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Redskins' Quarterback Derby Is 'Very Close'

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The competition for the Redskins' starting quarterback job is as tight as ever, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said.

Rex Grossman and John Beck will have their final opportunity to claim the starting job in Thursday night's preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField.

"I think it's very close," Shanahan said. "We've only had three games and John didn't get to play in one. They both have done a good job and put up good numbers. When we review the tape, it's pretty neck and neck."

Grossman and Beck have split playing time in preseason games, with the exception being the opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers that Beck had to sit due to a groin injury.

Through the first three games Rex Grossman has completed 34-of-53 passes for 407 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He has completed 64.2 percent of his passes.

Beck has completed 20-of-27 passes for 248 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He has completed 74.1 percent of his passes.

Because the competition at quarterback is so tight, not even the players know who the starting quarterback will be when the regular season kicks off on Sept. 11.

Shanahan is confident the uncertainty won't affect the team's performance, though.

"These guys are not worried about the quarterbacks," he said. "I think guys are worried about their job and making the team themselves. I think they are worried about beating the guy in front of them. As long as the quarterback can call the plays and execute the offense, the players are going to go with whoever is in there."

The final decision for the quarterback job is going down to the wire.

Practice performance very well could be the deciding factor, Shanahan hinted.

"Without OTAs, there has only been three games and there hasn't been a lot of time in them, especially with John not playing in one," Shanahan said. "So, I think practice is just as big of a factor as games."

Coaches may have an idea who is ahead at this point, but they're not telling.

"I will say, it's not an easy decision," Shanahan said. "They both are right there. They're making it a tough decision."

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