Saturday, August 6, 2011

Are the Redskins Bluffing At Quarterback? Will They Really Go With Beck Or Grossman?

No one can accuse Head Coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins of taking the conventional route to success.

Instead of listening to every single NFL analyst, blogger, or random dude on the street, Shanahan elected not to add to his quarterback corps over the course of the off-season.  In a draft full of quarterback talent where five QBs were taken in the first two rounds and even the New England Patriots added a quarterback, Shanahan and company stayed quiet and built up the rest of the team.

In a hectic free-agency period where there were several veteran quarterbacks available as free agents, Shanahan instead traded away Donovan McNabb and didn't acquire a QB in return.

Now Shanahan and offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan (Mike's son), insist that they are very happy with the pair that they already have: John Beck and Rex Grossman.

John Beck
Beck was selected in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft by Miami. Thought to be their potential qb of the future, he played just two years (total of five terrible games where he had one touchdown against 3 interceptions and 5 fumbles) for the Dolphins, much of that as third-string. He was released and picked up by the Baltimore Ravens as a backup in 2009 and then traded to Washington before the 2010 season.

Rex Grossman
Grossman was selected by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 2003 NFL draft and played six very roller coaster years there.  While his best season in 2006 resulted in the Bears reaching the Super Bowl (losing to the Colts and Peyton Manning), the vast majority of his time in Chicago was tumultuous, injury-plagued, and filled with inconsistent play. In 2006, when he started all 16 games, he had 20 interceptions and eight fumbles (losing five) to 23 touchdowns.  Grossman was never able to shake the turnover bug and eventually lost his job to Kyle Orton.  He signed with the Texans for one-year in 2009, and then was picked up by the Redskins.

Last year Grossman supplanted starter Donovan McNabb in the lineup for the last four games of the season, and played reasonably well (as compared to McNabb). He threw for 884 yards with 7 TDs and 4 INTs.

Simpy by playing experience, Grossman would seem to have the edge over Beck.  I honestly don't know what the Shanahans are thinking.  Perhaps the offensive coordinator simply wants someone who will go in and run the offense the way he wants it run. Maybe the Redskins are bluffing and they are indeed looking to make a trade, but are waiting until a team like Denver is desperate enough to dump a starter like Kyle Orton.

In any case, if they do indeed go into the season with just these two quarterback options, expect plenty of pressure to be placed on the Head Coach if this gamble doesn't pay off.

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