Friday, December 17, 2010, 5:11 p.m.
By Ryan OHalloran
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Rex Grossman had a feeling something was going to happen throughout the week, just the kind of hunch a quarterback gets after spending seven-plus years in the NFL and enduring his own benching.
Just hints the way people were talking to me, he said. Usually I would get run plays in practice to save Donovans legs and stuff like that.
More involved in the passing portion of practice, Grossman got the official word he was the Redskins new starting quarterback in place of Donovan McNabb late Thursday afternoon when he was told to end his weight-lifting session to report to coach Mike Shanahans office.
Maybe a little bit surprised, but not really, Grossman said.
When he gets under center Sunday at Dallas, Grossman will be making his first start since November 2009 against Tennessee.
A free agent after the season, it is now Grossmans turn to audition for a 2011 roster spot, what with McNabb falling out of favor.
Its a big opportunity for me to go out and go play well and lead this team to victory, Grossman said. I think its pretty obvious whats at stake. Its an unbelievable opportunity to go down to Dallas in this rivalry game and show what I can do with this offense and this team.
Grossman, 30, has a 20-15 career record as a starter (including post-season) but will making his first start since November 2008 for Chicago. He lost his job to Kyle Orton and then spent last year as a back-up to Matt Schaub in Houston.
With the Redskins, Grossman is 4-of-7 for 44 yards, all coming in the infamous Detroit game when McNabb was benched.
Shanahan and his son, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, have lauded Grossmans familiarity with the Redskins offensive system.
Rex deserves a chance to show what he can do, Mike Shanahan said. Ive been impressed with Rex since Day One, the way hes handled our practices, the way hes handled the offense but until a guy plays in a game, you dont know for sure.
Grossman has 33 touchdowns and 36 interceptions in the regular season but missed most of the 2004 and 2005 seasons because of injuries. He was Chicagos starter in 2006 when the Bears reached the Super Bowl.
We have a ton of confidence in his ability to run this offense, tight end Chris Cooley said. Rex is totally confident with the game plan and he sees how everybody runs their routes. Its not like were going with a quarterback we brought in last week.
Grossman feels hes a good fit for the Shanahan offense.
I feel like it does what I do well, the chances to go deep and then the intermediate patters and then the check downs, Grossman said. It gives you the opportunity to make big plays without having to create your own big plays. I just want to run the offense and not try to do anything special.
After the switch was announced, the point-spread moved from six to seven points in favor of Dallas and Grossmans promotion has been generally panned.
Its motivation, he said. I think everyone has doubters and in any situation until you prove yourself on a consistent basis, youre always going to have doubters. Im totally motivated to go out and prove not only to them but to myself and my teammates that Im a bona-fide starter in this league and can lead this team to a championship one day.
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