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Shanahan stands by Beck as Redskins' starting quarterback

John Beck still hasn't won a game as an NFL starting quarterback, but coach Mike Shanahan is sticking with him after Beck led the Redskins' 19-11 loss to the 49ers on Sunday.

This probably won't sit well with Redskins fans, but we figure Shanahan's decision probably hinges on the fact that his only other option is Rex freakin' Grossman.

"Sometimes it looks like it's all the quarterback, and that's understandable," Shanahan said. "When you lose a few pieces of the puzzle, the quarterback is going to look pretty average when we're playing pretty average as a group."

OK, so Beck doesn't have his No. 1 receiver (Santana Moss), No. 1 running back (Tim Hightower) or Pro Bowl tight end (Chris Cooley). But even with them, we're not so sure Beck could have given us reason to believe Washington's offense will soon take off under his direction.

Against the 49ers (who we acknowledge have a solid defense), the Redskins' first six possessions resulted in four punts, a fumble and a Beck interception. Beck, who is now 0-7 for his career as a starter, was 30 of 47 for 254 yards and a touchdown.

Doesn't sound too shabby, except 116 of those yards and the touchdown came in the fourth quarter with the 49ers sitting on their lead. Throughout the game, Beck repeatedly dumped off short passes to rookie running back Roy Helu. It happened so much that Helu surpassed Hall of Famer Art Monk and Kelvin Bryant with a franchise-record 14 catches for 105 yards.

Kind of makes us wonder if the Redskins should even acknowledge the milestone considering the circumstances.

The fact of the matter is that, until last week's 23-0 loss to the Bills, Shanahan never had been shut out in 24 years of being an NFL head coach or assistant. And on Sunday it took Washington 58:45 to score a touchdown.

"Any time you shuffle people in and out of there, there's going to be some inconsistencies," Shanahan said. "... It does look a little ragtag.

It looks very ragtag, actually, and we wish Shanahan all the luck trying to turn things around with Beck running the show.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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