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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 12/22/2010

Rex Grossman had Donovan McNabb's support Sunday

By Jason Reid

With the Redskins trailing by 20 points early in the third quarter at Dallas, new Redskins starting quarterback Rex Grossman received encouragement from the man he had replaced, Donovan McNabb.

The Cowboys had a 27-7 lead and the Redskins were not exactly upbeat along the sideline. McNabb stood next to Grossman "and just said, 'Hey, just go get 'em. You know it's gonna happen. Just keep pluggin' away,' " Grossman said Wednesday at Redskins Park. "He just was a reassuring teammate on the sidelines.

"At that point, I couldn't sense anybody being down, but nobody was excited. Once we got that quick touchdown to [wide receiver] Santana [Moss], we started getting a little momentum."

After the Cowboys took the 20-point lead, Grossman directed three consecutive touchdown drives (covering 71, 78 and 56 yards) and capped the final two with two-point conversion passes. The second two-pointer tied the score at 30-30.

Although the Redskins lost, 33-30, Grossman played well overall in a 322-yard, four-touchdown performance. His production was especially impressive considering he last started during the 2008 season.

McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowler, has said he disagrees with Coach Mike Shanahan's decision to bench him in favor of Grossman for the final three games, but the 12-year veteran hopes to return in 2011.

The situation is awkward, Grossman acknowledged, but McNabb has continued to be supportive of him.

"Donovan was great. He's been great, through this whole thing, to me," Grossman said. "I respect him a lot as a player and a teammate."

Grossman primarily has served as a backup the past two seasons (he was with the Houston Texans in 2009) after leaving Chicago in 2008. He figures few people expected him to play so well against the Cowboys.

"I know that a lot of people weren't expecting a positive performance," he said. "That was motivation for me to go out there and prove everybody wrong. But the biggest motivation is to go out and win, and we didn't, so that was a disappointment."

Grossman received high marks from Shanahan and teammates for the effectiveness of the offense. Washington scored a season-high 30 points and there was a rhythmic quality to the attack.

If Grossman fares well in the final two games, he could enter the offseason as the Redskins' starter in 2011.

"As a team, we have eight quarters left, about 120 plays," Grossman said. "And I want to do my assignment, do my job, at an extremely high level.

"And if I do that, then it's out of my hands. I can go back to Tampa in the offseason and relax and wait to see what happens."

By Jason Reid  | December 22, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman  
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Comments

Go back to Tampa, relax and wait? That's the plan?

Here I thought he was going to say something about working and studying even harder to make the most of this last opportunity he's ever gonna get...

Posted by: edvar | December 22, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

If Grossman fares well in the final two games, he could enter the offseason as the Redskins' starter in 2011.

By Jason Reid | December 22, 2010; 1:00 PM ET

Gross, man.

Posted by: PlayAction | December 22, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you'll see us dropping the 3-4 for anything. They've decided to go with that based on statistics.

I think you could see Haslett go before the system did.

Posted by: DikShuttle

I prefer a 4-3 over a 3-4, though both can work. The thing about a 3-4 is that it is much harder to get the DL guys you need to make it work. Especially the NT -- and you really need 2 of those guys because 350lb guys usually don't have a motor that allows them to play 50 snaps.

Look what happened to the Raven defense vs the Texans about 10 days ago. The defense wore down, especially on the DL (in part because the Ravens returned a kickoff for a TD, making the Raven defense stay on the field longer) and they couldn't stop anything in the 4th quarter.

Lots of problems with how mgmt handled this 3-4 transition. fwiw, I hate Orakpo in coverage. Even before he got injured -- in coverage -- on felix jones 25 yards down field.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Fighting hard beeps

Posted by: kerzon417 | December 22, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Fighting hard disappeared

Posted by: Alan4 | December 22, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Fighting hard disappeared

Posted by: Alan4 | December 22, 2010 1:30 PM

Haha...well it was an hour and a half early.

Posted by: PlayAction | December 22, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, um, never mind....

Posted by: kerzon417 | December 22, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Nose tackle is yet another piece the Redskins need to address in the offseason.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | December 22, 2010 12:30 PM
==================================

Hello, Nose Tackle!

That's about all we can afford to do.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | December 22, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

McNabb will have to leave the team for the exact same reasons Campbell had to leave: there would inevitably be a QB controversy and a divided locker room.

The coach has lost faith in McNabb as a starter, and in his own words, doesn't need to see any more from him.

Posted by: Alan4 | December 22, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I have a theory that you should want to use the formation that is used by the least amount of teams. If everyone is using a 3-4 then you should use a 4-3 because the 4-3 players will be more plentiful and be much cheaper to obtain. In addition, the teams you face will have spent the majority of their preparation time preparing to face 3-4 teams.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | December 22, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

rabach - verb, to be knocked onto your butt while stepping on the qb's foot.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1


That's all that suck face bama is good for. Getting picked up, driven, and tossed around like a 2 buck ho-piece.

Fighting hard disappeared

Posted by: Alan4


Looking at the play on the field the last few weeks or so, did you really need a thread to know that?

