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Vick didn't believe Shanahan's reasons

By Dan Steinberg

You want to add yet another name to the list of people who weren't buying Mike Shanahan's terminology- and cardiovascular-endurance-based explanations for Donovan McNabb's benching? How about Michael Vick's?

"I mean, I really didn't believe it at all," Vick told Comcast SportsNet's Brian Mitchell, when asked about Shanahan's arguments. "I know internally things happen. It was just surprising, because Donovan has put in a lot of work in this league, and he's been to [five] NFC championship games and he's been to a Super Bowl. I just couldn't understand why he was taken out of the game, for what reason you would take a guy who's had so much success out of the game in crunch time. But hey, maybe they just had their reasons."

As he did earlier in this season, Vick sang McNabb's praises, after the latter was instrumental in the former landing in Philly.

"To me, Don had good study habits, good work habits in the weight room, and he knew the game of football," Vick told Mitchell. "And that was something that I always missed out on, because I didn't take the time out to learn the game or to work out, because I was a freak of nature, and i just felt like I didn't need that. I didn't need it. And after seeing that, I was like'I wonder how much different i would be if I just followed this routine and followed this pattern.' So from the time I got [to Philly], I kind of followed him around and just peeped his game and what he liked to do and how he did it, and kind of followed that regimen."

Meanwhile, I missed this, but Phil Sheridan wrote a column in the Philly Inquirer, headlined "Race-card distraction in D.C. plays into Eagles' hands." It included this passage:

All of this led John Feinstein, a nationally respected sportswriter and author of several best-selling books, in a TV appearance Tuesday to accuse Shanahan of "racial coding." Feinstein also called for Shanahan to be fired.

Heavy stuff. Again, this isn't some loon with a blog or 10-watt radio show. This is a Washington Post writer of national renown appearing on the Post's equivalent of Comcast SportsNet's Daily News Live program....

The not-so-subtle campaign to scapegoat McNabb looks bad. It probably has more to do with Shanahan's trying to protect his son - a nepotism hire if ever there was one. But the clumsiness of this campaign easily can appear to be racially motivated, if that's what you're looking for.

This bye week has lasted like 413 days by now, right?

By Dan Steinberg  | November 10, 2010; 11:33 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Next: What Blatche did to deserve it

Comments


who cares ?

Posted by: hessone | November 11, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I guess Phil Sheridan hasn't been reading much of Feinstein's work. Feinstein really is some loon. His TV appearance on Tuesday confirmed it.

Posted by: Chigliak | November 11, 2010 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Chigliak, I've heard the "loon" thing about Feinstein recently, too.

Problem is, THIS story represents the FIRST I've heard of it, whereas Shananazi has been basically called a loon 10 times a week for the past few months.

I hate to say it, but I'm actually starting to believe there is a LOT to it.

He seems to have some psychosis where he attacks and neutralizes the ONE player who can help you MAYBE win the ball game.

Once upon a time, the problem was Haynesworth. It was Devin Thomas. It was Dockery. It was Rock Cartright and Randle El before that. NOW?

Now, McNabb is supposedly defective?

OK, Boss. Whatever. Go look in the mirror, old man.

I'd say, too, that if we had a regular human being backing McNabb up, maybe you can make a case for the switch.

But with 1:50 left and you're bringing Rex Grossman? The Rex Grossman signing is probably the BIGGEST indictment of Shanaface's sanity to date. That should have been the deal breaker, to me.

"Oh, but he knows the offense!"

Really? Great. Too bad he can't play football. I'd have thought we'd have a better chance if Shanana put Kyle in. He knows the offense, too.

Shanny's crazy. Period. I don't know about Feinstein, but Shanatan, yes. He's nutz.

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 11, 2010 3:18 AM | Report abuse

Look, Shanahan is not a subtle guy -- just look at the way that he hammered Hanesworth, but he got away with that because popular opinion was running against Albert. In attacking Hanesworth the way he did, he stirred up some resentment among the other players.

