Mike Shanahan awarded the Washington Redskins’ starting quarterback job to Rex Grossman after he narrowly outperformed John Beck during the preseason.
Shanahan said that Grossman “won it by an edge.” Grossman this preseason completed 34 of 53 passes for 407 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and two sacks.
Beck, meanwhile, was 30 for 48 for 356 yards, a touchdown and two interception and four sacks. Beck’s quarterback rating was 74.7.
Shanahan said that the evaluation wasn’t just in games, however.
“I told you guys the truth, day by day. practice every day, game situations, just watching guys and how they performed in all different areas. … As you’re evaluating everything on a day-to-day basis, you kind of get a gut. if someone you think makes a little jump, you go in that direction. I said from Day 1, any time you got confidence in two quarterback, that’s pretty good in the National Football League. That’s what I have right now.”
“All in all, I thought he did a great job,” Shanahan added. “I thought John did, too, but I thought Rex won it by an edge.”
Grossman is entering his third season in Mike and Kyle Shanahan’s offense, and last season started the final three games. When asked if that experience helped Grossman edge out Beck, Shanahan said, “It’s always nice to get some snaps, some more snaps. Wish we would’ve had the OTAs, you always miss a couple months there. He’s fmailiar with the system. I thought he’s pretty automatic with a lot of his reads. Hopefully he plays accordingly.”
The Redskins’ PR staff declined to make Grossman or Beck available for interviews, so we’ll have to wait until Wednesday to hear what they have to say about Shanahan’s decision. But here’s what some of their teammates had to say:
WR Santana Moss: “Rex played well, John played well. Somebody had to be the guy. That’s the way I look at it. I can’t sit and tell you this guy did better than this guy or whatever. He ran the offense well last year and that was proven that he knew the offense. It was only right that he got a shot this year and that’s what coach did: gave him a shot. We saw him do well in preseason and he performed. He’s been in the offense well enough to run it well, and they’re confident that he’s going to get the job done. We’re all confident. He’s a guy that wants to win and he wants to score points. You want that in your quarterback. He got the nod and we’re all excited and glad that it’s over and ready to move on.”
RB Tim Hightower: “He’s done a good job. Coming in, I don’t know his history, but you wouldn’t thought it’d be anything negative. He fought for the job, and you take your hat off to him.”
Asked what separated Grossman, Hightower said, “Funny thing about it, I don’t think it’s his physical abilities – not that he doesn’t have it – but it’s really his demeanor, on and off the field, in the locker room, guys love him. You’ve got a guy at your leadership position and guys respond well to him, they gravitate to him and want to be around him and you’ve got a chance to win. The talent aspect takes care of itself, but his demeanor says a lot. He’s laid back, man. He doesn’t seem like he gets too shaken up, too nervous. He’s easy going. He messes up one play and forgets it and is ready to move onto the next play. That’s the sign you want to see out of your quarterback.”
WR Anthony Armstrong: “Rex, I think he played great. He did everything I expected him to do. He went out there and run the offense well, was extremely efficient with it. I think he did a good job putting his name in the hat.”
On Grossman’s experience last year, Armstrong said, “I think it helped a lot, because you didn’t really have to getting used to what kind of ball he throws or what kind of guy he is. Just being around him all last year. Just basically we showed up, happy to see each other, and ready to get to work.”