Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Resurgence for Rex; with McNabb Benched, Former Gators QB Is Ready for Jags

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Resurgence for Rex; with McNabb Benched, Former Gators QB Is Ready for Jags

Article excerpt


Even when he was a starting quarterback on a Super Bowl team, Rex Grossman was made into a punch line rather than respected for it. The common thinking was the Chicago Bears won the NFC in the 2006-07 season despite Grossman rather than because of him.

Grossman doesn't see it that way.

"I don't think I failed in Chicago," Grossman said. "I thought I had a good career, and they just didn't stick with me."

Grossman now has another opportunity with the Washington Redskins. Firmly out of playoff contention, Washington coach Mike Shanahan named Grossman the starter last week, benching quarterback Donovan McNabb.

On Sunday, the Jaguars will face Grossman, a former Gators quarterback, in a place that's very familiar to him.

"When I played in college I was 3-0 and when I redshirted, I think we won also," said Grossman of his time in what was then Alltel Stadium when he played in the Florida-Georgia game. "I love that stadium."

When he left Florida, Grossman was a highly touted quarterback. The Bears took him in the first round, 22nd overall, and with that status came pressure.

That he was playing in Chicago added to the pressure.

"You would rather play in a situation like that, than a situation where they're not as excited about your team and loyal and passionate," he said. "When things don't go well, they panic."

Grossman became Chicago's starter in 2006 and while the Bears fared well that season, he didn't. Grossman threw 20 interceptions and 23 touchdowns. In a game against the Arizona Cardinals, he threw four interceptions and had a passer rating of 10.3. Later that season against the Minnesota Vikings, Grossman threw three interceptions and completed only six passes. The Bears won both games despite his performances.

He stayed with the Bears for two more seasons, but lost the starting job to Kyle Orton. Then, the Bears parted ways with Grossman after the 2008 season.

After a year with the Texans, Grossman came to Washington along with McNabb.

"We've worked together since he came here in April," Grossman said. "We had a great time getting to know each other, getting to know the offense. …

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