I'm skeptical that Mike Shanahan will play his starters for any signicant time tonight even though many believe they'll treat this like a dress rehearsal game. Shanahan, like most coaches, doesn't want to risk losing significant contributors 10 days before a game that counts.
Things to look for tonight:
1. Beck/Grossman--Not sure we'l learn much about which way they're leaning but we need to see more of Beck than Grossman. The Bucs won't play their starters much but Beck needs game experience.
2. Wide Receivers--I think they'll keep 6 on the final 53-man roster and tonight may be the game that decides up to two of those spots. Niles Paul needs to impress. They like him but he needs to make their decision easy by making plays tonight. Moss, Gaffney, Armstrong are givens, I think Hankerson and Austin are likleys, Banks, if healthy must be on the final roster.
3. O-Line--The starters are set, the backups are in limbo. Willie Smith and Maurice Hurt are young and have potential. Will that potential be more important than the comfort of veteran experience (see Hicks and Locklear)?
4. Secondary-- What if Landry and Atogwe are too banged up to go against the Giants? Who plays? Doughty is a lock to make the team and play a lot early in the season. Moore will start the season on the PUP. Gomes, Shannon, and Russell are all worth keeping a close eye on tonight. They may be battling for one safety spot.
5. Running Back--Ryan Torrain will play tonight....I'm actually wondering why. Is he in trouble or do they just want him to get his first preseason playing time after being injured. Probably the latter. I'd be surprised if Hightower plays, he's proven enough.
WASHINGTON (AP) It's been nine years since the Washington Redskins had this kind of suspense entering the final preseason game.
In 2002, Steve Spurrier's first season, the coach waited until the final exhibition was over to declare that Shane Matthews had won the starting quarterback job over Danny Wuerffel.
Neither one had played well. Matthews came out on top despite throwing five interceptions in six quarters during the preseason. It's worth noting that Matthews, Wuerffel and Patrick Ramsey all ended up starting before the 7-9 season was over.
Mike Shanahan is letting the race go down to the wire this year, but at least his charges have proved worthy of the competition. Both John Beck and Rex Grossman have played well. Any slip-up in the preseason finale Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be decisive.
"It's very close," offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. "They both have done a good job and had good numbers. When we review the tape, it's pretty neck-and-neck."
The Buccaneers and Redskins are taking totally different approaches to the game that, under normal circumstances, is the most meaningless one on a team's NFL schedule. Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris says his defensive starters will play "absolutely not one snap" against the Redskins. Quarterback Josh Freeman will sit out as well. Other starters will play sparingly, if at all.
The only suspense from the Buccaneers' standpoint concerns the players on the bubble, who get a final chance to earn a spot on the 53-man roster that will face the Detroit Lions in the regular season opener on Sept. 11.
"We're stacking the bottom of our roster in Washington," Morris said. "After we get the bottom of our roster stacked and our team put together and our practice squad filled out, then the coaches will already be ready to deal with Detroit and moving on to what we'll be going to do in Week 1."
Mike Shanahan took that approach last year. The Redskins sat all 22 starters for the final exhibition game and gave them a head start studying the Week 1 opponent.
For 2011, he's done a 180. He feels his starters need the extra work to make up for the lost offseason practices caused by the NFL lockout. He's treating this week the same as last week - as another dress rehearsal for all.
"It's different than usual," Kyle Shanahan said. "It's the fourth preseason game, and we have not been playing football that long. The more playing time (for starters) is where I think it changes a little bit."
Plus, there's that quarterback competition to decide. The entire team is anxious to know the outcome, although it's a story line they're happy to follow. After all, this time last year the team was dealing with something more disconcerting - the various misadventures of Albert Haynesworth.
"We had plenty of drama last year," receiver Anthony Armstrong said, "so trying to figure out who's our quarterback is, is really not too much. But it'll be good to know."
Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
My man Al Galdi, who is as prepared as any radio host in America -- chimes in with his thoughts on the Redskins loss to the Baltimore Ravens right here http://bit.ly/rt8XKK, but now it is my turn.
