Here's a great e-mail I received from a BYU fan named Justin. He talks about the similarities between John Beck's first year in Provo at BYU and his first year here in Miami for the Dolphins. Here's what he says:
-Both BYU and Miami have proud traditions and high expectations, particularly at the quarterback position. (Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Ty Detmer, Dan Marino)
-Both teams were down, which make the expectations that much heavier.
- In both situations, Beck was forced into playing time because of injuries. And in both situations, Beck struggled.
Both teams were pretty bad. The running games were non-extistant (BYU as a team averaged under 100 yards rushing per game) and the O-line did not offer much protection (I can't find the number of sacks, but Beck lost 160 yards rushing in 8 games. That sounds like a lot of sacks). A bad team really amplifies an inexperienced quarterback, making him look even worse.
Beck had absolutely no support his first few years at BYU. Most fans blamed him for the failures of a bad team and a horrible coaching staff. I remember how much I hated it when he was in the game, even though the other quarterback literally looked like he was throwing left-handed. It was a bad time for BYU fans.
What I remember, which at the time just pissed me off even more, was Beck never at any time lost his confidence. All he talked about was winning - and it drove me crazy because that wasn't happening for BYU. I had a friend who went to high school with him in Arizona, and he said their high school football team never lost. For years that high school (Todd Heap also played there) won basically every game they played. Beck actually cried after one of his first losses that freshman year, and my friend was adamant that he didn't know what it was like to lose. It just made me hate him more, but now I can see where that was coming from.
Two things happened that turned Beck into one of the most loved quarterbacks at BYU. First, Beck's experience caught up with his confidence and second the team as a whole improved significantly after a coaching change. The team started to produce wins, but Beck still sounded the same leading into every game. He didn't become arrogant, he just continued to believe that the team was going to win every game that they played.
I heard an interview with Beck on a local radio station here a few weeks ago. He talked about how his first two years at BYU, and the struggles that the team went through, made him into the quarterback he is today. He talked about nights laying awake in his room, unable to sleep because he hated losing so badly that all he could do was think about what needed to be done to win and to get the program back to where it had been. To me, that was an unbelievably impressive statement. Even though he was taking most of the criticism for the team's failures, I never heard him lay blame on other players or the coaching staff, even though most of the players were doing so. It was so important to him personally to win, that he would lay awake looking inwardly to find ways to win.
During the interview, the DJ's gave him plenty of opportunities to point fingers for the Dolphins' struggles. He never did it. He was complementary of the coaching staff and all the players, and insisted that the current situation would only make them stronger both as individual players and as a team.
So as far as Cameron "ruining" John Beck by starting him to early, I'm not worried about that at all. I've seen him suffer through unbelievable adversity and never waiver in his confidence or his belief that they would win the next game.
I wish we could get more Dolphins games here in Utah.
I can't tell you how much I love your site and how cool it is to be able to still follow Beck's career.