Now he's swinging the hammer on McNabb; he's telling McNabb that his job isn't safe if he continues to perform at his current level -- but in doing this Shanahan's made a serious miscalculation; Donovan is well-liked here, and the public (and the team) have turned against him.

I respect Feinstein, but I think he's wrong to make a race issue out of this; Shanahan isn't so much a racist as he is a pri*k.

What the upshot of this will be is impossible to say: if McNabb performs at the level that he's capable of, and the Skins make the playoffs, then it will probably blow over; if not, no doubt Snyder will do something else stupid and next year will the s.o.s.

Posted by: peppino | November 11, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

There is only one thing I hate more than "the race card"....

It's When white people are on their knees licking a$$ playing it on someone else's behalf.

No way McNabb should have been pulled from the game. He's the best we've had at that position in almost three decades and race doesn't have a damn thing to do with it! So so so so so sick of the race crap!!!

Posted by: skins91r | November 11, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Why did he pull him????? Because he "stunk up the joint " period

Posted by: ercle33 | November 11, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Skins91r,

The reason people are suggesting "race" is not because McNabb was pulled; it is because of the the "reasons" that were given afterward. You have a highly successful African-American QB who has been to Six Pro Bowls, One Super Bowl, and Five NFC Championship Games. A few months with Shanahan and now his intellect is being called into question? All of the blame is placed on McNabb but NONE on Kyle who is calling the plays? What about that porous offensive line? Why not question Shanahan's intellect for continuing to play Lictensteiger instead of Dockery?

If I were McNabb, I would mysteriously develop back spasms and let Grossman start Monday night. When he gets sacked repeatedly like bag of groceries, throw threee or four interceptions, and generally look inept despite knowing the vaunted playbook, I think we'll know what a jerk Shanahan was in this case.

For the record, Shanahan should have just done what he normally does. If he had said McNabb was struggling and I made a decision-end of story, it would have been over in a day or two. He really needs to win Monday night because if the Redskins go on a losing street, this incident will be blamed as the turning point.

Posted by: ChairmanD | November 11, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

OMFG! Give me a damn break with this race crap. McNabb should NOT have been benched in the last game, but can you really blame the coach for trying something to get a win. McNabb sucked for two games straight!! Coach didn't think he could win it at the end of the second game. Coaches make wrong and right decisions EVERY GAME!! Get over it!! Now we have a "history" here of race problems? I understand in the beginning with Preston Marshall, but now suggesting Gibbs (cutting Doug Williams a year after he won a SB)??? Art Monk going to Phili??? The article Mike Wise wrote is such BULLSHI! Didn't Coach BRING IN MCNABB HIMSELF! Definitely a racist move. Oh wait, I get it. The Skins have cut/released thousands of black players over the years. They must be a racist organization, no mater that the league is majority black!! Totally irresponsible article by Wise and comments by Brian Mitchell just to stir up crap during a slow by week. I really wish coach would have left McNabb in but since he didn't, I really wish Grossman would have won the game. None of this junk would have been written and coach would have been a genius. Amazing how one wrong decision in one game turns him and the organization into racists.

Posted by: tnand | November 11, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and by the way. I'm glad we have McNabb and hope we sign him for a few years. I'm glad we have Shanny, he and McNabb have already turned this team around from the last two years of being a joke. I loved Doug Williams, until he sucked, I love Theisman, until he sucked. My favorite players are Cooley on OF and Orakpo on DF. Our problem with this team is the O line. Coach can't fix it all in one year. To go from 4-12 to 4-4 in one year with almost the same team....Great job to the coach and QB so far!

Posted by: tnand | November 11, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

ChairmanD

Nice post. I went on a rant b/c of the Mike Wise article. I agree with you, coach should have said it was his decision and left it at that. We really don't know what's going on inside Ashburn. Have they really cut down the playbook for DM? Are they calling plays and he is missing the reads/routes/options? I can see this taking a little time, he played in the same system for 11 yrs and now has something totally new thrown at him. But calling the coach and organization racist b/c of this???

