Redskins promise QB competition

July, 29, 2011
7/29/11
9:04
PM ET
I just looked back and realized I haven't written Washington Redskins all day. This is crazy, and not just because they're in the division just like the other three teams are and it's only fair to write about them. It's crazy because I feel like I've written more on the Redskins than any of the other three teams this week up until Friday. Until the Eagles went all Miami Heat on us today, I would have said the Redskins were having the most active and productive week of any team in the NFC East.

The Skins were quiet today, which is fine every once in a while. But they did make some news, because the people in charge did some talking. Kyle Shanahan, for example, talked about quarterbacks. He said that while Rex Grossman isn't yet re-signed, he expected that he would be soon and that once he is, he would compete with John Beck for the starting quarterback's job. From Rich Campbell of The Washington Times:
"I think it will be a great battle," Shanahan, the Redskins' offensive coordinator, said after practice. "I think that they’re both capable of it. Rex showed that he’s capable last year. John has shown that he’s capable in practice and what he’s done in his college tape and the few opportunities he has had in the NFL. I’m excited for them to finally get a shot together."

Yeah, it's not exactly Ali-Frazier, but it's what the Redskins have. And it's a reminder that, while the other teams in the division are gearing up to slug it out against each other for a playoff spot or two (or three) and a run at the Super Bowl, the Redskins are at a much different point in their franchise's history.

They could get surprising production out of Beck or Grossman at quarterback. It could happen. This is an unpredictable league, and if we make it into November or December with the Redskins hanging in as a surprise contender because Beck or Grossman shocked us all with unforeseen competence, that wouldn't be the strangest thing that happened in NFL history. But the fact is, from here, the Redskins have major question marks at the most important position on the roster.

I love what the Redskins have done this week, bringing in Barry Cofield and some young, emerging players like Josh Wilson and Chris Chester and Stephen Bowen who not only fit their scheme but can grow and develop as the team does around them. The Redskins are thinking about building a team, and they're thinking about building one that can contend year-in and year-out. On defense, they're starting to look better than respectable. But on offense, and especially at quarterback ... that's where you look and you realize that this year isn't likely to be one of those years.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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