Not long after Bruce Allen announced on ESPN 980 that Rex Grossman would start Thursday night’s Redskins preseason game in Baltimore, official franchise Swami Sonny Jurgensen was on air to tell us what it all meant.
The analyst and soothsayer said the exact distribution of playing time in the preseason mattered not at all, but his comments on the team’s former quarterback were probably more interesting.
“I think they can win with both of these guys, either of these guys, I really do,” Jurgensen said of Rex and Becks. “I think they can operate the offense, I think they’ll both make plays, and I think they would be comfortable with either.”
Then he went on.
“They throw in rhythm, they get the team to the line of scrimmage, they get ‘em in the right formation,” Jurgensen said. “And that was some of the problem last year, getting in the right formation to run plays, and I’ve had players tell me that....You’d go to the line of scrimmage, and if they were in the wrong formation, they’d call a timeout to get in the right formation.”
Jurgensen also went on to say, without attribution, that Redskins coaches tried to get Donovan McNabb to wear an armband, but that “he didn’t want to,” and that he (Sonny) couldn’t imagine why, “unless it throws you off balance or something.”
I know this is last year’s news, but since a prominent D.C. Skins reporter said this incident never happened, I found Jurgensen’s take noteworthy.
As for the current QBs and their coaches, it’s all peaches and cream.
“I’m not sure which way they’re going,” Jurgensen said. “There’s one thing that’s obvious: Kyle Shanahan has a relationship with both of these guys, he’s able to coach both of these guys. I didn’t think he could last year with Donovan. You’re bringing in a veteran quarterback and you have a young offensive coordinator trying to teach him a new system, and I didn’t think it worked. Obviously it didn’t, but I think he can with these guys.”
As for the significance of Thursday night’s playing time, “there’s no significance,” Shanahan told Jurgensen during ESPN 980’s pre-game program. “But obviously it’s gonna get a lot of hype, because any time you have that position, people are gonna critique it and talk about it, which is the nature of the game.”
(Note: I wrote down all these quotes in real-time, so it’s possible a few words are not 100 percent accurate, but the gist is correct.)