Rex Grossman and John Beck again traded jabs as they faced off with each other and against the Baltimore Ravens in the third preseason game of the season, but don’t expect Mike Shanahan to allow for a peek at his scorecard anytime soon.
The coach immediately after the game declined to say which quarterback is in the lead, or even if he had seen enough to make a determination as to whom his starter for the regular season will be.
“I’ve been telling you guys from Day 1 and I’ll keep on saying the same thing. We’re going to evaluate them all the way through camp, all the way through the last preseason game and possibly up until the day before we play the Giants. It all depends on if someone separates themselves. … As I’ve said before, I feel very good about both quarterbacks, we can win with both of them. They’ve played well enough to date for people to see that, even outside our organization, and hopefully they keep on playing well.”
Thursday night, Grossman played four series and completed eight of 15 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown while also notching a quarterback rating of 99.9. Beck, meanwhile, played four series as well, and went 6 for 10 for 108 yards, a touchdown and an interception. His passer rating was 90.8.
In three preseason appearances, Grossman has completed 34 of 53 passes for 407 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Beck, meanwhile, after playing portions of two games, has completed 20 of 37 passes for 248 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Both quarterbacks have proven themselves capable of running the offense effectively. But has either done enough to secure the job?
Said Beck: “I can’t really worry about that. If I do, it’s just mental quicksand. I just do what they say, I play when I play, and let them make the decision.
“I do know both of us feel pretty good about what we’ve done,” the fifth-year pro added. “I can only worry about what I can worry about. You never know how to answer that one because I’ve tried to do everything I can. Where enough is enough? That’s hard to say because I’m not the one that makes the decision. Coach knows, I just put my trust in him and do what I can. Coach is going to make the best decision for this football team and I just do what I can, and from there it’s out of my hands.”
Meanwhile, Grossman said he doesn’t have any indication on whether or not the competition remains wide open, or if Shanahan already has his mind made up on the starter.
“I’m not sure on that,” the ninth-year veteran said. “I know about as much as you do as far as that’s concerned. I know he has a plan and I feel good about what I’ve done this preseason, and that was my goal. … I try to stay focused on being ready to play and let the chips fall where they may.”
Shanahan declined to declare which quarterback will start the final preseason game next Thursday against visiting Tampa Bay. He said he started Grossman against Baltimore since Beck had gotten the nod the previous week. But the coach will wait to make a decision for the finale, he said.
“What we’ll do this week, we’ll look at the game film, get a chance to see them in the practice this week and then make a decision on who will start. It’s just like any position, they’ll compete every practice, every day, every 7-on-7, every game. And at the end of the day, we’ll make a decision. Like I’ve shared with everybody, I believe in both of these guys.”