Rex Grossman can make the Redskins better in 2011

Grossman later felt the blitz on another bootleg and quickly got rid of the ball to fullback Darrel Young, who broke tackles for a 16-yard gain.

And when the Steelers pulled their starting defense after the first drive, Grossman was a level above the reserves, as you’d expect from a starting quarterback. He hit a wide open Terrence Austin in stride on an intermediate cross, allowing Austin to gain 38 yards.

On fourth-and-1, his throw on Anthony Armstrong’s outside hip was away from the defender. Armstrong slid to catch it and move the chains.

“I thought [Rex] played well, managed the game well,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “I was pleased with the way he managed that two-minute offense right there at the end of the half. Still like to get in the end zone a few more times, but overall, pleased with the effort.”

It would’ve been a perfect night had Grossman not tempted fate with a throw into traffic in the red zone. Pittsburgh linebacker Larry Foote could have intercepted it and run it back for a touchdown. That’s the Rex we all know, and he’s inevitably going to show up most weeks.

But Grossman can run this offense at least as well as McNabb did, and probably better. If Beck can beat that, fine. Let Beck run the show if he can prove it in the remaining preseason games.

Grossman, though, represents a worst-case scenario the Redskins can live with. And considering the first-string defensive personnel on Friday appeared to fit the 3-4 scheme way better than last year’s bunch, a higher win total in 2011 isn’t out of the question.

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