The Washington Redskins' 2011 preseason was a breath of fresh air. For the first time in many years, the effort of the players never waned. Though their preseason record is unimportant, the fact is that the Redskins showed improvement and will head into the regular season in good health.
Rex Grossman will start at quarterback in the Redskins' first game against the New York Giants. He got the job because John Beck played poorly in his last preseason game, while Grossman was nothing special in his previous appearances.
Grossman was at the helm of a Chicago Bears team whose defense led them to Super Bowl XLI in 2006. Since then he has been mostly a reserve, while bouncing around the NFL, before making the Redskins his third team since 2008.
Despite this vagabond journey, Grossman proclaimed that Washington would win the NFC East in 2011. Now that he was given the starting job, it is time for Grossman to back up his words by playing the type of excellent football he has never played in his career.
The Jints are riddled with injuries in their defensive secondary especially right now. Grossman has a huge opportunity to get the 'Skins off the schnied in 2011 by getting his team an important divisional win.
New York has owned this rivalry, winning 91 of the 156 match-ups the two have had in the regular season. Since 2000, Washington has beat the G-Men just six times in 22 battles. Grossman is fighting history here, so a win would give Washington a big moral boost.
There are a few new weapons for Grossman to play with. Besides the influx of several new wide receivers, Washington stole halfback Tim Hightower in a offseason trade. New York has an excellent offense, so Grossman needs to have his team dominate the play clock and finish with touchdowns over field goals.
The Redskins offensive line has looked a lot better than last season, but it was just preseason. Grossman still holds onto the ball too long and makes poor decisions. For his prediction of success to come true in 2011, he needs to stop forcing passes that have almost zero chance to help his team.
Kyle Shanahan enters his second season as the Washington offensive coordinator, but it is the third straight season he has worked with Grossman. Continuance should not be an issue, and this factor was a big part as to why Grossman is still wearing the burgundy and gold.
When you run your mouth in a tough division like the NFC East, you better bring it. Especially if you are on a team that struggled the last few years and is being considered by some to be the worst in the division.
While the Giants are missing a ton of defensive backs, they still are full of pass rushers along the defensive line. Grossman will need to be quick in body and decisions, but he also needs to start finally showing he has learned something after all of these years under Shanahan.