Did hedging bets at QB cost the Redskins a game?

Did hedging bets at QB cost the Redskins a game?
November 18, 2011, 5:56 pm
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By Rich TandlerYesterday, Kyle Shanahan absolved Rex Grossman of blame for an interception he threw in the fourth quarter against Miami. The play has been pretty well rehashed, as has what Shanahan had to say about it.There was definitely a bust on the play, said Shanahan. There was some bad distribution on someone trying to make an off-schedule peel and it brought two different guys into the same area.An off-schedule peel can be roughly translated as the receiver not being where the quarterback thought he would be. In short, the quarterback and the receiver were not on the same page.You can debate whether or not Grossman should be blamed for the pick or if intended receiver Jabar Gaffney should wear the goat horns or and you can take issue with Kyle defending Rex. But neither one of those is the big question.The big question is whether or not Mike and Kyle Shanahans indecisiveness over the quarterback position cost the Redskins a game they badly needed to win.After John Beck started against the 49ers posted his third uninspiring performance in three starts, the Shanahans decided it was time to shake things up at quarterback. Although they publically supported Beck they severely hedged their support during the week in practice. According to multiple reports, the two quarterbacks split the first-team reps in practice all week.That meant that the starter, which turned out to be Grossman, got only half of the reps with the first team in practice. So, when the key play of the game goes against you because the receiver didnt do what the quarterback thought he was going to do, it is fair to ask if this wrinkle might have been ironed out if the starting quarterback had worked with the first-team offense all week.Instead of deciding on a quarterback starter for Sunday prior to the start of practice on Monday, the Shanahans hedged their bets and kept their options open. That approach may have some advantages but a big drawback is that neither quarterback will be fully prepared going into the game.Perhaps if you have a team that is healthy and with a stable lineup that might not be as downside. But since Grossman had last started a game, injuries and strategic changes meant that he was playing with different players at left guard, right tackle, one tight end spot, one wide receiver spot, and at running back. Given all of that, Grossman surely could have benefitted from a full week of practice with the first team.Instead, the practice reps were split. We have no way of knowing for sure if Grossman and Gaffney would have been on the same page at that critical juncture of the game if Mike and Kyle had committed to making him the starter at the beginning of the week. But logic would indicate that the chances would have been much better.Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.