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Grossman's Settling In As McNabb's Backup


Rex Grossman walked to Redskins practice on Sunday afternoon and heard a fan shout "Way to go, Rex!"

It hasn't always been like this for Grossman.

He has experienced a series of ups and downs in his 9-year NFL career, mostly spent with the Chicago Bears.

Last Friday night, Grossman was solid in his Redskins preseason debut. He played nearly two quarters and completed 11-of-18 passes for 140 passes and two touchdowns as the Redskins routed the Buffalo Bills 42-17 at FedExField.

He tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Fred Davis in the second quarter and a 44-yard touchdown pass to Devin Thomas in the third quarter.

He appears to be settling in as the Redskins' primary backup quarterback to Donovan McNabb. Richard Bartel and John Beck appear to be competing for the third quarterback job.

During training cap, Grossman has been inconsistent at times, occasionally overthrowing receivers on intermediate and deep routes.

Against the Bills, Grossman was able to establish a rhythm early.

"For a first go-around, I thought everyone played well," Grossman said.

This is his second year in Kyle Shanahan's offense. The two were in Houston together, although Grossman saw minimal playing time as Matt Schaub's backup.

"I feel better [in the offense] than I did last year," Grossman said. "Sometimes it takes a while, as a quarterback, to feel the rhythm of the offense. I felt like I played with a lot of muscle memory. I wasn't thinking a lot, which definitely helps because the game is fast out there."

Said head coach Mike Shanahan: "I was pleased with Rex. He went in there and executed the offense well. He was put in some tough situations and I was pleased with the way he stood in there."

Grossman has had his share of tough situations in his career.

Even as he was leading the Bears to a berth in Super Bowl XLI in 2006, he was under scrutiny for erratic passing. He threw two interceptions in the Super Bowl, including one returned for a touchdown.

Interceptions have been a lingering problem in his NFL career – he has 36 in 37 games.

Grossman has put all of that behind him.

While he hopes to start again in the NFL, he is enjoying his fresh start in Washington and welcomes competition for the Redskins' backup job.

"Every time you go out, whether it's for practice or a game, you want to put out a good performance because you are being evaluated every time you touch the ball," he said. "I felt pretty good about [the Bills game], but we are on to the next one."

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