Posted by: RedDMV | December 22, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Truth be told, there really isn't a good time to change defenses. You make the change and work towards making it work. Shanahan screwed a lot up this year...IMO, switching to the 3-4 wasn't one of 'em.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 22, 2010 12:37 PM |

No, there is a good time to change the defense: When you acquire the players first to do so. See Green Bay

And by switching to the 3-4, you've automatically made more holes on the team that need to be filled, thereby taking away attention to the holes on offense that needed to be filled whether through FA or the draft. And you've also devalued some of your better players in the process to the point where Carter nor Haynsworth will fetch much if you trade them.

Posted by: ga8085 | December 22, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"I can go back to Tampa in the offseason and relax and wait to see what happens."

Do me a favor, Rex; take the rest of the team with you.

I'm so f-ing pleased that DMac is being supportive on the sidelines. For that kind of money, I'll Tweet you every day and tell you how brilliant you are and how happy I am you're the starting QB.

This is such a total charade. I'm sick of Boswell and anyone else who treats Kyle Shanahan as anything other than a egotistical hack. Yeah, great work with the Texans who happened to have wide receivers who could stretch the field and oh-by-the-way actually hang on to passes. Please, tell me again, Kyle, that you were suprised McNab didn't quite synch with your offensive strategy after you had more than a decade of his game films to watch before hiring him. And please, pleaaaase tell me how much better Grossman is making hot reads, clock management, baking a soufle...whatever is needed.

The fact is the Shanahans knew exactly what they had when they signed on, and were given some pretty unfettered ability to fill holes as needed. McNab was their idea. And now, Grossman seems to be their idea, too.

Anyone else get the feeling that these guys are off course and running out of fuel?

Posted by: InRealAmerica | December 22, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I've mulled over what was wrong with the Redskins approach to the 3-4 and I have come up with this conclusion:

The team would have been better off doing a total house cleaning of 4-3 players rather than trying to make those guys into something they weren't. Carter, Haynesworth, Fletcher, McIntosh, Hall - just release or trade every last one of them and then fill the holes with young players through free agency, draft, or undrafted free agency that are bonafide 3-4 players. They might not win a lot, but at least you are day one committed to the scheme. If you look to this next season, you get an idea that there are a lot of guys that don't fit. If the team is going to be a 3-4 next year, there will be some painful cuts. For instance, look at a guy like London Fletcher who is getting old, is highly paid, and doesn't really fit the 3-4. The guy has something left, but why invest anymore in a guy that is not the future of the defense? Same is true with Carter. Hall is a gifted athlete but he is not the physical corner that this defense needs. He gets paid a lot and is probably not tradeable, but he does not fit. I can go on, but the point is the team would be in a better position today had they moved those guys in the preseason.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | December 22, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 22, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Rex Ryan, who knew you were such a stone cold freak! This is pretty hilarious.

Posted by: AdamCr | December 22, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Don't draft Ryan Mallett.

That is all.

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 22, 2010 1:53 PM

Interesting read. Thanks for sharing. I soured on the guy when I saw him being interviewed by Erin Andrews on College Gameday. When she asked him how far he can throw he responded: "C'mon Erin. I gotta leave some mystery to the 'Legend of Ryan Mallett'".

Posted by: MColeman51 | December 22, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Unravel beeps.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | December 22, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I have a theory that you should want to use the formation that is used by the least amount of teams. If everyone is using a 3-4 then you should use a 4-3 because the 4-3 players will be more plentiful and be much cheaper to obtain. In addition, the teams you face will have spent the majority of their preparation time preparing to face 3-4 teams.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17

'tis about 50/50 for 3-4 and 4-3.

But I'm totally on board with the basic theory. The Wildcat is the most recent example. When only 1 team ran it, most of the competition never prepared for it until the week they played Miami. So they had to rethink their defenses for 1 week.

I'm all in favor of finding approaches that make players react against their instincts. There's been plenty of innovation on that over the years -- WCO, shot gun, wildcat, unbalanced line are among them.

It usually takes a few years to adapt -- a lot of wins can pile up before teams know how to respond.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

RE: Rex Grossman had Donovan McNabb's support Sunday

Donovan is a walking, talking personification of that old axiom: "If you can't be athletic, at least you can be an athletic supporter."

Posted by: Vic1 | December 22, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

So riddle me this...what nfl player would agree with being benched? None...zero, zilch, nada...actually, in all sports over the globe, maybe .000001% of sports players would want to be benched. What a dumb question to ask. If I was McNabb, I would go off on this dude. Jason, c'mon man. This is poor. We already know Donovan has a healthy attitude, although I agree he should've been benched...but don't poke at the man to stir the pot. That's low, very low. No wonder Shannahan is serious and McBadd is PC at press conferences...you guys ask dumb questions and make something out of nothing. I'd be scorned too if I had to deal with numbskulls like JW everyday. Do you guys think about these questions and articles. Too much information is a negative.

Posted by: gogolpost | December 22, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Relax!!!? You'd better be hitting it boy! Relax?! JeeeeeeeeeeZ! You got work to do son.....

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 22, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

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