Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman threw an interception on a failed flea-flicker on the first play of Sunday’s game against the Giants. But on Monday – 24 hours removed from Washington’s 23-10 victory – coach Mike Shanahan said all the blame shouldn’t fall on Grossman.
Grossman took the snap at his own 18-yard line and handed it off to running back Roy Helu, who ran toward the line, then flipped the ball back to the quarterback. The Giants defense bit on the play fake, and receiver Santana Moss had roughly a three-step cushion on cornerback Corey Webster.
But Grossman’s appeared to under-throw Moss, and Webster turned around and waited for the ball at the New York 33-yard line and made the catch before Moss tackled him.
Shanahan said the timing between Moss and Grossman was off on the play.
“On that flea flicker, kind of wanted Santana to hold a little bit longer, kind of hang in there and fake a little bit longer,” Shanahan said. “We took off a little too easy, and even though he was open, we would have had to throw that ball 65 yards into the wind. So the timing wasn’t quite there. They did bite. But there’s a progression you go through. Do you throw it away? It’s a learning experience.”
On Grossman’s second interception of the game – a deep shot intended for Jabar Gaffney, but intercepted by Aaron Ross -- Grossman admitted Sunday that he “got a little greedy.”
Shanahan said Monday that he believed the quarterback’s decision-making was rushed.
“On the other one, Rex just didn’t quite have the time to go through his reads,” Shanahan said. “But those are the things you try as an offense to limit those mistakes. But we’re going to be aggressive and try to keep people off-balance.”
Shanahan added: “You never know for sure if a guy is going to be able to bounce back, or not. But I was really pleased with Rex.”
From the fourth Redskins series on, Grossman completed 11 of 17 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown.