The inescapable storyline of this week’s game is that John Beck is returning to face the Dolphins, a team that once thought he was their quarterback of the future. Now with his third team, Beck is looking for his first win as a pro, in the city where it all began four years ago.
“That was my first year in the NFL and you don’t really know what to expect as a rookie in the NFL — what your situation is like, what the team is like,” Beck told the Miami media yesterday. “You don’t know what it’s like around the rest of the league. You just know that situation.”
And that situation wasn’t pretty. The 2007 Dolphins were expected to be a competitive, albeit rebuilding regime under head coach Cam Cameron. But when starting quarterback Trent Green went down with a scary concussion, it was down to Cleo Lemon and Beck to finish the season.
“He came in at a tough spot,” Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor said of Beck. “He was thrown to the wolves, kinda, in that season. Kind of thrown out there and said, ‘Go make something happen. You are our second round pick and everyone wants to see what you have and let’s go do it.’ I think he was put in an unfair position and not really given all of the tools to succeed, and that started from the top down.”
But Beck doesn’t bemoan the situation, and he doesn’t bemoan the opportunity. If anything, that situation prepared him better for the situation that he’s in now.
“The more I’ve been in this league, the more I’ve learned that that happens,” he said. “That kind of stuff happens all over the league to a lot of teams and it’s just about dealing with it.”
Which is exactly what Beck has faced this season in Washington, as a plethora of injuries have altered the pieces around him on offense. But at this point, Beck is just grateful for another opportunity.
“You never know if you’re going to get another opportunity, or when it can happen, or if it’s going to happen,” he said. “There was an opportunity in the Philadelphia game to go in and play. Things went pretty good in that game and I try to continue to get better each week.”
Beck may not have gotten his opportunity in Miami, but that doesn’t make him more eager to beat his former team. Literally, nothing could make him more eager to win, in any circumstances.
“I’ve been wanting to get a win in any stadium,” he said. “These past few weeks, I’ve wanted it to be that game, that stadium, that situation. For me, really, there is no difference in this game than any other game I’ve gone into. I’m just trying to do my best to help my team win.”