Why Washington Redskins Need Andrew Luck More Than Dolphins, Colts

Andrea Hangst@FBALL_AndreaFeatured Columnist IVNovember 6, 2011

Why Washington Redskins Need Andrew Luck More Than Dolphins, Colts

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    The Washington Redskins were hoping for a positive change when they elected to bench quarterback Rex Grossman for John Beck in Week 6.

    Instead, they've lost every game in which Beck has appeared, dropping three in a row and becoming real, if not long-shot contenders to grab Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, the likely No. 1 2012 draft pick.

    While the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins appear, at this point, to have the best chances of drafting Luck, there are five clear reasons why he'd be better off suiting up for the Skins.

John Beck Is No Long-Term Answer for the Redskins

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    Nor is he much of one in the short-term, but Washington cannot do much about that at the moment.

    While head coach Mike Shanahan was extremely confident in the highly-inexperienced fourth-year veteran in the offseason, and he felt comfortable enough switching from Rex Grossman to Beck when the going went tough, it's not played out as rosy as he had imagined.

    Beck's ineptitude has helped the Redskins lose their last four games in a row, including today's Week 9 contest against the San Francisco 49ers that saw him throw 30 completions in 47 attempts for 254 yards, one touchdown and one interception, with the majority of his yards and completions coming when the game was well out of hand.

    Though Shanahan confirmed that Beck will remain the starter when speaking to the media after the loss, it's more likely that it's because Grossman is the only backup on the roster, and not because Beck has something special in him.

    Beck has proved he's not really the answer this season, and the Redskins would be better served to move on with a rookie quarterback, one with the capacity to reshape and lead the franchise—one like Andrew Luck.

Rex Grossman Has Little Value Beyond Being a Backup QB

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    Two things keep John Beck at the starting quarterback position for the Redskins: that his backup is Rex Grossman, and there's no one else backing up Grossman.

    Grossman was benched in Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles when he threw four interceptions and completed just 40.9 percent of his passes and he hasn't taken the field since.

    While many would think that a switch back to Grossman may help the Redskins get out of their four-game losing streak, a change of pace will only prove positive for a short amount of time. Grossman was benched for a reason, and it's doubtful that Shanahan will bow to outside pressure to switch back any time soon.

    Grossman has value, to be sure, but he's proven in his eight-and-a-half-years in the NFL that his talent is in decline. He's just lacking in so many fundamental skills that a starting quarterback is required to have, and that limits his options.

    Which is fine, if he were comfortable remaining as a backup for the duration of his career. But if he wants to start, he will have to move on from Washington; they need someone younger and worth developing.

The QB Situation in Miami Could Actually Be Worse

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    Especially after this season. While Matt Moore doesn't engender much confidence, surely, and his performance today against the Kansas City Chiefs certain to be anomalous, he's proven his usefulness enough for the Dolphins to retain him as a backup next season.

    Though injured starter Chad Henne is a free agent after this season, I believe that it would be smart for Miami to try to sign him to a new deal.

    Henne has tremendous upside despite what some elements of his statistics might indicate, and the team has valuable depth at receiver, running back and tight end to make it worth their while to keep its offense consistent for another season.

    Unlike the Redskins, the Dolphins wouldn't necessarily benefit from drafting and trying to develop a rookie quarterback when they've got a solid veteran who knows the system. Henne is Miami's quarterback of the future, and they'd be better served to realize it.

And, Believe It or Not, so Could the Colts'

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    To say the Colts don't need Andrew Luck as much as the Redskins is to make one important assumption: quarterback Peyton Manning will return to play more than one full season.

    If there's any doubt about Manning's future heading into the 2010 Draft, and the Colts are firmly in the position to take Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick, then they should. They, more than any other team, will need a quarterback able to start in Week 1, or if need be, Week 8.

    They'd likely prefer to have Luck sit on the bench behind Manning for a season; at the same time, they could also make other plans when it comes to 2103 and beyond if Manning's still around, considering the other significant needs the Colts have at a number of crucial positions.

    But, should the Colts have Manning as their starter for the next season or three, then the Redskins are certainly the team with the greatest need for Andrew Luck.

The Redskins Need a Franchise System Quarterback

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    The only thing that is going to save the Shanahans' careers in Washington is a quarterback. While that's not going to happen this season, what they do in 2012 will shape not only their coaching futures but the future of the Redskins as well.

    That's why it's more important for Washington to draft a start-worthy rookie quarterback in 2012, perhaps more than any other team.

    If the Shanahans Mike and Kyle can nab a quarterback as able to learn and to succeed as Andrew Luck, teach him their system from day one, than he will have the best chance to really perform they way that they envision a quarterback performing.

    A rotating carousel of washed-up veterans and also-rans aren't going to make the team a contender next year, or ever.

    The quicker they can install a rookie as the face of their franchise, the better their chances to not only build coaching and offensive stability, it's also a way to build a real legacy for the team.

    Whether it's by losses or by a shrewd-yet-risky series of trades, the Redskins should truly look into the possibility of drafting Andrew Luck and finally give themselves a chance to compete in both the quarterback-focused NFC East but also the NFL as a whole.