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QB arrangement works well in Redskins' win

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QB arrangement works well in Redskins' win

In Washington, it’s always about the quarterbacks. And Saturday at FedEx Field it was situation normal even though both the No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks sidelined with injuries.

It was dress rehearsal day for the Redskins, the common description for the third preseason game on each team’s NFL schedule. But with top QB’s Robert Griffin III (knee) and Kirk Cousins (foot) watching from the sidelines, understudies Rex Grossman and Pat White were in the leading roles.

Mike Shanahan employed an unusual quarterback rotation during the game. Grossman started and played the first three series of the game. White relieved him early in the second quarter and finished the half. When White came out to start the second half, it was assumed by most that the game was his the rest of the way. But he and Grossman alternated series the rest of the way.

“You never know how a game is going to go, how many series you're going to get in a football game,” said Shanahan when asked about the time-sharing arrangement. “When you're the second team and third team or fourth team quarterbacks that's what happens. You've got to come off the bench cold. You've got to produce even though you're not warmed up.”

Grossman confirmed that things do sometimes happen that way. “I wasn't expecting to play against Pittsburgh,” he said. He had to go into the game in the midst of a drive when Cousins suffered a mid-foot sprain in the second quarter on Monday night.

“It happens in practice, and it’s similar to games,” said White. The first string gets most of the reps and the backups have to be able to come in and perform to the best of their abilities with the opportunities they get.”

White didn’t really care about when he played, he was glad to get some extended playing time. “I’m just excited to have an opportunity to get on the field and compete,” he said. “Whether it’s one rep or 20 reps, I’m happy to have the opportunity.”

The two are competing for the third quarterback job behind Griffin and Cousins. So how did they stack up against each other.

Grossman had the better day passing as he completed 11 of 21 for 171 yards and a touchdown (95.5 passer rating). White went 7 of 14 for 96 yards (72.3).

White is much more of a running threat that Grossman and the former West Virginia star picked up 26 yards on three carries including an scintillating 14-yard touchdown run.

“The offensive line did a great job of blocking, we had great blocks from the receiver downfield, and Darrell [Young] did a great job of power driving the guy about 20 yards downfield,” said White of the scoring play. “I just followed his blocks into the end zone.

That second-quarter score gave the Redskins a 17-7 lead and they were well on their way to a 20-7 win that pushed their preseason record to 3-0.

The Redskins scored a total of 17 points while White was in the game, 13 when Grossman was at the helm.

White was thought to be a long shot to make the roster prior to the start of the preseason and he still may be. But he has taken advantage of his opportunities. In the preseason opener against Tennessee he scored a touchdown in the final minutes to pull the Redskins within one and then passed for a two-point conversion to give his team the winning points. He is trying desperately to get back into the NFL after a three-year layoff.

Grossman, meanwhile, is just trying to hang on for another year or two making a living doing a job he loves.

“I enjoyed myself. It's football,” he said with a big smile. “You're getting paid to go to recess. It's [expletive] awesome. I enjoy myself every time I'm out there.”

It still looks like Grossman will end up on the 53-man roster as the third quarterback because Shanahan likely wants someone experienced in that role. White played just one NFL season after the Dolphins made him a second-round pick in 2009 and he has yet to complete a regular season NFL pass. But White will not go quietly and he is making the choice a difficult one for the coaches.

If he doesn’t end up with the Redskins, White could be playing his way onto another NFL roster.

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Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 6 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Cardinals Week 13

3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23

David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).

Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation

Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.

More Redskins: Will the first round fall into place?

Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run all season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!