News & Politics

Shanahan’s Seat Gets Hotter With Another Redskins Loss

The Redskins are in freefall after their fourth straight defeat.

Another bad day for John Beck meant another Redskins loss. Photo by Brian Murphy

When asked about the quarterback situation following Washington’s latest loss, Mike Shanahan’s answer was unequivocal. “Yeah, we’re going to stick with John.”

When you think about it, it’s that not difficult to understand the coach’s decision. This offense is going to be bad, no matter who is throwing the passes. Rex Grossman doesn’t give the team a better chance to win so much as he gives them a different way to lose. Shanahan has decided he’d rather move forward with Washington’s own Captain Checkdown than endure the boom-and-bust nature of Sexy Rexy.

What is much more difficult to understand is Shanahan’s claim that the thought of benching John Beck never so much as entered his mind while the Redskins were falling to the 49ers by a score of 19–11. It’s hard to believe the coach, mostly because the game was so filled with opportunities to do just that.

Like during halftime, for instance. After two quarters, Beck had completed just half of his 20 passes for 86 yards and an interception. It also marked a sixth consecutive quarter without a touchdown for the Redskins. If Shanahan didn’t at least consider the possibility of going back to Rex around that time, I’d have to wonder if he was operating at full capacity. Either all of that time in the sun has fried his brain, or—bear with me here—Shanahan may have been less than forthright when speaking to the media.

I know, it’s a crazy thought. But maybe, just maybe, we can get a better idea of where the coach is coming from by analyzing his postgame comments and translating what he’s really trying to say.

I think [Beck] had some opportunities that he’d like to have over, just like most quarterbacks.

Our wide receivers had room to operate because San Francisco’s safeties were cheating up toward the line of scrimmage. It’s almost as if they’ve seen John Beck play football before today.

I thought he got rid of the ball quick.

He didn’t even bother to go through his progression, just went straight to the underneath option.

It’s a learning experience for [Beck]. He’s going to get better as time goes on.

He has to, otherwise that would make me wrong. And, having earned two Super Bowl rings, I can never be wrong.

You could see some of those mistakes made today by some young players. It usually looks like it’s always the quarterback, which we understand. It’s always going to appear that way.

It’s not your fault that you don’t recognize this. You don’t share my level of expertise, so I shouldn’t expect you to understand.

When you lose a few pieces of the puzzle, the quarterback is going to look pretty average. We’re playing pretty average as a group.

You know, average. Like how the O-ring on the Challenger shuttle provided an average seal.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a six-day mental vacation from my favorite football team. I suggest you do the same if you want to survive this season with your sanity intact.