Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan announced Monday that Rex Grossman will start over John Beck in the season opener Sunday when they host the New York Giants.

The decision to go with the more experienced Grossman indicates that the Redskins believe they can compete now instead of merely building for the future.

The move comes as somewhat of a surprise after an offseason during which Shanahan spoke glowingly of Beck and Beck essentially pronounced himself the starter. Instead, Grossman, who led the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season but hasn’t began a season as a starter in four years, will call the signals for Washington.

Beck is more athletic than Grossman, and Mike Shanahan favors quarterbacks who can run side to side in his zone blocking scheme. Shanahan has also admired the 30-year-old Beck since he played at Brigham Young University and was drafted in the second round by the Miami Dolphins in 2007.  But Grossman, 31, has considerably more pro experience, having played in 44 NFL games to just five for Beck.

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