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Redskins’ Grossman undeterred by turnovers
Question of the Day
Resiliency is familiar to Rex Grossman.
That’s how the Washington Redskins quarterback has survived 82 turnovers in 52 career games. Two more interceptions — upping his career tally to 58 — came in Sunday’s unexpected win at the New York Giants.
But the 31-year-old Grossman found a way to shake off the mistakes. Teammates notice the trait, more than his ability to make a throw or read defenses.
“They may stick in the papers afterward,” Grossman said Tuesday of the interceptions, “but they don’t stick in my head.”
The season has not been easy on Grossman, who was replaced by John Beck for three games after throwing four interceptions against the Philadelphia Eagles in October and suffered a bout with pneumonia that landed him in the hospital. A free agent at season’s end after signing a one-year, $1.15 million contract in August, Grossman’s future with the Redskins isn’t clear.
The inconsistency — he can throw 305 interception-free yards in the season opener or be picked off on the first offensive play last week against the Giants — hasn’t helped.
The resiliency has been well-used. The first play against the Giants was a flea-flicker. Grossman handed the ball to Roy Helu, who pitched it back to the quarterback. While receiver Santana Moss appeared open down the left side, Grossman’s pass died in the wind. Defensive back Corey Webster turned around for an easy interception.
Coach Mike Shanahan put some of the blame on Moss for not selling his fake longer. Grossman described a “timing” issue.
Minutes later, safety Kenny Phillips intercepted Grossman’s deep ball intended for Gaffney. Grossman admitted he missed a read, expecting Phillips to move out of the middle, but, instead, Phillips spun back.
“I was definitely too aggressive,” Grossman said.
His voice was calm and even. That’s Grossman’s demeanor. He doesn’t beat himself up over mistakes, doesn’t relive them. Sunday’s interceptions? He viewed them as punts, albeit on first down.
“He has the utmost confidence,” receiver Anthony Armstrong said. “He’s going to be able to go out there and make big throws and bounce back from it.”
After the two interceptions, Grossman went 11-for-17 for 151 yards and a well-placed 20-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss in the left corner of the end zone.
That’s the bargain with Grossman: disaster and effectiveness, Good Rex and Bad Rex, all in the same 60 minutes of football. What that means for the rapidly-approaching offseason where the Redskins‘ need for a long-term answer at quarterback may as well be advertised with a neon sign is an open question.
“Quarterbacks are the focal point because it’s just what people like to talk about,” Grossman said. “They have the ball in their hands every play, so they determine the outcome a lot.”
NOTES: When Pro Bowlers are announced Dec. 28, linebacker London Fletcher hopes his NFL-leading 146 tackles are enough to earn a spot. Fletcher has been an alternate nine times and played in the game twice. “I can’t vote for myself,” Fletcher said. “Obviously I’ve played at a high level this year. … [Being voted in] would say my peers, the fans the coaches finally get it.”
Fletcher, a free agent at season’s end, expressed a desire to return: “If they appreciate the way I go about doing things, they’ll show me.”
c Defensive end Doug Worthington and tight end Rob Myers were promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. Tight end Dominique Byrd, signed Dec. 7, was released. The other roster spot was opened when safety LaRon Landry was placed on injured reserve last week. To fill out the practice squad, the Redskins signed safety Michael Hamlin and tight end Schuylar Oordt.
c Cornerback Josh Wilson (head) practiced Tuesday, while tackle Jammal Brown (groin) and fullback Mike Sellers (elbow) were limited. Running back Roy Helu (ankle and toe) participated in position drills, but not the team segment.
c Rich Campbell contributed to this report.
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