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Four Redskins Enroll In NFL MBA Program

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 12, 2012 – 3:43 pm

The NFL has announced that Redskins John Beck, Lorenzo Alexander, Josh Wilson and Will Montgomery will be four of the 66 players enrolling in the league’s MBA program this spring.

Beck and Montgomery will enroll in a program at the Harvard Business School from March 19-23, with an additional three-day session in early April.  The Harvard program focuses on developing a business plan in investments, real estate and retailing, among other areas.  Read more »

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Beck Takes Talents Back To South Beach

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 10, 2011 – 6:16 pm

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The inescapable storyline of this week’s game is that John Beck is returning to face the Dolphins, a team that once thought he was their quarterback of the future.  Now with his third team, Beck is looking for his first win as a pro, in the city where it all began four years ago.

“That was my first year in the NFL and you don’t really know what to expect as a rookie in the NFL — what your situation is like, what the team is like,” Beck told the Miami media yesterday.  “You don’t know what it’s like around the rest of the league. You just know that situation.”

And that situation wasn’t pretty.  The 2007 Dolphins were expected to be a competitive, albeit rebuilding regime under head coach Cam Cameron.  But when starting quarterback Trent Green went down with a scary concussion, it was down to Cleo Lemon and Beck to finish the season. Read more »

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Beck: Injuries No Excuse For Play

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 31, 2011 – 2:55 pm

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Clearly, the blocking schemes need to be reassessed this week after the Redskins pass protection yielded nine sacks yesterday.  The Redskins have lost three of their best blockers in Kory Lichtensteiger, Tim Hightower and Chris Cooley, and the absence of left tackle Trent Williams was felt especially hard yesterday.

But Beck didn’t accept any ready-made excuses, and said that they team needs to adjust and get better.

“That’s just part of the NFL,” he said.  “Because it’s a long season, injuries do happen.  The good teams find a way to win, regardless of who steps in.  That’s our plan: to be the good team.  That’s our plan, to just continually get better so we can insert whoever’s next up, and continue to play well.”

As the Redskins finally come home to take on the 49ers, Beck said his team was aware of the process that it would take to reverse the results of recent weeks.

“You never wanna lose a game, and you never wanna lose back-to-back games, and so forth,” he said.  “So this will definitely be a week for us to get as much as we can out of the game tape, get the most we can out of practice, and take that next step forward.”

Watch his full post-game presser, below: Read more »

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Third Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 30, 2011 – 6:13 pm

This game may not have started off like the Redskins wanted for the first 45 minutes, but credit this young team for not giving up.  On the second Bills’ drive of the second half, it was the young defenders that sparked the three-and-out, with Kevin Barnes and Ryan Kerrigan getting back-to-back tackles for a loss.  On third down, the Bills completed a pass over the middle for a short gain, and a gang tackle by London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo forced the punt.

Trotting on and off the field, the Redskins have their heads up and are trying to encourage each other.  This isn’t the picture of the selfish superstars that used to grace the sidelines in solitude.  This is a team that may not have the answers right now, but the players do care, and they aren’t quitting.

If there’s anything positive to take from the first three quarters of football, it would be a testament to character.  You don’t really know the character of a team when it’s winning.  Not to be lost in the middle of this recent slide, is that the Redskins appear to be bunching together rather than tearing at the seams.

Unfortunately, John Beck’s jersey is tearing at the seams.  He’s been on the receiving end of a career-high six sacks in the game (previously four), and the Redskins need to find a way to keep him upright in the final quarter of the game.  A large part of that is his receivers getting open sooner.  Beck has been responsible with the ball, and six sacks are far better than six turnovers.

Not much time to get back in this game, as the Bills are on top: Washington 0, Buffalo 20.

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Second Quarter Shake Down

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 30, 2011 – 5:24 pm

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This hasn’t been the best 30 minutes for international relations, at least not on the Washington side.

But as with every story worth telling, there are two sides to this one.

The Bills defense had four sacks on the season coming into this game.  In the first half, they had four on Redskins quarterback John Beck.  Some of these have been overload blitzes and trouble in the blocking scheme, but some of these have been coverage sacks.  This is a total-team issue that needs to be addressed in the second half.

On the other hand, John Beck has weathered the storm and has protected the football very well.  He’s dealing with three offensive linemen out of position due to injuries, his best pass-blocking running back on injured reserve, his best all-around tight end on injured reserve, and his No. 1 receiver out with a broken hand.

The Redskins need to find other ways to win, but it’s not going to be easy, by any stretch.

Things are a little brighter on the defensive side of the ball, with the Redskins defense doing a serviceable job at dictating the pace to the offense.  Yes, the Bills are taking what the Redskins give them, but the Redskins aren’t giving them a whole lot.  The Bills were ranked fourth in the league with 31.3 points per game, and the Redskins have limited them to 13 in the first half, including two goal line stands that kept them out of the end zone.

In short, it could be a lot worse.

The inside linebacker play has been a highlight of the first half, with London Fletcher, and his replacement Keyaron Fox, flying around near the line of scrimmage.  Fletcher’s hamstring was a concern all week, but he’s been spelled as needed by Fox, who is proving to be productive on both defense and special teams.

The Fletcher-Fitzpatrick-Orakpo sandwich at the end of the first half was disappointed only by the play-making ability of Fred Jackson with the ball in his hands.

In other news, this is a unique football venue, with only one jumbotron, a series of hotel rooms overlooking the field, and strange seating all over the lower level of the stadium.

They should really consider playing baseball here.

Redskins still looking to get on the board north of the border, trailing 0-13.

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First Quarter Impressions

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 30, 2011 – 4:40 pm

Who said punting wasn’t exciting?

