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Sunday, November 13, 2011
Report: Grossman to start for Redskins

By Dan Graziano

Well, our division's just full of big news this morning, now, isn't it? According to Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network, the Washington Redskins are switching quarterbacks again. Jason reports that coach Mike Shanahan informed the team this weekend that Rex Grossman, who started the first five games of the season, will be the starter again and that John Beck, who was 0-3 as the starter the past three weeks, is headed back to the bench.

Grossman led the Redskins to a 3-1 start during which his turnover-prone tendencies were concealed by an offensive line and run game that were playing extremely well. But in the Redskins' fifth game of the season, it all came crashing down. He threw four interceptions in the loss to the Eagles that began the team's current four-game losing streak, and he was benched in that game in favor of Beck.

That game was also significant because of the season-ending injuries suffered in it by left guard Kory Lichtensteiger and tight end Chris Cooley, and the sprained ankle that cost left tackle Trent Williams a couple of weeks. The following week, the Redskins lost running back Tim Hightower for the season with a knee injury and wide receiver Santana Moss for an extended period of time with a broken hand.

So what I'm saying here is that the offense Grossman will operate today in Miami is not the same one that started the season 3-1. He's no less likely to force throws and turn the ball over than he was back in Week 6 when he was benched. The reason for the change is likely because of how bad Beck has looked in the interim. He's completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 858 yards, two touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 72.1. He's also fumbled three times and was sacked 10 times in a loss two weeks ago against the Buffalo Bills. From here it looks as though the Redskins just have more faith in Grossman's ability to operate the offense and are willing to live with the turnover risk in an effort to jump-start an offense that's scored a total of 31 points in the three games Beck has started.

We'll see. As I said when Beck took over, I don't imagine this will be the last quarterback change we see in Washington this year. And I would expect a really big one in the offseason.