Browsing all articles tagged with Pat Devlin
Nov
8

What the Redskins Should do at QB This Year

After three increasingly depressing starts by John Beck, it’s time for the Redskins to admit he’s not a NFL-caliber quarterback. The offense has been woeful the past few games and while that’s not all on him, he’s making a bad offense looks offensively bad. Head coach Mike Shanahan can claim that Beck is improving and “getting there” all he wants but the truth is obvious. The reason John Beck has never had a real chance to start in the NFL is he doesn’t deserve one. He doesn’t go through his receiver progressions, instead he locks onto one target and either throws it to them, tucks and run, or takes a sack. He’s afraid to go downfield, largely because he lacks the arm strength and accuracy to hit his receivers deep. Against the Bills he held the ball too long and was sacked ten times. On Sunday against the 49ers he let go of the ball to quickly, throwing meaningless dump-off pass near the line of scrimmage while he had targets getting open downfield. In Beck’s time under center this year he’s given no indication he’s the Redskins future at QB, or even their future second-stringer.

The Redskins can’t continue to start John Beck; they have to do something else at QB. Not only does he hurt their chance to win, he hurts their chance to rebuild. How do you evaluate receivers if your QB won’t throw to them? How to do you evaluate a running back’s effectiveness if the QB can’t sustain drives? How do you judge an offensive line if the passer is holding the ball too long or getting rid of it to quickly? If Beck continues to play he’ll begin to hamper other players’ development.

What should the Redskins do then? It is too late to trade for a QB and there are no meaningful free agents on the market. So, the Redskins have three bad options – give the job back to former starter Rex Grossman, give practice squad QB Jonathan Crompton a chance, or sign another team’s practice squad QB. Let’s break the down the different scenarios.

1. Give Grossman back the starting job

Reasons Why Not

Rex Grossman was benched for reason and that was his terrible turnovers. For every TD he’s thrown this year, he’s thrown 1.5 picks. Add in his two fumbles and he has 1.8 turnovers for every TD thrown. It’s hard for a team to win when its quarterback is giving the ball away so much. Grossman also appears to have peaked. He’s never going to be any better than what he is, and is clearly not the long term solution at QB.

Reason Why

Despite all of his turnovers, Grossman can move the ball up the field. In Sexy Rexy’s four starts kicker Graham Gano was averaging 2.5 field goal attempts a game. In Beck’s three starts he’s averaging only 1.3. In fact, in Grossman’s starts the team averaged 20.75 points per game. The defense is allowing 19.8 points per game all season. Starting Grossman would give the Redskins a decent shot at squeaking out a few wins.

2. Give Jonathan Crompton a chance

Reasons Why Not

Crompton was not a hot prospect coming out of college. The Redskins are his fourth team in his two years in the NFL so he’s not impressing anyone. He is also at the disadvantage of being signed after the pre-season, so he has no live game experience in this offense.

Reasons Why

It’s hard to come up with a reason why Crompton should start, but hopefully the Shanahans envisioned him as the future third-stringer for the team. Surely he wasn’t signed just to be a warm body on the practice squad. Right?

3. Sign a QB from another teams practice squad

Reasons Why Not

There is only one notable QB prospect on any practice squad in the NFL. Former Delaware QB is signed to the Miami Dolphins. When Devlin declared for the 2011 draft he was considered a top QB prospect but he didn’t end up being drafted. He hurt his draft stock with poor performances in the combine and pre-draft workouts. He also showed up late to his own pro days, which many NFL teams saw as a sign of immaturity. The consensus on him is that he’s not ready for the NFL yet. If he can’t even get on the active roster of the atrocious Dolphins he may not be.

Reasons Why

There’s no good reason why the Redskins should do this. Though, most of the other coaches in the league seem to be better judges of QB talent than Mike Shanahan right now.

What’s the Answer?

The Redskins should start Grossman, cut Beck, and promote Crompton to backup. Look, it’s not a good solution, but it’s the best available. Grossman will lose some games for the Redskins but at least the offense will have a spark. Beck doesn’t have a future with this franchise or in the NFL. Unless, he transforms into a vastly better QB this weekend, continuing to start him is futile. No one seems to think that Crompton has much of a future, but the Redskins should see if he’s good enough to be the third-stringer next year.

The Redskins need to figure out what they have on offense and what pieces need to be added next year. It’s going to be a long, painful season but there’s no need to make it worse. The Beck experiment failed. It’s time to move on.