Shanahan's benching of McNabb not too popular
Hey, I just heard this great interview with EverypersonpaidtotalkabouttheNFL, and he/she/it was just baffled by Mike Shanahan's decision to bench Donovan McNabb in the fourth quarter on Sunday. Oh, and also by Shanahan's explanation. Remember when we used to think Shanahan vs. Haynesworth was a big deal?
Marshall Faulk, Dan Patrick Show: "If you are going to switch quarterbacks, switch quarterbacks. Don't give me that mumbo-jumbo with Rex Grossman. It's not like you replaced Donovan McNabb with Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. This is Rex Grossman you replaced him with. You're not gonna tell me he's running the two-minute drill better than Donovan....It's crazy. We've seen Rex. We've seen him. This is a different Rex than what we saw in Chicago? Why isn't he starting somewhere?...To take the football out of Donovan's hands right there, I mean, he's opened up Pandora's box, and you don't want that. You don't want to be juggling quarterbacks in the NFL."
Mike Ditka, ESPN Radio: "Stop it. Stop it. Just stop it. Right there. Stop it. It makes no sense. I'm not gonna get into it....Stop it. You know, you call it what it is. In my opinion, Donovan McNabb is an outstanding football player. And whether you want to put him in the top quarterbacks in the history of the game, that's up to you, but he's one of the top competitors, and he's a class guy on and off the field. Now you want to say he didn't know the two-minute offense? C'mon. Stop it. That's all I'm gonna say....If they think they can win more games with Rex Grossman at quarterback, God bless 'em. Let 'em go ahead. Fire on. Shoot it. Whatever you want to do. That's fine. But that's foolish, fellas. It's foolish."
Tony Kornheiser, ESPN 980: "Look, you can say Donovan McNabb stinks, you can say he's having a bad game, but when you need a score with less than two minutes to go, you can't trot out anybody who hasn't played in two years, much less somebody who fumbles the ball, stands still, gets hit, isn't large physically....And then to say after the game I thought he gave us a better chance with two minutes to go?...When you do that, you tell your team and you tell the world, pfffttt, No. 5 doesn't do it for me. I would rather put in a guy who can't play than have this guy out there."
Steve Mariucci, NFL Network: "I'd like to ask Mike Shanahan in private 'Really, what's going on here?'...There's no reason that Donovan doesn't know the two-minute drill for the Washington Redskins. I'm baffled by that decision."
James Lofton, Dan Patrick Show: "That could be the most illogical decision of the year, because it can fracture your locker room. Donovan McNabb has been a good soldier bout all of these benchings, but the rest of the troops along with him are going what the heck is going on? It was one thing when it was Albert Haynesworth. Now it's Donovan McNabb, the poster child for how hard we're supposed to work as an organization. To me, it doesn't sit right....Like Ricky said to Lucy, you've got some 'splainin to do."
Cris Carter, ESPN Radio: "If you trade for a guy in April who's played 11, 12 seasons in the NFL, and you can't teach him the two-minute drill by the time we get to the middle of the season, then you would have to be one of the worst coaches in the history of football....When you trade for a guy in the offseason, a guy with the third-highest winning percentage among active quarterbacks, been to five championship games. I mean, no, this is not what happens to a guy like that. I was appalled by the whole thing, and he insulted our intelligence by lying to us after the game....You don't bench a starter, ok? You're talking about one of the most prominent players in the National Football League. You do not bench him."
David Aldridge, ESPN 980: "Donovan McNabb is not gonna re-sign here. That's over. You have now wasted two more draft picks on somebody that's not gonna be here....This is not Jason Campbell, ok? He's not Jason Campbell. This is a guy that got to five NFC championship games and a Super Bowl, ok? Is he as good as Peyton Manning? No. Is he as good as Tom Brady? No. but he's the next best thing you have in this league to those guys. I'm sorry, this makes you reevaluate every decision that Mike Shanahan has made since he's been here. He has opened that can of worms."
Jason Avant, via Philly Sports Daily: Was it the best thing to do for the team? I'm not sure about that one. It's kind of unfortunate. I think Donovan is a winner. When things go bad, it's not the best time to bail on a guy. And it just shows how much trust you have in a guy. I think that if you stick with your guy during a hard time, that he'll respect you more and the team will respect you more. Because now you're looking at Donovan, and you see Shanahan doing that to the leader - now what happens when the cornerback plays bad? What happens when the tight end plays bad? How can I know that if I don't make the best play, he's not going to take me out? It's kind of a rough deal, so I was feeling kind of bad for him."
Deion Sanders, NFL Network: "I don't think that was his decision. I think that came from his son....That makes no sense to disrespect Donovan McNabb that way....He's a pillar of respect in this league. You are going to lose part of the locker room unless you call a team meeting and explain the situation."
Kurt Warner, ESPN Radio: "It says that your head coach doesn't have trust in you, in the most critical situation in any football game, when you're in a position to win. That's exactly the statement if I was in that situation that I would think: this guy doesn't believe in me. He doesn't believe that I can do what needs to be done to help our team win in every situation....Just amazing to me that they pulled him out in this situation, and that after as much time as he's spent in Washington, that Donovan hasn't picked that up and can't run it very efficiently....If we're gonna win games and we're gonna be the team we want to be, your starting quarterback needs to be in there with two minutes to go, when you have a chance to win, every football game."
Michael Wilbon, ESPN 980: "You don't even think to yourself, if you're a good coach, that Rex Grossman can do anything that Donovan McNabb can do as a quarterback, and you certainly don't say it out loud, and you certainly don't tell your team that. So to me, this is a huge, huge deal.....I have not talked to [McNabb] and I'm not gonna talk to him, I don't write about Donovan mcNabb because at this point in our lives we're friends first, and he's not just sort of a news figure to me. He's not. It's not gonna happen that way anymore for us. I don't believe for a second Donovan McNabb's gonna be here next year now. Not a second. Done."
Michael Irvin, NFL Network: "It wasn't just taking Donovan out. It was bringing Rex Grossman in. All of our eyes have seen enough of Rex Grossman."
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