- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 25, 2011

BALTIMORE — If coach Mike Shanahan already has decided that John Beck will be the Washington Redskins‘ starting quarterback when the regular season begins Sept. 11, Rex Grossman on Thursday night at least gave him a reason to consider thinking about maybe revisiting that decision.

Grossman started Washington’s 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and completed 8 of 15 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in four series against Baltimore’s first-string defense.

Beck, who alternated with Grossman every two series through the third quarter, finished 6 of 10 for 108 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

If Shanahan’s mind is made up, he didn’t say so after another competitive outing.

“I’m going to evaluate them all the way through camp and all the way through the last preseason game, possibly up to the day before we play the Giants,” he said. “It all depends on if someone separates themselves. … So we’ve got a few more days of evaluation. As I said before, I feel very good about both quarterbacks. We can win with them.”

Washington Redskins quarterback John Beck will make his first start since 2007 against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington Redskins quarterback John Beck will make his first start since 2007 ... more >

Judging by the quarterbacks’ play in three preseason games, the one deserving of the starting job is difficult to distinguish. Grossman and Beck each have moved the offense well at times. None has pulled away in the competition, either, with the finish line in sight.

Thursday’s game might have been the final chance for the quarterbacks to play against a first-string defense. Many teams rest their starters in the preseason finale, so the most impactful game evidence is in.

Asked if he believes he has done enough to win the job, Grossman said: “I just feel good about what I have done.”

Beck’s answer to the same question also wasn’t conclusive.

“I can’t really worry about that,” he said. “If I do, it’s just mental quicksand. You can get stuck in it.”

Grossman started the game because Beck started last week against Indianapolis, Shanahan said. He proceeded to remind us that he’s capable of making quality passes when he’s afforded time to throw in a clean pocket.

Grossman led the Redskins on an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive at the end of the second quarter. He connected with Anthony Armstrong for 18 yards down the middle. He hit Fred Davis after a double move for 19 yards. He nailed Jabar Gaffney for 14 yards.

And then the cherry on top: a 24-yard touchdown to Santana Moss in the back right corner of the end zone. The safety appeared to be late getting over, and Moss adjusted to Grossman’s throw, which was a bit behind him.

Beck, by comparison, was quiet until he led the Redskins‘ second-string offense on a 12-play, 97-yard touchdown drive against Baltimore’s reserves at the start of the second half.

For all you asterisk-applying types, he was only 1-for-3 for 33 yards and an interception in his two series against the Ravens‘ top defense.

Story Continues →