’ receivers during the lockout. For now, we consider Grossman likely to be back in Washington to compete with John Beck. Most reporters covering the situation believe Beck will be ahead on the depth chart.

Am I the only one flabbergasted that people believe John Beck will be the Redskins’ starting quarterback next season? I get that this is all just speculation at this point, but I can’t be the only one who is raising an eyebrow to Mike Shanahan’s (potenital) madness here, right?

Beck isn’t without talent, but he didn’t exactly set the world on fire in Miami and I’m wondering what Shanahan sees in him to make him believe that he can start in Washington. I figured that Grossman, who Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb for last season, would be the favorite heading into training camp when the lockout lifts in the summer of 2032 – not Beck. (Assuming Grossman re-signs with the team, of course.)

But hey, what to do I know? Maybe Beck is the best fit for Shanahan’s offense and he just needed to find the right situation to succeed. Clearly the Redskins believe in him or else they would have drafted a signal caller in April, although they still could sign a veteran free agent like Vince Young when/if he becomes available later this summer.

Still, does anyone else envision Shanahan throwing a whole bunch of mediocre talent into a mixing bowl and just going week-by-week in terms of whom he starts at quarterback next year? Because I sure can…

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Bernard Hopkins says Donovan McNabb isn’t black enough

Bernard Hopkins of the U.S. stands on the scales during the weigh-in for his upcoming WBC Light Heavyweight championship fight against Canada’s Jean Pascal at the Colisee de Quebec in Quebec City, December 17, 2010. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger (CANADA – Tags: SPORT BOXING)

One would think that boxer Bernard Hopkins would have bigger things on his mind these days then whether or not Donovan McNabb was black enough. But one would be wrong.

From the Philadelphia Daily News:

According to Hopkins, McNabb had a privileged childhood in suburban Chicago and, as a result, is not black enough or tough enough, at least compared with, say, himself, Michael Vick and Terrell Owens.

“Forget this,” Hopkins said, pointing to his own dark skin. “He’s got a suntan. That’s all.”

Hopkins also implied that, while Vick and Owens remained true to their roots, McNabb did not, and that McNabb was rudely awakened when the Eagles traded him to the Redskins last year.

“Why do you think McNabb felt he was betrayed? Because McNabb is the guy in the house, while everybody else is on the field. He’s the one who got the extra coat. The extra servings. ‘You’re our boy,’ ” Hopkins said, patting a reporter on the back in illustration. “He thought he was one of them.”

Replace “guy in the house” with “slave in the house,” then replace “on the field” with “in the field,” and Hopkins’ message is Uncle Tom-clear.

According to Hopkins’ Wikipedia page, by the age of thirteen he was “mugging people and had been stabbed three times.” At seventeen, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison after committing nine felonies.

Is that what being black is to Hopkins? Because if it is, then McNabb probably isn’t too worried about Hopkins’ definition of being black. Maybe if McNabb did some jail time after being a detriment to society, then Hopkins would consider him “black enough.”

I would love to know what McNabb did in a previous lifetime to get so much criticism and verbal abuse in this one.

Redskins the front-runners for Vince Young?

Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (10) passes against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL football game in San Diego, California October 31, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

The South Florida South-Sentinel hears that Washington is the front-runners for Vince Young’s services this offseason and Redskins beat writer Rich Tandler has also heard the same thing.

I’ve concluded Vince Young would be a good option IF the price is right (FREE….once Tennessee cuts him). But that’s ONLY if he’s mentally right, and motivated. Young’s the quarterback that presents the greatest risk, but if you factor in his QB efficiency when healthy last year, and win-loss record, he’s also the young quarterback who presents the most reward.

Two years ago I banged the drum for the Dolphins to sign Michael Vick and got stoned, so go ahead and throw them….But before you do look up Young’s career stats and win-loss record. I’m hearing the Redskins are the front-runner for his services, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Dolphins get in the game.

Young supporters can (and probably will) throw his win-loss record at me all they want – I still wouldn’t touch him if it cost me draft picks and $8.5 million next year in order to acquire him from Tennessee. (Not to mention a $4.25 million roster bonus that he’s due this offseason as soon as the lockout lifts.) Sorry, but he’s just not worth it – especially when you consider that Tennessee is going to part with him at some point no matter what.

