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SALT LAKE CITY - Former BYU quarterback John Beck has been the frontrunner for the starting job in Washington for the entire preseason, but will sit behind Rex Grossman at least week one against the Giants.
Beck was named the starter by coach Mike Shanahan before the preseason started, but Grossman won little victories, including a two-touchdown game in the Redskins final preseason game, to get the nod to start week one.
Beck was traded to the Redskins last year from the Baltimore Ravens and sat last year behind Donavan McNabb and Grossman. He was drafted by the Dolphins in the second round of the 2007 draft. He played five games in his rookie season and hasn't played since.
Beck isn't the only former Cougar with questions entering the first week of the season. Colts receiver Austin Collie missed nearly half of the games last season due to multiple concussions. He has been cleared for them, but now has a foot problem. He is listed as probable for the opener and has practiced this week. He was on his way to a breakout year before his first concussion against the Redskins last season.
Here is a list of other Cougars with homes in the NFL:
Tight end Dennis Pitta is entering his second season as a Baltimore Raven. He only had one catch last year, but with the releasing of Todd Heap he is expected to play significant minutes through the season.
Fahu Tahi remains a constant in front of Adrian Peterson in Minnesota. He has been with the team since 2007 and led the way for Peterson's 5,782 yards.
Bryan Kehl is in St. Louis for his first full season after playing one game with the Giants where he was drafted. He will be joined by fellow linebacker Brady Poppinga, who will join the Rams after 7 seasons in Green Bay, where he won a championship ring last year.
On the losing end last year's Super Bowl were two Cougars defensive linemen, Brett Keisel and Chris Hoke. Keisel grew to some fame last year, or at least his beard did, Keisel is now referred to as "The Beard."
John Denney is the long snapper for the Dolphins. Daniel Coats signed with the Giants.
Not to be outdone the Utes have made some splashes of their own in the NFL this offseason. Here is a list of the Utes in the NFL:
Safety Eric Weddle resigned with the San Diego Chargers for $40 million, becoming the highest-paid player at his position.
Alex Smith has resigned with the 49ers for another year and will be the starter in Jim Harbaugh's first year at the helm.
Cornerback Brandon Burton was the highest drafted player for the Utes being taken in the 5th round by the Vikings. Offensive lineman Caleb Schlauderaff went to the Packers in the 6th.
Former linebacker tandem Stevenson Sylvester and Paul Kruger will be on the other end of a rivalry as Sylvester is on the Steelers and Kruger the Ravens. Sylvester is joined by lineman Chris Kemoeatu. Kruger is joined by receiver David Reed.
The Dolphins have a trio of Utes with defensive tackle Paul Soliai, corner Sean Smith and linebacker Koa Misi.
Steve Smith remains a constant with the Panthers; he has 620 catches over his 11 year career all with the Panthers. He is joined by 9-year veteran Jordan Gross and corner R.J. Stanford.
The Texans have Brice McCain. Sione Pouha is now starting for the Jets. Jonathan Fanene is on the Bengals.
Utah State in the NFL:
Utah State had the first draft pick from the state of Utah with corner Curtis Marsh being selected by the Eagles in the 3rd round.
Chris Cooley is in his eight year as a standout tight end with the Redskins.
Weber State in the NFL:
Paul McQuistan is a lineman on the Seahawks.