That Was Gross Man

News Washington Commanders

Teams win and lose… as teams. No one individual is ever single-handedly responsible for the fate of an NFL franchise. Repeat that over and over to yourself about Sunday’s performance from Rex Grossman, and maybe you’ll believe it.

The fact of it is, when you put up four interceptions, and almost nothing of note on the positive side of the ledger, you certainly played a major role in your team’s demise. Grossman’s statline for the game reads 9 of 22 for 143 yards; Kurt Coleman had three catches on the day – only problem is, he plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. The book on Rex is that there is ‘Good Rex’ and ‘Bad Rex,’ but after seeing Bad Rex for about 10 or 11 quarters, Mike Shanahan had finally had enough and pulled the plug.

John Beck came in for Gorossman, and while he wasn’t great, all of the passes that he completed, were caught by guys wearing burgundy – so there’s that. Beck looked a little bit overwhelmed, and despite a lot of confident talk this year, definitely seemed to be a little nervous. How could he not be? It’s one thing to get tossed in when the starter gets hurt, but when he gets pulled for performance, the ante is upped. To his credit, he settled in and at least drove the Redskins down the field for a touchdown; more than Grossman could accomplish on the day. Beck finished the day 8 of 15 for 117 yards.

It would be ludicrous to expect Beck to come in and shine right away, he hadn’t played in an NFL game since 2007. Does that even count anymore? What is the statue of limitations on experience that can actually be qualified as experience?

For due diligence, you have to look at the ramifications of making the jump to Beck in the overall scheme of things. You create a situation that is not exactly ideal – the quarterback you’re going to doesn’t really have an NFL pedigree to look at. In the process, you tell your starting quarterback that you’d rather try an unknown quantity than give him another chance. If Beck bombs – a possibility – you do what? Go back to a hurt Rex? How many games does this carousel of bad QB play go on for… three, four games? That puts the Redskins at what, 3-6 before they figure it out? That’s a season gone bad. So that’s the absolute worst case scenario.

The crux of it comes down to – are the Redskins re-building? Or are they re-building with an eye to playing above your heads and getting a playoff berth?

If your answer is the former, and you accept that the 2011 Redskins are a work in progress, you have to make the decision with the most upside, and live with the worst case scenario.

You start John Beck.

He has some swagger, he talks a good game, but that won’t get you much more than maybe some huddle leadership on Sunday. He is an unknown quantity that walks on with a suddenly injury-riddled offensive line, that lacked depth to begin with. There are going to be protection problems over the next few games. Trent Williams will be out for 2-3 weeks in all likelihood, and the Redskins obviously don’t have a comparable replacement on the roster. That’s the guy guarding Beck’s blind-spot; expect a couple of extra sacks.

Then again, Rex isn’t going to run out of any blind-side jams, at least Beck might.

So the other option was of re-building with an eye to playing above your heads and getting a playoff berth; don’t you still choose John Beck?

Grossman isn’t going to win you many of the next couple of games, as a slow quarterback that has likely lost a little confidence, and will now play behind a banged up line. You don’t know what Beck will do, but he certainly showed signs of just needing a little more time against Philadelphia. He didn’t get help from any run calls because the Redskins were playing catch-up, and received a baptism by fire, but he looked pretty composed doing it. That’s worth mentioning in itself. He was the victim of a couple of drops, and a couple of jitter-induced short hops, but he also appeared to be making reads, and looked infinitely more nimble in the pocket than Grossman.

How can Shanahan not give Beck a game or two to see what happens? If Beck can surprise, then this slightly over-achieving 3-2 team can perhaps continue their roll.

After that kiss of death, expect to see Grossman under center on Sunday.

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Mark Solway

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