It would be a different story if/when he’s released. That’s when you take a flier on a guy with Young’s talent. Obviously he has the skill to play in the league or else he wouldn’t have had the success that he’s found to this point. But it’s clear to anyone who isn’t sucking down glasses of Vince Young Kool-Aid that this guy has some major maturity issues.

Granted, if you don’t trade for him, you take the risk that he signs with someone else. But in my eyes, he’s just not worth the compensation that a team would have to part with in order to acquire him via trade. Most of the quarterback-needy teams addressed the position in last week’s draft, save for the Skins, Seahawks, Cardinals and Dolphins. Considering Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb could/should also become available once the lockout lifts, I like my chances of acquiring Young if I’m Washington. Therefore, I’m waiting until he’s released before I make my move.

Redskins won’t decide McNabb’s future until after the draft

Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb watches game action from the sideline during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on November 15, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Donovan McNabb must feel real secure about his status in Washington after hearing Mike Shanahan’s latest comments to the media.

While speaking at the NFL combine on Friday, the Redskins head coach said that the team wouldn’t make a decision on McNabb’s future until after the draft. Shanahan also said that he’s talked to McNabb’s agent but has yet to speak to McNabb personally since the end of the season.

Granted, Shanahan was vague in his comments so there’s still an outside shot that McNabb could return to D.C. next year. But John Fox gave more backing to Kyle Orton this week than Shanahan did for McNabb and Fox hasn’t even seen Orton practice yet. Chances are the Redskins aren’t going to pay McNabb the $10 million offseason roster bonus or the $1.75 million base salary he’s due next season.

If you read between the lines, it appears that McNabb is a goner if the Skins emerge from the draft with a starting quarterback (or at least someone that can challenge Rex Grossman for the starting job next season). With so many holes to fill, it’ll be interesting to see if Shanahan decides to address the quarterback position in the first round knowing that he doesn’t have complete faith in McNabb as his starter, or take his chances in the middle rounds on someone like TCU’s Andy Dalton, FSU’s Christian Ponder or Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi. (Or ignore the position completely and stick with McNabb.)

But no matter how the draft shakes out, McNabb will either start for the Redskins or start for another team in 2011. It would be foolish for the Redskins to pay him over $12 million next year and watch him hold the clipboard while Grossman plays. Things will be real interesting around Redskins Park at the end of April and early May.

McNabb’s Agent: Shanahan’s out to get Donovan

Donovan McNabb said earlier in the week that he would like to remain in D.C. in 2011. But his agent Fletcher Smith is making it hard for that to happen.

Fletcher ripped Mike Shanahan
and his son/offensive coordinator Kyle for being “beyond disrespectful” in their decision to bench McNabb. Then he went on to essentially say that the Shanahans have it out for his client.

From ESPN.com:

“I believe there is tension between Donovan and Kyle that’s rooted in the fact that Donovan has suggested modifications to Kyle’s offense based on intricacies Donovan has learned in his NFL career,” Smith wrote. “For example, Donovan has asked all year that the team run more screen passes to help manage the pass rush more effectively. Ironically, Kyle decided to employ Donovan’s suggestions after he unceremoniously benched him on Sunday.”

You have to appreciate Smith coming to defense of his client but is he honestly saying that Mike Shanahan benched McNabb and then Kyle Shanahan employed McNabb’s suggestions with Rex Grossman? As the ESPN article noted – that seems like a bit of an overstatement.

Mike Shanahan has recently fired back at Smith.

“As I stated earlier, when I traded for Donovan McNabb I had hoped that he would lead us to the playoffs,” said Shanahan. “No one wanted him to be more successful than me. When the team was 5-8 and mathematically out of the playoffs, I made the decision to evaluate our other two quarterbacks.

“This was not personal, but strictly professional. The decision was made in the best interest of the Washington Redskins and I stand by my decision. I will attempt to talk to Fletcher Smith directly to clear up every one of his misconceptions.”

If the Shanahans believe that McNabb can’t run their offense, then they did nothing wrong in benching him. If they honestly think Grossman is better than they would be wrong. But at least their reasoning behind McNabb makes sense. (If he’s not going to be here next year, why keep playing him?).

That said, if the Shanahans want McNabb back next year and expect him to compete as a starter, then their decision to bench him for the human turnover machine looks ridiculous. Because even though the Redskins are out of it they would still benefit from McNabb taking as many reps in Shanahan’s offense as possible – especially if he’s struggling to grasp the system. You don’t bench the guy and then say, “But hey, maybe you’ll be better next year. We’ll see you then!”

What a weird situation.

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