Fans and other media members scoffed, believing Reid went too far and that Beck will have to show something to unseat Grossman after last week’s preseason performance.
And in fact, some of the national analyst types were also enamored with Grossman after last week’s showing, leading at least one — the NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci — to say the playoffs were a possibility.
“Can he really have the Redskins a playoff team this year?” Rich Eisen asked Mariucci over the weekend.
“It’s possible,” Mariucci said. “And I think we were all surprised that Mike Shanahan came out early and said we’ve got our quarterback here, whether it’s Rex — probably Rex — or John Beck. And we thought they’d beactive in free agency or whatever, draft a guy early. But [Mike Shanahan] has enough confidence, Kyle has seen enough from him to say we don't need to spend money at the quarterback spot; we’ll [spend money] elsewhere.
“And you know what, this offense is good for Rex, because it’s going to be run first, play-action, some drop back — obviously you have to do that in this league. He does have experience, he’s not a kid anymore, he’s been to the playoffs. And you know what? He's got a chance to be pretty darn good. I like the way they played, they competed well. They were the better team the other night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
“So are you a believer in Rex?” Eisen asked.
“I believe he can be their guy, be their starter,” Mariucci said
“For 16 games in an NFC East gauntlet?” Eisen asked.
“They have to play some defense, because he’s not the quarterback that’s going to carry that team on his shoulders and come from behind every other week,” Mariucci said. “They’ve got to keep it close, they’ve got to have good defense; run the football, time of possession. And then he’s in every game, and he can be very functional that way.”