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Shanahan says he’ll stake his reputation on Grossman, Beck

Mike Shanahan

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan paces the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, in Landover, Md. The Eagles defeated the Redskins 59-28. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


After the Redskins didn’t use a first-round or second-day pick on a quarterback, word began to emerge that John Beck could be the guy in D.C. It appeared to be a smokescreen aimed at giving the Redskins leverage when it comes to signing or trading for a veteran quarterback.

Apparently, it wasn’t.

Coach Mike Shanahan seems to be intent on going with Beck and Rex Grossman, who remains unsigned.

“You talk about a guy not being experienced — I believe in the guys,” Shanahan told reporters on Friday, per the Associated Press. “I believe in ‘em. And I’ve been doing this for a long time. And I put my reputation on these guys that they can play.”

Redskins fans everywhere surely are willing to take him up on that. Especially the Redskins fan who signs the checks.

Shanahan also addressed the failed Donovan McNabb experiment. The Redskins gave up a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick for McNabb. The team also gave him a new contract during the season (after a benching), which contained a $2.5 million signing bonus. They traded him this week for a sixth-round pick in 2012 and a conditional sixth-rounder in 2013.

“We were hoping he would fit into our system,” Shanahan said. “I told Donovan when he came in here, I said: ‘Hey, here are the reasons why I think Philly did not sign you’ — they were going to go with [Kevin] Kolb — ‘this is what you’re going to have to do to stay on our football team for a number of years. If you do that, I think you’ve got a chance to go to the Pro Bowl and do the things you’ve been doing throughout your career.’ It didn’t work out.”

So can it work out for McNabb in Minnesota?

“I think Donovan has a great future ahead of him — if he decides to do the little things that he needs to do to get to the next level.”

Shanahan wouldn’t say what those “little things” are. Perhaps he didn’t want to be talking until midnight.