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At the very least, there’s no question who the Panthers’ quarterback is now and for the foreseeable future.

“That’s huge,” Carolina first-year coach Ron Rivera said. “He’ll be a stabilizing force for us at that position for years to come, hopefully. We can focus and concentrate on other things like finding and keeping playmakers to be around him, building our lines, building the offensive and defensive sides of the ball without constantly having to worry and focus on the quarterback position.”

That Washington doesn’t have a proven, elite quarterback at this point in Shanahan’s tenure, though, doesn’t necessarily mean his plan has gone awry. Acquiring the quarterback requires some good fortune in the draft or other opportunities.

The Panthers had the chance to draft Newton, and they did. The Redskins weren’t enamored with any of the quarterbacks taken after him, so they decided to build their undermanned defense instead. So far, that side of the ball is much improved.

Of course, Shanahan hoped to have installed the franchise quarterback by trading for McNabb two springs ago, but McNabb did not meet coaches’ expectations and was traded.

“We thought it was in the best interest of our team not to have him but to have somebody else,” Shanahan said. “We’ll try out a lot of guys to give them chances, but for them to be here long-term and be the guy, they have to prove to us that they prepare the right way and work the right way.”

Shanahan gave Rex Grossman five games to prove himself before moving on to Beck.

The Miami Dolphins drafted him 40th overall in 2007. After more than 15 seasons of stability provided by Hall of Famer Dan Marino, the Dolphins’ search for Marino’s successor led them to him.

That Beck will start for Washington on Sunday tells you how that worked out.

Shanahan, however, believes the Redskins could strike gold with him.

“I don’t think there’s any question about it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 30 [years old]. How much is your body bruised up? He has some experience, he still has speed. I like what I see.”