Through the first three possessions of the game, the Redskins and Bills traded punts, with Australian phenom Sav Rocca landing three total inside the 20 (one negated by penalty) in the first quarter.

The international man of mystery is locked in today, and so is his coverage team.

Despite the Bills’ second drive ending in a touchdown, the Redskins are still doing one thing right: gang tackling.  Both near the line and down the field, the Redskins are swarming to the ball.  Unfortunately, the drive amounted to two big passing plays to receivers that had gotten open in the secondary.  Not sure what happened, but there were no burgundy hats in the area.

The score woke up the Redskins offense, who showed signs of life on the ensuing drive.  After a self-inflicted fumble on a scramble, quarterback John Beck took to the air, hitting Leonard Hankerson for a 23-yard gain.  This is the first catch of his young career, and a good rebound from the miscommunication that ended last week’s game.

Running back Ryan Torain looks good early, hitting the hole with conviction and fighting for the tough yards.  The Redskins don’t have anything to show for it in the first quarter, but all three units seem to be warming up as the game goes on.

Bills on top after one, 0-7.

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Dome, Sweet Dome

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 30, 2011 – 3:54 pm

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Welcome to the Rogers Centre [sic].

Time will tell if this is a hostile environment, but as of right now, the 55,000 seats are not yet filled.  Once again, I was impressed this week by the turnout of Redskins Nation in a foreign land, including this motley group from Hamilton, Ontario:

And they said I wouldn’t post the photo.

The players were locked in during warmup, talking only amongst themselves and their coaches.

Injured safety Oshiomogho Atogwe is back and healthy enough to start this week, warming up with the coaching staff during warmup.  He obliged my photographic needs by running a defensive route near my sideline:

Quarterback John Beck looked loose warming up with Rex Grossman (who looks dramatically better after last week’s bout with pneumonia), rolling out of the pocket and warming up with his receivers:

The open-air press box is deafening, and I love it.  The Redskins have taken the field under a chorus of boos, as the stadium is slowly filling up.  This is a big one for the Redskins.  We’ll find out how big it is in the next 12 minutes.

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Beck, Fitzpatrick, And A Very Old Rivalry

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 26, 2011 – 5:47 pm

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Sunday’s game in Toronto will pit two competitors against one another that have met many times before.

The Rogers Centre will be just the latest scene of the classic rivalry between John Beck and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The last time that Beck and Fitzpatrick squared off on the same playing field, both were backup quarterbacks for the Dolphins and Bengals, respectively.  The time before that, may have been in high school football in Pheonix, Ariz.  Or perhaps in community league swim team.

“I think it started off with swimming, to be honest,” Fitzpatrick told the media, about the way he met Beck.  “[Beck]’s a year older than I am and I have two older brothers that are twins who are a year-and-a-half older than I am, so he was in between us.  We grew up playing sports against each other.”

Beck confirmed the story during his own media session today, noting the similarities between their professional paths as well.

“Ryan and I actually grew up together,” he said.  “We’ve known each other since we were seven years old, eight years old. I’m really happy to see his success, but there [similarity] is because I know his story that he just kept working and, at one point, he was out of football and then he got picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals and played in I believe 12 games or 13 games for them that year. It’s just a good example – if you keep working, good things can happen.”

Beck is seeking his own success story this Sunday, still in pursuit of his first professional win as a starter.  The man on the field who best understand’s Beck’s path to this point may be Fitzpatrick.

“[Beck]’s definitely a competitor,” Fitzpatrick said.  “I think quarterback was always what he wanted to do.”

“I do remember that he was really good at backstroke though,” he added.

That’s Beck-stroke, to you.  He could have been the next Michael Phelps, before Michael Phelps.

“I think that’s the main thing,” Fitzpatrick said jokingly.  “When he was nine or 10 years old, I think he was maybe the best backstroker in the state.”

Beck is so invited to my pool party next summer.

Check out Beck’s full press conference, below: Read more »

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John Beck Fares Well, By The Numbers

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 24, 2011 – 6:13 pm

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This summer, amidst great fanfare, ESPN unveiled its QBR rating system to replace the confusing quarterback rating system.

Now we have a brand new, shiny, (confusing) quarterback rating system.  And according to that system, John Beck was pretty alright yesterday.

As I noted yesterday, Beck turned in the second-highest Redskins (archaic) quarterback rating of the season.  Today, we learned via ESPN NFC East Blogger Dan Graziano’s piece, that Beck turned in the third-highest Redskins (shiny) quarterback rating of the season.  Not only that, but he was 12th-highest in the league yesterday.

This is the added analysis by Graziano: Read more »

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Austin As A Backup Quarterback?

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 24, 2011 – 1:21 pm

Under the new NFL collective bargaining agreement, teams are able to dress 46 players for gameday, instead of 45 plus a backup quarterback.  Under these rules, teams like the Redskins elected not to carry that third quarterback option, and instead chose to keep another position player.

This decision almost backfired yesterday.

John Beck was named the starting quarterback early in the week, but by the weekend, his backup Rex Grossman had pneumonia and a 103-degree fever.

Surprisingly, Grossman was still a possibility if needed.

“[Grossman] was ready to go at it if John went down,” head coach Mike Shanahan said after the game.  “We brought him out for pre-game. You could see that he was having a tough time so we kept him in here watching it on TV in case we needed him.”

With no other bona fide quarterbacks on the roster, multiple players auditioned under center before the game.

“We had a couple of guys take hand-offs,” Shanahan explained.  “We had two or three guys that could do that. It really didn’t matter.”

“Terrence Austin would probably have been the one.” Read more »

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