MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- By comparison, Redskins coach Mike Shanahans explanation after the 20-9 loss to Miami Sunday about why he promoted quarterback Rex Grossman didnt ring as far-fetched as the term cardiovascular endurance, last year after the Detroit Debacle in which Donovan McNabb was famously benched.
But what Shanahan said about his quarterback swap will be a tough sell in the days to come.
The reason, basically, Shanahan gave for replacing John Beck: Right tackle Jammal Brown was injured and unable to play.
Going into the game when Jammal went down, to put John in a situation where we had a number of players go down, with his minimal experience, I thought it was our best interest to go with who gave us a best chance to win the game and that was Rex, Shanahan said.
Seriously? Even when Beck played two games without his best offensive linemen, Trent Williams, and hasnt had any of Chris Cooley and less than a game of Santana Moss? Now starts the tough-sell part.
I dont know if Ive been in this situation before, Shanahan said. You dont throw Beck to the wolves; you go with a more experienced guy who has dealt with these situations.
Grossman, starting his fifth game of the year, was 21-of-32 passing for 215 yards and two interceptions, including a key pick early in the fourth quarter at the Miami 5-yard line and the Redskins trailing by four points.
Brown, who missed the game with a groin injury, said afterward he didnt even try to push it in warm-ups. Sean Locklear started in his place.
Even though Grossman and Beck split first-team snaps during the week, the team wasnt told of the change until Saturday.
I was very excited for the opportunity, Grossman said.
Surprised to get another shot?
Yes and no with no explanation, he said.
Receiver Jabar Gaffney said: It was a change-up. Coach was trying to get a spark.
That spark fizzled. They were 0-for-3 in the red zone, are now averaging a measly 15.1 points per game and have four touchdowns in their last five games.
Beck wasnt in the locker room after reporters left the Shanahan and Grossman news conferences. The move had to sting the 30-year-old, who had waited four years for his second chance as a starter and it lasted three full games.
Shanahan, who said it was his intention during the week to stick with Beck, is nearing dangerous waters. He acknowledges quarterback is the most visible position in pro football and yet he risks this becoming a weekly, yo-yo scenario where it will quickly become a distraction.
Were going to make decisions based on whats going on during the week, who were going against, practice, injuries, all those types of things regardless if its at the linebacker position, the running back position, Shanahan said.
And evidently, the quarterback position, too.
Williams said: Were just trying to find that right combo that can get us back on track.
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