Reporting Grant Paulsen
Rex Grossman returned to the Redskins’ starting lineup on Sunday in Miami, completing 21-of-32 passes for 215 yards in a 20-9 loss to the Dolphins. Grossman, who didn’t lead the Redskins to any touchdowns but was intercepted twice, split first-team reps at practice during the week before finding out he was going to start on Saturday morning.
This week, with a home, divisional matchup against the Dallas Cowboys looming, Grossman was named the Redskins’ starter on Monday. Mentally, he’ll benefit from getting almost all of Washington’s first-team reps at quarterback and from knowing throughout the week that he’s going to be the guy. But how much more effectively he’ll be able to play based on the increased practice time remains to be seen.
“I was ready,” Grossman said about his performance against the Dolphins. “Anytime you don’t win there’s always a couple plays that could’ve made the difference, so you can’t really pat yourself on the back too much. But for the most part, I did what I was coached to do and made a lot plays, but not enough.”
The first interception Grossman threw wasn’t his fault. Rookie wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, who had a standout eight-catch, 106-yard performance, slipped and fell coming out of his break, allowing the defender covering him to make a play on Grossman’s pass. But the second interception the ninth-year passer threw was an inexcusable turnover with Washington operating on a first-and-goal from the Dolphins’ 10 yard-line.
“It’s a play that not everything worked out the way it should’ve. That’s all I’ll say about that,” Grossman said.
Regardless of whether Grossman thinks the interception was his fault or somebody else’s, being picked off on first-and-goal is never okay. (My speculation is that Grossman was referring to Jabar Gaffney with his terse, cryptic answer about the interceptions. Perhaps he thought Jabar Gaffney for not crossing in front of linebacker Karlos Dansby and enticing the defender to follow him, rather than allowing Dansby to sit in coverage and wait on Grossman to target Hankerson).
If Grossman’s going to give the Redskins a chance to beat the Cowboys, he’s going to have to make more plays than he made against the Dolphins while finding a way to make fewer mistakes. That’s not going to be easy, which is part of the reason why Washington isn’t being much chance to win among national prognostications.
“Everybody’s frustrated right now and to have the Cowboys coming in, there’s no better team to go against to get everybody fired up and have that extra juice,” Grossman said.
The Redskins’ offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in Rex Grossman’s last nine quarters as the team’s quarterback. Worse yet, Washington’s offense has scored just one touchdown in its last 33 drives, punting 13 times and going three-and-out eight times while averaging 22 yards per drive during that stretch.