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

fully ready.”

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.