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Posts Tagged ‘Rex Grossman’

Quarterback Roulette: The Case for Instability

October 17, 2011 Leave a comment


I’m in favor of a lack of stability at the Quarterback position. That’s right. Especially if you root for a very average football team that has no proven QB- forget this business about establishing consistency at the position. I say shuffle ‘em in and out like a revolving door.

Everybody in Redskin nation is waiting for Wednesday to see if Washington Head Coach, Mike Shanahan, will appoint John Beck to succeed Rex Grossman, who, regrettably, is one of those people who thinks he’s much better than he really is.

After throwing four largely inexplicable interceptions against the Eagles Sunday, in his post-game comments, Grossman blamed his receivers for two of them. And then he said he has faith in himself even if the fans don’t- even if the coaches don’t. See, I would argue the fans and the coaches are key constituencies. Take them out of the equation and all you have left, really, are your wife and your dog. Lose the fans and the coaches and I would consider it a big red flag.

Rex has taken much criticism over the years because he has a tendency to give the ball to the other team, which goes against the basic principle that you try to score more points than your opponent. He pretty much averages two turnovers in every single game he’s ever played. If he’s not throwing passes directly into the hands of surprised but grateful defensive players, he’s coughing the ball up like my cats pass hairballs. Actually, statistically, Grossman is even worse this year than his pedestrian career average.

Here’s another analogy. In college football, coaches change quarterbacks like my girlfriend changes outfits prior to a night out on the town. A lot. The NFL should be no different, especially if, like the Redskins, you only have mediocre quarterback talent to choose from in the first place. And if truth be told, my girlfriend has better outfits than the Redskins have good quarterbacks.

So if your quarterback throws an interception that’s not his fault, a defensive player has made a great play or your receiver accidently tips the ball to the defender- he should get a mulligan. But the first time he appears to have mistaken the colors of the uniforms and hands the bad guys a gift- like Grossman did repeatedly Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles- take him out. In with the next guy. If he sucks, pull him out too and go to the third guy. If he sucks, and you don’t have a 4th guy, go back to the 1st guy. One of them is bound to get hot sometime.

I would not favor this strategy if we had a real quarterback. I do understand the virtues of stability. If you’re John Elway, you get to throw a few bone-headed interceptions- but only because you’ve thrown twice as many touchdowns. But Rex Grossman? John Beck? Jonathan Crompton? Completely replaceable and interchangeable. Hockey does it with goalies. Baseball does it with pitchers. And the Redskins ought to do it with their quarterbacks. Especially these quarterbacks.

Grossman Did Well; Shanahan Shaky

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment


“I understand this game. I understand how it works.” The words of Redskins head coach, Mike Shanahan after Sunday’s losing but inspired effort against the Cowboys. If only he understood diplomacy and basic human decency as much as he understands football.

The much-maligned Rex Grossman threw four TD passes as he rallied the Redskins from a 20-point 3rd quarter deficit. He also threw two interceptions and fumbled but he did seem to validate the coach’s suspicions that Donovan McNabb was a square peg in a round hole. If you check your brain and instincts at the door and just follow Kyle Shanahan’s game plan- it seems to work. At least it did for one game.

So chalk one up for the system. Who the heck brought McNabb in here in the first place? Fire that guy. The guy who gave up precious draft picks for a player the head coach was forced to give up on. Oh- Mike Shanahan did that.

Couldn’t he have benched McNabb earlier in the week? Did he have to humiliate the guy who was introduced to us all as the second coming just a few months ago? Do we need all this damn drama all the damn time?

Now if he could just find 11 Rex Grossman’s who fit into the 3-4 defense…because the current squad doesn’t have a clue. And this crystallizes what is really going on here. The Shanahan’s have systems for both the offense and the defense. They are completely unwilling to change or alter their systems for the talent they have. It’s the only way to explain why they took a top-10 defense and turned it into the single worst defensive squad in the NFL. It’s the only way to explain why 6-time pro-bowler, Donovan McNabb turned out sub-par. They never let him be Donovan.

