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For the 31-year-old veteran who is six seasons removed from playing in the Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears, there isn’t even the opportunity to start that was present in 2011. This isn’t about competing, like it was against John Beck. Grossman is a steady hand with a clipboard and clearly the second fiddle in the Redskins‘ plan.

“I know my role, and I’m going to play it. Whatever my role is, I’m going to do it best in the NFL, whatever that is,” he said. “If I have to come in and play, I want to be the best quarterback that week. If I have to be there and mentor, I’m going to be the best mentor in the league.”

Grossman hasn’t solicited advice from any other starting quarterbacks-turned-mentors. He called this a normal situation and signed a one-year contract to return to the Redskins understanding what was going on.

“The writing was on the wall a long time ago that this was going to happen, before I even signed,” he said, “so I knew what I was getting into, and I’m happy to be here and ready to play if they need me.”

One of the side benefits of Grossman and Cousins not being “the guy” is that neither has the pressure, either. But don’t tell them that.

Grossman has “goals” and things he wants to accomplish this season.

“My job is to get better and play at a high level if needed to. So I’m constantly working on my game, constantly trying to get better,” he said. “I have tape to relate to. There’s things I need to work on; I’m working on those things. I’m working on my mindset, I’m working on all aspects of my game so that if I have to play, I’m better than I’ve been.”

For Cousins, it’s about each day on the practice field and in meetings, not the expectation of him maybe earning the backup job behind Griffin.

“I’m going to put more pressure on myself than anybody else is going to put on me, so I feel like whether there’s outside pressure or not, the highest level of pressure is going to come from within,” Cousins said. “I don’t really see that as a positive or a negative. I think that it’s more about just developing myself and working hard every day.”