Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss said it’s too early in the season for Coach Mike Shanahan to make a quarterback change and that starter Rex Grossman can’t be entirely blamed for the team’s offensive struggles in a 20-13, loss to the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday.
“I don’t think we’re that far,” Moss, who is Washington’s offensive captain, said Monday when asked about the team’s latest quarterback controversy. “Too early to be that far. I’m pretty sure that’s something y’all wouldn’t mind covering, but when it comes down to playing, we know that you can’t just give up on somebody because they had a bad outing.”
Grossman threw four interceptions Sunday and completed only nine of 22 passes for 143 yards and no touchdowns. He was yanked late in the third quarter with his team down 20-6.
John Beck came in and, after one stalled drive, directed the Redskins on a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by a two-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper.
Despite the spark that Beck brought, Moss said Grossman should remain Washington’s starting quarterback.
“No question. That’s not even something that should be asked,” said Moss, who, like Grossman, is represented by Drew Rosenhaus. “I think that he deserves to start. [Eagles’ QB Michael] Vick threw four picks last week, came back and had a hell of a game. Tom Brady threw four picks two weeks ago. … I feel like for the flow of the game, it worked and kind of got a spark from bringing Beck in. But I just feel like you can’t just give up on a guy because he had a bad outing.”
Grossman has thrown nine interceptions and fumbled twice this season, while tossing six touchdown passes. The Redskins fell to 3-2 Sunday, and dropped out of first place in the NFC East.
Against the Eagles, they went 0-for-7 on third down attempts and 0-for-2 in the red zone with Grossman as their quarterback.
But Moss said the offensive struggles, even the four interceptions, were a collective problem.
“It happens. It’s football,” Moss said. “You’re going to throw picks, you’re going to fumble balls. As a total offense together, we have to give Grossman a better chance on some of those balls. I feel like we can’t put it all on him. Yes, he threw the ball, yes it’s his decision, yes he’s going to take the blame. But as an offensive core, we’ve got to do a better job of making plays for him so he won’t have to do it all.
“As a player, you don’t want to be given up on like that. That’s all I can say,” Moss added. “If you were the guy in those shoes, would you like to be given up on because you had a bad outing? No. So that’s why I feel the way I feel.”
Moss’s support for Grossman was the strongest of the offensive players who came into the locker room during media availability Monday morning.
Fellow receiver Anthony Armstrong, like Moss, said that the offense as a whole had to do a better job to ease the pressure on the quarterback.
And receiver Jabar Gaffney said, “He’s played great and just had a bad game. He can bounce back from it. We’re behind him. We’re behind him, and we know what he can do. That was one game. We’ve all got to get better.”
Moss, who leads the Redskins with 23 receptions and two touchdown catches and ranks second on the team with 284 receiving yards, said Beck did a good job, but that didn’t sway his confidence in Grossman.
“He did his job. He came in, did what Beck do,” Moss said. “We know he can play football. He’s good with his feet, he’s good with his arm. For a guy to be thrown in that situation, knowing he hadn’t had any reps with us during the week, I was proud of the progress he had last night. I just felt like it was one of those situations where we had to give him that shot.
“But, I told you before I’m confident [in] both guys, and that both guys can get the job done. That’s why I feel as strongly as I do about Grossman.”