Revisiting the Grossman vs. McNabb Debate:

Washington Commanders

Now first I must say I’m shocked I have to do this, but when you listen to fans and reporters of the Redskins and you continuously hear the debate about McNabb vs Grossman, I think it is time to step in and cut through the haze. There is no reason why this has ignited such a debate, and why people attack Shanahan and the Redskins for every bad pass Grossman throws.

No one, including the Shanahans have pointed to Grossman and said he is our ‘Franchise’ quarterback. All that has been said and even hinted at is that Grossman knows the system better, therefore giving the Redskins a better chance to be successful, and that they are evaluating him for next year (to see if he can be a stopgap quarterback). Now sure they might make statements about Grossman able to be successful in this league, but what do you expect them to say? We have no quarterback depth and wasted a time and money on a washed up quarterback who set us back? I think it has been a pretty ‘honest’ (relatively speaking) and fair approach to Grossman. They aren’t rushing out to commit $70 million dollars, but they aren’t completely writing him off either.

McNabb apologists will point out that the Redskins weren’t any more successful with Grossman, and in fact his completion percentage is lower than McNabb’s. They will point out the high number of fumbles, which combined with the interceptions were very troubling. The Redskins only had one big scoring game under Grossman, and showed roughly the same stagnant offense they did earlier in the year.

While there are truths in all those points they ignore the obvious truth. When all you can say negative about Grossman is the fact that he was ‘no better’ than McNabb, then all you have done is lowered yourself to Grossman’s level, and the reality is Donovan McNabb is no better than Rex Grossman. McNabb who made over $16 million this season, and the team surrendered 2 draft picks to acquire played the same as a guy who the Redskins paid less than $1 million and signed off the street. If Grossman and McNabb offer similar production and results, the obvious choice is Grossman. Sure he will need to be resigned for more money, but it won’t even be a quarter of what McNabb makes. Considering the fact a salary cap is likely to be coming back into effect, Grossman is a far superior option to warm the seat while this team rebuilds.

While some of the numbers in the Grossman vs McNabb debate favor McNabb, Grossman just looks more confident back there and more sure of his reads. Sure Grossman throws his fair share of balls in the dirt or too high for the receiver, but he throws a lot more balls on target. Grossman has led, and hit receivers in stride much better than McNabb was. And while the turnovers were high, most of the fumbles were really on the offensive line, and two of those interceptions (Dallas game and yesterday) were because Mike Sellers ran the wrong route. While I’m not trying to be a Grossman apologist, there seem to be more mitigating factors than McNabb’s performance.

Now overall I think what both the McNabb and Grossman experience proved is that this isn’t a very good football team, and it doesn’t matter if you are a former Pro Bowler or a former draft bust, you can only have limited success. While Quarterback is high on this team’s list of needs, it is far from there biggest need this offseason. Despite adding talent to their receivers and running backs the Redskins have among the worst skilled position players in the league. Also, the Redskins offensive line continues to be one of the league’s worst and those are just their issues on offense. For them to go out there and draft a quarterback in the first round would be irresponsible and in no way quicken their road to respectability. While the quarterback position needs addressing, Washington first needs to build a team around him before he can be successful. Grossman might not be my first choice to keep the seat warm as the Redskins rebuild, but he is a fair option and a better one than McNabb.

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