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Larry Michael chimes in on McNabb's benching

By Dan Steinberg

Look, I've had my share of fun with the Donovan McNabb benching story, at one point writing 482 consecutive blog posts on the subject. It's a classic D.C. sports media story: two prominent men, a quarterback controversy, a garbled explanation, and a host of national names jostling to get involved. If you bench Donovan McNabb for the final two minutes of a one-possession game, you're asking the media to go berserk.

That said, I don't think this means much of anything going forward. The "Albert Haynesworth Distraction" didn't stop the Redskins from going 4-4 in the first half, which -- at the worst -- is about what you'd have expected. And aside from a bunch of over-the-top rhetoric about what this means for the McNabb extension, I think the D.C. media has been fairly normal about the whole thing, frothing about Shanahan's shifting explanations but never suggesting the season or his tenure was doomed, that I can recall. I think a few fans (and some national media voices) have been far more apocalyptic about the whole thing.

Anyhow, the one thing that was clearly missing was a dollop of media criticism from everybody's favorite media critic, Redskins play-by-play voice Larry Michael. He finally came through during Wednesday's episode of Redskins Nation. And yes, he fingered the true culprit: media haters.

"People are beginning to take sides, and there's several, obviously, members of the media in D.C. who would love to see the Redskins fail. They'll do anything they can in their power to try to create some kind of controversy. And of course, this controversy was brought upon the team by themselves. Obviously they're not playing well, the offensive line not protecting Donovan McNabb, the reason for Mike Shanahan pulling Donovan McNabb has been expressed in so many different ways.

"But I've got to tell you what, folks. If you're questioning the loyalty that Mike Shanahan has towards this football team, you're going down the wrong road, because Mike Shanahan, when he first got here, selected this team. He took a look at all the players from last year's tape. Every single play was looked at by Mike Shanahan. And don't forget where we're coming from the last couple of years. So when Mike Shanahan got on board, everybody got on board. And Bruce Allen -- obviously a big part of the football program now. They're trying to install a program that will last for years to come. This isn't a one-year fix for the Redskins; this is a long-term project.

"And so every step of the way, everything has been analyzed. But to question the loyalty of Mike Shanahan? Yes, he benched Donovan McNabb. There's no denying that. And he has expressed a variety of reasons for why he did it. And Donovan has talked about his side of the story as well. But after seeing them interact yesterday, after talking to both of them yesterday, I can tell you there's no questioning the loyalty they have towards each other.

"Bottom line is, a move was made and the coach thought it was the best move at the time. Now in hindsight, as we said in the broadcast booth, it was a disaster. Rex Grossman got pounded, the ball, it was horrible, touchdown by Suh, nothing good came of the move, obviously. But don't question the loyalty these guys have towards each other.

"And if you're a hater out there, then go ahead and drink the Haterade. But we've got a football game coming up a week from Monday, the Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. It's a huge game. If the Redskins win that game, they would have beaten the Eagles two times in one year, they'd be 3-0 in the division. Think about it! Zero wins in the division last year, and if they win the next game it's 3-0.

"So what's most important to you, the Redskin fans. Is it what the writers and sports talk show hosts are spewing, or is it the bottom line? Larry Weisman gave us the report card before. The Redskins are 4-4. You've got some passing grades, you've got some grades that could really use some improvement. But 4-4 at the mid-way point is a whole lot better than where we were last year."

By Dan Steinberg  | November 3, 2010; 11:26 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Comments

Larry Michael is a tool.

THe entire Redskin organization is a mess. A blithering mess.

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | November 3, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Thought Larry made some excellent points.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 3, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Redskins Nation = Fox News
Larry Michael = Glenn Beck

Posted by: rucks35 | November 4, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

rucks35 = Dallas fan
never even been to Dallas = never even watched Glenn Beck

Posted by: ae3td | November 4, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Larry Michael is a Dan Snyder stooge. His main job is to spew the company line. No one watches that stupid show and a majority of fans would like to see him removed from the broadcast booth. If only a new owner would buy the team and get Herzog back...

Posted by: dbunkr | November 4, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I have been afflicted with some sort of malady, whereby every time I see the words "Larry Michael" in print, my eyes only see the words "pompous a$$clownery" in that space.

Posted by: RCBJr | November 4, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Is there anyone out there with less credibility and a microphone than Larry Michael?

Posted by: kingrob76 | November 4, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I think the mainstream Washington media tends to go easy on Larry Michael because he's just a stooge, and real reporters probably pity him in some ways. To the fans, though, the very fans to whom Michael is appealing, I don't think there's a more hated figure in DC sports. Michael defended JimVinnyZornCerrato against the media all last year, no matter how bad things got, so he's obviously a company man. Add to that the man he replaced in the broadcast booth, who is a local legend and belongs in the pro football hall of fame as an announcer, and it gets worse. Not to mention said local legend was gracelessly dismissed. And, to top it all off, Michael is a terrible play by play announcer by any objective measure. He can't keep up with what's happening on the field and does a terrible job of painting a picture for the listener.

