- The Washington Times - Friday, December 30, 2011

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan acknowledged Friday he began watching game film of college quarterbacks at midseason.

It’s no secret that the Redskins need improved quarterback play — Rex Grossman is tied for the NFL lead with 24 turnovers in only 12 starts — so Shanahan’s admission is not necessarily major. And Shanahan also implied this is not an unusual practice.

But Shanahan long ago turned some of his attention toward possible replacements for Grossman and John Beck.

“I’ve probably already looked at 10 or 15 of them,” Shanahan said. “I’ll take a half hour a day early in the morning — the tapes are made up. I’ll take a look at maybe 75, 80 plays of just a guy throwing the football in game situations, and so that’s most of the passes — or at least the good passes — during the season just so I get a feel for the guy.

“You’ve got names; sometimes you can’t relate to how a guy is playing because you hear a lot about it on TV, but a lot of it’s hype and not evaluation. So you like to go back and kind of put the play with the name.”

Washington already has secured a last-place finish in the NFC East prior to Sunday’s season finale at Philadelphia, so interview topics with the head coach this week drifted forward to the Redskins‘ offseason plan.

There’s only 118 days until the Redskins go on the clock, and in little more than 48 hours from now, their spot in the draft order will be finalized.

Beck sees a brighter future

Backup quarterback John Beck’s season did not go as planned, but he’s still encouraged about his future with the Redskins.

“Oh heck yes, I definitely want to be back,” he said Friday. “That thought hasn’t even crossed my mind.”

Beck is under contract for 2012, so he’d be denied that opportunity only if the team releases him. He wants to earn that chance, though, by making the most of the upcoming offseason.

Last spring — his first offseason in the Redskins‘ offense — he missed out on the offseason program because of the lockout. He already has reached out to offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan about scheduling offseason work for the upcoming months.

He wants to build on the positives and negatives of his ill-fated three-start midseason stint.

“I’m excited for this offseason,” Beck said. “I just want to get better. That’s the number one thing for me. There’s no rearview mirror. I’m just ready to work my tail off.”

Jenkins’ rehab progressing well

The end of the regular season Sunday is an important milestone for rookie defensive end Jarvis Jenkins. He’ll no longer be missing out on playing in games with his teammates because of the torn right ACL he suffered in the preseason. They’ll all be training for next season.

“I’m getting work in just like everybody else,” Jenkins said this week. “I have chance to get ahead, actually, get stronger and get faster and get my leg as strong as I can.”

Redskins coaches believe Jenkins, a second-round pick out of Clemson, could have been a major contributor as a rookie. In some ways, then, his return next season will seem like having an extra draft pick.

Jenkins is expected to be ready to participate in organized team activities in the spring.

“He’s been to all the meetings,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “His rehab has gone well. We’re just looking forward to him going to his second year with a lot more experience, not necessarily on the field, but in the classroom. I’ve liked the way he’s handled himself, the way he’s worked, so I think he’ll be a big plus for us.”

Helu expects to play

Running back Roy Helu (knee, toe) said he expects to play against the Eagles. He’s officially listed as questionable. Right tackle Jammal Brown (hip) also is questionable.