Before tonight's game, there was one thing every Washington Redskins onlooker was waiting to see: After all of the hype over the last several months, how will John Beck fare in his first preseason outing of 2011?
Mike Shanahan gave Beck the opportunity to play with the first-team starters for the entire first half, and the results might be the best-case scenario for the young quarterback, as well as the coaching staff who has been so high on him throughout the offseason.
Beck looked confident, poised and strong in and out of the pocket. He shattered every criticism about his arm strength, delivering the ball with the zip that hasn't been seen from him since his days at BYU. Beyond that, I didn't see a single pass which wasn't accurate. He also showed that he can roll to the outside, create space and deliver an excellent pass.
Basically, he was everything everyone hoped Donovan McNabb would be—and wasn't—last year.
Rex Grossman looked great last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the premier defenses in all of professional football, and played pretty well at the front end of the second half against the Indianapolis Colts. There were several plays in which he looked like a starting quarterback.
He threw an interception to a second-team Indianapolis linebacker, and therewith went his confidence. This showing was the perfect example of what epitomizes Grossman's ability: He plays well and with excellent rhythm when he is in that rhythm, but when that rhythm is shattered, so does Rex Grossman's confidence and ability.
This phenomenon was perhaps described best by a young man I watched the game next to on Friday night: "Rex Grossman is really good, until he's not."
Beck's 14-17, 140-yard performance was wholly inspiring, and if performances like this persist, Mike Shanahan will look like a genius in the face of virtually every NFL analyst.
His skill set looked eerily similar to that of another quarterback Shanahan put faith in, a certain Jay Cutler. It very well may be too early to make such a comparison, but watch the film and see for yourself.
If one combines Beck's intangibles with Cutler-esque ability, that is certainly a riveting prospect for Redskins fans.
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