Eight minutes for a hit, on your radio - is simply not enough. Not for a loudmouth like me, with a lot to say. I will have a much better feel for the game, and a lot of the little things that always show up on the "Tale of the Tape" which you can read weekly here (Colts) http://bit.ly/ospgIg and (Steelers) http://bit.ly/qSvgnI
However, here are some 'Quick Snaps' takeaways from last night's 34-31 loss in Baltimore.
**Neither quarterback is firmly entrenched as the obvious leader. Rex Grossman started in Baltimore, and overall played slightly better (statistically). John Beck came in and right away, led a quick three-play scoring drive, capped off by a Tim Hightower 37-yard run. However, Beck threw an interception early in the third quarter, and finished his four series with an impressive scoring drive. Beck, took 19 snaps and led a 12-play, 97 yard scoring march with 2nd team offensive players against the Ravens 2nd team as well.
Grossman, was somewhat shaky on his first three drives, but did a fantastic job near the end of the first half to give the Redskins a 21-14 lead at the break. Rex finished off a textbook march, with a rope to Santana Moss, who used his athleticism and pure skill to come down with the ball. Mike Shanahan, as expected would not commit to either guy after the game, for the season opener or even for Thursday's night pre-season wrap-up against Tampa on Thursday.
***Jarvis Jenkins was well on his way to winning the starting left defensive-end position. It was just a matter of time. Today, he walked in to our ESPN 980 studio's on crutches, right leg in an air cast, and the official word that a source close to him had first told ESPN 980. Jenkins is done for the season, with a complete tear of the ACL, he will have surgery next week and his rehabilitation is expected to take 4-6 months.
Jenkins has been one of the stories in training camp, and ended his rookie season -- trying to plan on a cut back, while engaged with an offensive lineman. It happens, and he should come back strong. He's a young buck, and maybe will be better then ever.
More importantly, the calls for eliminating pre-season games will probably pop-up around town. STOP IT! Jenkins, knows this could have happened in practice, in the regular season, walking down stairs or slipping on ice. It's a DUMB argument. Don't even bother to make it.
***The Redskins had some alarming issues crop up. A couple of more special teams penalties occurred. Unofficially, I have SIX in the last two games, although one was declined, because two fouls took place on the same play. Last night, Lorenzo Alexander had one (a questionable call) that prolonged a series that led to a scoring drive. Not good. Washington also had other penalties (Reed Doughty, Ryan Kerrigan) that extended another scoring drive on 3rd Down, and really takes the heart and roar out of a defense.
I will have more to come later tonight, after I get home and have a chance to see some game tape.
At this point, neither quarterback has "lost the job". It's been even-steven on the field. If you think it was "Beck's job to lose" all along, then you should think he's the starter because he hasn't lost it. Same answer if you think it was "Grossman's job to lose".
I'm not sure who's job it was to lose but it doesn't matter anymore. Both have given indication that they can succeed if everything around them is working well. I like Beck's mobility a lot. I like Grossman's experience. I love that both seem so confident and competent running the Shanahan system. The preseason rarely tells you much but Redskin fans should feel much better about their quarterback situation regardless of who gets the starting nod. I'm not saying that the choice is between Montana or Young but at least it isn't Shuler or Frerrotte.
Here's the rundown from tonight in good, bad, and more form.
1. Tim Hightower---He's been the most impressive Redskin of the preseason. He's perfect for the Shanahan zone running scheme. He's got speed, vision, and he's decisive.
2. Defensive Pressure---They got after Flacco and it came from everywhere. The d-line is so much better than it was last year and it will pay off. Let's hope rookie Jarvis Jenkins isn't hurt seriously. It would be a huge loss. Orakpo is going to have a huge year and Kerrigan will be a beast at some point this year. No Fletcher and Landry tonight and they still got consistent pressure. That's a good sign.
3. Terrence Austin---book it, he's on the team.
4. Darrion Scott---He's played well and could be a surprise final-roster keeper.
5. Graham Gano---He's 7 for 7 in the preseason. Tonight, he drilled a long one from 48.
6. Niles Paul---I have a feeling he makes the team. The WR cutdown in two weeks will be impossible to predict.
7. Sav Rocca---53.3 yards per kick. He's an upgrade and we took him from Philly.
1. Pass Coverage---too many blown assignments and man coverage ability is just average. D-Hall is what he is....a playmaker who can score touchdowns and a cover corner who gets beat for touchdowns. Let's hope the pass rush is consistent and relentless. A good pass rush makes average corners bettter.
