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Shanahan's decision to bench McNabb: still unpopular

So I just came up with a great new idea for a blog post. What if I just watched sports television shows and wrote down all the different ways that the analysts came up with criticizing Mike Shanahan for benching Donovan McNabb?

Yup, this would be Part V of the series, following the initial CSN/MASN reaction, the NBC reaction, the Larry Sonny and Sam reaction, and the Monday morning/afternoon reaction. I'll call this one the Monday Night Reaction.

Chris Mortensen: "Personally I just think that Mike Shanahan was acting in the moment, and in a moment of anger, because this soup has been simmering for a while. It's almost the worst-kept secret in the league, as far as I'm concerned. There's been no enamorement with Donovan McNabb going back to the summer, and then as you went into the season you kept hearing that Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan -- his son and the offensive coordinator of the Redskins -- had not been happy with the way Donovan practices. He doesn't practice at the same tempo they want him to, certainly not accurate, and all those things. To the point that after Week 4, with that wonderful game against the Philadelphia Eagles...they actually discussed benching him at that time, after he beat the Eagles."

Adam Schefter: And the timing of it was a bit curious, because of the bye week and because of the fact that they do play the Eagles [next], and Donovan McNabb does have the support of the players in that locker room. He's a team captain. And that's where this becomes a very tricky, thorny issue for Mike Shanahan to navigate through, that McNabb does have the support that he does."

Steve Young: "[Shanahan] wants quarterbacks that are prepared emotionally, physically and in every way possible, putting every ounce of energy into their team. If he doesn't get it, he's frustrated, and you saw that frustration. And he's the kind of guy that says I don't care if it's Donovan McNabb or Peyton Manning, I don't care who it is, I expect certain things, and if I don't get it, I'm gonna react, and he reacted like I know Mike would, and he's expecting [McNabb] to play better. I think you can take it however you want, but know this: Donovan McNabb needs to pick it up or Mike Shanahan will keep looking...and that's the warning shot right there."

Keyshawn Johnson: "Frustration or not, it was stupid. Just it was stupid. Ok, you don't make a decision to bench your starting quarterback with 1:50 to go, and then give an excuse. [Sunday's] excuse was well, he doesn't know the two-minute, Rex Grossman was in Houston and he was with this guy, he knows the two-minute with my son....[That excuse] was dumb, he didn't know the two-minute. We all know, as coaches and players, you practice the two-minute drill during the week. Donovan's been there since the Spring. And during the week before a game, you practice the two-minute, you move down the field. Then [Monday], it's the cardiovascular endurance. Oh, well maybe it's his hamstring. To me, you're telling me he's fat and out of shape. That's the way I look at it. I don't like it. It was a mistake. And just admit that it was a mistake. He's not the quarterback you're looking for. Admit it."

Tom Jackson: "You have nowhere else to go. Rex Grossman is not gonna be your quarterback. If you don't want Donovan McNabb to be your quarterback, you have to say that. The message sent across is I don't want you to be my quarterback, I have another guy in mind, whenever I can find that guy. What this has done, though, for the rest of this year -- because we're still in this season -- you have now, to some extent, fractured probably forever your relationship with the quarterback and your relationship therefore with the locker room."

Cris Carter: "Now Shanahan, he has a great history in this league, but let's be professional. We are in professional football. We're not talking about kids, we're talking about grown people. And we're talking about someone that's respected in high regard around the National Football League in McNabb. Let's be a man. Let's address him, tell him what [the] issues are, and tell him if I have problems with it....You're not gonna put me on the bench, been in the league 12 years, and all the things I accomplished, and not talk to me. That's unprofessional."

Mike Ditka: "I listen to that, and to me it sounds good and it smells bad, and to me that's the best way I can put it. I think it's a little hypocrisy in there, and I'll say this: What would their record be this year without Donovan McNabb? If he didn't play, their record would be not as good as it is, period. And to do that at that point in the game, I've done a lot of stupid things, but I never did that."

Chris Berman: "Life is a series of increasing your odds. I don't know that the odds were increased of success with a cold Rex Grossman with 1:52 to go, put him in in his own territory and what really do we expect?"

Boomer Esiason: "That's the ultimate insult. I think Mike Shanahan's trying to make things different in Washington, he's trying to hold players accountable, including Donovan McNabb. And then I heard he came out and he also said there were cardiovascular issues, meaning that Donovan must not be in shape. You know, he went down that whole road with Albert Haynesworth earlier in the year, and one thing Mike Shanahan realizes is that this is the first year of his tenure there, he's gonna get away with stuff like this, especially if he wants to put his foot down. I don't think he's been happy with Donovan since they started together, to be honest with you, and this kind of validates Andy Reid now in his selection of Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb. So I would not be surprised to see Donovan McNabb lining up with Brad Childress in Minnesota next year."

