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Beck Draws Start vs. Bucs, Grossman Rests


John Beck drew the start at quarterback in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rex Grossman, Beck's competition for the Redskins' starting job, sat out the game along with other starters.

The decision to sit Grossman could be a signal that he has won the starting job. Most teams sit their starters in the fourth and final preseason game.

However, the Redskins' quarterback competition has been unpredictable in training camp and preseason, so it's likely too soon to make any determination based on Thursday evening's game.

"Rex had 53 passes during the preseason and John had only 27 [heading into Thursday's preseason finale]," head coach Mike Shanahan said. "We gave a little more time to John to try and equal them out."

Beck had an up-and-down performance against the Buccaneers. He had his first-team offensive line in front of him but his skill position players were mostly rookies and backups.

Beck completed 10-of-21 passes for 108 yards and one interception. His QB rating was 43.4.

"We would have liked for it to go a little bit better," Beck said. "There were some throws that I don't usually miss that were just a little off. We did have some good things happen on offense, and we were able to make plays against some pressure, but you want to throw more balls and continue more drives."

Beck's first throw of the game was a deep pass to Anthony Armstrong on a fly route downfield. The pass was overthrown.

Beck got into a rhythm on his second drive, connecting with fullback Mike Sellers for nine yards, Armstrong for 18 yards and rookie wide receiver Niles Paul for 19 yards. The drive stalled when Beck's third-down pass to Terrence Austin fell incomplete.

Midway through the second quarter, Beck beat a blitz by safety Corey Lynch and threw to wide receiver Donte Stallworth for a 16-yard gain. The play helped set up a Graham Gano 22-yard field goal.

Late in the first half, the Redskins were in scoring range. On 3rd-and-6 at the Buccaneers' 15-yard line, Beck was blitzed again. Falling backward, he tossed a high-arching pass to the end zone, but cornerback D.J. Johnson had position at the goal line and leaped up in front of Paul for an interception.

"When I threw the ball, I thought it was going to be okay," Beck said. "I had no idea it was intercepted until I got to the sideline and saw they spotted the ball at the 20. I got hit. I didn't see the final play.

"Ultimately there are times in football where you have to take a chance. When you take a chance and it ends up being a negative and you don't get three points out of it, those are the ones that could change a game."

Beck and Rex Grossman have alternated at quarterback this preseason in the Redskins' ongoing quarterback competition.

Grossman started the first preseason game against Pittsburgh as Beck healed from a groin injury.

Beck started the second preseason game in Indianapolis.

In the third preseason game against Baltimore, Grossman started and he rotated with Beck during the first half.

Beck finished preseason completing 30-of-48 passes for 356 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Grossman's preseason stats are 34-of-53 pass completions for 407 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

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