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Former BYU star John Beck excited about his new opportunity

SHARE Former BYU star John Beck excited about his new opportunity

John Beck's days after his trade from the Ravens to the Redskins have been so intense his family hasn't heard from him since Monday.

From the Beck household in Mesa, Ariz., where John Beck played at nearby Mountain View, his father says the last time he heard from his son was Monday when John called for some help filling out some tax forms.

"He was sitting in the Redskins' quarterback team room filling out papers," said his father, Wendell Beck.

Since that time, one can only imagine what's going on with the Washington QB, who is trying to digest an entirely new offense on the fly.

"I can tell you this," Wendell Beck said. "From talking to him on Monday, I don't think my son has been as happy as this in a long, long time. He may even be more excited than when he was drafted by the Dolphins on draft day."


Because he didn't get anywhere in Miami, and it wasn't happening for him in Baltimore, either, behind a rising star like Joe Flacco and expensive Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.

Perhaps making the roster at Washington will open a door for Beck behind often-injured Donovan McNabb.

With the Redskins, Beck believes he has a coaching staff that understands his game and talent and is giving him a chance to see what he can do. The tough part is performing while learning everything new and doing it against Washington's first and second defense while playing with a cast made up of rookies and new acquisitions who are also learning what to do after "hike."

John Beck is eager to hook up with head coach Mike Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Kyle Shanahan. It was Mike Shanahan who helped Steve Young earn the league's MVP honors in those early '90s seasons after Joe Montana left the 49ers.

"I think they have been aware of John since his days at BYU," Wendell Beck said. "They are very familiar with his quick release and the quick-developing pass plays BYU utilized when John was in Provo. This is similar to the type of offense (Mike) Shanahan likes."

Since the trade, statements made by Redskin coaches would lead us to believe this is the case.

"He was just as good a quarterback as there was in the draft," Kyle Shanahan told reporters about Beck, who was the fourth quarterback taken in the 2007 NFL Draft, behind JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn and Kevin Kolb.

"He's a very pure, good passer. And he can also run around and make plays. He reminded me of Rich Gannon, with the way he played in college."

The first of this week, Beck handled all the typical press questions thrown at a BYU player: Did he ever sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? As a Boy Scout, what skills has he maintained since getting the badge? He answered, no, and it's been the knots, which he uses in fishing and hunting.

The Redskins released former All-WAC star QB Colt Brennan of Hawaii, who reportedly struggled with his throwing accuracy in camp coming off a missed 2009 season in which he battled hip and hamstring injuries.

Wendell Beck, who knows his son better than anyone, says he knows exactly why his eldest hasn't called. "He's reading the playbook, looking at film, going to meetings and is practicing from sun up to sundown. That's John."

He also knows, as a 40th pick, John Beck will need to get a break with the right team to push his career ahead.

"It's going to take him at least two weeks to get a base understanding of that offense, and it will be hard," Wendell Beck said. "When you're learning, working with new receivers and plays, one of the things you can count on with a quarterback is staring down his receiver because you want to make a play and you are uncertain about things. I'm sure he's going through that and there will be some challenges."

It's a crazy week for the former Cougar. Monday morning, he was practicing with the Ravens. By that evening, he was driving to the Redskins' training facility, where he checked in and started digesting Shanahan's offense.

So, when will the father and son talk, something they usually do daily?

"To be honest, I really don't know," said the dad. "I haven't even seen a text so far."

e-mail: harmon@desnews.com