2. Defensive Back-Ups---too many yards allowed even if some of these guys won't be on the final 53-man roster.
3. Penalties?---They had 8 so I guess this is a bad. Two neutral zones on Kerrigan will be a learning experience for him.
1. They really need a big redzone target at wide receiver they can count on. Kelly seems cooked because of the injury. Let's hope Hankerson emerges as a big-body threat.
2. I doubt the starters will go much more than a quarter in the preseason finalee against Tampa Bay.
3. Gruden said he thinks it will be Beck against the Giants.
The Redskins play the all-important third preseason game tonight in Baltimore....here are my top 3 things to look for.
1. The quarterbacks of course. Ron Jaworski was on the show today and he believes Grossman will get the start and play a few series before Beck comes in and does the same thing. Sounds like both combatants will get time with the starters against starters. The tea leaves give a slight nod to Beck as the front-runner but my gut is still Grossman. Will be very interesting to watch.
2. The offensive line. They get their first real test against that Baltimore defense. The Ravens may not play Lewis, Reed, Ngata, and Suggs the whole first half but they'll be in there long enough to give the Skins' O-line a solid test. How much better is this line really? It's looked very good in the first two preseason games for the most part but Trent Williams was inconsistent last week. It would be nice to see him hold up with a solid effort against Suggs. Additionally, I'd like to see Will Montgomery play well against Ngata. Guys like Ngata destroyed Casey Rabach over the last few years. Montgomery will be a key player this year.
3. The secondary. In particular the safeties with no Landry tonight. We get to see OJ Atogwe for the first time. How do Reed Doughty and Atogwe play together back there because that may be the safety tandem on opening day if Landry can't go. Josh Wilson is back tonight. His debut against the Steelers two weeks ago didn't go well. The whole secondary is a concern because of health and depth. Watch the back-ups tonight. If they don't show well, moves could be made to bring in a player or two before the opener against the Giants.
The Grossman vs. Beck QB debate has been hot and it will reconvene with Ray Lewis staring them down in a stadium of purple and black as the Redskins head to Baltimore for their 3rd preseason game against the Ravens.
Although the Redskins have looked impressive in their last two meetings with the Steelers and Colts, both those teams have historically not shown too much care for preseason - so it's been especially hard to judge the Redskins stock by those two contests.
Baltimore will be a different story.
In this preseason battle of the beltway, the Ravens will 'bring it' for sure as the majority of their starters are expected to play well into the third quarter. In fact, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh felt compelled to publicly apologize to the Chiefs for beating them 31-13 in their last game.
The cliche disclaimer - it's just preseason - will not hold true for the 1st half performances of this game. Thursday night is a legitimate litmus test for all - including Rex Grossman and John Beck. Do well and it's legit. Do poorly and all the nay-sayers will say 'see, I told you.'
Meanwhile around Redskins Park, the question of who the starting QB should be or will be continues to be asked and continues to be answered with respect for both candidates.
"Those guys both know what they're doing in this offense, both are smart and savvy guys, and I'm just glad I don't have to make that decision," said TE Fred Davis.
But the quote of the week has to go to 2nd year tackle Trent Williams: "We can't see who's throwing the ball anyways during the play, it really don't matter to us," he said with a smile.
When a reporter countered by saying that Beck was more mobile than Rex, Trent responded with light-hearted indifference. "Oh, you think so, I don't know, I mean when they're running that kinda means we messed up."
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) "Rex vs. Becks" will go down to the wire.
Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Monday he won't announce a starting quarterback for the regular season until "right before" the Sept. 11 opener against the New York Giants.
That means two more weeks of suspense as Rex Grossman and John Beck compete the No. 1 job. Even after he makes the decision, Shanahan isn't going to let the world know because he wants to keep the Giants guessing.
"Probably have the team get ready for both quarterbacks," he said.
Grossman started the first preseason game, Beck the second. Both played well against good defenses.
