Talk about your all-time backfires
By Evan Bliss
Life is lived forwards and understood backwards, as Kierkegaard wrote, and I can only hope at the end of this season to understand what has transpired here. I’m all too familiar with the Redskin Roller Coaster, available at any participating Six Flags, with the ups and downs, and twists and turns, excitements and disappointments, but the Skins always manage to throw in some steeper drops and more daring cork screws.
Which Shanahan is my question? It was Mike’s call to go with Grossman, claiming Rex Grossman knew the two-minute offense better than Donovan McNabb and gave the Redskins a greater chance to win. Actually, it gave the Lions the better chance to win. I could imagine McNabb tapped Grossman on the shoulder before he went in, then calmly said “watch out for the pressure up the middle.” On what team in the NFL is the back-up quarterback more familiar with the two-minute offense?
Grossman came to the Redskins along with Kyle Shanahan from the Texans to help install Kyle’s offense. So maybe Grossman is technically more familiar with the two-minute offense, but after an entire off-season and seven weeks of games you’d expect your starting pro-bowl quarterback to be able to run that offense efficiently. In fact, McNabb stated in the post-game interview that he was completely comfortable running the two-minute offense. Whether it’s a coach being nitpicky with McNabb knowing 98% of the offense, or McNabb being an overconfident leader in thinking he knows it better than he actually does will remain a mystery.
With Mike Shanahan producing a top-10 offense nearly every year he was in Denver, Kyle Shanahan producing the top offense in Houston for the 2009 season, and Donovan McNabb producing top-five numbers in yards and touchdowns countless times in Philly, there is no reason this offense cannot be successful. So what’s the problem?
Aside from the countless problems on offense, most of which are still on the offensive line, it seems that the biggest offensive failure is between Kyle Shanahan and McNabb, who are oddly enough almost the same age. Kyle clearly wants his offense run a certain way, and McNabb is known for improvising and changing calls at the line of scrimmage. The disagreements will occur when McNabb makes a change and Kyle doesn’t agree with the decision, or McNabb runs an unsuccessful play he didn’t think should’ve been called. One must trust the other.
McNabb plays with a smile, but loyalty, trust, and respect are not concepts he takes lightly. The last time he was benched in Philly the owner and GM gave him a huge financial bonus, something unheard of in this league, and then he winds up in Washington. Whether he stays in Washington after this mindless benching seems less likely to happen. Washington going to the playoffs with McNabb on the bench this year is impossible, regardless of how well Rex Grossman knows the two-minute offense.
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