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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."

By Dan Steinberg  | November 1, 2010; 3:24 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Next: McNabb's cardiovascular endurance

Comments

Go get randy moss redskins dont have a wr bigger than 5'10 (moss moss armstrong colley davis) make the Move!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: fbelton | November 1, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

What an absolute shock no analyst/former player didn't support that decision. Then again, if Sexy Rexy would've miraculously led the team to a win with 2 min left, these same ah@les would not have commented.

Posted by: dpkennedy | November 1, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The thing that really stinks is that on a day when the Cowboys gave up, Shanahan managed to make us the laughingstock of the league.

dpkennedy- do you really think that Rex could have led a comeback just like that without even warming up? Against that defensive line? I mean this is like betting your entire year's salary on the lottery because you are upset at your coworker. No poise or intelligence from the coaching staff at all.

Posted by: supattapone | November 1, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

There's no quarterback controversy. There's no locker room split, unless it's the entire organization versus Kyle, and that's not a split. There's no dissension.

Mike made the mistake of giving into Kyle's request to give Rex a try, given McNabb's uneven performance over the past few weeks, which we've all witnessed.

Obviously, the O-line, not McNabb, was chiefly at fault throughout the game. McNabb is the playmaker, and he's the one who knew where the pass rush pressure was coming from and the speed and feel of the game. Grossman was coming in cold with no feel whatsoever.

This was a poor decision that won't be repeated. So where's the controversy?

McNabb, like London Fletcher, built his career on proving doubters wrong. The MAN spent ten years putting up with Philly's fan-base. He and the rest of the 'Skins will spend the bye week pissed off. The stadium's going to be ROCKING Monday night in two weeks.

Posted by: belly_kilmer | November 1, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Shannahan is chip off old Synder's block

Posted by: 44fx2901 | November 1, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Whew... when I saw Wilbon's comments I got nervous. But, I'm pleased to see the story is still somehow about him. So very relieved.

Posted by: TheDubb | November 1, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The Redkins staff must be drinking the same water as the Wizards. They both find new ways to destroy the team and the season.

Posted by: tws1372 | November 1, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Get it over with, just BENCH Kyle!

Posted by: moralcompass1 | November 1, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to stop bashing Grossman! It wasn't his decision to replace McNabb... He said he wasn't even given enough time to warm up, that's how quickly Shannahan pulled the trigger.

I think it was purely a gut reaction by Shannahan and he was sick of McNabb throwing worm burners in front of the receivers. I know McNabb is a great guy.... blah blah blah.... there is a reason by Any Reid let him walk! McNabb has no touch, except with the long ball and he does not have command of the offense. One can certainly argue that he lacks talent around him (O-line and WR's), but McNabb himself has not been stellar this year.

McNabb is one of those players that can make a spectacular play but he cannot make the routine play. In order to win consistently in this league, the QB has to make the routine play 95% of the time and make the spectacular plays 5% of the time.

Stop trashing Grossman.... he did take the Bears to the Superbowl.

Posted by: sd-bones | November 1, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to stop bashing Grossman! It wasn't his decision to replace McNabb... He said he wasn't even given enough time to warm up, that's how quickly Shannahan pulled the trigger.

I think it was purely a gut reaction by Shannahan and he was sick of McNabb throwing worm burners in front of the receivers. I know McNabb is a great guy.... blah blah blah.... there is a reason by Any Reid let him walk! McNabb has no touch, except with the long ball and he does not have command of the offense. One can certainly argue that he lacks talent around him (O-line and WR's), but McNabb himself has not been stellar this year.

McNabb is one of those players that can make a spectacular play but he cannot make the routine play. In order to win consistently in this league, the QB has to make the routine play 95% of the time and make the spectacular plays 5% of the time.

Stop trashing Grossman.... he did take the Bears to the Superbowl.

Posted by: sd-bones | November 1, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the lame excuse he offered, Mike Shanahan showed courage and took less than a half season to identify what it took Andy Reid a decade to admit to. Washington, welcome to the Donovan McNabb circus - big yardage, choreographed public persona, but not clutch. He's not the answer in DC, either.

Posted by: coolbeap | November 1, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Ahem - where was the OFFENSIVE LINE? When are they going to show up? How many times has Donovan been sacked so far?

Give me a break, Shanahan - I'm really questioning your intelligence now!

Posted by: id4wendy | November 1, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Ahem - where was the OFFENSIVE LINE? When are they going to show up? How many times has Donovan been sacked so far?

Give me a break, Shanahan - I'm really questioning your intelligence now!

Posted by: id4wendy | November 1, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Shanny is an egomaniac. This isnt surprising, except to those Skins fans who seemed to forget he was FIRED by the owner and team that he won 2 Superbowls with. He's a walking disaster

Posted by: divi3 | November 1, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Now we remembe why Philadelphia got rid of him. He throws to receivers feet rather than their hands. Then yesterday, on the two two point conversion attempts he throws bullets for a five yard pass. No human could have caught them. Then with a lead with under five minutes to go he throws in to triple coverage. He has considerable physical talent but he has no touch and very little brain.

