- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 29, 2014


The Washington Redskins seems to exist in two worlds. There is the world where they look at themselves in the mirror and say to everyone, “Damn, we’re great. How can we lose?

Then there is the world they have won 149 games and lost 212 since they last time they were great and couldn’t lose.

It is like the Bizarro World in the Superman comics. Up is down, black is white and losing is winning.

It didn’t take long for newcomer Desean Jackson to walk in that world. He told reporters at training camp in Richmond that this offense is “very dangerous and very scary, so I’d rather be on the team that has all the weapons. Somebody has to be open.”

In the Bizarro World, somebody is always open, and all the players are great.

“As far as all the pieces we have in the secondary, it’s the most talented secondary I’ve been around,” safety and Redskins returnee Ryan Clark told reporters this week. “It’s the most talented group of corners I’ve ever played with, and also as far as intelligence.”

Nobody can cover them, and they can cover everybody.

How can they lose?

There is this world — “We have the potential to be the best offense ever, really. We can be the top offense in the league. We have a lot of great players at every position. We have a great offensive line, great tight ends, great receivers, running backs and quarterback” — Pierre Garcon, July 26, 2013.

And this world — a 3-13 record, last place in the NFC East, 2013.

There is this world — “We’re fine being the sleepers right now. You know, we’re just waiting in the wings, ready to take over the NFC East. Nobody’s talking about us. That’s right where we want to be. You look at us from top to bottom out here, there’s a bunch of great players. And we don’t need people saying we’re the best right now, but when it’s all said and done, I really feel like this team’s going to win the East” — Rex Grossman, Comcast Sportsnet, August 9, 2011.

And this world — a 5-11 record, last place in the NFC East, 2011.

Coaches are not immune to this world. Mike Shanahan walked in that world in 2011 when he went into the season with Rex Grossman and John Beck as his quarterbacks, and declared to reporters before the season, “I believe in the guys. I believe in them. And I’ve been doing this for a long time. And I put my reputation on these guys that they can play.”

Then there is this world — Beck, four games, two touchdowns, four interceptions, 16 sacks and a 72.1 quarterback rating; Grossman, 13 games, 16 touchdowns, 20 interceptions and a 72.4 quarterback rating.

I miss Rex Grossman. He embraced that other world — the world where the interception becomes a touchdown.

He threw four interceptions in a loss against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 16, 2011, and was benched — for Beck, the other quarterback Shanahan staked his reputation on.

“Obviously, I would have liked to have finished what I started, from a competitive standpoint,” Grossman told reporters after the game. “There are a lot of times where things aren’t going well, and all of a sudden things just go into place and it starts to get better. You start to click, all of a sudden, get into a rhythm. I wasn’t able to do that. They thought the best answer was to replace me.”

In that world, Rex Grossman just ran out of time.

That was quite the duo, Grossman and Beck. They were All-Pro in that world.

“If you don’t think like a starter and act like a starter, your teammates probably aren’t going to believe you’re the starter,” Beck told SiriusXM NFL Radio in May 2011. “So I’m thinking I’m the starter.”

If you don’t think you’re the starter when your future is in the Canadian Football League, if you don’t believe the next interception would instead be a touchdown, if you don’t think at least one of the quarterbacks on your roster can play in the NFL, if you don’t believe you can be the greatest offense of all time, if you don’t think the players around you are the best you’ve ever seen, if you don’t think the offense is “very scary” and that “somebody has to be open” — then probably no one else will.

At least that is the way of life in the other world, where the Redskins are champs.

In this world, though, champions usually do something great before they declare greatness.

• Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and espn980.com



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