Larry Michael shouldn't even mention this fiasco - benching McNabb was nowhere near as dumb a move for this organization as dismissing Herzog.

Posted by: crashinghero | November 4, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Who is the better journalist/broadcaster: Larry Michael or Colin Cowherd?

That's a really tough call, isn't it?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | November 4, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Just to reiterate Dan - I'm pretty sure I hate Larry Michael more than Tony Romo and Sidney Crosby combined. How about a poll?

Posted by: crashinghero | November 4, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

What's this "we" business? I thought the media was supposed to be neutral. You never heard Frank Herzog say "we" when talking about the Skins. I think that speaks for itself.

Posted by: stwasm | November 4, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

What's this "we" business? I thought the media was supposed to be neutral. You never heard Frank Herzog say "we" when talking about the Skins. I think that speaks for itself.

____________________________________________

Um Larry Michael is not a member of the media he is a paid employee of the Redskins so he should say we. And what he is saying is exactly correct in this Internet, Twitting, Sports talk radio world we want to take everything and make it the end of the world. It was most def a mistake to pull Mcnabb, and a worse explaination of why he was pulled. But to think that Shanny and Mcnabb (both Shannies) haven't sit down and gotten this out of the way is crazy. This is not that big a deal as a lot of the media wants you to believe.

Posted by: wstclair | November 4, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"People are beginning to take sides, and there's several, obviously, members of the media in D.C. who would love to see the Redskins fail. They'll do anything they can in their power to try to create some kind of controversy. And of course, this controversy was brought upon the team by themselves."

The Redskins do plenty on their own to make sure they fail. And when you got thru coaches and QBs like socks, you bring controversy on yourself.

Posted by: Rhino20 | November 4, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

What's this "we" business? I thought the media was supposed to be neutral. You never heard Frank Herzog say "we" when talking about the Skins. I think that speaks for itself.

__________________________________________

And as for Frank Herzog his time came an went move on. Truthfully it is time for Sam Huff to move on to much respect to him but he brings nothing to the broadcast but a bunch of rambling for the most part. They need to cut him loose and get somebody else in there. Larry Michael does a good job calling the games he is a pro at that whether you like his editorals or not.

Posted by: wstclair | November 4, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Thought Larry made some excellent points.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 3, 2010 11:43 PM

Not surprising. "Barno," loosely translated, means Larry Micheal. In the language of Retard.

Posted by: mack1 | November 4, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The future is now!

Posted by: pearlbullets | November 4, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Since when did Larry become the Redskins ombudsman hahaha?/ Also, since when did everyone use the work hater? I hear that idiot Chad Dukes call everyone who disagrees with him a hater, and he's the biggest hater on the airwaves!

Posted by: eternale5150 | November 4, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

What a company shill ol' Larry is. A carnival barker w/ no shame.

Posted by: ridgely1 | November 4, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"rucks35 = Dallas fan
never even been to Dallas = never even watched Glenn Beck"

Hey, I'm just another life-long Skins fan who REALLY misses Frank, Sonny, and Sam. Lord knows we need something to drown out the parade of former Cowgirls that Fox forces upon us every Sunday.

Posted by: rucks35 | November 4, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

This organization is such a disgrace. Same tired story every year - mediocre at best and disastrous at worst on the field, blaming everything bad that happens on the big bad media.

Michaels himself called the game on Sunday a "disaster." Now he's been slapped down and told to sing publicly about how the media is out to get Danny Boy and his Redskins.

It's so, so old at this point. A dozen years of consistent idiocy have devalued this product almost beyond salvage. It was sad for a while - now it's almost comical.

Posted by: thediesel | November 4, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Who said Shanahan wasn't loyal to the Redskins??? He made a boneheaded move, then gave multiple and contradictory reasons as to why he made the boneheaded move, trotted Jr. out to tell some cockamamie story about how they told McNabb they might take him out (something McNabb says never happened) and then bring in a knucklehead like JaMarcus Russell in to workout for the team. They deserve ALL of the criticism they get locally and nationally. If Shanahan didn't have two SB rings, they would be trying to run him out of town right now, so luckily for him he's earned a mulligan.

Posted by: Kolchak | November 4, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I live out of town these days so I am being sincere when I ask who in the world is Larry Michael.I never heard of him before.....is he related to Bret

Posted by: hunterpyroattackpo | November 4, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I live out of town these days so I am being sincere when I ask who in the world is Larry Michael.I never heard of him before.....is he related to Bret

Posted by: hunterpyroattackpo | November 4, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Less credibility: Larry Michael or barno1?

Answer: Scoreless tie.

Posted by: Gunga2009 | November 4, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Larry Michaels is a shill for Snyder...

... but I also think he makes some excellent points here.

Even before the benching, numerous writers at the Post were on the Shanahan attack. And the number 5 attack as well. What's so ironic about the benching is that the same writers defending McNabb now were very critical of him before -- especially in the two minute offense! If he hadn't gotten benched and had gone four and out, you can be damn sure guys like Jason Reid would be quoting "sources" close to the team who think McNabb should be benched.