Posted by: hammeresq | November 1, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Now we remembe why Philadelphia got rid of him. He throws to receivers feet rather than their hands. Then yesterday, on the two two point conversion attempts he throws bullets for a five yard pass. No human could have caught them. Then with a lead with under five minutes to go he throws in to triple coverage. He has considerable physical talent but he has no touch and very little brain.

Posted by: hammeresq | November 1, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Now we remembe why Philadelphia got rid of him. He throws to receivers feet rather than their hands. Then yesterday, on the two two point conversion attempts he throws bullets for a five yard pass. No human could have caught them. Then with a lead with under five minutes to go he throws in to triple coverage. He has considerable physical talent but he has no touch and very little brain.

Posted by: hammeresq | November 1, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg, that's an awesome collection of quotations.

Nice out from Michael Irvin, too--you are good, man, real good. Great reading.

Posted by: farstriker | November 1, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

What an absolute shock no analyst/former player didn't support that decision. Then again, if Sexy Rexy would've miraculously led the team to a win with 2 min left, these same ah@les would not have commented.

Posted by: dpkennedy | November 1, 2010 3:35 PM
___________________________________________

That would not have been a miracle. That would have been evidence of end of days. I would have been too busy repenting my sins and trying to get right with God to pay attention to TV.

Posted by: gbooksdc | November 1, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Both McNabb AND Shanahan blew it yesterday -- 5 with the pick, and coach with the bench. To be honest, I have no problem with Shanahan holding every single player on the team accountable for their play, and this season we've seen nothing but very mediocre play from McNabb. The pick was the last straw -- awful awful decision. Shanahan actually did McNabb a huge favor by benching him, assuming all of the media attention on himself and not 5's poor play. Donovan is gone next year, but I think that's ok for both parties -- he's not the long term answer, anyway.

Posted by: John_Keats | November 1, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I think I just invented a new word. Shanaf . . k!

Even if we lost, I still would have been happy with my skins 4-4. Now it's a different story. The stupidity of the last 11 years has not ended. Shanad.!ck, there is only one way out of this: A playoff birth!!!!!

Posted by: nehocdavis | November 1, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

"Mike Shanahan showed courage and took less than a half season to identify what it took Andy Reid a decade to admit to."

Are you from another planet? The Eagles front office made the decision to get rid of McNabb, not Reid. McNabb was the more expensive player, and they didn't pay all three of those guys. They figured that they'd cut their losses and hopefully end up with around the same record they would've with McNabb. (That remains to be seen.) It's a little startling how little some DC sports fans know about football. Especially simple things. For one, you cannot patch over a sorrowful OLINE by throwing the QB under the bus. Fox had a stat up about how much McNabb is pressured. How many times he gets hit. That has nothing to do with cardio. That has everything to do with the guys on the other team being in your backfield a second after you hike the ball. With the oline and the receivers and the running backs being below average, what do you expect McNabb to do, toss the ball up and catch it himself? It's not going to happen. 8-8 will be a triumph given how bad the offensive Redskins personnel is.

Posted by: livingdown | November 2, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

"Mike Shanahan showed courage and took less than a half season to identify what it took Andy Reid a decade to admit to."

Are you from another planet? The Eagles front office made the decision to get rid of McNabb, not Reid. McNabb was the more expensive player, and they didn't pay all three of those guys. They figured that they'd cut their losses and hopefully end up with around the same record they would've with McNabb. (That remains to be seen.) It's a little startling how little some DC sports fans know about football. Especially simple things. For one, you cannot patch over a sorrowful OLINE by throwing the QB under the bus. Fox had a stat up about how much McNabb is pressured. How many times he gets hit. That has nothing to do with cardio. That has everything to do with the guys on the other team being in your backfield a second after you hike the ball. With the oline and the receivers and the running backs being below average, what do you expect McNabb to do, toss the ball up and catch it himself? It's not going to happen. 8-8 will be a triumph given how bad the offensive Redskins personnel is.

Posted by: livingdown | November 2, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

"Stop trashing Grossman.... he did take the Bears to the Superbowl."

As a Bears fan, I disagree with that statement. Our defense, Devin Hester, Robbie Gould, and a chartered plane took us to Miami. Rex was a turnover machine and played scared. He never steps up in the pocket. He just runs backwards and throws up a duck. That is if he doesn't fumble.

Rex was a liability after the Cardinals game that year. The game were Hester bailed us out and Denny Green gave the "They are who we thought they were" press conference.

Anyway, we have a term for fumbling a snap in Chicago. It's called "Rexing a snap" and you don't want to see it.

Posted by: BlahBlahBlah314 | November 2, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

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