- The Washington Times - Monday, October 17, 2011

Mike Shanahan will wait until Wednesday afternoon to announce his resolution to the Washington Redskins’ Great Quarterback Mystery of 2011, version 2.0.

If it were up to wide receiver Santana Moss, though, whether Rex Grossman or John Beck starts at quarterback against Carolina on Sunday wouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

Grossman’s four interceptions in three quarters of Sunday’s 20-13 loss to Philadelphia were enough for the coach to bench him and reopen the job to debate this week. But Moss believes Grossman should keep his spot.

“No question,” Moss said. “That’s not even something that should be asked.”

Thus began the 10-year veteran’s impassioned plea. At a time when many fans have turned on Grossman, Moss, Washington’s leading pass-catcher, entrenched himself in Grossman’s corner.

“He deserves another shot,” Moss said. “[Eagles quarterback Michael] Vick threw four picks last week and came back and played a hell of a game this week. Tom Brady threw four [two] weeks ago.

“I feel for the flow of the game [Sunday, the change] worked. It got a spark by bringing Beck in, but that’s the luxury when you have two good quarterbacks. Beck can come in and do his thing when you need him, but I feel like you can’t give up on a guy because he had a bad outing.”

The matter isn’t so clear to Shanahan. Six weeks after determining that Grossman beat Beck in their preseason competition, he faces the same decision.

He had re-watched the game film and spoken to some of his assistants about the situation by the time he met with reporters at 3 p.m.

“All I’m going to say is on Wednesday a decision will be made, who’s going to start, based on the best interest of our organization,” Shanahan said. “I have not made up my mind right now. You go through game situations. You go back and you look at all the games. You look at who’s going to be active, who gives you the best chance to win.”

Grossman’s job is in jeopardy in large part because of turnovers. He has nine interceptions, tied for most in the NFL with Carolina rookie Cam Newton. He has thrown an interception on 5.5 percent of his attempts, the worst rate in the league.

He also struggled with poor mechanics on several plays against the Eagles. While under duress on one play, he threw off his back foot, late, over the middle. The pass went through cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s hands, narrowly missing an interception.

“There’s so many times in this league that you face adversity for one reason or another,” Grossman said after the game. “You go back to your core belief. I believe in myself no matter if the whole stadium doesn’t, the coaching staff doesn’t, whatever the situation is. I believe in myself that every single play I’m going to get it done. I fall back on that.”

Moss, at least, shares that belief. He echoed a popular sentiment that the Redskins’ offensive struggles extend beyond quarterback play.

“As an offense together, we have to go out there and give Grossman a better chance to come up with some of those balls,” he said. “I just feel like you can’t put it on him. Yes, he threw the ball. Yes, he’s the guy that’s going to get blamed. Yes, it’s his decision. But as an offensive corps, we have to make better plays for him so he won’t have to deal with this kind of stuff.”

Shanahan has reiterated that not all interceptions are the quarterback’s fault. Moss, for example, dropped a pass that was intercepted against St. Louis in Week 4.

On the other hand, opposing defenses have dropped several potential interceptions, including two in the Philadelphia game.

“Usually over the long run it averages out,” Shanahan said.

Now it’s up to Shanahan to determine how long Grossman’s run will last.

“We lost one game before [Sunday], so you’ve just got to give the guy his shot,” Moss said. “If he doesn’t succeed, do what needs to be done.”

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