The Redskins offense has been putting on a show thus far this preseason. While there may not be a wide receiver lighting things up, the competition for the Quarterback and Running Back spots are hot and heavy:
- John Beck – 20-27, 248 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Rex Grossman – 34-53, 407 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
- Roy Helu – 35 rushes for 173 yards and 0 TD (6 receptions for 47 yards)
- Tim Hightower – 25 rushes for 170 yards and 2 TD (3 reception for 12 yards)
So, are there any conclusions that we can draw? Well, besides the fact that the Colts defense looked awful in Week 2, let’s take a look at the status of the other players.
While no one is going to win a battle with one performance, Beck has stepped up and showed that he could spread the ball around and run the Redskins’ offense. In fact no receiver had more than 4 receptions (Helu) or 46 yards (Leonard Hankerson) in Week 2 (when Beck led the team with 17 attempts for 140 yards).
It really says a lot about Beck, who did not play in the team’s first preseason game due to a groin injury. At 29-years old, he is only one year older than Rex Grossman, but at this point we all basically know what Grossman is (a mediocre quarterback who is significantly better off as a backup). We’ve never really seen what Beck can do, having only played in five games (four starts) back in 2007. Since then he has been a member of the Dolphins, Ravens and Redskins, never seeing game action.
Now, it does appear that he’s primed to get an opportunity to show us what he can do. According to Don Banks of cnnsi.com (click here for the article):
“Grossman won’t win the starting job unless Beck falls flat on his face this preseason, and Beck will get his candidacy fully underway with this week’s start at Indianapolis. Make no mistake: Beck will win the starting job if it’s even remotely close. That much is clear after listening to Mike Shanahan rave about the ex-BYU standout.”
After Week 2, there was no questioning who the option would be under those circumstances. Week 3 did little to hurt his stock either, going 6-10 with 108 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. There’s a lot of uncertainty, obviously, and I wouldn’t trust him as a starting option, even in a two-quarterback league. However, depending on who you end up with as your second starter, he could be a tremendous reserve.
As for the running back situation, does anyone really have an idea of what is going to happen here? Speculation has been that Helu could ultimately emerge as the man in the backfield, though both he and Hightower have been impressive. They each broke a run of at least 50 yards in Week 2, with Helu going for 51 yards and Hightower going for 58. In Week 3 Hightower was the more impressive back, with 56 yards and a TD on 9 carries (including a 37 yard touchdown run). Helu, meanwhile, rushed the ball 13 times for 44 yards.
Let’s not forget that Ryan Torrain could ultimately get into this mix as well, just complicating things even further. For now, if you draft one of the three you will want to protect yourself with at least one of the others. It could really go in any of the three directions. In fact, you could easily see the team riding the hot hand, meaning they could have a different lead back from week-to-week.
It’s a sticky situation, and these games have done little to clear it up. You would have to think that Hightower has the early season advantage, though that could quickly change.
What are your thoughts on the Redskins skill positions? Who are you targeting? Is there anyone that you think can breakout in 2011?
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