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Report: Shanahan Preferred Beck to Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Etc.

From Jason Reid’s SHANAHAN FAIL column for the Washington Post:

[Mike] Shanahan actually believed [John] Beck, whose vision seemed to extend no more than 10 yards downfield, was better than any quarterback he could have selected in the April draft, Redskins people say.

Really, that’s all you need to know.

That tasty nugget really stood out. Because it can only mean a few things:

1. Shanahan liked Beck more than Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, etc. That would be ridiculous, especially in hindsight. It’s important to note, though, that this is how the column was written. Shanahan preferred Beck to “any quarterback he could have selected in the draft.” Sounds similar to how Kyle Shanahan felt back in 2007.

2. Shanahan liked Beck and draft picks more than Newton, etc. If this is the case, that’s reasonable. They would have had to trade a lot to get Newton at No. 1. They couldn’t have had Ryan Kerrigan if they took Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert or Jake Locker. Dalton and Colin Kaepernick weren’t there when they took Jarvis Jenkins in the second. And that’s okay, because the Skins needed a nose man too.

In fact, of all the things wrong with the Redskins, the 2011 draft does not seem like one of them. It’s probably the only thing Shanahan has done that has my full approval. They got a stud at a position of need (Kerrigan) and ended up with 12 picks to fill out a depleted roster. That seems better than, say, Gabbert, no Kerrigan and fewer picks.

3. Jason Reid is overstating things. You know, he has a track record of that when reporting/columnizing on Beck and the Shanahans. In this case, it seems that he heard the Shanahans liked Beck enough to draft elsewhere and go into the season with him and Rex Grossman. That’s different than liking Beck more than Newton or anyone else straight-up.

It is true that Beck can’t see further than 10 yards downfield, though.

D.C. sports fan and digital media guy that's been doing this since 2004. Once threw a football further than Chris Cooley.



  1. Krem

    November 14, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    It has to be No. 2.

  2. JDobs2

    November 14, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Please keep in mind that all QB’s drafted by the ‘Skins suck. Therefore, Shanny is right. Beck is better than any of the QB’s you mentioned above because if they came into this organization they wouldn’t be having nearly the years that they are on their teams.

  3. @mathewbrown

    November 14, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    100% agree with the 2011 draft being an unequivocal success for the Redskins thus far. He didn’t like Beck better than all those guys, he liked Beck better than reaching up for a pick when the whole roster needs help.

  4. McBride

    November 14, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    I think the key phrase is “could have selected.” Realistically he couldn’t have selected Cam Newton, so Beck > Newton is a little unfair.

    I think – like a lot of of GMs/scouts – he didn’t realize how good Andy Dalton was. Toss in the prospect of Luck/Barkley/Jones/RGIII in the following year’s draft and you could see where waiting would be considered a good option.

  5. ben

    November 14, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Def number 3. Jason Reid has an axe to grind because they started Grossman over Beck. He is angry Shanahan “lied” to the media. Give me a break.

    Regarding the switch at QB:

    Yes, Skins need to evaluate their young talent. No, John Beck is not the young talent.

    The young talent are people like Hankerson, and you need someone who can make all the throws so we can see what he has and get him some action.

    If they can keep the passing game moving a little, the running game will open up and we can see what Helu (and maybe next week Choice) can do.

    Sure, they didn’t win, but I can console myself with thoughts of a high draft pick and visions of young guys performing well that are going to hopefully be on the roster for years to come.

  6. mpc

    November 14, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    This is a J Reid bashing post, so I feel a need to pile on. This garbage column is exactly why the Redskins have been a wreck for the past two decades. It operates from the presumption that if only the Skins had brought in the right coach or just the right quarterback they could have been a contender this season. Everyone with an ounce of common sense or football acumen knew that after decades of mis or non drafting this was going to be year 2 (or 1, depending on thoughts on the Mc5 season) of a much needed rebuild. J Reid says “It doesn’t matter who plays quarterback for the final seven games.” No, actually, J Reid, it didn’t matter who played QB for the entire 16 game season. Even if you had brought Tom Brady in he would have been surrounded by such a craptacular supporting cast that this team wasn’t realistically going to make the playoffs. It’s the lack of roster depth and skill at all 52 player slots that makes this team suck, not the decisions of the Shanahans on the matter of who plays at one position on the roster.

    What did you expect Mike or Kyle to say at the start of the season? “I don’t think either of these guys can realistically win or compete, but we’re going to go with them because we have greater needs at other positions, trading up doesn’t make sense, and we’re done with blowing free agent money for quick remedies that don’t correct the root cause of franchise malaise. Oh, and fixing the wreck my boss gave me is going to take 3-5 years. Deal with it, fans and media.”

  7. TheYellowSlant

    November 14, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Andy Dalton chucks balls deep and hopes A.J. Green can come down with them. Everything else is just check down, check down, check down. If Beck had a 6’4″ freak of nature I’m sure he could have similar success.

  8. Alex Reed

    November 14, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    We should also consider the fact that Newton/Dalton/etc. would suck if the Redskins drafted them, so I doubt we’re missing out on much.

  9. mpc

    November 14, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Also, key point left out of the Cam Newton comparison: his team is still 2-7.

  10. ThisGuy

    November 14, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    @ mpc: I agree 100%. Terl was right in the Winners & Losers that we’re seeing positive things from young players, and that’s what this season was always about. #2 here is right, that stockpiling draft picks and going with a bridge Qb was better than hastily putting our eggs into, say, Blaine Gabbert’s basket. Chris is right in the next post that we should still play Grossman so our young players can develop with an actually capable quarterback, flawed though he is. And we’re all idiots for once again getting our hopes up after a “hot start.” My friend kept guaranteeing me 5-11 even after the 3-1 start. I wish I had his level head. We were all fooled!

    Stay the course, let the Shanaman build, and we’ll find our QB. Someday. Maybe.

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