Marshall Faulk: "If I'm in that locker room, after what happened with Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan, and now what's going on with Donovan, I'm questioning him."

Brian Mitchell: "How can a guy be in shape enough to play 58 minutes and 15 seconds? He didn't look like he limped to me one time [Sunday]. Their leading rusher....There may not be another quarterback out there. You may want Donovan, and Donovan may tell you remember when you tried to embarrass me? Peace, I'm going somewhere else."

John Feinstein: Mike Shanahan, for some reason, was trying to send another one of his I'm Alexander Haig and I'm In Charge Here [messages]. I don't know why. And maybe he thought they were gonna lose the game anyway, so this is the moment when I tell Donovan McNabb I'm in charge, and don't be coming into my office and asking for a new contract."

By Dan Steinberg  | November 2, 2010; 12:47 AM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McNabb's cardiovascular endurance
Next: Chick Hernandez gets benched


the comments certainly do seem to fall into some sort of racial bounds...just saying, im not rush limbaugh, just making an observation

Posted by: formerlylove1 | November 2, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Dan-now you are simply writing about other journalists. Remember, this is a sports section, and they are not the story, slthough they may think they are.

You can do better. (And ususlly do.)

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | November 2, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

"enamorement"?!? Le roi est Mort...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | November 2, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

How 'bout that Caps game 18 hours before this one, where all four of the Young Guns scored? Y'know, the one that ended 7-2, the one where the Caps were 3 of 4 on the PP. Can we hear anything, ANYTHING, about that? Or do we have to continue reading about nothing beyond another wasted year for the local NFL team?

PUNT RETURN: Touchdown. WAIT. McNabb missed one play. Let's talk about that for two weeks.

Redskins coach: inept/scheisty. Redskins: inept. John Wall: not Jesus on day 1. Nationals have a couple guys in the fall league. Capitals win 7-2. Priorities?

I gained nothing from this bog post, I've heard darn near all the interviews quoted before they were posted here. I have not, however, read or heard about how Steckel felt on his penalty shot.

Posted by: ncromcr | November 2, 2010 3:43 AM | Report abuse

I second the above post. More about teams with a future, less about the Redskins.

Posted by: ncromcr | November 2, 2010 3:58 AM | Report abuse

the comments certainly do seem to fall into some sort of racial bounds...just saying, im not rush limbaugh, just making an observation

Posted by: formerlylove1

Huh? You didn't explain your "observation" at all, and it certainly isn't self-evident.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | November 2, 2010 4:45 AM | Report abuse

If the friction between Shanahan and McNabb is the "worst-kept secret in the league,"

(1) how come I haven't read about it until now; and
(2) why is it a secret in the first place? Why hasn't the media reported it?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | November 2, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

John Thompson, race baiter that he is, tried to make a racial issue of the McNabb benching yesterday on his radio show. I'm not aware of any evidence that Shanahan is a bigot and he did bring McNabb here in the first place, right? The racial thing is a non-issue despite the race baiters trying to make it one. McNabb has been mediocre at best this season and Shanahan probably just got fed up with that awful interception he threw into triple coverage. Not saying it was a smart move by Shanahan but don't try to sell me that sleazy line that he did it because McNabb was black..

Posted by: poguesmahone | November 2, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I've defended John Thompson from the racist charge many times over the years, but after listening to yesterday's show it is impossible to call him anything other than a misguided racist.

"I don't want no white guy telling me how I should or shouldn't feel." That is a direct quote. Replace "white" with "black" and replace Thompson with a white radio host, and you have a media firestorm and likely a radio host losing their job. But not in the racial double-standard world we live in.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 2, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I love how people here one word and stop listening after that. On John Thompson's Show yesterday he repeated several times that he did not think that Mike Shanahan was a racist. He did say that anytime a white coach says anything about a black quarterback not being able to pick up the football terminology, he had better be careful because of the old stereotypes of black players not being smart enough to play quarterback. He also said that we do not want to go back there again. So "Barno1" and "poguesmahone" you need to go online and listen to the whole show.

Posted by: JAMNEW | November 2, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

If the Redskins had some draft pick QB or some proven veteran behind McNabb, I could see why Mike would bench McNabb with 2 minutes left.......

But Grossman? Huh?

Posted by: Bious | November 2, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Haynesworth, McNabb, Brown, Dockery, Carter, Moore etc., all have been benched this year. It just so happen they are all ... I know most were replaced by ... I don't know how many potenital HOF guys that have been benched with 1:50 left in the game. That doesn't make shanny racist, it does question his respect for all QB, being that Brister, Greise, Cutler all were benched by Shanny who thought they weren't do it his way. He has been .500 or below winner since.

Posted by: edavis291 | November 2, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

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