Some notes and analysis from Tuesday at Redskins Park:
QB John Beck’s availability for Friday’s preseason opener is in question after he missed part of practice for the third straight time. It’s early in the preseason, so there’s no point in Beck rushing back to play before he’s healthy. Shanahan could adjust the playing time distribution accordingly, and Beck still could get plenty of reps in the remaining three games. If he were to suffer a serious setback, the competition would be over.
The Redskins released their first unofficial depth chart of the year Tuesday morning. You can check it out by clicking on this PDF and going to page 21.
I’m not reading much into QB Rex Grossman being listed ahead of Beck. This depth chart was released with Friday’s game in mind and reflects injuries to players such as RBRyan Torain (hand). Plus, Grossman should be listed as the No. 1 because he was ahead of Beck last season. It’ll play itself out.
How about WR Jabar Gaffney coming in and immediately being ranked as the second starting receiver? Think of it this way: For DE Jeremy Jarmon, DL Vonnie Holliday and a sixth-round draft pick, the Redskins acquired Gaffney and RB Tim Hightower, both of whom could start Week 1 against the Giants. That’s some pretty good wheeling and dealing, considering Jarmon is a much better fit for a 4-3 and the Redskins wanted to get younger up front on defense.
CB Phillip Buchanon’s four-game suspension to star the season adds some intrigue to the bottom end of the cornerback depth chart. Would Shanahan opt to keep rookie S DeJon Gomes, who can cover a receiver in the slot? Or could a player such as CB Reggie Jones jump up and grab a four-week opportunity?
The Redskins will attend former Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor’s Pro Day, according to John Keim of the Washington Examiner. It’s noteworthy that the Redskins will scout Pryor, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Pryor is a big name because he’s a good athlete, and the Redskins must do their due diligence on a player like that, especially since they haven’t solved the quarterback problems. That said, I don’t see Pryor ending up here. I’m not sure Shanahan has time for a major QB project. If they draft one next year, he’s going to be polished.
Also of note, the NFL Network reported that Pryor is not eligible for the upcoming supplemental draft.
I have a hard time getting excited about Sports Illustrated’s report that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan recently said he would have drafted John Beck with the 10th pick in 2007 while he was an assistant for the Houston Texans.
First of all, that endorsement doesn’t trump Mike Shanahan’s statement on July 29 that “I’m putting my reputation on these [quarterbacks] that they can play.”
And here’s the main thing: Do the Shanahans end up looking foolish and misguided in Beck flops? Sure. But they care waaayyyyyyy less about that than they do about publicly backing Beck and Grossman and instilling confidence in those two.
The Shanahan’s are putting their quarterbacks’ confidence ahead of how they are perceived publicly, and I’ll give them credit for that because that wasn’t always the case with QB Donovan McNabb.