Video Breakdown: John Beck throw by throw analysis

With Rex Grossman being benched in favor of John Beck after throwing 4 interceptions (and none of the flukey batted ball variety) yesterday against the Eagles, overwhelming speculation is that Beck will be named the new Redskins starting QB next week in Carolina when they face the Panthers.

Beck took over for Grossman in the 4th Quarter, and led two drives.  On the first drive, the Skins got within distance for long field Graham Gano FG attempt, but a delay of game penalty pushed them too far back and the Skins had to punt.  On the second drive the Skins went 80 yards and scored.

That was the first time Beck saw any regular season action since 2007, so we may as well get busy braking down his performance yesterday.

Drive #1:

– (0:00) Fred Davis comes across the formation at the snap and tries to get a block on Darryl Tapp, but doesn’t get much of him and goes to the ground.  With Tapp bearing down on him, Beck calmly waits for Davis to get back up, and floats a nice ball to Davis, who runs for a first down.  Nice poise for Beck on his first play in a meaningful game since 2007.

– (0:27) Nice playcall here by the Skins – roll everyone right, throw back to the left to the running back.  And it was there, but Beck simply misses him.  Bad throw.

– (0:40) Beck shows off the wheels here. He’s able to turn the corner on the athletic Jason Babin, then cuts back inside to avoid Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.  Impressive. That’s definitely not something you’ll ever see from Rex Grossman.

– (0:54) Bad throw again. Had Jabar Gaffney on a crosser and missed him.  Should have been a nice gain.

– (1:10) The Eagles send a couple blitzers right down the A gap (in Beck’s face), and it looks to me like the Skins did a decent enough job picking it up.  Beck unloaded the ball in the dirt in haste near Fred Davis, incomplete.  This is probably an appropriate place to note that whenever FOX showed a replay I included it, but unlike CBS (who is great with replays), FOX’s TV crew kinda sucks.  Would have been good to get another look at this play, and others.

– (1:19) Great job here by Beck on 3rd and long.  He steps up into a clean throwing window, and delivers a sharp ball to Santana Moss for the 1st down. Looks to have a nice quick release, too.

– (2:03) Oof. Good read by Beck here, but Ryan Torain drops the pass.  Skins are probably looking at 1st down somewhere around the 15 is Torain makes the easy play here.

– (2:12) Checkdown to Donte Stallworth. Difficult to see what else he had/didn’t have downfield.

– (2:29) This isn’t a terrible ball by Beck, but it might be a TD if it’s a little more to the inside. Nice play Rodgers-Cromartie breaking it up.

(Second drive after the jump)

Drive #2:

– (0:00) For some reason, FOX is showing a replay of the Eagles gunner on punt coverage being blocked instead of live action on the field, but it looks like Beck misses Davis on a quick hitter.

– (0:14) Easy pitch and catch to Jabar Gaffney.

– (0:30) Beck almost gets Roy Helu killed here.  Not sure he even saw Brian Rolle breaking on the pattern.

– (0:55) OK, mixed thoughts on this one. On the one hand, Beck does a nice job going through his reads, and finds an open Donte Stallworth way downfield.  He throws from his own 22, and the ball comes down at the Eagles 20.  58 yards in the air.  He’s able to step into the throw a little, but we’re not talking about full body torque here.  Impressive arm strength.  But the ball placement is bad, and Stallworth has to wait for it as Nate Allen bears down on him.  Obviously, it’s a bad drop by Stallworth.  Some things to like here from Beck, but I’ll bet he wishes he had this one back.

– (1:14) – Screen to Moss.  Routine.

– (1:33) – Really like this throw by Beck.  The Eagles blitz, the Skins can’t pick it up, and Beck has no time.  He floats a perfect ball over the DE in coverage to the RB for a nice 7 yard gain before getting hit.  Well done.

– (1:42) – This is just ugly. Won’t get too deep into this play.

– (2:17) – Ignore Brian Billick’s commentary here. Beck’s elbow clearly hits Chris Chester (and not on the follow-through as Billick suggests in his half-backpedal), thus the errant throw.

– (2:56) – Pressure play on 4th and long, and Beck calmly finds Stallworth open in a hole in the zone. Nicely done.

