The time to play John Beck has arrived
The idea has been to let the rookie mature and learn the game while running scout team and, lately, second-team plays during practice. The idea has been not to ruin the kid by putting him in a situation to fail. The idea has been not to simply sacrifice him in a game whose speed he's not ready for, especially with a leaky offensive line in front of him to protect him.
The idea has been to be very, very careful with this valuable player so that when it is his time he can worry about all the right things and not the wrong things. The idea is to keep him from forming bad habits -- quirks in his game that might take much time to undo.
I get all that.
And having said all that, the time to let the guy play has definitely come. His apprenticeship needs to start now because the Dolphins have two weeks to prepare for their next game. Give him a heads up that the Nov. 11 game versus Buffalo is his time and let him spend his free time brushing up on the playbook.
When the Dolphin return to the United States, give him as many practice snaps with the first team as possible. And then put him out there against a team that is good, but by no means great. Put him out there at home where most fans will be rooting, praying, for his success.
Put him out there Nov. 11 because you can't script a better time to do it.
This Dolphins season is shot. It's not about what might happen this year anymore. This is all about the future, and it says here Beck should be inserted so he can get a jump on that future. He has to play eventually. He has to go through the uncomfortable growing pains most rookie quarterback experience. Let him do it as a rookie instead of next year when he'll be 27 years old and playing in a season that might actually mean something.
Treat these last eight games as Beck's time to grow and learn and improve. That time has to come sometime.
If he's as good as the Dolphins believe, then he should be good enough to take this step without falling on his face. Will he have missteps? Sure. He's a rookie. But must he be forced to at least take those steps? He has to sometime.
Now is that sometime.
So am I missing something? Is there a bigger reason to continue to keep this guy undercover? If there is, I don't see it.