FLOWERY BRANCH — There’s a chance the Falcons will sign quarterback Rex Grossman and I’m sensing the immediate reaction among the fanbase is: “AAAAAAGGH!” But there’s nothing wrong with the team’s move, other than it shines a light 0n one of the shortcomings of the team’s offseason.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Tuesday, “I wouldn’t (read) too much into” the fact the Falcons have brought the veteran into camp for a physical and a tryout (though they haven’t signed him, yet). Quinn maintains the move is reflective of something he and general manager Thomas Dimitroff would do at any position to potentially create competition, not just quarterback.
UPDATE: The Falcons officially signed Grossman this morning, after he had worked out for the team and passed a physical Tuesday.
This is what we call: spin. If Quinn and Dimitroff were really happy with how backups T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree have looked in mini-camps, training camp and two exhibition games, they wouldn’t even be looking at Grossman. Nobody thought about bringing him in before training camp. That should tell you something.
— The good news is that Grossman may improve the Falcons’ backup quarterback situation.
— The bad news is that Grossman may improve the Falcons’ backup quarterback situation.
He is 35 years old and hasn’t taken a snap since 2011, when he started 11 games for Washington. He was on the Redskins’ roster in 2012 and 2013 and was out of football in 2014 after being cut in the preseason by Cleveland. (The Browns sought to re-sign him for one week in December for the veteran minimum after losing Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer to injuries, but Grossman passed, preferring to spend the holidays with his family in Palm Beach rather than collect a game check in excess of $50,000. Must be nice.)
I don’t have a problem with the Falcons’ bringing in Grossman, or even signing him if it comes to that. He has played 54 NFL games, started 47 and, yes, was Chicago’s starting quarterback in 2006 when the Bears went to the Super Bowl.
If he a starting-caliber quarterback now? Of course not. But the Falcons could make worst decisions for a backup behind Matt Ryan, and they apparently have.
Statistics in exhibition games can be misleading, but Yates isn’t making a strong case for himself, completing only 17 of 30 attempts for 183 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions (rating: 46.9). Renfree has been a little better: 16 for 21, 162 yards, zero TDs but also zero interceptions (rating: 97.7). Each has been sacked twice.
If Ryan goes down, the Falcons are dead, anyway. But it would be nice to think they have a reasonable option behind him.
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