Posted by: tnand | November 11, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Jeez enough of the McNabb benching story already.

Shanahan pulled McNabb because he wasn't getting the job done. It is as simple as that. He had 3 or 4 opportunities to win the game and he floundered.

Shanahan isn't obligated to tell the public every detail of everything he's thinking. His job is to win games.

Shanahan is following the 3 P's of coaching - you have to Practice and Perform or you don't Play. This goes for the young guys and rookies as well as the superstars. This is coachig 101 and how you get the players to respect each other and the coach. The Redskins have been lacking this discipline for years, it is a relief to finally see it.

McNabb can be a good quarterback or he can be an ok quarterback. Hopefully if Shanahan kickz him in the rear end he can be good.

Posted by: unclelonghair | November 11, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Michale Vick is dog killing scum that SHOULD NOT be allowed to play in the HFL (hypocritical football league) and I couldn't give a crap what this scumbag thinks about anything- shame on WaPo for featuring this scumbags interview!

Posted by: woolfeeeee | November 11, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse


I see the pattern. First Haynesworth,next McNabb pretty soon it will be the Wqashington Whiteskins.

Posted by: bobilly1 | November 11, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

In regards to the "race card"....if the Redskins had kept Jason Campbell as a backup and Shanahan replaced McNabb with him in the last two minutes, then that would have been ok, right? Or, to put it another way, if Rex Grossman was black then everything is hunky dory, right? Sheesh.

Posted by: jmcdon7230 | November 11, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

John Feinstein, a nationally respected sportswriter

HAHAHA, funniest thing I've seen in awhle.

Posted by: ryan_conaway | November 11, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

can a coach bench himself? I'm just sayin.

Posted by: hammer4 | November 11, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Feinstein is a loon.

Posted by: poguesmahone | November 11, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Why wasn't Andy Reid called a racist when he benched McNabb for poor play, on several occasions. Anyone who knows football can watch this offense and know McNabb doesn't grasp the playbook, how many times do you see him audible out of a play? example: Detroit game, nine men in the box on D, Skins are in a running formation, no audible called, running play run for a four yard loss! Very Peyton Manningish... I live near Philly, and let me tell you that I have not heard one person complain about losing McNabb, in fact everyone I talk to seems thrilled that he is gone. I believed from day one that he is an average over rated QB, and now because he plays in liberal DC, you can't bench him or say anything negative, because he is an african American QB.So sick of this crap.

Posted by: delskinsfan | November 11, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Maybe in a moment of frustration, extreme frustration in losing to the 1-5 Lions, Shanny screwed up and lost it in benching McNab, it happens. I do think he could have handled the explanation phase a little better, but watching that game was tough, especially when you're hoping your quarterback can get things going, but instead, chucks up a killer interception. However, If not McNab, who else? McNab will and can come around and should be with the Skins for the next few years (if he's not too pissed at Shanny to stay) to mentor the next QB we draft. I would dial up plays that McNab has proven success throughout his career with (PLAY TO HIS TALENTS!!!), not these short passes that McNab has a tendency to throw in the dirt. Boot leg (helps with bad O-Line), longer throws, and if at all possible, more focus on the running game to take the heat off (if we have any healthy RB's left). Unfortunately, I have a feeling we're going to get stomped on Monday night as the Eagles seem to be playing pretty well, and the Skins...as usual, seem to be struggling, unsure of themselves, and demonstrating that there's still plenty of areas of concern (O-Line, RB's, WR's, YPG, QB health, etc.) I just hope they don't embarass themselves too much on MNF.

