'Skins' QB battle down to wire

Redskins' head coach Mike Shanahan still can't say whether Rex Grossman (above) or John Beck will...

Redskins' head coach Mike Shanahan still can't say whether Rex Grossman (above) or John Beck will be his team's starting quarterback when the NFL season begins. (Getty Images)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:58 AM ET

TORONTO - Washington’s quarterback battle will go right down to the wire.

Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said on Monday he won’t announce his starter until “right before” the team opens the regular season against the New York Giants.

Shanahan would not say if Rex Grossman or John Beck would start on Thursday at Baltimore and added that the two were “very close right now.”

Grossman has looked solid, but the team seems to be quite high on Beck and most expect him to eventually get the nod.

Despite not playing at all last season, Beck appears to be a favourite of Shanahan’s, who traded for him and dealt away Donovan McNabb.

Beck has only played five NFL games total, passing for one touchdown and three interceptions but the Redskins appear entranced by the unknown, vs. the mediocre Grossman (40 all-time touchdowns, 40 interceptions).

The duo has alternated the first two pre-season starts and both will get snaps with the first unit against Baltimore.

Their performance against the tough Ravens defence will go a long way towards deciding who will be the man in 2011.

Still, with Beck apparently the apple of Shanahan’s eye, Grossman will have to show a lot to emerge as the man.

Young claims misquote

Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but another athlete is claiming he was taken out of context.

Vince Young, who called the Philadelphia Eagles a “Dream Team” when he came on-board to back up Michael Vick, said he was misquoted. Or was he?

“My words always get taken out of context,” Young told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“It’s just basically what I mean. We do have some really talented guys and I feel like if we continue to keep working and taking care of our responsibilities and finish like a team like we want to finish I feel like that’s pretty much how I called it.”

Um, isn’t that what you said originally Vince?

“You can’t tell me not what to say. At the same time, that’s just how I feel.”

Maybe Young isn’t entirely clear what out of context means.

He’s still saying the Eagles are a star-laden squad and that they will be a force.

Kind of like a “Dream Team.”

Regardless, Young has put pressure on the Eagles to live up to immense expectations.

And is he really the guy to be doing that if he won’t even see action unless Vick gets hurt?

Ban on Raiders-49ers pre-season games

Fan violence is going to result in the end of pre-season games between the rival San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.

The San Jose Mercury News said Monday, citing a high-ranking NFL source, that the annual games will not continue thanks to Saturday night’s mayhem.

With local police and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee railing against the violence, the NFL had little choice.

There were fights in the stands between rival fans and one, now in fair condition, was shot. Others might also have been shot, according to reports.

“They were just constantly wailing at each other without regard to who was there,” Lee said.

“This is a family outing, for residents and visitors and people who want to see the game, not for people to look for people they don’t like, then saying bad words, then getting into it.”

Another fan was also in fair condition after being beaten in a washroom.

Speculation is rampant that much of the violence was perpetrated by rival gang members.

Niners president Jed York suggested on KNBR Radio in San Francisco that there should be less pre-season games, since the same, better-behaved fans who go to regular season games don’t attend the pre-season contests.

Earlier this year, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers fans came to blows leaving one with severe brain injuries.

The game might return eventually, but expect it to be off for at least a year or two.

Haynesworth gets probation

Albert Haynesworth has dealt with his court case, but he still might be punished by the NFL.

Haynesworth pleaded no contest to a charge of simple assault on Monday.

He had been charged with allegedly touching a waitress’ breast at a Washington hotel.

The New England Patriot and former Redskin will be on probation for 18 months and will have to serve 160 hours of community service. The case would be dropped if Haynesworth avoids further issues during that time.

The big man has had legal problems in the past, but escaped the more serious charge of sexual abuse, which could have landed him in jail for six months.

The NFL Players’ Association has argued that infractions occurring during the lockout should not result in sanctions by the league, but the lockout wasn’t on in February, when the incident occurred.

Expect Haynesworth to receive at least a fine and maybe a small suspension, given his past transgressions. He was once suspended for five games for an ugly stomping incident which was, at the time, the longest ever suspension for an on-field action.

He was fined again the next year and has also been involved in several traffic incidents.


Videos

Photos