Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss spoke out Monday as the team’s strongest supporter of quarterback Rex Grossman, who was benched Sunday after throwing four interceptions in the team’s 20-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Moss believed that Grossman, the team’s starter for the last eight games (three in 2010 and five this season) deserved a chance to redeem himself. Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan obviously felt differently and instead named backup John Beck the starter for Sunday’s game at Carolina.
Moss said Wednesday afternoon that he respects Shanahan’s decision and hopes Beck makes the best of his opportunity. He said the quarterback can expect Moss and the rest of his teammates to rally around him.
“It’s nothing we can do about it,” said Moss, who ranks first on the team in catches (23) and touchdowns (two) and second in receiving yards (284). “Whatever coach decides that we’re going to do, we’re going to go with it. We have two quarterbacks that we are very confident in and we knew when the decision was made on who was going to start or who was going to play, we were going to have to go with it.
“I just stated my opinion,” Moss explained about his comments Monday. “Everybody has an opinion, whether it gets heard or not. I felt like [Shanahan] felt the same way, but when it comes down to the decisions about the team, he has to make the right decisions for the team. Therefore, whatever decision he makes, it’s going to be the right decision for the team.”
Moss has a limited on-field rapport with Beck, who joined the Redskins last season and spent all of 2010 as the third-string quarterback, throwing to scout-team receivers. Although they worked together during training camp and preseason practices, Beck and Moss have seen limited action together in games. Beck completed one of only two pass attempts to Moss in the preseason, and the two connected for two completions during the fourth quarter of the Eagles game.
But Moss said he has observed Beck’s hunger to succeed.
“He’s a very talented quarterback who hasn’t really had his shot yet to prove who he can be in this league. I think he had a shot and hasn’t really done anything since that shot, hasn’t really had a chance since then,” Moss said of Beck, who before last week hadn’t played since his rookie year in Miami in 2007. “He’s a guy who wants to prove himself every day.”
When asked how long it would take Moss and Beck to develop the chemistry needed for Washington to succeed, Moss said, “You never know. It’s just the more and more we’re out there together, the more confidence we build together. It doesn’t just happen over night, but there are times that it does happen over night. I remember Mark Brunell being thrown in at the beginning of the  season, and he hadn’t had any reps.”
Beck will be the seventh starting quarterback to play with Moss during Moss’s seven seasons in Washington. The receiver has said it would be nice to have some stability at that position, but said Wednesday he won’t dwell on the revolving door at quarterback.
“You can’t look back at all that stuff. All you can do is try to build on what we’ve got going on now,” Moss said. “I feel like this year, we have two quarterbacks. We have Rex or we have John, and now it’s John’s chance.”