By Rich Tandler
Joe Theismann was right the last time he dispensed advice on who should have his old job as starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins. Should Mike Shanahan listen to him this time?
In October the Redskins pulled Rex Grossman after he had thrown four interceptions in three quarters of a game against the Eagles. John Beck went in and played respectably and he was announced as the starter two days later.
Theismann took to the radio airwaves and said, “I just don’t agree with the decision to start John Beck,” on 106.7 The Fan. He thought Grossman got “a little bit of a quick hook”.
Beck started the next three games and the offense was dead in the water. Mike Shanahan saw one of his teams get shut out for the first time in his 18-year career as a head coach when they lost to the Bills 23-0.
The switch to Beck turned out to be a bad decision. Theismann thinks that the Redskins are about to make another one.
Speaking again on The Fan, he was asked his opinion of the possible marriage between Peyton Manning and the Redskins he said, “It’s not a good idea, it’s not a bad idea — It’s a horrific idea.”
When Theismann spoke of Beck starting, he did praise Beck’s ability and said that he didn’t think it would be an issue if the Redskins were to switch back to Grossman. But he left himself with no wiggle room in talking about Manning.
“Haven’t we seen this act before? And by the way, if you get Peyton Manning, don’t you have a concern about protecting him? Don’t you have a concern about who he throws the football to?” Theismann said.
“If we’re gonna be 5-11, if we’re gonna be 6-10, let’s do it with somebody who’s [learning as he goes], instead of guys that have been here, making mistakes.”
That last part presumes that the addition of Manning will do nothing to improve the Redskins’ record. Manning’s Colts posted at least 10 wins every year but one since 1999. The team collapsed to a 2-14 record with Manning out last year.
When speaking of the switch to Beck, Theismann said that finding a quality starting quarterback is “the biggest problem that we have had in Washington in the last 27 years, basically since I left.”
It seems that Theismann is opposed to one particular solution to the problem. It will be interesting to see what he has to say if Manning does indeed join the Redskins.