Beck replaces Rex in Skins’ 20-13 loss to Eagles
Rex Grossman’s fourth interception of the game barely was
nestled in the hands of an opposing defender when the raucous
chants of ”We want Beck!” rang through the stadium.
As if the Washington Redskins needed any prodding at that
Yes, folks, the quarterback switch that’s been the talk of town
since the preseason happened Sunday, with John Beck replacing
Grossman to begin the fourth quarter of Washington’s 20-13 loss to
the Philadelphia Eagles.
Afterward, coach Mike Shanahan wouldn’t declare who will be the
starting QB for the Redskins (3-2) next week against the Carolina
Panthers, saying that decision will be made Wednesday ”after
looking at film.”
Not much need to figure out what went wrong Sunday, though:
Grossman kept throwing the ball to the wrong team, raising his
season total to 11 turnovers – nine interceptions plus two fumbles
– in five games. Safety Kurt Coleman became the first player for
Philadelphia (2-4) in 45 years with three picks in a game.
”You’ve just got to flush it,” Grossman said of how he’ll try
to move on after such a performance. ”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. So I fall back on that.”
For all of his uneven play this season and, indeed, across his
career – prompting all of those fan discussions about ”Good Rex”
vs. ”Bad Rex” – Grossman had helped Washington start 3-1 entering
Sunday, giving it sole possession of first place in the NFC East
that ”late” in a season for the first time since 1999.
But Sunday was pretty much all bad: Grossman was 9 for 22 for
143 yards, a 23.7 quarterback rating. While he was in the game,
Washington was 0 for 7 on third downs.
After his final interception, late in the third quarter,
Grossman was gone. Beck took over the next time the Redskins got
the ball, to begin the fourth quarter.
”No. 1, we needed a spark. … And with four turnovers there,
we thought it was time to make a change and give John an
opportunity to show us what he could do,” Shanahan said.
”The bottom line is you have a good day or you don’t,” the
coach added. ”Everybody knows that (if) you have four picks in the
game, good things aren’t going to happen, regardless.”
At the start of Grossman’s postgame news conference, he made it
all sound so simple.
”We didn’t execute. I didn’t execute,” he said.
And then he continued: ”I’m sure most of the questions are
going to be about the interceptions, so I might as well just go
through them with you.”
Which Grossman then proceeded to do, discussing each of those
four particular miscues, one by one, in varying degrees of
For the next two full minutes, he talked about needing ”to make
a quick decision” (No. 1), and how he ”didn’t throw it far
enough” (No. 2), and wondering whether tight end Fred Davis did
what he should have on the play (No. 3), and saying he thought
receiver Jabar Gaffney would come back for the ball (No. 4).
All the while, Grossman fidgeted up at the podium. He bit his
lower lip. He shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans. He
fiddled with the sleeves of his beige shirt.
Asked whether he’s worried he won’t be Washington’s starting QB
again, Grossman said: ”I’m worried about getting better.”
Beck, meanwhile, got his first regular-season action since 2007,
when he was with the Miami Dolphins. He was 8 for 15 for 117 yards
with zero turnovers, and showed the sort of mobility Grossman isn’t
exactly known for, including a 12-yard scramble for a first down
and a 2-yard TD run on a quarterback draw.
That score pulled Washington within seven points with a little
under three minutes left. But the Eagles ran out the clock, thanks
in large part to LeSean McCoy, who carried a career-high 28 times
for 126 yards.
Beck also showed rust, which wasn’t all that surprising, given
his lack of familiarity with his receivers and with real-game
situations. The Redskins’ starter gets every rep with the
first-team offense, so Beck hadn’t worked with those players in any
meaningful way since the preseason.
”My next time on the field,” said Beck, who wore a light blue
shirt with his first name stitched over his heart, ”I want to be
Now will come endless chatter in Washington about when that will
be. Is it Beck’s job now? Will Grossman get another chance?
”Who knows,” Beck said, ”what’ll happen next.”
Notes: Redskins LG Kory Lichtensteiger left with a right knee
injury that ”doesn’t look good,” Shanahan said. LT Trent Williams
has a severely sprained right ankle. TE Chris Cooley broke his left
index finger and needs surgery. … The Redskins have lost 10 of
their past 12 home games against the Eagles. That includes
Philadelphia’s 59-28 victory on a Monday night last season. …
Grossman last threw four picks for Chicago against Arizona on Oct.
16, 2006. … Redskins K Graham Gano tied a career high with a
50-yard field goal. … The Redskins ran for only 42 yards against
an Eagles D ranked 30th in run defense entering Sunday.