Rex Grossman stood on the Redskins Park sideline in gym clothes Tuesday afternoon and sized up his competition. While John Beck took snaps with the first-team offense during the Washington Redskins' practice, Grossman savored the arrival of an opportunity for which he has waited more than three years.
"This," he said, "is all I can ask for."
Grossman reported to team headquarters and signed a one-year contract, the final precursor to a competition for the starting quarterback spot between Beck and him. Both sides believed they would reach an agreement, so Tuesday's development was anticlimactic.
Financial terms could not be obtained, and Grossman's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not respond to a request for comment. Grossman, however, said there never was any question about whether he would return to Washington.
Now, the Redskins just have to wait until free agents are permitted to join practice Thursday to get this party started.
"I'm just going to go compete," said Grossman, who turns 31 later this month. "I'm not going to talk about how I feel compared to somebody. I'm just going to go out there and play the way I know I can and play consistent, good football and have no regrets."
This isn't exactly Joe Montana versus Steve Young, though. Beck hasn't played in a regular season game since 2007, and Grossman hasn't started a full season since he helped the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006.
In fact, this is all Plan B. The Redskins hoped to have solved their annual quarterback problems by trading for Donovan McNabb in 2010. But when coaches realized he wasn't the answer, Grossman started the final three games last season.
He finished the year with 884 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions and a passer rating of 81.2. His best performance included three touchdown passes in the second half of a loss at Dallas.
"Rex showed that he's capable last year," offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said recently.
The Redskins won only one of Grossman's three starts, but the experience established a foundation for what he hopes to show coaches over the next five weeks. He operated the offense at a faster tempo more suited to Shanahan's and coach Mike Shanahan's liking, and his knowledge of the offense helped compensate for subpar arm strength.
"It's more of a feeling," he said when asked what he took away from his playing time. "How do you react in actual live football, of division rival games against the Cowboys and Giants, and how you feel in that offense against those defenses, at FedEx Field and going through that whole situation — it allows you to be more comfortable."
Grossman said he watched film of those three games several times during the offseason. He also took a playbook and some game plans with him to his offseason home in Tampa, Fla.
When he wasn't in Northern Virginia attending the Redskins' informal players-only workouts, Grossman was training at The Athletes Compound in Tampa. He threw to trainers and a rotating handful of receivers, one of which was fourth-year Redskins wideout Malcolm Kelly. He also watched game film of Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub operating Kyle Shanahan's offense.
"When I'm in a groove or in a rhythm, I feel like it's pretty tough to stop this offense," Grossman said. "I'd like to do the second half of the Cowboys game throughout 16 games and on through the playoffs. That's my challenge — to be consistently great and not have any lulls in any games. There's going to be adversity, but [I want to] be really proud of myself after every single game."
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