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PRO FOOTBALL 'Skins' backups eye No. 1 QB spot

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Date published: 4/21/2011




--While questions swirl about whether the Washington Redskins will draft a quarterback next week, Rex Grossman and John Beck yesterday joined a group of 30 players at a high school here and got their position battle started.

The two quarterbacks who appear likely to compete for the starting job next season ran the offense at the Redskins' informal minicamp, at which coaches were not allowed under terms of the NFL lockout.

Incumbent starter Donovan McNabb seems on his way out of town, and Grossman and Beck both sense the opportunity in front of them.

"I want to be the guy," Beck said after a 70-minute practice. "When I'm in the weight room training, when I'm at home watching tape, when I'm going over my scripts, when I'm preparing, I'm trying to be the starter. And Rex knows I want to be the starter. In my head, that's the way I'm planning."

To make that dream a reality, Beck has surrounded himself with two of the game's best quarterbacks: Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.

On the advice of Cam Cameron, Beck's head coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2007, he began training with Brees during the 2009 offseason. He bought a home in San Diego just so he could be around one of the game's elite quarterbacks, and one who has experienced comparable adversity.

Like Beck, Brees was drafted in the second round and didn't pan out with the team that drafted him--the San Diego Chargers. Plenty of people doubted whether he could ever be a championship quarterback after he injured his throwing shoulder in 2005.

"I said here's a guy that has had a lot of similarities to me and reached the pinnacle," Beck said. "I want to learn everything that he has done. I want to be his shadow. And he was awesome."

Rodgers, a California native, trains with them, too. He sat for three seasons before taking over Green Bay's starting job and rocketing to NFL success. Beck hasn't played a regular-season game since his rookie year in 2007, so he'd love to follow Rodgers' path.

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