Redskins might need to turn QB page

Posted Oct. 17, 2011 @ 4:58 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

The Redskins had seen enough, yanking QB Rex Grossman from the lineup after his four-interception game Sunday against the Eagles, despite the fact that they trailed by only two scores. Backup John Beck, who lost the starting job to Grossman in training camp, came in relief of Grossman and rallied the Redskins to within one score but couldn't deliver the victory. Head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan now have a choice to make this week about who will start against the Panthers.

The PFW Spin

As time went on, it was becoming harder to hide the Rex in Rex.

Grossman is who the Redskins — and the world — thought he was, and after his first four-pick game since the infamous Denny Green/Cardinals meltdown when Grossman was with Bears, he showed increasingly with each game that there were no more ways the Redskins could keep trying to mask his shortcomings and keep winning.

With each passing game, Grossman wasn't regressing — he was becoming more of the quarterback he always has been. He possesses some legitimate NFL quarterbacking skills, but when the pressure is dialed up, he tends to fold. It's nothing personal against Grossman, who likes to claim that the media and fans have something against him, it's just the way it has been and, seemingly, always will be.

The curious thing is that the Shanahans went to Grossman in the first place. To the naked eye of observers, Grossman outplayed Beck this summer. Slightly. It wasn't a huge margin, and many believed that the QB decision initially was more about Beck not snagging the starting assignment and running with it as it was Grossman coming in and stealing it.

Yes, Grossman threw better outside the numbers. He also ran the two-minute drill more effectively, and that clearly was something the coaches wanted to implement. But working behind a suspect offensive line — one that was weakened with the loss of OLG Kory Lichtensteiger (likely for the season) and OLT Trent Williams (indefinitely) — Grossman's chances for succeeding start to wane. He takes too many chances and is careless with the football. We've seen it time and time again.

As for Beck, the irony is that he likely once again wins this job because of what Grossman did Sunday. The play-caller, Kyle Shanahan did Grossman no favors by abandoning the run down 14 points and calling for some high-risk passes, but the scheme can only do so much to enhance a quarterback's ability and, likewise, to cover up for his shortcomings.

Beck was uneven with his decision making, and it gives you pause when you think that he lost the job despite running the player workouts this summer and being the coaches' first choice coming into camp. He enjoys throwing the deep ball — what QB doesn't? — and offers more athleticism and maneuverability than Grossman, but Beck's accuracy can be an issue and he must improve stringing throws together.

At this point, the Redskins need to find out what Beck can do because Grossman isn't going to change. As for whether Beck is a better option, well, that very much remains to be seen.