Commentary

Can Redskins trust Rex Grossman?

The 2006 Bears went to a Super Bowl with Grossman; the Skins should give him a shot

Originally Published: September 15, 2011
By Chris Sprow | ESPN Insider
Rex GrossmanLarry French/Getty ImagesRex Grossman played well in the Washington Redskins' opener against the New York Giants.

You don't know this, but there has never been a quarterback like Rex Grossman. Not in the NFL at least. Entering his ninth year, he's the only quarterback in NFL history to play this long and have the only season in which he started every game result in a trip to the Super Bowl. Think about that: The one time Grossman started all 16 games, he went to the Super Bowl.

It wasn't Rex's doing alone, of course -- the 2006 Chicago Bears were brilliant on defense and special teams. And every regular-season game the Bears won -- all 13 of them -- was accompanied by the question of whether Grossman was an impediment that had to be overcome. Bears fans overlook it, but Grossman had among the best statistical seasons in team history, but the swings were a killer. He threw 20 interceptions, and 80 percent of them happened in five games. Good Rex, bad Rex.

Week 17 was to be a quick playoff tune-up, but Grossman went 2-for-12 with three interceptions, creating a legitimate QB controversy heading into the playoffs. It was like a final Indy 500 testing session where the driver arrived staggering drunk. Six weeks later, the Bears lost the Super Bowl, and in five seasons since, Grossman has started only 12 games for three teams.

Grossman has played one game this season and was very good. In a 28-14 win over the New York Giants on Sunday he went 21-for-34 with two touchdowns. But because it's Grossman, we don't have a sense if the good play will continue, or how firm his tenure on the job really is -- that's because even when Grossman has been successful, we're trained not to trust it.

But Mike Shanahan should take a cue from Lovie Smith and stick with Rex for now, even with John Beck looming.

Why, you ask? Let's look at the evidence.


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