Trying to crack the Shanahan Code is by far one of the most difficult things on the planet. Regardless of the way a question is asked or worded, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan will not break. Even if you have the juiciest details on Earth and all you want is for Shanahan to confirm reports, his poker face makes Doyle Brunson look like a rookie.
But one thing Shanahan can’t hide is the fact that he will be looking for a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft. If Shanahan is as smart as
everyone some people think he is, then he’ll think about taking that quarterback no later than the first round. And, thanks to a dismal 2011 campaign, Shanahan and the fans can look forward to a likely top-six pick—because with every disaster comes a glimmer of hope.
So with the easy question answered, the most difficult one still lingers regarding Washington’s dreadful quarterback situation. What happens to Rex Grossman?
Grossman was signed last offseason to a one-year deal, basically with knowledge of the fact that he was “the best thing they could get.” Although that wasn’t saying a whole lot for the talent amongst free-agent quarterbacks, Shanahan and his son Kyle decided that Grossman’s familiarity and experience with the offensive scheme would give the Redskins their best chance.
Needless to say, it didn’t work. Grossman was his typical self, turning the ball over 20 times in just 10 games (so far) and completing less than 60 percent of his passes. And although it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, every Redskins fan can remind you of that nauseous feeling that comes over you when Grossman drops back in the pocket.
“Here comes the interception,” a fan declares from his couch. “And that’s a fumble by Grossman,” the commentator announces over the television speakers. “And it’s recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.”
Do You Want Rex Back in Washington?
While I think it’s safe to say that we all agree a new quarterback in Washington is imperative if this franchise wants any chance of turning things around, I still believe that fans are weary of what happens to Grossman.
On one side, fans seem to have the ability to adjust and accept Grossman as a part of this team—strictly as a backup of course. And then there’s the other side, where fans have literally had enough of Grossman and can’t stand to see another game with him suited-up in burgundy and gold.
I seem to side with both. Although I feel like Rex Grossman might be an alright guy, I cannot, for the life of me, support this guy as my team’s quarterback. Between the inconsistency, the turnovers and the general perception that the guy couldn’t care less, I just can’t stand him as a football player.
On the other side of my split personality, I’m not against re-signing Grossman at the end of this season and bringing him back to serve as a backup to whatever monster NFC East thrashin’, cannon-armed, fleet-footed, level-headed, team-leading quarterback prospect we land in the draft. (See what I did there?)
Facts are facts. Grossman is, in fact, the most available quarterback that is familiar with Kyle Shanahan’s playbook. And he’d come at an affordable price (go figure). To be honest—and this isn’t Ms. Cleo fortunetelling or anything–I think the Redskins are thinking the same thing.
If I had to put a number on it, I’d say there’s an 80 percent chance that Grossman returns next season. And what I think will really blow fans away is that the Redskins’ front office will probably give Grossman a longer (and better) deal as a backup than they did this season as a starter. Maybe something like a two-year deal worth a couple million bucks just to hold the clipboard and probably still receive death threats from screaming Skins fans in the first few rows at FedEx.
Whether Shanahan and the Redskins choose to make Matt Barkley or Robert Griffin their much-awaited and highly-anticipated quarterback of the future, it’s likely that good ol’ Sexy Rexy is only an injury away from starting for the Redskins in 2012.
It’s scary to think about at first, but I assure you (as if I’m anybody at all) that it’s not all that bad. Grossman can fill in if need be, we all know what to expect from him and maybe he can even show the kid a thing or two when it comes to understanding the playbook.
Yell all you want, everybody. Rex Grossman will be a ‘Skin in 2012.