- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 18, 2011


All along, Mike Shanahan has asked us to believe in him. From bringing in Donovan McNabb and shipping him off, to letting the draft come and go without selecting a quarterback, Shanahan has asked that we have faith as he handles Washington’s need at the MIP (Most Important Position).

The Redskins‘ coach said he was comfortable with Rex Grossman and John Beck, expressing confidence that either could do a fine job. The two were allowed to compete in training camp and throughout the preseason, a race that required a photo finish. But at the end, Shanahan named Grossman the starter, saying he gave Washington its best chance to win.

The Redskins’ 3-2 record under Grossman is perfectly reasonable and widely considered a best-case scenario after five games entering the season. But the masses in D.C. are convinced that the wrong guy is under center.

So the question must be asked: Are you going to trust Shanahan or your lying eyes?

On Wednesday, Shanahan will make his second announcement this season regarding his starting quarterback. It’s almost inconceivable that he’ll stick with Grossman after Sunday’s four-pick fiasco, which also included Philly defenders dropping a pair of would-be interceptions.

But remember, Grossman is who we knew he was. He’s a turnover-prone QB who can show Rex-less disregard for the ball.

Surely that’s no shock to Shanahan, who was well-aware of Grossman’s history and limitations beforehand. Yet the coach still named him the No. 1 quarterback.

If you trusted Shanahan back then you have to trust him today. Even if he says Grossman will start against Carolina. Unlikely as that might seem, it’s under consideration and has a vote of approval from leading receiver Santana Moss.

The reasoning is in place, regardless of Shanahan’s choice: He has confidence in both QBs.

At least that’s the company line. He can tell us anything (and often tells us nothing), leaving no way to determine what’s truly what. However, it’s a different story inside the locker room, where he has to play it straight.

“Well, what I think you have to do with your football team is at least be honest,” he said Monday. “You have to tell them what you’re thinking.”

There’s no question what the public is thinking. Fans want Beck and they’re going Michael Scott at the thought of another Grossman start — “Noooo God! No! God Please! No!”

Not counting Grossman’s four interceptions Sunday, there are four more reasons to give Beck a shot. Starting left tackle Trent Williams and starting left guard Kory Lichtensteiger are out, while reserve linemen Erik Cook and Sean Locklear are in.

Beck’s superior mobility could be more necessity than luxury behind Washington’s reconfigured line, which could result in a lumbering Grossman being reconfigured before long.

Story Continues →