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A Starter Again, Grossman Has New Outlook

Posted Nov 16, 2011

Rex Grossman can't turn back the clock and undo his three-game benching. The best he can do -- now that he's the starting QB once again -- help the team pull out of its five-game losing streak.


If only the NFL were a video game.

Rex Grossman could just go back to Week 5 and click the reset button.

No more four-interception game vs. Philly.

Goodbye, three-game benching.

Farewell, bout with pneumonia.

He can’t change it, though.

The best that he can do – now that he is back as the Redskins’ starting quarterback for the second time this season – is to readjust his goals and help the team pull out of its five-game losing streak.

“It’s extremely disappointing when you get taken out, but you definitely have a month or so to kind of reset yourself and what your goals are, what you need to get accomplished and how to go about it,” Grossman said. “You’re watching and thinking and going through it mentally – and then getting the chance to go back in there.

“Obviously I want to play every week but getting a chance to kind of take a breather and get back in there and reestablish how I want to go about things [is helpful].”

Grossman, a 9-year veteran on his third NFL team, returned to the starting lineup in last Sunday’s 20-9 loss to Miami. He learned he was starting ahead of John Beck the day before the game.

“I was ready,” Grossman said.

Even so, Grossman had an up-and-down performance. He completed 21-of-32 passes for 215 yards, but threw two interceptions, including one in the red zone.

The interceptions may not have been entirely Grossman’s fault, though. On one, it appeared Leonard Hankerson slipped allowing the Dolphins’ cornerback to get in position for the interception. On the second, Jabar Gaffney may not have run a slant route to the right depth, allowing the Dolphins’ linebacker to drop back and make a leaping interception.

Still, Grossman takes the heat.

He has 11 interceptions and two lost fumbles this season.

Turnovers continue to derail his progress.

Grossman was able to move the offense better than Beck, even though the end result – nine points – was not to his liking. He was able to target receivers downfield, converting more third downs.

For the season, Grossman has completed 113-of-197 passes – a 57.4 completion percentage – for 1,347 yards, six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His QB rating was 63.4.

Beck’s statistics – a 60.6 completion percentage and a 72.1 QB rating – may be better, but he was sacked more and too often he threw short passes to running backs for minimal gains.

Grossman was asked if he was motivated to show coaches he should not have been replaced as the starter.

He replied: “My motivation comes from just trying to win, trying to have fun out there, make plays and win the game. I have no animosity. I’m very excited about this opportunity to go out there and finish this season, the next seven games, and just see what happens.”

And a victory over the Cowboys this Sunday could be a spark for the team.

“I’m an optimist – you never know,” Grossman said. “We have to win – we have to just beat Dallas and get a victory. Then everybody starts to have fun and feels better, and we come in here next week at 4-6. Nobody’s giving up. Everybody believes that we should be a lot better than we are.”