Top Washington D.C. Sports Stories 2011, No. 2: Rex Grossman, John Beck And Redskins' QB Controversy

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 04: Rex Grossman #8 of the Washington Redskins and John Beck #12 of the Washington Redskins walk onto the field before a game against the New York Jets at FedExField on December 4, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The battle between Rex Grossman and John Beck for the Redskins' starting quarterback job is story No. 2 on our list.

It's a tradition as old as the Washington Redskins' franchise itself. It's a quarterback controversy. The only difference in 2011 is that, when given the choice between Rex Grossman and John Beck, most Redskins fans would have chosen neither. Still, someone had to emerge, and in the end, it was Grossman, but not after one of the more forgetful "battles" of all time.

The wheels were put in place in April, when Mike Shanahan, despite the spectacular Donovan McNabb failure, elected to pass on taking a quarterback at the 2012 NFL Draft. From there, a lockout helped provide momentum for Beck, even though his only previous experience was being benched on a 1-15 team. As Grossman figured out his own free agency situation, Beck was installed as the de facto starter, and once Grossman returned, the battle was on. Along the way, Shanahan made perhaps his clumsiest public statement yet, saying he staked his reputation on both being able to play.

Eventually, despite reports that the "fix" was in for Beck, Grossman won the job. But after a disasterous four-interception performance against the Eagles, Grossman was out and Beck was in. Here was Shanahan's chance to prove the naysayers wrong. Instead, the Redskins never led in losing all three games Beck started in blowout fashion. Grossman ended up finishing the season strong, and Beck's opportunity faded by the wayside.

The hope is that we'll all look back at 2011 as the year two bad quarterbacks kept the seat warm for whichever phenom the team takes in the 2012 NFL Draft. Either way, the Rex-Beck battle was entertaining in a sadistic sort of way.

For the complete D.C. Top 10 of 2011 countdown, visit this StoryStream. For more coverage of Washington D.C. sports, visit our D.C. blogs:

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