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John Beck: Pass by Pass

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Well I've finally had a chance to take a look back at last Sunday's game and watch John Beck's NFL debut for the first time since the actual game.  Below are my thoughts, going pass by pass.  Also, I promised earlier in the week that I'd be posting a video with all of Beck's pass attempts and that will happen soon, as it's very close to being finished.  I'll post it here through YouTube, which means it'll only be up for as long as YouTube (and the NFL) allows.  Onto Beck's performance:

First Possession

3rd and 3: John is in the shotgun for his first pass attempt.  He misses high and outside to Jesse Chatman out of the backfield in the left flat.  He was well covered, but I think the Philly blitz on his first pass attempt forced him to rush the ball.  It did look like Derek Hagan was open on a comeback route to the left, but like I said, Beck had to get rid of the ball.

Second Possession

2nd and 16: Beck, under center, throws a quick hitch route to Teddy Ginn for his first career completion and a gain of 10.  He had time to throw but chose to make a quick decision.  It had good zip and was accurate.

3rd and 6: Under center again, Beck misses a wide open Derek Hagan as he ran an underneath crossing route.  The pass was high and maybe a bit behind Hagan.  John was under pressure, so that could be one reason why the pass was off, as he did take a little hit following his release of the pass.  But with time, that's the kind of throw Beck has to make, and I suspect it won't be a problem once the jitters wear off.

Third Possession

2nd and 8: This was Beck's first play-action pass.  He doesn't really sell the play-action very well, and that's something you'll notice all game.  Again, I also think that has to do with his inexperience and jitters.  John rolls right and is under pressure but makes a good throw to Justin Peelle.  It would have only been good for about a yard, but Peelle battles through a tackle and picks up 6.

3rd and 2: The next play, John shows good pocket presence and awareness, avoids a defender when he makes his drop, and scrambles up the middle for the first down.  However, seeing John dive head first is something I don't want to see too often.  I love the grit and determination, but I don't want to see him get his bell rung.

3rd and 12: This play was a very nice one.  In the shotgun, Beck fakes the handoff, steps up in the pocket, and delivers an accurate pass about 20 yards down the middle of the field to Ginn.  The throw was placed perfectly in between 3 or 4 Eagle defenders.  It's these kinds of throws that get me excited about John's future.

1st and 10: The very next play is a play-action.  He fakes the handoff, sets his feet, decides to roll right (not because of pressure), and throws a 2nd consecutive pass to Ginn for a gain of 17.  This throw impressed me because of John's accuracy when throwing on the run.  John shows great mechanics, squaring his shoulders and delivering a catchable ball to Teddy.  

3rd and 11: Following 3 straight runs, John works out of the shotgun and throws an incompletion to Hagan on a pass to the right.  John was under some pressure and got rid of it, but the coverage was too good and the ball was nearly intercepted.  Perhaps if the ball was thrown to the outside a bit more, Hagan could have made a better play on it.  Either way, it wouldn't have picked up the first down.  But I am impressed with Beck's delivery.  He does get rid of the ball quickly from the point he decides to throw to the actual release.

Note: I hate to do this, but because of the length of the post, you'll have to make the jump to see the rest.  Again, I apologize.  Like you, I hate having to do this.

Fourth Possession

2nd and 8: Working inside his own 5, John tries to connect with Chatman again out of the backfield but is unable to.  The pass is behind Chatman.  It seemed like Beck didn't really set his feet.  However, there was some pressure on him and he was in his own endzone, so I'm sure part of him wanted to make sure he got the ball out.  Still, I think he might have had another split second to get set before the pass.  Again, it's a case of inexperience.  These kinds of things will work themselves out over time, I'm sure.

Fifth Possession

2nd and 9: The Dolphins attempt to set up a screen pass.  John fakes the handoff to Chatman, but then Jesse seems to get hung up and doesn't quite get to his spot quickly enough.  John has defenders in his face and must get rid of it.  The ball is thrown about 2 or 3 yards short of Jesse, who had defenders all around him anyway.  A big looking pass, but a bad looking play all the way.  John gets a pass here.

3rd and 9: Out of the shotgun, John tries to hit Hagan to the left on a quick slant route.  However the ball is thrown behind Derek.  Again, I'm impressed with John's quick throw and I think this kind of imcompletion can be attributed to a timing issue with the receiver, likely due to a lack of experience playing together.

Sixth Possession

2nd and 7: Backed up again inside the 10, Beck fakes the handoff to Chatman and throws downfield for Ginn.  I like seeing John take a shot 30 yards down field, but he is lucky it wasn't picked.  The defender had great coverage on Teddy.  But the throw itself was a pleasure to watch.  John seems to throw the ball so effortlessly, even with the pocket closing in on him up the middle.

