The Grossman vs. Beck controversy continues for the Redskins

After Rex Grossman's four INT performance against the Eagles, Beck got the nod in the fourth quarter and was able to put the ball into the end zone. Now head coach Mike Shanahan has put the ball in his hands for Sunday's matchup against the Panthers (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, user Homer McFanboy).

The Washington Redskins wouldn’t be the Washington Redskins without a quarterback controversy. This years’ version of the annual rendition pits Rex Grossman against John Beck. Grossman led the team to a 3-2 record so far in the 2011-12 campaign, but he has been benched in favor of Beck for Sunday’s matchup at Carolina, ESPN reported Wednesday morning.

The squad is coming off a Week 6 loss at home to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Skins were 3-1 coming off a bye week and playing in front of an optimistic home crowd, only to see Grossman throw four interceptions and get benched in the fourth quarter. Beck came in and scored the team’s only touchdown of the game on a run.

Despite the team’s winning record, Grossman has 11 turnovers in just five games. Plus, it was reported that Beck had been the more impressive performer during this year’s abbreviated training camp.

“In Beck's limited time Sunday, I thought he showed an ability to at least make enough plays to move the chains,” junior John Grady said, a manager for the Mason men’s basketball team and a member of the club lacrosse team.

Unlike Grossman, Beck put together a solid drive against the Eagles, cutting the final score to just 20-13. He was 8/15 passing for 117 yards. Most importantly, he did not have a turnover.

“He’s [Grossman] always been prone to choke, he’s not really a high caliber quarterback,” said junior Alec Kormanec, a member of the George Mason golf team. “Beck has more promise for the future.”

Kormanec and Grady are not the only ones who agree with head coach Mike Shanahan’s decision to go to his bench.

“He [Grossman] threw four picks, three of them were to the same guy, you have to learn not to go back to the same guy,” said Tim Patrick, a senior at Mason and a lifelong Redskins fan.  “It’s aggravating, he is supposed to be a professional. He should have just walked off the field.”

Grossman has only completed 55 percent of his passes this year with just six touchdowns, compared to nine interceptions and two lost fumbles. For his career, he has 46 touchdowns and 49 interceptions, which is not a pretty stat for any starting QB.

“John Beck might not be as good as ‘Good Rex,’ but he can’t be worse than ‘Bad Rex,’” said Taylor Niehoff, a senior sport management student at Mason and a Redskins seasons ticket holder. “They don’t need someone to throw for 300 yards, but they can’t have someone losing fumbles and throwing interceptions every single game. Why not give Beck a chance?”

Although there has been a great deal of excitement over Beck’s potential, he has not started a game since 2007, and it appears Shanahan gave up on Grossman just because of one game.

“People are just looking for something to change; Grossman led them to a winning record, and you don’t just screw up how you got there,” senior Steve Rusnak said. “This is not the first four interception game a quarterback has had this year, far from it.”

Both Tom Brady and Michael Vick threw four-interception games against the Buffalo Bills earlier this season, and their starting jobs are certainly secure.

“I understand that neither quarterback is really that good,” Grady said, “and that the Redskins’ offense is more designed to be a running offense, so it’s actually more crucial that the offensive line is getting banged up right now.”

Grossman is not the only starting quarterback to lose his job this week, however.

Donovan McNabb, who got benched in favor of Grossman last year in Washington, is now with the Minnesota Vikings and has struggled all season. His team is now 1-5, and he has been benched in favor of rookie Christian Ponder. Similarly, Kyle Orton lost his job in Denver in favor of Tim Tebow.

This situation is nothing new for the Redskins. They have had 13 different quarterback start a game since 2000. That’s 13 different quarterbacks in just 11 years, which is not typically a recipe for success. When Beck starts on Sunday, he will mark number 14. Compare that to Peyton Manning, who started every football game for the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2010.

Regardless of who is under center Sunday, it is an important part of the season for the Skins. They currently sit in second in the NFC East, only behind the New York Giants. Thus, Beck will be expected to win right away, especially getting his first start against a 1-5 Panthers team.

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