So how long before we reach the promised land? Well, we have a very stubborn Shanahan clan that does it their way. If their system works, we’ll only know with their guys, not the players from previous failed regimes. All they have to do is stock up the team with their 47 guys. At about 7 draft picks a year, this could be a lengthy process.

It seems to me that in a transitionary period, you implement what you can of your “systems” and compromise a little bit to maximize what you do have in your personnel. This is a foreign concept to Team Shanahan. The result- another lost season. And probably at least two more before this rebuilding process begins to show results.

And I still like Donovan McNabb. I like his intelligence and his style and his temperament. I think he could have worked here if the Shanahan’s had just let him be. If the next team he goes to gives him that latitude, he may well end up being one of the many, many cases of players let go by the Redskins who end up reborn and rededicated somewhere else. I’ll be rooting for him.

As for the “my way or the highway” Shanahan’s- good luck. I’ll root for you guys too. But the cheering would feel a lot better if you could exhibit a little class to go along with all the football smarts.

The Washington Redskins Are Idiots

December 17, 2010 1 comment


They’re benching Donovan McNabb this Sunday for Rex Grossman- a guy who has the nickname of the “human turnover machine.” Let’s just say it; Mike Shanahan and his son, Kyle, are bizarre. Skin’s owner Daniel Snyder is a jinxed, star-crossed icon of ineptitude. This has become a cruel joke on us all.

True…it doesn’t really matter that the players are reportedly “pissed” at this news. Very few of them will be back next year. And true, the game means nothing- the season was lost the day Shanahan benched McNabb the first time- against Detroit with 2 minutes to play. I just didn’t expect this and should have known better. Everything Daniel Snyder touches turns to 100%, unmitigated crap.

Rex Grossman is not the future of the Redskins. He doesn’t know the 2-minute drill better than anyone else. Donovan McNabb has actually been very good in two-minute drill situations this year; his trouble has been with the other 58 minutes. And it’s not his fault. He has a pathetic, patchwork offensive line whose malignant neglect remains the legacy of Snyder’s last stroke of genius, General Manager, Vinny Ceratto. He has no receivers to throw to because none of Vinny’s draft picks bore fruit.

Rex Grossman, one of the least mobile quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, is in mortal danger this Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys, no longer the pathetic team we beat earlier this season, are drooling as we speak. I’m not sure which will happen first; his third fumble of the game or his removal from the contest on a stretcher after he is frighteningly blind-sided by DeMarcus Ware.

And what is it with the Shanahan’s that makes them incapable of leveling with reporters or the fans? At 10:30 this morning, Kyle Shanahan implied McNabb was starting and that nothing had changed with the preparation routine. He lied through his teeth. Turns out Grossman has been practicing with the 1st team today.

His father, whom I thought earlier this season, was a real leader of men, is looking more and more like a lost puppy; flailing about for some miraculous salvation from the living hell he signed on to in agreeing to work with Daniel Snyder. Mike Shanahan lied when he told reporters he benched McNabb in the Detroit game because he didn’t understand the system. He was frustrated with McNabb’s play and made a petulant move that backfired royally. He should have stood up like a man and admitted it.

Dan Snyder’s last act of free agent brilliance, the signing of Albert Haynesworth turned out swell, of course. As much as I enjoyed the way Shanahan humiliated him- the lazy, self-indulgent, overpaid thief should have been released in the pre-season.

Let me be real clear about this. Donovan McNabb has more class, intelligence, poise and skill in his little finger than the combined body mass of the entire Washington Redskins coaching staff and front office. He’s been an inspiring role model for his teammates, for fans, for little black kids- for everybody in greater Washington, D.C.

When this season is over Donovan…run. Run hard. Run for your life- far, far away from the dysfunctional mess that is the Washington Redskins organization. Far away from Daniel Snyder and from the neurotic, lying, and increasingly frustrated Shanahan family. Find your Mecca somewhere else in the NFL and play out the last 3 or 4 years that could have been spent here- anywhere else.

Godspeed to you, Donovan. We’ll see you at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies a few years down the road; a place you richly deserve to be not only for your play, but for your class and style and dignity. And for the patience you have shown throughout your career with so many mindless fools.