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Rex Grossman, Franchise Quarterback?

Stop booing Roger Goodell for a second. Put down the Yuengling and Buffalo Wings. Take a break from trying to decipher what the hell it is that Chris Berman is rambling about. What’s that sitting unnoticed in the corner of the Washington Redskin’s draft room?

It’s the biggest pink elephant you’ve ever seen.

The Washington Redskins had the chance to draft Blaine Gabbert, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, any number of potential 'quarterbacks of the future’ yet their burgundy and gold finger never got close to pulling that trigger.

They’ll look to draft Andrew Luck in 2012 say some fans. 'You can’t fill all your needs in one draft’ argue others. But in all likelihood, if Bruce Allen and Mike and Kyle Shanahan felt they needed a young franchise quarterback, they’d have found one in this draft.

If there’s football in 2011, the Redskins will be a .500 team or close to it. The prospects of the Redskins being in position to draft a top-tier quarterback in 2012 or 2013 are nil. This was an odd year for quarterbacks in the draft. There wasn’t a single young quarterback prospect available deemed a sure-fire can’t-miss star. Each of the top-ranked quarterbacks had doubts, baggage, or concerns linked to him. That was great news for the Redskins. It meant that they had a chance to grab an outstanding quarterback prospect despite having to wait for 9 other teams to make their choices before having the opportunity.

Instead, the Redskins elected to trade out of the 10th pick and fill other needs with their first 3 picks. Springsteen’s 'I’m Goin’ Down’ has been the Redskins 2011 NFL Draft theme song. That strategy has been met with shock and joy by most fans who are more familiar with a Redskins tendency to give draft picks away like candy, not hoard them like gold.

But this year’s draft approach should make every fan wonder about that big pink fellow in the corner.

Who is going to be our Washington Redskins quarterback for the next few years?

Donovan McNabb? Me thinks not. It’s quite possible there won’t be a team desperate enough for a veteran space-filler behind center to make us an offer on McNabb. Most of those potential suitors recognized what I’ve already mentioned, that this draft represented a perfect opportunity to find a young stud, and did so. We may well have near zero interest in McNabb. Mike Shanahan is a smart, if stubborn, guy. He knows, whatever the warts and limitations, McNabb has value. It’s as likely as not that McNabb will remain a Washington Redskin this season.

But he won’t be the starter.

If I turn my head just right, close one eye, and squint with the other, I think I can see that big pink elephant clear as day.

The Redskins think they can win with Rex Grossman behind center.

Grossman was thrust into duty last season under less than ideal circumstances. Burdened with years of baggage as a choke-artist, head case, and underachiever, Grossman had spent a couple seasons rehabilitating as a clipboard-holding backup. When McNabb threw his 51st pass of the season into the dirt and the Redskins dropped a one point loss at home against Tampa Bay, Mike Shanahan decided he could do better. In came the supposedly fatally flawed Rex Grossman. For the remaining 3 games of the 2010 season, Grossman was Shanahan’s guy. He hardly resurrected the Redskins season, and led the Redskins to just one victory against Jacksonville in his 3 starts. But he looked a lot better than McNabb had in those games, throwing for 7 touchdowns. The Redskins offense could score again with Rex under center. Redskin’s fans had a healthy dose of skepticism when it came to Sexy Rexy in 2010 and that hasn’t changed as they wait hopefully for the 2011 season start. Most Redskins fans agree, McNabb’s talent and physical gifts dwarf Grossman’s natural abilities. Most would also agree, unless McNabb reverts back to something approaching his former Pro Bowl self, the Redskins are more effective on offense with Grossman behind center.

If we’ve learned one thing about these Shanahans, it’s that they believe they know what’s what. They don’t need sports talk radio experts, bloggers, Daniel Snyder, or anyone else to help them determine what’s best for this team. I have a sneaking suspicion they're holding a deep, dark, mysterious secret close to their vest.

They don’t think we need to draft a franchise quarterback.

Because we’ve already found him.

His name is Rex Grossman.

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