Guys like Reid and Wise have turned the sports page into a tabloid. Everything they write isn't based on facts and exists only to stir up controversy. Remember the countless articles blasting Shanahan for cutting super-talent Devin Thomas? Oh yeah, he's lighting it up for the Panthers. Dude has been inscribe for two games and hasn't impressed in practice. You don't see Reid reporting that. Why? Because it means that maybe, just maybe Shanahan knows more than he does about football.

Posted by: MylesMonroe | November 4, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Where was Larry wrong in his statement?

Posted by: rickyroge | November 4, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Larry wasn't wrong, people just dislike how politically correct he is all the time. But lately I have noticed he and Larry Weisman coming out of their shells a little bit. I guess this really made Larry Michael mad haha.

Posted by: eternale5150 | November 4, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"I have been afflicted with some sort of malady, whereby every time I see the words "Larry Michael" in print, my eyes only see the words "pompous a$$clownery" in that space.

Posted by: RCBJr"

^Post of the day, week, month, century.

One thing that does not change about this low class loser organization (besides Comrade Snyder's ineptitude and gouging and mistreatment of fans which they happily lap up) is the tired and contrived "attack the media" card.

So somehow, the Post conjured up a spell to make the Shanahans give consecutive, contradictory, credibility gap statements? Please sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here.

Posted by: playahatah | November 4, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh I just hate it when the local sports show guy has the same appreciation for the local team as I do. Man, I just hate that! Hate guys like George Michael and Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier and Glen Brenner and Chick Hernandez and Larry Michael. You know, guys that always accentuated the positives of our local teams....why can't they be more negative?!?!? Get them out of here!

Posted by: Barno1 | November 4, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Mike Wise in his article questioned the concept of loyalty with the Redskins. Clearly, Larry Michael is referring to Mike Wise as a Redskins hater. Wise is not a Redskins hater - far from it. But Larry Michael, employed by Snyder, is an incompetent, butt kissing weasel just like all the other Snyder stooges working on Snyder's radio station, ESPN 980 and that includes know nothing Doc Walker. As a Redskins fan, I have never been more embarassed by a Coach than by Shanahan after his comments on Sunday and Monday. Putting up with Richie Petitbon was tough, but this takes the cake. Zorn, Norv, all of them had their flaws but none of them demonstrated such ludicrous and ridiculous reasons for benching a player as Shanahan did. I really thought that Shanahan was a smart man but actually it's a lot easier to listen to Wade Phillips. I can't believe I said that.

Posted by: getitritegov | November 4, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable. We have fans who say they prefer Wade Phillips now to Shanahan.

If Shanny coached the cowboys, they would be running away with the division. He is doing twice the job with half the talent.

Some of you guys are nuts.

Posted by: MylesMonroe | November 4, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Larry paid by Dan "THE GENIUS" Snyder? Enough said.

Posted by: 44fx2901 | November 4, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Larry Michael is a tool.

THe entire Redskin organization is a mess. A blithering mess.

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | November 3, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse
----

...another Caps fan bitter that they don't receive a fifth of the coverage the Redskins do, despite their winning ways.

Get over it. I like the Caps, but football is the premier sport in this town. On top of that, the Caps look great, all the way until they flop in the playoffs. You want more recognition? You want to claim the Capitals are a great organization? Then AT LEAST WIN THE CONFERENCE, FOR GOD'S SAKE.

That would be a start.

Larry Michaels is biased of course, but so is the Post and the FAN (106.7). Each have clear agendas - one pro-Redskins and the other anti-Redskins. I think that is rather obvious.

Posted by: shaunsherman12 | November 4, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

You're right, this is going to take a long time, however, if the Redskins and Mike S. lose McNabb(for whatever reason), then tack on an extra year or two because you've wasted this year with McNabb at QB. And Rex is not the answer. He's someone that know the offense and could come in for a game or two if McNabb got hurt. Also, it would be interesting to see Mike bench some other players that have bad games. What about dropped balls? missed tackles, missed blocks, fumbles.....

Posted by: larry40 | November 4, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Just win baby

Posted by: jgarrisn | November 4, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

how embarrassing. just to read it was embarrassing...

Posted by: funkey | November 4, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone truly think that Larry Michael would criticize Shanahan?

Just this small section say everything you need to know about Michael, "And so every step of the way, everything has been analyzed. But to question the loyalty of Mike Shanahan? Yes, he benched Donovan McNabb. There's no denying that. And he has expressed a variety of reasons for why he did it".

Shanahan expressed a variety of reasons for doing it and each and everyone of the reasons was stupid and a lie. That's the problem with the Redskins, they are full of "yes" men like Michael. Shanahan fully expected that the media would accept his explanation without question. He was shocked when they didn't, so he had to come up with more lies to cover the first lie.

Larry Michael got his job by kissing Snyder's butt and stabbing Frank Herzog in the back. Now he wants people to respect him and listen to what he says! Why should we?

Posted by: JAMNEW | November 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I know I shouldn't, but god I HATE this guy!!!!

Posted by: peauxsucent | November 6, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

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