Monday, December 27, 2010, 4:54 p.m.
By Ryan OHalloran
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Although the Redskins first five offensive drives Sunday against Jacksonville produced just four first downs and consisted of only 19 plays, coach Mike Shanahan was pleased with quarterback Rex Grossmans play.
But then Grossman threw an interception that ended a 63-yard drive and thwarted a scoring chance.
I thought he played well up until the interception and then he looked like he lost a little focus and missed some of the reads he normally would make, Shanahan said Monday at Redskin Park while discussing his teams 20-17 overtime win over the Jaguars.
Grossman threw late into the end zone and his pass intended for Santana Moss was intercepted by Derek Cox. The play was upheld after Shanahans replay challenge.
Following the interception, Grossman was 3-of-8 for 22 yards, including an intentional grounding penalty, on the next three possessions (all punts) before completing two good third-down throws on a 14-play scoring drive that bridged the third and fourth quarters and ended with the Redskins taking a 17-10 lead.
Thats why you try to put people in game situations to see how they react, Shanahan said. You have to know when to throw it away and when to take your chances. Sometimes you lose focus after an interception and I thought that got to him a little bit.
Asked if he was surprised Grossman making his 33 rd NFL start would appear rattled by a first-half interception, Shanahan refused to go there, providing the requisite mumble jumble: Its an evaluation process. You look at everything: Sacks, touchdowns, interceptions, dropped passes. When you evaluate an offense, you evaluate everybody.
Grossman finished 19-of-39 for 182 yards and a 60.0 passer rating.
The ball got caught up in the wind and the defender a great play on it, he said of the interception, his third in two starts. When it left my hands, I thought we had a touchdown.
Shanahan disagreed with officials upholding the interception call and Grossman called the intentional grounding penalty debatable.
The offense was stuck in neutral for most of the game their scoring drives were 14, 18 and 68 yards in regulation and a single yard in overtime.
Right now, its one of those offenses that may take awhile and then all of a sudden, were hot, Grossman said. We just need to play more consistent in between our momentum streaks on offense.
What had been consistent from Mike and Kyle Shanahan is that Grossman benefited from being with Houston last year and was far enough long in the system that he was the better option at mid-season when Donovan McNabb was benched for the two-minute drill.
Mike Shanahan changed course Monday when asked how comfortable Grossman would be if he was the quarterback next year considering his two full years in the scheme.
First of all, you have to take a look at Houston he played, I think, only 12 plays and came into the pre-season very late June 12 and then picked up the offense in training camp, Shanahan said. To say a person had two full years in the system is unfair to him.
Realistically, hes had two games and well have a chance to evaluate him against a team the Giants playing for a playoff spot. This will be his third game. Even though hes had a chance to learn the terminology, the practice reps have been very minimal. Now we get a chance to see him in live situations.
Regardless, Grossman has garnered the support of his skilled-position players who feel he gives them a chance to make plays.
Rex is a guy that knows this offense and he played well again, Moss said. Hes a guy that will give you a chance. Im glad to see him have success and doing some of the things hes doing.
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