Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said he won’t announce his team’s starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers until Wednesday, but has confidence that the team can continue to win with either Rex Grossman or John Beck at the helm.
“On Wednesday the decision will be made based on who’s going to start, best interest of our organization,” the coach said Monday. “I have not made up my mind right now. I have talked to our coaches, but just to get their opinions...You go through game situations, go through all the games, you look at who’s going to be active, who gives you the best chance to win. We’ll constantly do that, and that will never change.”
Grossman was benched on Sunday after throwing four interceptions and completing nine of 22 pass attempts for 143 yards and no touchdowns. (Grossman’s turnover total rose to 11 in five games -- nine interceptions and two fumbles). Beck played both of Washington’s fourth-quarter possessions and went 8-for-15 for 117 yards and ran for a touchdown.
Shanahan said he won’t base the decision solely on Sunday’s performances.
“It’s not just one, it’s not just a game. I know a pretty good quarterback this year that threw four interceptions in a game,” Shanahan said. Later he added: “Elway had some five interception days. Now, it doesn’t get any tougher than that. You just shake it off and you go forward. Those things do happen. Now, is it entirely the quarterback’s fault? Some times it is, and if it is, you have to shake it off and try to eliminate those mistakes. But those are the situations you’ll have to face.”
(John Elway had one five interception game in his career -- Dec. 14, 1985 in a 14-13 win over Kansas City).
Grossman blamed two of Sunday’s interceptions on miscommunication between him and receivers, and immediately after the game, Shanahan said he needed to look at the film to find out. But when asked on Monday, Shanahan said, “I don’t go through all that kind of stuff.”
Regardless of the decision, Shanahan said he remains confident in both quarterbacks. He praised Beck for preparing enough to execute as well as he did despite receiving limited reps in Washington’s offense the first five weeks of the season. Shanahan said he didn’t find it disconcerting to have a quarterback dilemma on his hands this early in the season.
“That’s football. That’s what happens, not only at the quarterback position, but any position,” Shanahan said. “I’ve got two guys that I believe in. I believe in Rex and I believe in John Beck. I told you that from Day 1. Both of these guys, I’m hoping, are going to be here for a long time. Both these quarterbacks.”