"We've got two guys that we believe in, two guys that are very close right now," Shanahan said. "I'd feel very comfortable going into our first game with either quarterback. We'll have to make one of those tough decisions, and we won't make it `til the end."
The third game was the subject of an entertaining father-son disconnect after Monday's practice. First, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was asked if he knows who will start Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens.
"Yeah, I do," Kyle Shanahan said. "But I'm not going to let you know."
Moments later, Mike Shanahan was asked to spill the beans and name Thursday's starter.
"I'm not even sure right now. We haven't even talked about it," the head coach said. "I couldn't tell you. We haven't made a decision."
Told that his son said the decision had been made, Mike Shanahan replied: "Well, he hasn't told me about it then."
Regardless of which one starts, Kyle Shanahan said both quarterbacks will play with the starters in the game considered the dress rehearsal for the regular season.
Notes: S LaRon Landry (hamstring), TE Chris Cooley (knee), LB Edgar Jones (concussion), WR Brandon Banks (knee), WR Malcolm Kelly (foot) and RB Ryan Torain (hand) are among those who won't play Thursday. ... RT Jammal Brown was scheduled for X-rays on the ring finger of his right hand, but he's expected to play. ... RB James Davis, who abruptly left training camp a week ago, was released from the reserve/left squad list. ... Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was a special guest at practice Monday, at the invitation of special teams coach Danny Smith. "I thought maybe I could pick up something and see if it could work with us," Boudreau said.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) For his 30th birthday, John Beck received praise from Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, a dinner out from his family, and several questions from a swarm of reporters.
What the Redskins quarterback didn't get was an answer from Shanahan whether he or Rex Grossman will start against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday.
"I haven't made that decision," Shanahan said Sunday. "We'll see what happens during the week with our football team and obviously share with the players first."
Shanahan said he was pleased with the decision-making of Beck, whom the Colts sacked three times Friday in Washington's second preseason game.
"Good quarterback play is taking a sack when you have to take a sack, trying to make something happen when you're able to make something happen," said Shanahan, who attributed Beck's lack of downfield passing to the Colts' zone defense. "And I thought John made some good decisions."
Beck started the game and completed 14 of 17 passes for 140 yards. Grossman threw for 88 yards on 8-of-12 passing in relief.
In the Redskins' preseason opener, Grossman completed 19 of 26 passes for 207 yards with a touchdown on Aug. 12 against the Steelers - a game Beck missed after he injured a groin injury in practice.
With his stellar play against the Colts in his preseason debut, Beck held serve in the quarterback competition.
"He's a gamer," wide receiver Jabbar Gaffney said. "From everything we do in practice, he was a totally different guy out there on the field in the game.
"His energy level picked up. It picked up a lot. That surprised me a little bit, but I'd say it's a good thing."
After practice on Friday, Beck was surrounded by a media swarm, causing a few teammates to shout cautionary words. "Don't kill the guy, man." "Let the man breath." "Don't kill the man."
The scrutiny will be strong until Shanahan picks a starting quarterback.
"They know what they're doing in this offense, both smart and savvy guys," tight end Fred Davis said. "And John went in and did what he had to do, too. I'm just glad I don't have to make that decision."
NOTES: The Achilles' heel injury that kept S LaRon Landry on the physically unable to perform list has healed, but he tweaked his hamstring working out in Indianapolis. His status is day-to-day, and he remains on the PUP list. S Oshiomogho Atogwe participated in every portion of practice, but he's still working his way back to full speed. ... DE Adam Carriker, who missed the Colts game because of blisters on his foot, didn't participate in drills while media watched practice. Wearing socks and sandals, Carriker rode a stationary bike during team stretching and stood to the side watching defensive-line drills. WR Brandon Banks is receiving platelet-rich plasma therapy for his injured knee. He'll miss Thursday's game, but Shanahan hopes he can play in Washington's final preseason game against the Buccaneers on Sept. 1. LB Edgar Jones, who sustained a concussion while covering punts against the Colts, said the headaches he was experiencing Saturday have subsided, but he's still sensitive to light. ... LB London Fletcher sat out against the Colts with a groin injury, but could he have played? "I don't know. Next question." He participated in every portion of practice, but he didn't play at full speed. Shanahan hopes WR Malcolm Kelly, who has been out with a foot injury, will practice within a week. WR Terrence Austin hasn't returned a regular-season punt in the NFL, but he's returned a team-high five this preseason and is averaging 12.8 yards per return. ... After cutting K Shayne Graham on Aug. 14, Washington signed Clint Stitser on Thursday to compete with Graham Gano. Stitser made 7 of 8 field goals and 8 of 10 extra points for the Cincinnati Bengals last year. He wore a nameless No. 3 jersey Sunday. The Redskins ended practice early due to lightning. Three defensive plays and a 10-minute special teams period remained when the team headed indoors.
