Mike Shanahan is in no hurry to let the world know who the Redskins' starting quarterback will be when the season starts on Sept 11 at FedEx field against the New York Giants.
When asked today when he would decide on if John Beck or Rex Grossman will take the first snap in the opener, Shanahan said, "It probably won’t be until game time, just before the game."
He apparently wants to use the quarterback competition to his team's advantage. "Probably have the [Giants] get ready for both quarterbacks," Shanahan said.
It seems difficult to believe that Shanahan truly will not have his mind made up by the beginning of the week leading up to the Giants game. Quarterback reps with the first team are both important and limited and it would be counterproductive. It wouldn't make much sense for Shanahan to split those reps between Beck and Grossman. Chances are he will have made his mind up by then.
But he will not tell us who he is going with. There is a certain strategic advance, albiet slight, in making the opposition prepare for two quarterbacks, espcially two with different styles. Beck is the more mobile of the two while Grossman is more of a threat to unleash a long pass.
Whether he will be able to keep the identity of the starter a secret for a week remains to be seen. There will be some 60 players on the field and others in the organization will know Shanahan's decision. That means that there are dozens of opportunities for a leak to occur and it only takes one for the world to find out.