– (3:35) – I don’t know if it was a “wobbler” as Sam Rosen suggests here (tough to tell), but it’s perfect ball placement from Beck to Terrence Austin.  Great throw.

– (4:12) – Well, we already knew Beck could run.  He sells the pass nicely, and runs in for the easy score on the draw.

Beck’s stats on the day, in 1 quarter of playing catch-up:

2 drives – 8 for 15 for 117, 0 TD, 0 INT.  2 rushes for 14 yards and a TD.

My take: I think Beck showed enough that he’ll start next week. The Redskins need to control the clock, run the football, and get good decision making from their QB.  Rex Grossman simply isn’t making good decisions. There are some things to be encouraged about from Beck’s play on the game tape. Live arm, wheels, and from his albeit limited small sample size here, he didn’t seem to make any poor judgement throws.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.

You can follow Jimmy on twitter at @Jimmy_Beast.


  1. I hope you’ll write sth more about it sooooon. Thx a lot!

  2. Handy article, thank you very much 🙂

  3. Nice article, few new things for me – appreciate

  4. Bula Gromley says:

    It’s an emotive subject but I think you can pull it off…keep up the good work.

  5. […] surprise to anyone that watched the Redskins-Eagles game last week. In case you missed it, I did a throw-by-throw analysis of John Beck’s game in relief of Rex Grossman against Philly last week, with video. Beck was up and down, but had his […]

  6. DavidDunn says:

    btw-the throw to austin and stallworth were major wobblers…looked like punts…part of the reason for stallworth’s drop…they looked horrific in stadium…I didn’t notice how tough it is to see on tv…

    1. TheDeepBall says:

      And yet you still cheered when Austin caught it and Beck ran for the TD just the same.

  7. DavidDunn says:

    It may not have shown on tv….but John Beck is not the answer.


    Grossman is horrible to…so I don’t know who to start, but I would recommend looking at the tape again on the eval. Three major things stood out at the stadium. 2 good 1 bad, but the bad outweighs the good in my opinion.

    1. Good – Beck did make the right reads. Now Philly softened up the zone, but the reads were good including multi receiver progressions.

    2. Good – He is much more mobile.

    2. Bad – He has a hitch in his throw with a curve ball type spin in his delivery that is going to result in some wild interceptions. This is the death of a quarterbacks career. Every other pass was a duck. And not even a close one. They looked like bad punts at times. This results in at least four underthrows due to the lack a a spiral in my opinion. You can not, I REPEAT, can not have an NFL QB that can’t throw a spiral. NFL Secondaries are too good.

    I start Grossman after sending the message, and correct what I think is the real problem. An Offensive Coordinator that is making very bad play call decisions. An example is in the videos above. Look at how many times they ran no RB sets, or motioned the RBs out. And at that, the routes were not quick routes. I assume they saw looks that showed their was a low blitz probability, but they consistently gave away through packages and formations their primary intent (Run v. Pass). That is inexcusable. How many times do I have to see Niles Paul come in to tell me it is absolutely a run play. Kyle should have as much heat on him as Grossman.

    Unless Beck has an injury, he throwing motion and ball have me scared to death as a fan, and it was very apparent from the stadium.

    1. Lucian says:

      From someone who followed his college career, he can throw a spiral, good grief. Youtube the man.

  8. lbashaw says:

    Grossman should not only be benched he should apologize to the Redskins, retire and play winter sports in the far northern regions of Canada.



  9. Tron says:

    “Ignore Brian Billick’s commentary here.”

    Words to live by…. he is awful

    Im surprised you didn’t go with a breakdown of Vince Youngs performance.

    1. “Im surprised you didn’t go with a breakdown of Vince Youngs performance.”

      Ha, nice.

      1. Jay Walker (GIB) says:

        “Vince Young steps in an goes under cen……ouch.
        Woozy Vick back in….”

        1. And then the Vick analysis after that:

          Vick drops back to pass, sees 3 Jason Avants, throws to the one in the middle. Complete!

  10. Jay Walker (GIB) says:

    The ultimate showdown….
    Tried and true Veteran John Beck vs. Upstart Rookie Cam Newton.

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