Thursday, August 11, 2011

Redskins position preview: Quarterbacks

OK, still working through each position from my original 53 man roster projection (which is already, and expectedly, out of date).

You can see the previous postion previews here: Defensive line, linebackers, secondary.

Quarterback is the first offensive position written up so far, so obviously some positions will have to be wrapped up after the first preseason game Friday night. But such is life.

Anyway, you'll recall this was my predicted depth chart last week:
Previous position previews: Defensive line, linebackers, secondary. This is the first offensive position we've gotten to, so of course some will have to get wrapped up after the first preseason game tomorrow night. But such is life.


Starter: Rex Grossman
Backup: John Beck
3rd QB: Kellen Clemens

The universal narrative is that John Beck is terrible. This is untrue. He is only likely to be terrible. 
Beck is very much an unknown quantity. His poor stats from his Miami days are virtually meaningless. The sample size issue is obvious. More importantly, he was a rookie on a terrible (1-15) team. Afterwards, a new regime took over in Miami and brought in their own guy (who also hasn't really panned out).  Once he arrived in Baltimore, they were already committed to Joe Flacco as their starter.

Now, the odds of a 30 year old with five games under his belt five years ago are long. References to Kurt Warner's obscure background are simply silly, and remind me of this classic Calvin & Hobbes strip. Nonetheless, I don't know how well or poorly John Beck can play. Neither do you. I really wish we could watch the guy play a game or two before deciding what we have here.  

Grossman, of course, is a little bit less of a mystery. He strikes me as a perfectly adequate backup who can move the offense a bit, but too much of a turnover risk to really trust as a starter.

At this point it appears it could be coin flip who gets the Week 1 start, though it obviously seems possible that both could get significant time this year. I had to pick someone as the starter, so went with Grossman just due to experience (The devil you know, as they say).

Finally, you will note that I have Kellen Clemens making the roster as well. Mike Shanahan has gone with only two QBs before, and there's no reason he couldn't do it again. But given the aforementioned underwhelming options, it seems reasonable to keep another option at hand. Suppose, for example, that Grossman gets hurt and Beck is as bad as people think he is.  If one of the camp arms (Matt Gutierrez and Ben Chappell - hardly knew ya, Verica) is hanging out on the practice squad or the bottom of the roster he will have virtually no chance at being productive. Another veteran, even an underwhelming one like Clemens, would be much better as a worst case scenario.

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