Below is my rough notes version of what I saw on the television replay of the Redskins win over the Indianapolis Colts on Friday night. Obviously, there are abbreviations and some terms that might be hard to decipher, but this is just a more detailed rewind then I can offer in a regular blog. - Chris Russell -- RussellC@Redskins.com -- www.twitter.com/russellmania980
WSH- Terrence Austin and Keiland Williams back for opening KO -- 9 yards back for touchback. -Hightwower zone run right -- + 1 (good wall by JB) -On Hightower 58 yard run - great lead blocking by Trent & Kory (chip, block down) walling off their guys at POA, Logan Paulsen does very good 2nd level blocking. Gaffney as well. - Gaffney with X catch on post-cross with clean release to 1 as Beck looks right first and scans to 2nd read. - Beck INC on PA fake - to Sellers back line of end zone as he got tripped - not interfered with. Likely a TD. - Hightower TD run on Kory Lichtensteiger pull into B gap hole.
Indy - **Perry Riley with a great knifing tackle on kickoff return, after Reggie Jones over pursues it. **Keyaron Fox with nice athleticism backside on screen left for tackle and 9-yard gain. **Jenkins knocked down, Kerrigan blocked high (held?) on short first down run. **Orakpo nice stop in traffic on screen left. **Kerrigan in down rush position. Helps draw offsides on 2nd and 6 from 4 man front. Another 4 man front at last second, Kerrigan drops hand draws a 2nd straight offsides.
WSH - Punt return by Terrence Austin - nice, twisting return with good blocks from Reggie Jones & Markus White comes flying over top for big spring block. -Hightower delay draw for short gain, leads to 3rd and 8 shotgun snap to Armstrong on turn around at sticks. Nice wall by Jammal Brown. -On 2nd and 6 - Trent Williams gets bull rushed by Dwight Freeney back in to Beck...and he has very little chance and gets sacked. -Gano FG to end drive.
INDY - **Kerrigan on 2nd down - snuffs out screen right INC - but would have blown up play for loss/no gain. **Kerrigan fights through 3 or 4 different blockers with rush - side pursuit and backside effort to get sack for no loss yardage on 3rd down, but officially **Punt to Austin - drifting back to 18..( 59 punt, 20 return) - Perry Riley illegal block in the back
WSH - Beck to Austin on nice boot left backside for 9 yard gain.
End of First Quarter
-- Helu + 1 on zone right - Chester pushed back after getting to 2nd level - DY leads but loses footing and hole closes. -- Helu on stretch left - good effort blocking by Armstrong, who occupies and fends off sure tackler, enough to spring Helu for 52 yard run, breaking 3 tackles along way. --Timeout WSH - wrong formation from what I saw on sidelines. -- Shaun Draughn loses 3 yards on stretch left - as Chester and Will lose their guys on back side. -- 2nd-and-13 -- Chester blocks, then man slips as Jammal is pushed way back -- forcing John to scramble to right through hole. Chester loses block and defender on lateral pursuit, sacks Beck (Brackett) but Redskins get horse collar personal foul call on Colts and advance to 19. - Beck with big boot run to front side for 7, while smartly not going down field in end zone.WR covered. -2nd-and-3, Will Montgomery gets pushed back on stretch right by Helu, almost trips him up..Logan a decent job. -3rd Down - a bullet back side to Austin on sprawling catch, but short leads to 3rd FG. (13-0)
INDY - **Byron Westbrook with a nice pass defense on 1st out of nickel. **Keyaron Fox and Rocky M. twist forcing early release on cross route, that Kevin Barnes makes a great pursuit tackle to prevent first down. **Byron Westbrook and Horatio Blades both commit penalties on punt returen (Blades accepted) **3rd ST penalty of half.
