- The Washington Times - Monday, August 22, 2011

Anytime John Beck or Rex Grossman talks at Redskins Park, the questions come in rapid-fire form. Everyone got a chance to see both quarterbacks in the same game last week against the Indianapolis Colts, so their competition is a front-burner subject.

Just don’t expect either one to handicap the situation or even predict when Washington coach Mike Shanahan might decide who will start in Week 1.

“I’m not sure,” Grossman said. “I just work here.”

For Beck and Grossman, the work continues every day at practice and during games. But with Shanahan in no rush to name a No. 1 quarterback, the competitors are preaching patience not only with the process but their own games.

Friday against the Colts, patience was the name of the game as Indianapolis’ Cover 2 defense didn’t provide a lot of opportunities for big plays. So Beck had no trouble dinking and dunking his way to a 14-for-17, 140-yard performance.

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and his fellow coaches stress the quarterbacks taking what the opposing defense gives them.

“That’s extremely important in the NFL. It’s even more important when you play a team like Indy. The way they play their coverages and things, they’re a zone team who plays soft and they’re daring you to go down the field,” Kyle Shanahan said. “You’ve got to make quick decisions and get rid of the ball. Any time you don’t against that defense usually is trouble.”

While Beck got the start, Grossman was put in the unenviable position following up a solid performance while also trying to stand out. But being the second guy into a preseason game doesn’t change the veteran’s approach.

“The most important thing to do is make the right play. That trumps any emotion,” Grossman said. “Would you like to make big plays? Yes. You don’t want to miss an opportunity, but you don’t want to force it, either.”

Grossman made a mistake with an interception against the Colts on a play in which he didn’t see linebacker Adrian Moten coming. On Monday, Grossman criticized himself for not executing something that’s the “first play of high school football that you learn.”

How that error hurts Grossman’s chances of starting Thursday night’s preseason game at the Baltimore Ravens or the regular-season opener against the New York Giants remains to be seen. While Kyle Shanahan said Monday a starting quarterback decision has been made for the Ravens game but wouldn’t announce it, his father showed off his poker face by saying the opposite.

“We haven’t made a decision,” Mike Shanahan said. “One thing I can say is I’ve got a lot of confidence in both guys.”

Beck and Grossman will see time with the starters Thursday, according to Kyle Shanahan, so that they can compete on an even plane with some of the same receivers catching and linemen blocking. It seems as if the quarterbacks haven’t been told who will start at Baltimore, but both said it wouldn’t change their preparation.

Both need to be prepared to play and remain patient, because even if the coaching staff has an idea who will be under center Sept. 11 against the Giants, it might be a secret for a while.

That information won’t come out until “right before the Giants game,” Mike Shanahan said. Forcing New York to game-plan for Beck and Grossman could be an advantage for the Redskins.

And while those outside the team could be in the dark for a while, there’s still time for a clear top candidate to emerge.

“I’m hoping one of them separates themselves so they can make it a little bit easier on us,” Kyle Shanahan said.

The time frame for naming the starter - even privately - is something Grossman and Beck said they can’t focus on. Instead, each quarterback is waiting for his next chance.

“I can’t necessarily worry about that because I don’t have control over that decision,” Beck said. “All I have control over is the way that I play, so I’m going to go out there and do my very best.”

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