Rex Grossman kicked off the 2011 Redskins season with what many thought was an overly optimistic interview about an NFC East title, so it’s only fitting for him to close the 2011 Redskins season with another tremendous interview, filled with sunshine and puppies.
“You know I’ve been on a lot of good teams in my career,” Grossman told Adam Schein and Rich Gannon on SiriusXM radio. “And it’s hard to say this, but we were a pretty damn good 5-11. You didn’t really want to play us. And there’s a lot of areas you can improve: the quarterback play needs to be better, a lot of different other areas, an explosive offensive player, maybe an explosive defensive player here and there. But generally speaking, I think the foundation has been set for a really, really, really good team.
“And our record doesn’t show that, so it’s hard to kind of say I’m not full of [expletive]. I’m not sure if I can say that on the radio or not. But I really feel like we’re a good team. And our record didn’t prove it. But a few pieces here and there, might be an explosive team.”
I don’t completely disagree that this team displayed lots of potential last season. Still, “a pretty damn good 5-11” is not a frequently used expression in the NFL. The follow-up question noted that Grossman might not even be in this team’s 2012 plans.
“I have no idea,” he agreed. “That might be my last game ever playing for the Redskins. But I do think that there’s something to both offensive and defensive systems, and the way that Mike Shanahan runs that team, and the core group of guys that they have there. It’s easy to say, but you add a Pro Bowl talent on defense and add one Pro Bowl talent on offense somewhere, a couple guys, it’s pretty damn close there.”
And yet, this was a team that had a six-game losing streak at one point in the season.
“You know, I can’t speak for three of those games,” Grossman said, which was also amazing. “But the other three, we just weren’t finishing games. We would move the ball and then we’d settle for field goals. We just never really got back that swagger, that momentum we had in the beginning of the year.
“And then occasionally we would, and play great the whole game, and then weren’t able to finish games. Like the Patriots game, we felt like we had ‘em and then let em slip away. A lot of games like that the second half of the season. When you’re missing your left tackle, right tackle, left guard, both your tight ends and your starting running back, that’s a significant portion of your offense.”
More from Grossman:
On getting benched: “I mean, I’m a human, I feel every single emotion that everyone else would. But I knew it was a long season, I tried to hope for the best, I’d get a chance to play again, that was the case, and I thought I played pretty well when I got back in there.”
On reclaiming the starting job: “I was extremely motivated when I got back in. The one thing I really wanted to concentrate on was just trying to have as much fun as possible, not worrying about stressing out trying to be perfect. I feel like I’m playing my best when I’m just laughing, smiling, enjoying myself, having fun in the huddle and also being on my business, changing the plays, doing all the things I had to do and then just enjoying myself. I felt I did that in the second half of the season.”
On the rushing game: “The way we ran the ball in the second half of the year was pretty damn good, right up there with the top five in rushing, so I guess it shows just how bad we were in the first half of the year, and I’m not sure why. There’s a few things that other people that know the running game a little better could say.”
On where he’ll play in 2012: “I really have no idea. Every situation I try to make the best of it. Hopefully this’ll be a great year for me. I guess it’s a little early to say what’s gonna happen, but I definitely haven’t had any bad vibes from the Redskins. I don’t have a huge contract on the table either. We’ll see what happens. Every opportunity I’ll just try to do the best I can for myself.”
On the Giants: “We were able to beat them convincingly twice. They have a hell of a team. We played extremely well against them. It’s just as simple as that.”
At the end of the interview, Grossman was asked for a Super Bowl pick.
“I’m gonna stay out of it for the sake of staying out of the media,” he said, a few minutes after talking about his damn good 5-11 team. The hosts insisted.
“All right. I’ll go with the Giants,” Grossman said. “Hey, we beat ‘em twice. More props for us I guess.”