WSH --Beck bootleg backside for first down run on 1st down and 10 yards. --Helu charges breaking tackles again on stretch left for 12 yards. Fred Davis with a good block. Kory and Will as well. --Helu zone right...Will Montgomery with a nice block, twisting and mauling his guy on 5 yard gain. --Austin on a nice slant for 18 yards from Beck on nice and easy throw. --Shaun Droughn blown up on run for loss, as Will Montgomery gets pushed back. --Beck to Stallworth as Trent battles and fights with rusher who swipes and tomahawks ball as Beck steps up and fights thru it. Liked how Beck still shuffled feet to advance in the pocket and side-armed a perfect pass to Donte' for 23 yards on 3rd-and-12. -- Beck scramble and roll right and short dump to Paulsen, next play is a play-action right (good sell by DY on drag route under) and pass right to left to Fred Davis. Run heavy look on I-Back, TE strong drag. --Trent Williams tries to side cut block a rush end on 2nd and Goal from 6 - John Chick -- misses block for 2nd sack allowed. -- Helu screen left doesn't go very far but set up pretty well. Kory got a lead block on Tryon, but shut down to force FG. (15-84 yards, 7:12 -- 16-0 Redskins)
INDY: **Orakpo blows up run play for 6 yard open field tackle loss. 2nd big play in backfield he has made, after big pass rush on first series.
WSH: --Beck no-huddle shotgun, completes to Fred Davis, knee down but no whistle -- bobbled around -- and recovered by Helu. Trent Williams was lined up in illegal formation (2 sacks and illegal formation in first half) and play was called back, but effort very good.
END OF HALF - 16-0 Washington
INDY **Perry Riley blows up stretch run left, with help over top from Rob Jackson, but PR shoots gap untouched after Neild was cut down. **Lorenzo with nice pass rush from LOLB to flush Orlovsky right who completes pass for first down in front of Reggie Jones. **Horatio Blades with tackle, but Lorenzo with pretty good pass ruh pressure. **Good gang tackle run stop, by Kedric, Neild and company -- leads to DJ Gomes blitz pressure off left slot for huge batted down pass. **Redskins give up a big screen left, Horatio gets run right out of play along with Perry for big gain. **3rd and 8 - Lorenzo blows around RT for huge sack on over load left side, Zo dips shoulder. FG
WSH -- Rex in, hard run off RT stretch, with good zone block by Cook and Willie. --Erik Cook gets pushed back big time 3 yards to disrupt a counter draw type run from Helu. --3rd and 11, Logan Paulsen gives up big pressure to flush Rex -- who steps up and completes dump to Helu for modest gain -- better then a bad negative loss or turnover. -- Punt is Edgar Jones injury.
INDY **Horatio with good job in pass coverage on a swing pass right for incompletion. **Good coverage on 3rd Down, Riley steps up late but on time and belts Orlovsky for incompletion. **DJ Gomes gets holding penalty on punt return (4th special teams penalty of night)
WSH -- Helu stretch run right to go over century mark. Good job by Paulsen and to some degree, Hankerson on blocks. -- Hankerson with huge drop on 18 yard dig route on 2nd down. Side hopped to turn up field, didn't need to lunge jump. --3rd Down, Rex gets sacked for forced punt. Maurice Hurt at LG gets abused. -- Rocca punt, Rob Jackson misses tackle at POA to allow a 7 yard extra gain.
INDY **Delone Carter run stretch cut right, Riley takes bad angle, Markus White gets knocked down. Gomes wrong angle and Byron Westbrook misses tackle. YUK. **Neild nice backside pursuit of angle route by Carter, almost gets tripped - stays on feet and runs RB down 8 yards up field. **Darrion Scott with sack to end 3rd quarter.
WSH - Rex fires strike to Hankerson for nice gain. -- Rex shows off mobility on PA boot to back side, does not reset feet (on run and off= balance) and fires on target to Mike Sellers. --Interception from Rex underneath on sit down route to Moten in front of Schoeman.