3rd and 7: This next play was again a shot down the field, which is always a welcomed site.  John shows great pocket presence, stepping up in the pocket and not looking to quickly bail out.  He delivers very well thrown ball to Derek Hagan about 35 yards down the middle of the field.  It's hard to tell from the view we get if the defender breaks up the pass or not, but I'd say that this was a pass Hagan should catch.  Regardless, nice awareness in the pocket by John and very good mechanics despite pressure right behind him, setting his feet as much as possible and delivering a catchable ball.

(Note: 7th possession is a simple handoff before the half)

Eighth Possession

2nd and 2: On this play, it looks at the very beginning that he may have his first read open, which was Peelle in the left flat.  However, he chooses not to make that throw.  The pocket collapses and John, again showing good movement in the pocket, avoids the rush and actually makes what would have likely been a nice throw to David Martin for a first down.  However, Chatman, who was in front of Martin a few yards, thinks the ball is to him and gets a hand on it trying to make a catch.  The ball would fall incomplete.  John continues to impress me with his mobility in the pocket.  And this time, it looks as though he's found an open receiver for a first down, but Jesse doesn't realize David is behind him and causes the incompletion.

Ninth Possession

1st and 10: On the first play of the drive, John rolls right and throws a nice little jump pass over the defensive lineman who was chasing him and hits David Martin with good pass which he catches in stride.  The play only gains 7, but it was well executed.

1st and 10: Following a run by Chatman to get the first down, John fakes the handoff to Jesse on the play-action.  He then is under slight pressure and tries to hit Jesse over the middle about 4 yards past the line of scrimmage.  However, the ball is thrown behind Chatman and is not catchable.  These are the kind of throws that John will have to make, as it seems the underneath, over-the-middle patterns are giving him trouble.  Off the top of my head, this play and the incompletion to Hagan on an underneath crossing route come to mind.  Both were thrown behind the intended receiver.

3rd and 11: Out of the shotgun, John throws a bullet to Aaron Halterman which hits off of him and is nearly intercepted before falling incomplete.  On this play, Beck shows good mechanics, stepping up in the pocket and delivering a good throw that hits Halterman either in the chest or shoulder.  Either way, it was a catchable ball that was placed perfectly for Aaron to catch in stride.  He needs to get his head around quicker because John has a quick release and can throw bullets when needed.  Bad play by Halterman.

Tenth Possession

1st and 10: Beck hits Ginn on a quick out route that picks up 3.  The ball was delivered accurately and on time.  I'm guessing the idea was for Ginn to possibly be able to turn up field, but Sheldon Brown was right there for the stop.

2nd and 7: This was one of John's best throws all game.  He takes a 3 step drop and quickly gets the ball out.  The pass is perfectly placed down the right seam to Marty Booker, right over the head of a linebacker and right in front of a defensive back.  This pass is a thing of beauty.

1st and 15: Following a false start, John takes another 3 step drop and tries to hit Ginn, who is running a slant pattern to John's right.  However, Beck throws it too high and slightly behind Teddy.  I think this is one John would like to have back.  If he makes an accurate throw, Ginn could have some running room after the catch.  This kind of inaccurate throw, though, is usually due to a timing issue.  I'm sure John and Teddy will work this out over time.

2nd and 15: The next play, John hits Justin Peelle in the right flat.  He was lined up as the fullback and John makes a short but accurate throw to Peelle, who turns upfield for a big gain.

2nd and goal: This is the play I talked about earlier this week.  Beck fakes the handoff and makes a perfect pass to Aaron Halterman.  I know I said Halterman dropped it, but upon further review, Takeo Spikes did make a good play.  Either way, John made the perfect throw, placing it the only place it could be placed.  He showed great touch, getting it over Spikes.  Halterman got 2 hands on the ball, so I still think he should make the catch.  But his hands, I guess, aren't as strong as Spikes, and he is able to rip it out.  A good receiver or tight end, though, makes that play.  Regardless, quick decision and accurate throw by John.

Eleventh Possession

1st and 10: On the final play of the game, the Dolphins call a simple screen pass.  John lines up in the shotgun and makes a better throw than the previous screen pass earlier in the game.  That's how the game ends.

All in all, I think John did enough to raise my excitement level for the future.  I'm impressed with his poise and leadership, as well as with his release (which is the best we've seen since you know who).  I expect to see improvement on Monday night, as John should have gotten rid of the "first game jitters" by then.  

And like I said earlier, the video of all of John's throws should be up relatively soon.