1. I absolutely hate the 24-hour circus revolving around who should start at quarterback against Carolina. I still think it should be Rex Grossman--on the shortest leash of his career. I don't favor shaking things up this early in the season when we are 3-2 and heading to play a team that our defense should be able to beat up. I am not against a move to John Beck at some point later in the season but I do not want to set the table for a month or two of flip-flopping. And don't confuse me with a "That's just Rex being Rex" guy. We can't afford another game like the one he had if we have any hopes of contending for anything in December. But this current Washington quarterback controversy is about as exciting and intriguing as watching C-Span. It's like picking which one of the Olsen twins you would rather watch in a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. Regardless of which one you pick, you're going to find yourself unable to believe that the wife-beating male protagonist ever found her tolerable enough to marry her in the first place.
2. This team is not now--nor has it been in a long time--one player away from being a world-beater. Replacing Rex Grossman with John Beck does not magically turn this Washington team into more of a contender. John Beck comes complete with his own set of faults and shortcomings. He can do some things better...probably. But can we please at least agree that moving to John Beck is not a "season-saving" decision by Mike Shanahan, if he makes it?
3. John Beck is not the "quarterback-in-waiting." He is not the "quarterback-of-the-future." We are not holding him back so he can learn as much as possible before being thrown to the wolves like so many young signal-callers in the league. He is Plan B on a rebuilding team. He is a refreshing drink of water in the middle of the desert, but very fast you realize you are not only still in the desert, you also just had that one cup. (Two Quarterbacks, One Cup...you're welcome.)
4. So much of the argument to leave Rex in can just as easily be applied to the argument to yank Rex out. If it truly is a "Why not?" season, then why not give Beck a chance, right? My biggest issue with this particular line of reasoning is that we are not in "Why not" territory at this very moment.
5. Have I mentioned lately that I am not a member of the Rex Grossman fan club? No, he is not my favorite quarterback. He is not on my fantasy team and he is not a guy who I look forward to watching in burgundy and gold for years to come. I figured I should get ahead of some of your personal attacks I am sure to be on the receiving end of in the comments section.
6. Some of you may recall that I listed Sav Rocca as a crucial part of our rebuilding. I got crushed by a wave of incredulity. How could a 37-year old punter be so integral to a rebuilding team? I have argued that experience at the specialty positions allows for the coach and general manager to focus their time and energy elsewhere. It allows them to better grade the other players on the field when you put an experienced professional in a specialized role. Here comes a leap that I will make alone I fear--I value the experience that Rex Grossman brings to our team today. John Beck is capable of doing some things, and maybe he deserves a chance to put those things on display on Sundays. But I think at this moment, Rex Grossman holds the slightest of edges based on his experience. (Oh God...here comes the wave again.)
7. You may have noticed by now that I have yet to build a very compelling case for why Rex Grossman The Player should remain our starting quarterback. You know why? Because there really isn't one. The case to be made for Rexy is thinner than the holes our offensive line opened for Ryan Torain on Sunday. The fact is that if Mike Shanahan puts John Beck under center on Sunday, the outcome of the game is not likely to be drastically different than if Rex Grossman was our starter. A good argument for switching quarterbacks is NOT "I can't stand watching Rex Grossman."
8. It should come down to whether or not John Beck gives us a better chance to beat Carolina. I don't think that answer is very clear or clean. If I am right about that, than what is the harm in bringing Beck off the bench in relief for another week, albeit much quicker than in the last game? It keeps us from hitting the panic button that is inextricably tied to changing quarterbacks. I liken it to drawing four cards in a game of five card poker (Sav Rocca obviously being our ace...haha.) Everyone else in the game knows that you have nothing. The one argument from the "Start John Beck" side that I like the most is: "It might be true that we don't need Rex Grossman to have a career-best game to beat the Panthers, but another career-worst game out of him could cause us to lose to the Panthers."
9. We are 3-2 going into a game against the Carolina Panthers. On one hand, a John Beck versus Cam Newton tilt has national attention written all over it. Hey, if you are going to start a quarterback for the first time in a season, better it be a down-on-their-luck team like Carolina instead of teams like New England or the Jets. But if Mike Shanahan ever believed that Rex Grossman was his unquestioned starter, I don't think he should pull the plug on him for one ridiculously awful performance. I mean, don't get me wrong, Rexy's showing on Sunday rivaled that of the public defender's opening arguments in "My Cousin Vinny." It was just gut-wrenchingly unbelievable. But if there was ever an opportunity to say, "Rex...this is it--one unforced error and John Beck goes in the game," this is that opportunity. If it works, WE are 4-2 with less debate headed into a tough stretch. If it fails, the issue kind of solves itself in a rather definitive fashion, because blowing a game against Carolina will be impossible for Rex to recover from, right?
10. That's right Grantland...I said "We."