I like to throw out an opportunity for you folks to ask me Redskins questions on Twitter (@Rich_Tandler) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/csnwashington) at least once a day (and feel free to drop me a question even when I don’t ask for them, I try to answer every one). And it is not surprising that many of the questions I get concern the quarterback position.
And, as I also like to do, I will use this expanded forum here to try to answer the question in more detail than can be done in 140 characters or in a Facebook post. So here goes.
The inquiries go something like this:
Is John Beck going to start? If so, when?
Sometimes they are bit more involved in pleading their case to bench the mistake-prone Rex Grossman but that is the gist of them.
The first thing that needs to said is that Mike Shanahan is quite capable of making surprise moves at any position, especially at quarterback. Did any of you see the notorious “two-minute” benching of Donovan McNabb in Detroit last year coming? Neither did any of us who are at Redskins Park on a regular basis. How about Grossman going in for McNabb the last three games? It makes sense in retrospect knowing what we know now about how the Shanahan-McNabb-Shanahan dynamic was going but at the time it was out of the blue.
With that caveat, let’s look at what Mike Shanahan has said. When asked about Rex’s job security on Monday, he said that Grossman “will be judged like the rest of us, by wins and losses.”
The clear meaning there is that as long as the Redskins keep winning, Grossman’s job is safe. What is not clear is how many losses it would take for Shanahan to judge that Grossman should no longer be the starter.
Would it take two in a row? Three out of four? It’s doubtful that even Shanahan has a set number in his mind.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Redskins’ early success has raised expectations. While saying that anything short of the playoffs will be a disappointment would be a stretch, it wouldn’t be a big one. If they start losing and Grossman is identified as being part of the problem, a change could be made before things got too far out of control.
Going by what Shanahan said, however, don’t look for a quarterback change to be made if the Redskins keep winning. Even if the “Bad Rex” shows up for some parts of games, the inclination will be to keep him in as long as the team winds up on the good side of the scoreboard more often than not.