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Grossman Happy To Be 'In the Mix' In Washington

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Rex Grossman has had some "down times," as he has called it, during his 7-year NFL career.

His travails include a series of injuries and struggles with turnovers as a quarterback with the Chicago Bears.

Easily forgotten, it seems, are the triumphs.

In 2006, Grossman guided the Chicago Bears to a 13-3 record and an appearance in Super Bowl XLI, the first for the franchise in 21 years.

Still, when Grossman's name comes up, the tendency seems to be to focus on the negative.

After the Redskins signed Grossman on Wednesday, the reaction among fans on sports talk radio and Internet message boards was hardly upbeat.

First things first: the signing does not mean Grossman is going to supplant Jason Campbell as the Redskins' starting quarterback.

It's expected that Grossman, 29, is going to serve as a backup to Campbell.

The Redskins had an opening for an experienced quarterback after the team released Todd Collins on March 4. Collins had served as Campbell's primary backup the last two seasons.

In a media session at Redskins Park on Thursday, Grossman said he hopes to be "in the mix" at quarterback.

And that's it.

"Nobody has presented any scenario to me," he said. "They just said they're glad to have me as part of the team, and that's how I'm taking it. I'm here to help the Redskins win the Super Bowl whatever way I can and I just want to be thrown in the mix."

Asked if he expected to be a starter again in the NFL, Grossman replied: "Yeah, that's my goal. I want to start in this league and get back there and play. Every quarterback that plays in the NFL wants to start, so that's kind of an odd question, I guess.

"But I definitely think I can and I've got a lot of confidence in myself. Hopefully this is a stepping-stone to the second half of my career."

The first half of Grossman's career began in 2003 when he was a first-round draft pick (22nd overall) by the Bears.

He struggled with injuries early in his career, including a knee injury in 2004 and a fractured ankle in 2005.

Then, in 2006, Grossman had his best season.

He started all 16 games and completed 262-of-480 passes for 3,193 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. In the Super Bowl, a 29-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, he completed 20-of-28 passes for 165 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

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Despite his success that season, Grossman was often criticized for erratic passing while with the Bears. Interceptions have been a lingering problem--he has 36 in 37 NFL games.

He was not offered a contract by the Bears following the 2008 season and he eventually landed with the Houston Texans.

Grossman tutored under Kyle Shanahan, currently the Redskins' offensive coordinator, in Houston.

It was a good match in Grossman's eyes.

He learned Shanahan's offense as a backup to Matt Schaub, a 2009 Pro Bowler for the Texans. He played in just one game, completing 3-of-9 passes with one interception.

Grossman and Shanahan are reunited in Washington, along with quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur who served in that same role last year in Houston.

"I'm excited that I know the offense, and it's a good offense that I feel comfortable in," he said. "There are a lot of seven-step drops, play action passes that push the ball down the field, as well as your normal West Coast offense, the ball control passing game that everybody does in the league."

Grossman hopes his attachment to Shanahan, who guided the Texans to the NFL's top-ranked passing offense last year, pays dividends in the future.

For now, he has come to terms with his past, particularly his up-and-down tenure in Chicago.

"I view it as there being a lot of positives," he said. "The 2006 season was the only season that I played all 16 games, which turned out to be 19 games, and we won 15 of them. I had some of the best games of my life during that season.

"That's the season that I remember. I had a couple of injuries before that and some down times as well. When I'm 60, I'm going to look back at the Bears situation as being good times."

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