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Shanahan open to throwing rookie QB into the fire

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are widely expected to go No. 1 and 2 in next month's draft. Whichever quarterback is passed over by the Indianapolis Colts will land in Washington, where Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is open to starting his rookie passer out of the gate.

"You put him in there when you feel like he's ready to go," Shanahan told The Washington Post at this week's NFL Annual Meeting. "... When you make a move to the second pick in the draft, you've got to feel comfortable with both guys.

"You get someone you feel like can be a franchise quarterback for years to come -- that doesn't happen very often. They're hard to find."

Rex Grossman, meet clipboard. Clipboard, this is Rex.

Let's assume the Redskins wind up with RG3.

Barring a setback, rookie quarterbacks don't sit anymore. The days of watching and learning are over. Last season, Carolina Panthers rookie Cam Newton shredded the Arizona Cardinals on the opening weekend, throwing for 422 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a third. Andy Dalton started 16 games and led the previously moribund Cincinnati Bengals to the postseason.

Shanahan isn't exactly on a long leash in Washington. Building through the draft is off the table, so whether it's Luck or RG3, you'd be wise to tune in early.

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