Redskins QB situation remains unsolvedBy DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer Friday, Aug 26, 2011
BALTIMORE (AP)—Rex Grossman(notes) and John Beck(notes) have played well enough to convince coach Mike Shanahan that either one of them would be a decent starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.
Unfortunately, neither has done enough to distinguish himself as THE starting quarterback. So the competition will continue through next week, and perhaps even longer.
Grossman and Beck each threw for more than 100 yards and a touchdown Thursday night in a 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Grossman started, and each quarterback alternatingly played two series through the third quarter.
“I believe in both these guys. They can play,” Shanahan said. “So whichever direction we go, not only do we have a first-team quarterback, we have a second-team quarterback.”
Shanahan is in no rush to pull the trigger.
“Obviously at the end of the day you want to make the right decision,” he said. “So that’s why you don’t make a quick decision—especially when you have two guys that you believe in and you’re not really sure what direction to go in at the time.”
That means Grossman and Beck will have to endure at least another week of scrutiny from the coaching staff and questions from the media.
Eventually, however, Shanahan will have to announce his starter for the Sept. 11 season opener against the New York Giants.
“I’m going to evaluate them all the way through camp, all the way through the last preseason game,” Shanahan said. “Possibly all the way up to the day before we play the Giants. It all depends if somebody separates themself.”
Against the Ravens (2-1), Grossman went 8 for 15 for 112 yards, directed an 80-yard scoring drive and finished with a quarterback rating of 99.9.
“I feel pretty good about what I’ve done this preseason,” Grossman said. “That was my goal.”
Beck completed six of 10 passes for 108 yards with an interception for a 90.8 rating. He guided Washington (2-1) on a 97-yard drive against Baltimore’s second-string defense for a 28-21 lead in the third quarter.
Asked if the duel has been weighing on his mind, Beck said, “I can’t really worry about that. If I do, it’s mental quicksand. You can get stuck in it. I just do what I can, play when they say play, and do the best that I can.”
The Redskins’ bid for a perfect preseason ended when Tyrod Taylor(notes) threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Jones(notes) with 22 seconds left, score set up by LaQuan Williams’(notes) 38-yard punt return.
“Even in preseason, winning is better than losing,” said coach John Harbaugh, who watched his team overcome an early 14-0 deficit.
Joe Flacco(notes) threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns, Ray Rice(notes) ran for 72 yards and a score, and Anquan Boldin(notes) had five catches for 73 yards and a touchdown for the Ravens. It was an impressive performance against a team that yielded a combined 10 points in wins over Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.
“I think we’re really on our way,” said Flacco, whose only interception came on Baltimore’s first possession.
Grossman went 2 for 6 for 27 yards before Beck entered. His first pass was a 33-yard completion to Anthony Armstrong(notes), who got behind Domonique Foxworth(notes) on the right sideline. Two plays later, Tim Hightower(notes) ran for a 37-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead.
The Ravens were forced to punt on their next possession, but Lorenzo Alexander(notes) ran into kicker Sam Koch(notes) on a fourth-and-5. After Flacco connected with Boldin for a 30-yard completion on a third-and-15, Rice scored from the 3.
Baltimore pulled even with a 96-yard drive that was extended by a holding call against Washington safety Reed Doughty(notes). Ed Dickson(notes) made a great grab for a 33-yard completion before Lee Evans(notes) hauled in a 35-yard touchdown pass. Dickson and Evans are the replacements for Todd Heap(notes) and Derrick Mason(notes), who were cut in a salary cap purge.
Grossman put on an impressive performance before halftime. Starting at the Washington 20, he completed his first five passes for 61 yards, then missed three straight before connecting with Santana Moss(notes) in the right corner behind rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith(notes). The 24-yard completion capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive.
Flacco threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Boldin at the start of the second half to make it 21-all.
NOTES: Redskins DE Jarvis Jenkins(notes) sprained his right knee and will have an MRI on Friday, Shanahan said. … Taylor went 11 for 18 for 125 yards. Afterward, Harbaugh said the former Virginia Tech QB has made the team.