Posted by: eello | November 11, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm Jewish. I once got disciplined at work by my supervisor of German ancestry. He clearly did this because I am a Jew and he is German. And even if he didn't, it's perfectly natural for me to feel that way, given the history of the way Germans treated Jews. Who cares if I wasn't even alive during that history, the wounds still seem fresh even decades later.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 11, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

John Feinstein is clearly a self-hating Jew. Rex Grossman has a Jewish sounding name and clearly Feinstein didn't want him playing because of it. It's so obvious, given the history of self-hating Jews in this country. You can sit around and talk about whether Feinstein would have still acted the way he did had McNabb's backup not had a Jewish sounding name, but the fact is he does. And there are a lot of Jews like me who are sensitive to the actions of self-hating Jews. Now if I owned the Washington Post, I would fire Feinstein for his anti-Semitic coding. He said "putting in Grossman was a mistake" i.e: Grossman is a dumb jewish guy, he's not smart enough to handle the terminology. It's my belief, that that kind of behavior, is worth firing a sportswriter for. Now the Washington Post is not going to do it, but I think the situation is out of control.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 11, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Barno,
you're so full of it. You got disciplined you're a lazy ass spending all your time trying to dig up racism where it doesn't exist. (You were probably on the job when you submitted that post)

Posted by: tigger0705 | November 11, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

big tigger0705,

sar·casm
   /ˈsɑrkæzəm/ Show Spelled[sahr-kaz-uhm] Show IPA
–noun
1.
harsh or bitter derision or irony.
2.
a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark

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

ok, I heard the guys on 980AM laughing about the old Portis dog-fighting comment. But please tell me how dog-fighting is THAT much different from forms of hunting/fishing like fox hunting or sport fishing? The only way the rest of hunting isn't analogous is because you eat the meat - certainly I don't think an arrow through a deer is the most painless way to die. And really, hunting is man with weapon vs animal, while dogfighting is dog vs dog.

Look, I think dogfighting is barbaric and disgusting. I'm also not a fan of pitbulls because they were bred specifically for this purpose and don't make safe pets as a result. But let's all please stop the hypocrisy. We use and abuse animals in many ways in this society, and a dog doesn't occupy some higher place just because we choose to keep them as pets. So if we are going to make dogfighting a felony then we need to take the same action against fox hunting, some other forms of hunting, and sport-fishing (marlin, sailfish), etc. Or if we ate the dogs after the dogfight would that make it all ok?

Tired of the BS. Rant over.

Posted by: jk1492 | November 11, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

jk1492, I am no animal rights activist nor am I anti-hunting nor am I pro dog-fighting, but I agree with every word you just said.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 11, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

VICK IS RIGHT!
SHANAHAN IS A LOSER WHO HAS BEEN LIVING OFF ELWAY TRIUMPHS FOR YEARS.
SNYDER BOUGHT HIM AND BRUCE ALLEN HERE TO GET THE PRESSURE OFF OF HIM AFTER ALL THE BAD PRESS HE GOT OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS.

Posted by: SOLVBACK | November 11, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

OK, someone else made this point but many of the raging right-wingers who followed didn't read or understand so here it is again: Shanahan is tone-deaf in a city whose football history and current symbol are racist. This is beyond debate. Shanahan's was a failure of understanding and of leadership. The cover story is "I didn't need to see my Pro Bowl starter take any more beatings behind our O line so I overruled Kyle and went with Rex." This saves face for everyone but Shanahan wasn't smart enough to be criticized for a well-intentioned controversial decision instead of for an indefensible explanation of a dumb controversial decision. That's the debate. Nobody said Shanahan was a racist, just that he's stupid if he doesn't know how his story played in this city when so many better cover stories were available.

Posted by: OmBuds4U | November 11, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

As usual, the cover-up was worse than the crime. Many control freaks (the military, the police, politicians, and, apparently, some football coaches) never seem to learn that basic fact until after they already told lies right into the camera. Shanny, you were wrong to take out Donovan, and should have just left it at that instead of babbling all those lame and, in my opinion, race-coded excuses.

Posted by: devilsadvocate2 | November 11, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I didn't bother reading this story because I literally could not care less what Vick thinks or says. Stop giving him a voice. Especially regarding anything that involves a conscience.

Posted by: TerpsfanstuckinNC | November 11, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

gee shanahan is in charge so stop the comments.

Posted by: dcg326 | November 11, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

So Vick the dogkiller and convicted felon now has an opinion on others' actions?

