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  Phins.com Interview with QB John Beck
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by Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist

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Last season, John Beck was something of a forgotten man. Once considered to be the ďnextĒ at QB, he suffered through a miserable training camp and was demoted to third string behind rookie Chad Henne. While Henne is perceived by many, including the Parcellsí regime, as the heir apparent at QB, Beck intends to compete hard in 2009.

 

Will he change minds? Time will tell.

 

I visited with Beck at the Dolphins Training Facility in Davie to discuss his development and other topics of interest. Early on, I could sense in the tone of his voice his regret over training decisions he made during the 2008 offseason, mostly in regards to the thousands of footballs he threw which, he felt, left him with a tired arm once camp began. It was a costly lesson learned, but left this third year player determined to re-gain what he lost his sophomore season.

 

On if the past offseason truly helped him to improve

It was good to be able to look back on what I went through in my rookie season. It was good to be to take that and use it to my advantage as I prepared for this past season in the minicamps and OTAs. I felt like I did everything I wanted to do during that time. The amount of balls that I threwÖlooking back, I will probably never throw that many balls again because I did end up with a sore arm. I think I did learn a lot because my mentality is always to work as hard as I can, to try and gain a competitive advantage by the way that I can work. But going through what I did, I think Iíve also learned how to approach it now going into my third year, maybe a different way, and hopefully it can help me be even better.

 

On if he still feels that the mental aspect of the game is still the most difficult part of maturing into an NFL quarterback

Iíve become more accustomed to it. For the opportunities I get in practice, the speed of the game has slowed down, (and) the understanding of some of the coverages that are unique to the NFL (have improved). This past year was great for me, learning from a guy like Chad Pennington, who does a great job of understanding defenses, what the offense is trying to accomplish. Itís good to have another year in a pro style offense. I think Iím getting better and just trying to prepare (for an opportunity to play).

 

On the difficulty of having to learn a new system in just his second year

I think itís just part of the game. Nowadays, with how college and pro football is, thereís so many changes that are being made. I had to make that transition in college, going from one offense to another offense. So it wasnít new for me. Itís just part of the game, something that as a player you have to adapt to. Teams want to be able to find a guy who can pick up a new offense quick. This offseason was a challenge of mine; I wanted to challenge myself to pick up this offense as quick as I could. I tried to watch as much Dallas tape as I could (Tony Sparano), as much Carolina tape (Dan Henning), because I knew weíd be pulling things from both of those offenses.

 

On what he thought the Ravensí win over the Dolphins (regular season) meant to former Dolphin head coach Cam Cameron

Heís a professional, and he wasnít taking any personal stuff out onto the field. Iím sure the game meant a lot for him, as does every game. It was his job to go out there are put together an offense to try and win and Baltimore that day did. They put more points on the board than we did. That was his main focus, he got it accomplished. I think maybe there was a little bit of joy, that it was good for him to go against his old team, but I donít think he got into it that much.

 

On his appreciation of Dan Henningís experiences as a coach, from his first time in Miami with Don Shula to the present day

If anything Iíve learned about experience itís that you pull all of it that you can into your next moment, into your next play. I have my history playing football, and I try to use all my experience so that today I can be a better football player. Iím sure Coach Henning has gone through the same thing. It was years ago that he was here (the first time), Iím sure he learned a lot and heís going to take all that experience into consideration when he prepares for games (and) when he calls plays now.

 
 
     
   
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