WSH - Erik Cook takes holding penalty on stretch run left by Helu. -- Rex throws behind Niles Paul on slant for incomplete. --Locklear shoved back big time and takes holding penalty after being bull rushed on 3rd down (penalty declined)
INDY **Doug Worthington with a run stop fighting off block. **Kedric Golston also with a nice run stop, with Neild anchoring and extending. **Neild gets pushed forward, but anchored so low that he was able to stop momentum.
WSH -- Shaun Droughn with a nice spinning, tackle breaking run for 8.5 yard gain. --Kellen Clemens with PA boot front side to pick up first down.. -- Droughn rips off tackler for short run, tough and feisty effort.
INDY **Worthington with a run stop, shucking off block. **Markus White with a nice spin move on 3rd Down to force incompletion.
John Beck should win the starting job for the Washington Redskins at Quarterback, and be under center on September 11.
Happy Birthday John. Beck turned 30 on Sunday, and while he said Mike Shanahan did not give him a birthday present, clearly, he would accept a belated gift. Say as early as this Thursday.
He might not be the 'chosen one,' but by sheer determination, and because of his outstanding mobility -- he might just be the 'preferred one.'
Publicly, the Redskins quarterback competition is a true battle. Inside, it is obvious that the preference of Mike Shanahan and probably Kyle Shanahan is John Beck.
Two games in to the 2011 pre-season, and nothing has been decided purely by on-field performance. That's a problem for Grossman however.
Rex needed to make it clear that he was the better of the two, and so far he hasn't.
I believed that Rex would win the job based on his extra experience in the scheme, and his game action at the end of last year. I still think he has a shot, but with each passing day; it's apparent that as long as Beck doesn't look woeful on Thursday night in Baltimore, it is his job to start and perhaps lose.
That's not to say Grossman has been bad, or done anything terribly wrong. It's just that he hasn't done enough (in the right category) to edge out the 'preferred one.'
Grossman played much more in the 2nd half on Friday night in Indianapolis, then we were led to believe. In talking to sources, and based on what Mike Shanahan said last week -- the plan was to play Grossman in a very limited role, if at all.
So what changed? Did Beck's good 1st half performance; change the game plan? Did the Shanahan's feel they needed to see what Rex could do working with the 2nd team offensive line?
Grossman was (7-12) for 88 yards, he was sacked once and intercepted once. Before Grossman was sacked on 3rd down for a five-yard loss on his 2nd series of work, Leonard Hankerson dropped a beautiful pass that would have gone for at least a 20-yard gain and perhaps more. If Hankerson catches the pass, perhaps the Redskins score on that drive, instead of coming away empty and Grossman could at least say -- he led a scoring drive with backups and rookies.
Instead, Grossman came away with basically nothing, except for a bad interception and as Mike Shanahan said on Friday night; "He'd like to have that pick back."
Again, Rex did not separate himself. Nor has he in practice. Neither has Beck for that matter, but of course he basically gave away the week advantage he had over Rex, because of the untimely groin injury.
During practices that the media was allowed to see, we have seen 'good Rex' and 'bad Rex,' and a healthy dose of both. Starting today, we are no longer allowed to see anything meaningful in team situations, so the evaluation process from our perspective; can only come from the games.
I expect, and I think most people expect -- Beck to start against a defense that he is more familiar with then Grossman, because of Beck's time with the Ravens. As long as Beck does a serviceable to good job in what likely would be a two-and-a-half or three quarter final audition -- that should lock up the week 1 start.
His mobility advantage over Rex, is a clear separating element and Grossman might just have to tip his cap to him, and swallow his pride. Rex has experience in the system and in games, that Beck does not. However, Beck has more athleticism and that might count more then any other factor.
I still think that the Redskins would be better off with Grossman to start the year against the Giants, with a short leash. However, my opinion doesn't really matter, and with the competition on the field as of this point, being virtually even -- you would probably be safe to say that if all things remain equal, Beck will get the nod.
That's fine, I believe both will play a significant role at some point or another over 16 games -- but it seems like the 'preferred one' is getting closer and closer to fulfilling his destiny.