Often building a football team means choosing from imperfect options. The Redskins did just that in signing Rex Grossman to be their backup quarterback.
They signed Grossman, who started 13 games for the Redskins last year, to a one-year contract. Although the team has not yet confirmed the deal, Grossman himself did when he spoke to the Washington Post Saturday night.
To many, the ideal backup quarterback is a game manager type. If he needs to come in, he will be able to hand off, complete safe passes and not lose the game. That description, of course, does not fit Rex Grossman.
He will throw the ball and move the team. However, he will make big plays for both teams. In 16 starts for the Redskins Grossman has thrown 24 interceptions. And he has given gifts week in and week out. Grossman has turned the ball over at least once in every start he has made for the Redskins.
So why bring him back? The pluses outweighed the minuses.
When the trade between the Redskins and Rams for what amounts to the draft rights for Robert Griffin III bringing in Grossman became the best option and here’s why.
RG3 will be the starter but the rookie will be coming from Baylor’s very simple offense. Although he has been doing some brushing up on NFL offenses in general, and the Redskins’ scheme in particular, he essentially will be learning from scratch starting when his name is called in Radio City Music Hall as the team’s pick on April 26.
The new CBA has drastically reduced the amount of time that teams can spend on the practice field in the spring and in training camp. The coaches need to spend every available moment, every possible practice rep, getting Griffin up to speed.
Had the Redskins gone with Kyle Orton or Josh Johnson or with anyone else from the outside as their backup, they would have needed to us precious time teaching that player the offense. That is time that is needed to teach Griffin.
With Grossman, that is not an issue. Rex will need work but not instructional time.
There is another advantage to have Grossman as the backup. The players on offense like him and respect him. If they look up and he is in the huddle instead of Griffin, there will be no panic, not learning curve to get used to the backup quarterback. There is a lot of comfort in familiarity.
The Redskins hope that this move proves to be meaningless. Ideally, Griffin will come in, have enough of a grasp of the offense to be able to start from Week 1 on and will play every snap. However, the ideal does not always happen in the NFL so Grossman is a good player to have around even though he is not perfect.