Who (if anyone) will be the third QB?

Who (if anyone) will be the third QB?
July 10, 2013, 11:15 am
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By Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler

Twenty questions No. 13—Who (is anyone) will be the Redskins’ third quarterback?

The 2013 Redskins are loaded with storylines. Between now and the start of training camp, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will be examining the top 20 questions the Redskins face as they get ready for the season.

As Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins basked in the spotlight last season, veteran third-stringer Rex Grossman worked quietly and diligently in the background, serving as a sounding board and mentor to the two rookies. Although he did not take a snap, Grossman’s role was an important one. But times have changed. Griffin and Cousins are sophomores. Cousins has proved himself to be a capable backup to RG3. And with dual-threat signal caller Pat White now in the mix, questions abound. What does it all mean for Grossman? Does White have a legitimate shot? And, perhaps most important, do the Redskins even need a third quarterback when roster spots are so scarce?     

Tarik El-Bashir: First off, I do think the Redskins need a third quarterback in ’13. RG3 had a spectacular debut season. But it was also plagued with injuries. He left one game with a concussion. Departed another one with a knee injury. Missed one start altogether because of the knee. And we all know how the playoff loss to the Seahawks ended. Not to mention he’s coming off a second ACL reconstruction. Until RG3 proves he can be more durable, the Redskins are going to need a backup for Cousins, too. As for the competition between Grossman and White, I suspect Grossman’s familiarity with the system will serve him well and he'll secure the No. 3 job. I also expect that White will end up on someone’s roster – even if it’s not as a QB. 

Rich Tandler: Mike Shanahan always says that he keeps the best 53 football players on the roster and if he sticks to that I don’t see Grossman or White making it. Through the years he has gone into seasons with two quarterbacks far more often than he has gone in with three. Keeping another running back or defensive back or even a kickoff specialist will yield more returns than having Rex or White take up a spot on the inactive list every week. And it’s not like Rex will be a hot commodity if he gets cut; should an injury to Griffin create the need for another body at QB, they can pick up the phone and call him. But I suspect that because of the value of the position and the problematic nature of Griffin’s knee that there will be a third QB on the roster and it will be Rex Grossman.  

Upcoming on 20 questions

  • Question 14 Thursday: What will the running back depth chart look like behind Alfred Morris?
  • Question 13 Friday: Is London Fletcher still an every down linebacker?
  • Question 12 Saturday: What can Jordan Reed contribute this year?
  • Question 11 Sunday: Who will be the nickel cornerback?