Gee, how refreshing.

Now, how about he donate half of the money he will get in a new contract after 2010 to charity for all the pain and suffering he has caused?

Come on, Michael, speak up, I can't hear you.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | November 11, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

As a truly Redskins fan don' t listen too much to median, kind tear the team chemistry apart, we are all human why all the median can be the coach, they run and run their mouth for living, look back in the last ten years and so how far the team have been gone. The coaches makes mistakes too, leave them along so they can focus and winning. I like Don, and I respect the coach, I think that they have a good plan to lead the Redskins to the right direction, few more years from now baby, few more years...

Posted by: bigskin04 | November 11, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

As a truly Redskins fan don' t listen too much to median, kind tear the team chemistry apart, we are all human why all the median can be the coach, they run and run their mouth for living, look back in the last ten years and so how far the team have been gone. The coaches makes mistakes too, leave them along so they can focus and winning. I like Don, and I respect the coach, I think that they have a good plan to lead the Redskins to the right direction, few more years from now baby, few more years...

Posted by: bigskin04 | November 11, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

race has about as much to do with this as lamb does with tuna. shanny made a bad move. end of story. can we move on?

Posted by: papple | November 11, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Who in the world gives a rats behind what Vick thinks?! BTW, the last time I checked Mr.Shanahan is the coach of this team and untill Mr. Snyder says different,Mr. Shanahan does not have to answer to all the team owners on here! Get it? Please stop the boo-hooing and let the true fan support come forth! HAIL!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | November 11, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

The remedy is to fire Kyle.

Posted by: moralcompass1 | November 11, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

so shanny must hate white people because he chose to make a black QB the starter over Rex Grossman right? It had nothing to do with how Rex plays. Right? Anyone playing the race card is a complete, unadulturated, retarded idiot. This is football. It's about winning. Who cares how many probowls D5 went to. What has he done for me lately? Unbelievable. BTW, for those of you wondering, I am not white. I am a realist.

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | November 11, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

so shanny must hate white people because he chose to make a black QB the starter over Rex Grossman right? It had nothing to do with how Rex plays. Right? Anyone playing the race card is a complete, unadulturated, retarded idiot. This is football. It's about winning. Who cares how many probowls D5 went to. What has he done for me lately? Unbelievable. BTW, for those of you wondering, I am not white. I am a realist.

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | November 11, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

so shanny must hate white people because he chose to make a black QB the starter over Rex Grossman right? It had nothing to do with how Rex plays. Right? Anyone playing the race card is a complete, unadulturated, retarded idiot. This is football. It's about winning. Who cares how many probowls D5 went to. What has he done for me lately? Unbelievable. BTW, for those of you wondering, I am not white. I am a realist.

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | November 11, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, Feinstein's cerebral endurance is lacking.

Posted by: sfava | November 11, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

As a truly Redskins fan don' t listen too much to median, kind tear the team chemistry apart, we are all human why all the median can be the coach, they run and run their mouth for living, look back in the last ten years and so how far the team have been gone. The coaches makes mistakes too, leave them along so they can focus and winning. I like Don, and I respect the coach, I think that they have a good plan to lead the Redskins to the right direction, few more years from now baby, few more years...

Posted by: bigskin04 | November 11, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

sorry Barno,

sarcasm is a lot less obvious when you're reading a comment then when you're hearing it.

Posted by: tigger0705 | November 12, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Shanny's crazy. Period. I don't know about Feinstein, but Shanatan, yes. He's nutz.

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 11, 2010 3:18 AM

____________________________________

Shanny's borderline a nutcase! I said it before and I'll say it again, He's not in it to revitalize the Skins in the long run, he's setting up his schmuck of a son Kyle to be the next youngest head coach while getting a lot of money in the process. And who is that person gullible enough to waste his money? Yes Folks, Danny boy!

I feel like the Skins are never going to be an elite team until Snyder sells them, which will never happen. Arrrrrgggghh!

Posted by: alucard1 | November 12, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

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