Former BYU quarterback John Beck primed to make CFL debut with B.C. Lions

Published: Friday, June 13 2014 10:30 a.m. MDT

Washington Redskins quarterback John Beck warms up before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. Beck is in his first season with the CFL's B.C. Lions and will play in his first league game Friday against Edmonton.


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The latest chapter in John Beck’s football career kicks off Friday when the former BYU quarterback and the B.C. Lions open CFL preseason play at the Edmonton Eskimos.

Beck, as expected, is listed second on the depth chart for the Lions’ first of two preseason games. League veteran Kevin Glenn will get the start under center for B.C., though the former Cougar, along with third-stringer Travis Partridge, should see plenty of action against the Eskimos.

"Obviously, Kevin Glenn’s going to get the start and get a feel for his receivers and get a feel for our offense. But he won’t be in there very long. It’s just a matter of getting him a little bit of time," Lions head coach Mike Benevides told reporters Friday, according to one of several videos on bclions.com chronicling the team’s quarterback situation.

"After that, the lion’s share of reps and work are going to go to John Beck and Travis Partridge," Benevides said. "Those two guys are going to get about a quarter and a half each. I really want to see what those men have. ... It really is about them and what they can bring to the table."

The contest, which will be Beck's first game in the CFL after signing with B.C. in early March, starts at 7 p.m. MT.

“I think it’s important for him to see live reps,” Benevides told bclions.com earlier this week about Beck. “It’s been awhile since he’s had that and it’s critical he gets some speed reps in the game. We need him to perform at a high level if he is going to be what he wants to be.”

The last time Beck played in a pro game was nearly two years ago during an NFL preseason game between the Houston Texans and the Minnesota Vikings. In limited action, Beck completed 6-of-10 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown for Houston.

This is Beck’s fifth professional football team. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He spent two years in Miami before moving on to the Baltimore Ravens (2009), Washington Redskins (2010-11) and the Texans (2012).

Now, he has the opportunity to find success in the CFL, which has its own nuances compared to the American version of football. In the CFL, for instance, there is one less down to make a first down compared to the U.S. game. Also, the field is wider and longer in the Canadian game.

"This game is different from the game I've been playing," Beck told bclions.com on Thursday. "Travis (Lulay) and I were just talking today about how different it's going to feel when, in game action, to only have two downs and how fast the pace of the downs goes and how quickly sometimes you're punting the ball, but then getting the ball right back two plays later.

"It's going to be interesting to see how it kind of feels to be in that situation because I can't really imagine what it's going to be like, I can't really prepare for that," he said. "It's just going to be like, 'alright, this is going to be my first time ever' and just let it go."

During his time in the NFL, Beck started seven games, lost all seven and completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,417 yards, three touchdowns and seven interceptions. A key stat that truly hurt his stock was his team’s scoring average in his seven starts: In four starts with Miami and three with Washington, his team averaged just 9.7 points per game.

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