Competing for Third-Best

August 26, 2013

Redskins quarterbacks Rex Grossman, center, and Pat White, No. 5, have seen a lot of action this preseason with the injuries to Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III.

Only in Washington do fans argue over who should be the third-string quarterback.

It’s Rex Grossman. Now stop such nonsense. Some years, it might be inviting to try a prospect like Pat White, who likely ensured a place on somebody’s roster after playing well against Buffalo on Saturday. But with second-year passers Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins already on the roster, the Redskins don’t need any more young quarterbacks.

And with Griffin and Cousins both uncertain for the regular-season opener against Philadelphia on Sept. 9, Washington can’t chance keeping White over Grossman.

Forget that White would cost less than Grossman. Owner Dan Snyder spends more than the difference on gas for his yacht.

Never mind that White, if he’s released, could prep a competitor to face Griffin. Opposing defensive coordinators already spent the past six months watching film.

As for developing White as future trade bait: Isn’t that Cousins’ role?

The bottom line is if Griffin and Cousins aren’t ready for Philadelphia, which seems unlikely but is still a possibility, then who do you want to start? A 10-year veteran or a second-year player who hasn’t been in the league since 2009?

It should be Grossman.

Not that Grossman gets the job by default. He earned it after completing 11 of 21 passes for 171 yards and one touchdown against Buffalo for a 95.5 passer rating. Sure, Grossman almost threw an ugly pick, too, but that’s all part of Good Rex/Bad Rex.

Coaches are always saying forget the last bad play. Focus on the next good play. That’s quintessential Rex Grossman. His greatest asset is confidence to the point of recklessness. He’s a “go big or go home” passer. Grossman is always looking for a game-turning play.

“Momentum means everything,” he said. “I don’t understand it, but it’s in every sport. You start to have success, and it breeds more success, and that’s definitely true in football.”

White doesn’t have Grossman’s swagger. He knows the harshness of the NFL. After a standout career at West Virginia, White was taken 44th overall by the Miami Dolphins in 2009. He suffered a concussion in the final game of his rookie season. Eight months later, Miami waived White. Then even the UFL’s Virginia Destroyers released him in 2011. The Redskins’ offseason signing of White seemed more about having an option passer in training camp while Griffin recovered.

White ran well and showed enough arm strength to merit a second look. It will just have to come somewhere else.

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