Mike Shanahan says a quarterback is judged on wins and losses, so with the Redskins at 3-1, Rex Grossman remains his quarterback. Is that the best way to judge? What if a quarterback is just playing terribly, but his defense and offensive teammates are carrying the team? I’m not saying this is completely true of Grossman, but what criteria should a coach weigh about when to change quarterbacks?
And what about the Vikings’ Donovan McNabb or the Colts’ Kerry Collins (before his injury), who are stinking it up for losing teams? When does a coach make a change and what factors must he consider, besides the quality of his backup?
This is a good question. The best way to judge is ultimately by wins and losses. We can argue about who is mostly responsible for the results, but the bottom line has to be: Is the quarterback playing well enough to win? Even if it’s not always pretty, disrupting a flow that is producing wins would be a foolish move for a coach.
With that being said, when a team starts to lose more than win, a judgement call needs to be made.
In Grossman’s case, that hasn’t happened, but for McNabb, it has. The Vikings have a rookie in the balance, but one must remember replacing a quarterback is not as simple as people may think.
This decision impacts the entire team, so making a change sends a clear message that the demoted starter is no longer the guy. Occasionally, a demoted starter will respond and win back the job, but for the most part, the team needs to stand by its decision. The success and confidence of the replacement depends on it.
If Shanahan were to bench Grossman with a 3-1 record and Beck can’t carry the load, Shanahan looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Most experts would agree, and so would the players on the team.
If it’s not broke don’t fix it! 3-1 is far from broken so until Rex proves otherwise, he should and will be the guy behind center.