Washington Redskins: Questions at the Quarterback Position

Josh McCainSenior Writer IDecember 7, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 05:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins throws a pass against the New York Giants on December 5, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Redskins 31-7.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins supposedly have their franchise quarterback in place for the road ahead.  Well, for at least three more seasons anyways.

Donovan McNabb has struggled this season, but I think for the near future the Redskins will be fine with him at quarterback, that is if they get something that resembles a professional offensive line.

However McNabb is getting up there in age in football years.  He's 34 years old and in NFL terms he's probably got, at most, five more years left in his career.

If the Skins want to have someone step in and take his place without missing a beat they're going to have to start thinking about a successor.

Where should the team look for such a player?

They could try to find a younger veteran in free-agency or through a trade.  With a lot of upheaval coming to the league this off-season there might be such a player available.

For instance, it looks like Alex Smith's days are numbered in San Fransisco.  Sure, he hasn't had the type of career you'd want to see from a number one overall pick, but you have to look at the team he's played for.

The 49ers since drafting him have been bad and have had, for the most part, terrible coaches.  I know people want to sing the praises of Mike Singletary because of his wonderful career a player and his sound bites after games, but he is a terrible coach.

However, when you pair Smith with a competent offensive coordinator he has shown signs of brilliance.  In his only season under offensive coordinator Norv Turner in 2006, Smith threw for 16 touchdowns and had 2,890 yards passing.

Not stellar numbers I know, but that was his first year in Norv's offense.  In fact Smith has had four different offensive coordinators in his five seasons in the league.

If given the chance to learn under a good veteran with a proven coach he might be able to settle into the offense and become the player the 49ers thought they drafted.

On a similar note, now that Josh McDaniels has been fired as the head coach of the Denver Broncos there has been a slew of talk of what might happen to Tim Tebow.

Everyone scratched their head that the Broncos took Tebow in the first round, considering most teams had him somewhere between late second round and the fourth.

Who knows what the Broncos will decide to do with Tebow once they settle on a head coach next season? They may keep him, cut him or try and trade him.

However some have speculated that Tebow would be a good understudy to McNabb.  

And I have to say I don't really disagree.

Tebow obviously isn't ready to start in the NFL, but the kid is one heck of an athlete and had a lot of upside.  Having him learn from Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb could do wonders for the kid and who knows, he could be the second coming of John Elway that Shanny has been looking for.

There is no guarantee to that of course, but if you can get him cheap I say why not? 

There is also the Draft. 

If the season were to end today, the Redskins would be picking at number nine.  They could move up for a quarterback or one could fall to them.

However, I would hope the Redskins would avoid drafting a quarterback this season because of the work needed on the offensive line.

What makes great offensive lines are guys who have played together almost their whole career.  They know and trust each other.  My hope for the Redskins in the next couple of drafts is to take as many offensive linemen as they can and build a steady line that will be here for at least a decade.

Then of course there is always Jeff Beck.  The Redskins trade for him this off-season to be their third string quarterback.

Now I'll admit I know nothing of Beck's abilities.  He might be a player the Redskins see a future with or Shanahan could have just viewed him as a better option at third string than Colt Brennan.

The question at quarterback isn't as glaring as other questions the Redskins have, but with McNabb's age they need to start looking towards the future soon, because I don't know about you, but I cringe whenever I see Rex Grossman warming up on the sideline.


    Vikings' Dalvin Cook Ahead of Schedule in ACL Rehab

    NFL logo

    Vikings' Dalvin Cook Ahead of Schedule in ACL Rehab

    via NFL.com

    Manziel Spends His 1st CFL Practice Watching, Learning

    NFL logo

    Manziel Spends His 1st CFL Practice Watching, Learning

    Mike Florio
    via ProFootballTalk

    Deshaun Will Participate in Texans OTAs This Week

    NFL logo

    Deshaun Will Participate in Texans OTAs This Week

    Jeff Risdon
    via Texans Wire

    Junior Galette Says He Has Offers, but May Retire

    Washington Redskins logo
    Washington Redskins

    Junior Galette Says He Has Offers, but May Retire

    Josh Alper
    via ProFootballTalk