Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan suggested last week that he may wait until Sunday before game-time to name his starting quarterback.
Today, he gifted the gathered media with Rex Grossman as the starter for this Sunday against the Giants.
“I got a chance to talk to the quarterbacks over the weekend,” he said. “It was a very good battle. I have a lot of faith in both of them and it’s been very competitive all the way through, but I wanted to announce it today and the starting quarterback will be Rex.”
A Labor Day miracle! But clearly this wasn’t just a moment of generosity.
“I just thought it was the best thing if we knew what direction we were going to go,” Shanahan explained. “I wanted to let everyone know and, Wednesday, everyone can focus on the Giants and all of the speculation that goes on in between. I wanted to take as long as I possibly could to know that I did make the right decision.”
Shanahan explained that the difference between Grossman and John Beck was “by an edge.” Apparently this edge is also subject to change.
“You have to be at the top of your game to stay at any position,” he said. “You have to perform whether you are a Pro Bowl player or you’re coming in as a first-round pick. We’re going to evaluate you every day and I told these guys from the start, ‘I have no idea what direction we are going to go, but, whoever plays the best is going to start.’”
So write your season lineups in pencils?
“You make decisions that are based for the season,” Shanahan said. “When you pick a guy out, you’re not going to say, ‘I think he’s going to fail.’ You’re hoping he’s going to be very successful.”
In other news, Shanahan named London Fletcher and DeAngelo Hall defensive captains, Santana Moss as the offensive captain, and Lorenzo Alexander as the special teams captain.
Brandon Banks will also be used exclusively as a returner, and will not even practice at receiver. Shanahan explained: “He’s a guy that I’m even afraid to practice as a wide receiver because that knee swells up. I thought he did such a great job in punt returns and kick returns that it would be silly not to dress him on game day. I think he’s a difference maker out there, but he will be a specialty.”
In a round-about way, Brandon Banks out-performed Kellen Clemens in the preseason finale and won the role of the specialist on special teams. So who might be the emergency third-string quarterback?
“You always go around the room first and ask for volunteers, and Brian Orakpo did today,” Shanahan said with a grin. “It’s always the defensive players that want to play quarterback.”
If it’s good enough for Sammy Baugh, it’s good enough for me.
Tags: brandon banks, DeAngelo Hall, john beck, london fletcher, Lorenzo Alexander, mike shanahan, quarterback, rex grossman, Santana Moss, washington redskins
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