Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said that he was pleased with quarterback Rex Grossman’s play on Sunday in his return to the starting lineup, and that he didn’t blame either of the team’s interceptions on the passer.
Grossman on Sunday — after four games on the bench — came in and completed 21 of 32 passes for 215 yards two interceptions and was sacked three times.
But Washington’s offense moved up and down the ball at a better rate with Grossman at quarterback thanks largely to the nine-year veteran’s experience and aggressive nature. But he couldn’t get his team into the end zone, and twice had drives snuffed out by interceptions.
But Shanahan still spoke highly of Grossman’s play.
“I thought he did a good job moving the ball. I know we’re disappointed we didn’t get into the end zone, but I thought he did a good job out there,” Shanahan said. “He did a good job getting completions. Made some good decisions.
“I know he had two picks, but both of the throws he had, it was the right throw,” Shanahan continued. “It’s unfortunate what happened, but I didn’t think the two picks were his fault. But he did a good job of getting rid of the ball and making the right reads.”
On the first interception, Grossman was throwing to a spot, but wide receiver Leonard Hankerson slipped on the rout, and Vontae Davis picked off the pass.
On the second interception, with Washington at the 10-yard line while trailing 13-9 early in the fourth quarter, Grossman tried to force a pass into a congested area to Hankerson, but Karlos Dansby, the linebacker covering Jabar Gaffney, stepped in front of the pass.
“It was definitely a bust on the play,” Shanahan said. “There was some bad distribution with somebody making an off-scheduled deal, putting two guys in the same area. . . . It was definitely a right throw and the timing of the play and making the right read.”
Like their offensive coordinator, Redskins players have confidence in Grossman because his aggressive style gives them better opportunities to make plays.
“He’s going to take chances to throw it up there and give you the chance to go up and get it,” tight end Fred Davis said of Grossman. “And whenever you have that opportunity, it’s a good thing.”
Shanahan described Grossman’s ability to stand in the pocket and make throws as “fearless” and said “that’s one of Rex’s best attributes.”
But he said that’s not the only reason why the Redskins went back to him as their quarterback.
“It wasn’t one reason in particular, but Rex has a lot more experience than [Beck]. He’s played in a lot of games,” Shanahan said. “John did a fairly good job in that Philly game, taking us down, and in that Carolina game. But then with injuries going, we felt like John out there, didn’t have the experience to get through those tough times. So we felt more comfortable with Rex and felt he gave us the best chance to win.”