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Mike Shanahan On Rex Grossman's Second Start

Posted by Matt Terl on December 27, 2010 – 3:51 pm

Mike Shanahan’s press conference this week was blissfully devoid of controversial material. If the Redskins season has been — as many have suggested — an ongoing soap opera, this was one of those episodes that only nods at the overaraching plots to acknowledge them but instead just fills some time before sweeps hit. And, in case there’s any doubt, I’m absolutely okay with that.

But he did say a couple of things that I found interesting. First, his comments on Rex Grossman‘s performance in his second start as in a Redskins uniform.

“I thought he played extremely well up until the interception,” Shanahan said. “And then he had an interception, he looked like he lost a little focus and missed some of the reads that he normally would make. And that’s why you try to put people in game situations, to see how they react. But up to that time, I thought he was playing very well. You’ve gotta know when to throw it away, when to take your chances. But some of the things that he normally does right, sometimes you lose a little focus after an INT and I thought that got to him a little bit.”

I’ve run the numbers on Grossman pre- and post-interception, and here’s what I’ve come up with: prior to the INT, he was 8-of-16 for 80 yards and a touchdown, for a QB rating of 85.4. Let’s let the interception stand on as its own play, as the midpoint where we’re drawing our line, rather than factoring it in to the post-interception stats (as, technically, an interception can’t come after itself).

In that case Grossman’s post-INT line is 11-of-23 for 102 yards and a 60.4 QB rating. The one sack that Grossman took also came after the INT, which squares with Shanahan’s observation about knowing when to throw the ball away.

I see two notable implications in this:

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Anthony Armstrong, Beat Reporter

Posted by Matt Terl on December 27, 2010 – 10:01 am

Now that every day’s press conferences and media availabilities are posted online, Guy Nodding In Background is such a familiar sight that you mostly don’t notice him. Oh, sure, every so often you get somebody with a particularly goofy expression, but for the most part they’re just mobile wallpaper for Guy In Front Talking.

But in the jovial postgame locker room after the Redskins beat the Jaguars, Guy Nodding In Background turned out to also be Guy Who Started At Wide Receiver — apparently Anthony Armstrong decided to get some reps in on his journalistic future as he joined Larry Michael at Vonnie Holliday‘s postgame interview.

Armstrong’s trademark since joining the team has been a willingness to do whatever was asked at him, and he didn’t change anything up in this new role. When Michael threw him the opportunity to ask a question — “Do you have a question for Vonnie?” — Armstrong didn’t blanch or even hesitate.

“How does it feel to get a victory Monday?” he asked.

“It’s been a long time since we got a victory,” Holliday said, “so Victory Monday is welcomed by the Holliday family. I’ll let you know that.”

Not exactly hard-hitting attack journalism, but it wasn’t exactly a hard-hitting kind of locker room. I’m sure Armstrong is just saving that for the offseason.

You can see the video below; Armstrong appears as Guy Nodding In Background starting at about 10:52, and gets his chance to ask a question at 11:25. Read more »

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