Grossman, Beck deal with latest Redskins QB switch
It happened again Wednesday at Redskins Park. One quarterback talked about winning the starting job. The other talked about losing it.
This time it was Rex Grossman getting the special treatment, holding a news conference upstairs in the old Washington Redskins media room.
At the same time, John Beck was downstairs standing in front of his locker, dealing with another demotion.
''Well, this isn't the first rodeo that I've been through in my life,'' Beck said. ''I've gone through adversity, or being in a situation where, for whatever reason, things just aren't working.''
It's actually been a week since Beck and Grossman starting splitting first-team snaps in practice, portending the switch back from Beck to Grossman as the Redskins (3-6) search for their first victory since Oct. 2. Coach Mike Shanahan kept the change a secret until just before kickoff of the Grossman-led 20-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins, and this was the first chance to hear how Beck has dealt with the news.
''I'm always going to believe,'' Beck said, ''because I know did everything I could. I sacrificed as much time as I possibly could to improve, to do the things to prepare me to put me in a situation to even have a chance to be the guy. ... I do believe that I can get better and that I will. I don't feel like where I'm at right now is where I'm going to be stuck at. I definitely know that I can improve, and that's my goal.''
One could argue that it doesn't matter who has the job. The quarterback rating for Aaron Rodgers of the undefeated Green Bay Packers is 130.7. The rating for Beck (72.1) plus the rating for Grossman (65.3) adds up to 137.4.
Beck went 0-3 as a starter, leading one touchdown drive in his last two games. Grossman is tied for fourth in the NFL in interceptions with 11 - even though he sat out the three games after getting benched during the Oct. 16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. His return didn't do much to shake things up: The Redskins managed only three field goals against the Dolphins and have lost five straight headed into Sunday's game against the surging Dallas Cowboys.
Coach Mike Shanahan says Grossman will remain the starter for now.
''It's extremely disappointing when you get taken out,'' Grossman said. ''But you have a month or so to reset yourself, and what your goals are, and what you need to get accomplished, and how to go about it by just sitting back and watching and thinking and going through mentally and just going back in there. I think it's good. Obviously I want to play every single week, but (it's been) getting a chance to kind of take a breather and get back in there - and re-establish how I want to go about things.''
Grossman threw two picks against the Dolphins - his 5.6 interception percentage is easily the worst in the NFL - but one came when receiver Leonard Hankerson slipped. The other was a classic Grossman turnover - straight to a linebacker to ruin a promising drive deep in the opponent's territory - but on Wednesday he suggested receiver error also contributed to that one.
''You know, it's a play that not everything worked out the way it should have,'' he said. ''And that's all I'll say about that.''
While Grossman is pumped to have the job back, he has his work cut out for him. He needs to cut down the turnovers while making do with an offense constantly shuffling its lineup because of injuries.
''I'm an optimist,'' he said. ''You never know. We have to just beat Dallas and get a victory and then everybody starts to have fun and feels better and come in here next week at 4-6. Nobody's giving up. Everybody believes that we should be a lot better than we are.''
Notes: Injuries could force another offensive linemen shuffle. LG Maurice Hurt (knee) did not practice Wednesday, while Ts Jammal Brown (groin) and Sean Locklear (ankle) were limited. The Redskins could end up starting their fifth offensive line configuration in six weeks. ''We're trying to decide that right now, what direction we're going to go,'' Shanahan said. ''We have a couple of options that we're messing around with.'' ... LB London Fletcher (ankle), S LaRon Landry (Achilles), WR Santana Moss (hand), WR Niles Paul (toe) and LB Keyaron Fox (infection) also did not practice. Moss has already been ruled out for Sunday. ... TE Rob Myers was signed to the practice squad.
Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP