The Washington Post

Shanahan: Grossman will be judged on wins and losses

Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said that wins and losses – more than statistical accomplishments or shortcomings – will determine how long Rex Grossman remains the starting quarterback.

With the quarter of the season in the books, Grossman and the Redskins own a 3-1 record, and the quarterback has produced mixed results.

Some of the good: three wins, first place in the NFC East, six touchdown passes through four games, his demonstrated ability to lead the team on long drives and spread the ball around to multiple receivers while playing within the system.

Some of the bad: five interceptions, two fumbles (both of them lost), an inability to execute consistency, poor decision making at times, and a tendency to occasionally try to do too much (not playing within the system).

Grossman this season ranks 16th in the league, having passed for 989 yards, but his completion percentage (58.0) ranks 25th in the league. Meanwhile, he owns a quarterback rating of 78.7, which ranks 23rd in the league. Additionally, Washington’s offense ranks 15th in total offense, averaging 356 yards per game, and 10th in the first down category (85 on the season).

Shanahan was asked for his assessment of Grossman’s play thus far, and the coach said statistics aren’t always the right measuring stick by which quarterbacks should be evaluated.

“Everybody can see from the statistical standpoint how a player does,” Shanahan said. “Sometimes it can be a little deceiving. Just like in the last game, all of a sudden if we hit that one when we’re up 17-zip and it’s a touchdown instead of an interception, everybody’s mind-set would be different about the quarterback.”

So what does the coach use as a measuring stick?

“All quarterbacks, every quarterback, is going to be judged by if he wins or loses,” Shanahan said. “That’s the nature of the job.”

The coach said “he’s done good,” when asked about Grossman’s play.

Grossman for a second straight week talked about his need to take better care of the ball, but added that he can’t let a fear of throwing an interception diminish his confidence and aggression, however.

Shanahan agreed.

“As a quarterback, you’ve got to have thick skin, you’ve got to understand that at the end of the day, you have to win, and at the end of the day, you have to be very tough on yourself,” Shanahan said. “You’ve got to think perfection and anything less than perfection, you don’t have the right quarterback. But you’ve got to have a guy that’s going to compete, knows when he does make mistakes, he’s going to keep on getting better, keep on pushing himself and grinding, and when you do that, you have a chance to get better as a football team.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.


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