When talking to Seattle-area reporters via conference call this morning, Washington quarterback Rex Grossman was blunt in his assessment of how the season has gone so far for his team.
At the beginning of the season Grossman boldly predicted that Washington would win the NFC East. And a quarter of the way through the year his prediction looked pretty good. The Redskins sat atop the division at 3-1, and were one of the surprise teams in the league.
But then Grossman played awful against the Eagles, throwing four interceptions in a 20-13 loss.
He was benched a week later in favor of John Beck and suffered through an awful bout of pneumonia. Now, Washington sits at 3-7 overall. Mike Shanahan has returned Grossman to the starting quarterback role and the Redskins are currently are riding a six-game losing streak.
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The last time Washington lost seven straight was in 1998, beginning the year 0-7.
“We were off to a 3-1 start and now we’re 3-7 and I had pneumonia,” Grossman said. “And this whole thing just sucks. But we still have six games to end this season in a positive note. And you never know what can happen. If we get on a run here, maybe a five percent chance that something great can happen.
Grossman said he went back and watched every game he played this season a couple times during the time he was benched for three games to find out what he was doing wrong.
“Basically what I’ve been working on from here on out is trying to simplify my thought process, just so that I can play fast and not over think things,” Grossman said. “Any time you’re out there thinking, ‘I might do this.’ Or, ‘is that guy playing this coverage?’ You just need to go through your progressions and play football rather than over think things. And allows your body to slow down, but you’re playing faster.”
Grossman confirmed that he was sick with pneumonia the first week that Beck started for him against Carolina. But Grossman said his sickness was purely coincidental, and that he actually watched that first game from the locker room because he was so ill.
“I started to get really bad chills that Thursday,” Grossman said. “And then Friday after practice I knew I was sick. I woke up Saturday and I was definitely ill. And on Sunday I couldn’t even come out to the field. I was in the locker room watching the game on the TV wondering if I had to go in, just making sure, and just laying there because I had to go in if John got hurt.”
Grossman said he’s fully recovered now. And with a healthy Grossman, Washington head coach Mike Shanahan thought he was the best guy for the job, putting him back as the starter two weeks ago
And the Redskins’ offense responded with their best offensive output since the season opener, losing a heartbreaker to Dallas in overtime, 27-24.
“We’re trying to get our rhythm back,” Shanahan said. “After our first four games we had a rhythm going. We were playing pretty consistent in the top 10, and all of sudden your line-up changes and we haven’t been consistent since then.
“But last weekend we scored 24 against a pretty good defensive team, made a few plays that we haven’t been making. It was nice to get going in the right direction.”