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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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Redskins' Reed gets back to practice, may play vs. Bengals

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Redskins' Reed gets back to practice, may play vs. Bengals

After missing all of training camp on the physically unable to perform list with a toe injury, Jordan Reed has returned to practice for the Redskins. According to coach Jay Gruden, the Pro Bowl tight end participated in everything in today’s session, the first one open to the media since Reed was activated off of the PUP list on Sunday.

“I'm feeling good,” Reed said. “It felt obviously great to be back out there with my teammates and getting back to work.

Reed said that the toe was “100 percent right now,” a good sign for a Redskins’ offense that has struggled to move the ball in the preseason.

RELATED: 2017 REDSKINS--5 REASONS FOR CONCERN

“We’re easing him back in the offense,” said Gruden. “He did some good things in the passing game, we put him in the running game a little bit. [He] did good, he looks well.”

Gruden said that here is a chance that Reed will play in the Redskins’ preseason game against the Bengals on Sunday.

“I’d like to get him back out there and get in the running game a little bit, get involved, and catch a couple of passes,” he said.

But Gruden emphasized that Reed will not play if the training staff thinks there is a risk of re-injuring the toe.

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Reed wants to get out there and play some.

“I think it's real important just to feel some hits and live bullets at me and things like that - get my feet under me,” said. “I think it's really important.”

Quarterback Kirk Cousins said that he is happy to get one of his favorite weapons back. He noted that he had all of his top pass catchers on the field for the first time since the start of camp.

“I think just as important as having Jordan back was having our whole offense together for the first time,” said Cousins. “Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, some of the other guys who have at times take off days here and there. We haven’t had many days when the whole group was together.”

Whether the whole group is together on Sunday or not, it looks like they all will be one the field when the games start to count on September 10.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Scot McCloughan told Adam Schefter he cried when he left the Redskins

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Scot McCloughan told Adam Schefter he cried when he left the Redskins

ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter hosts a podcast called "Know Them From Adam." His guest on Wednesday's episode was former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan, who discussed everything from his professional plans to predictions for breakout rookies this year.

Schefter often wraps up podcast interviews by asking his guest the last time he or she cried. When he put the same question to McCloughan, he got a very sincere answer. 

"Probably when I walked out of the Redskins building," McCloughan said. He was relieved of his general manager position in March after two years in Washington.

MORE REDSKINS: McCloughan jokes about not being much help to wife's fantasy league

Elaborating, McCloughan said his tears came from a passion for his job and colleagues. 

"Just passion. A lot of good people there," he said. "A lot relationships you build with coaches, with players, ownership, secreteries, janitors. Just knowing you're leaving that and you're not coming back to it. It's just passion for the people that work so hard in the building."

McCloughan's admission that he cried leaving the Redskins comes on the heels of his decision to join Twitter. His first tweet was about how much he missed the franchise and its fans. 

Since joining the social media platform, McCloughan has fielded football questions and reiterated his affection for his time in Washington.