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Report: Benching McNabb was a possibility in Philly on Oct. 3

By Cindy Boren

The first five or so minutes of the "NFL on Fox" pregame show was devoted to Benchgate, with Jay Glazer reporting that Kyle and Mike Shanahan considered benching the struggling Donovan McNabb as long ago as Oct. 3. Everybody on this show came down on the side of the Redskins' quarterback and took turns swinging at the Shanahan pinata.

"This is nothing new inside the Washington Redskins coaching staff," Glazer said of Mike and Kyle Shanahan's lack of faith in McNabb. "What I mean is Kyle Shanahan has wanted to pull this move for several weeks. In fact, I've learned that in a staff meeting before they played Philadelphia he suggested that if Donovan McNabb really struggled, they would consider pulling him. Against Philly. You want to talk about an insult. Against his former team. Obviously somebody talked him out of that."

Saying, "That would have been the ultimate slap in the face," Curt Menefee asked Glazer what he's hearing about McNabb's teammates' reaction.

"The players look at this and say, 'Look, we can understand the Albert Haynesworth thing, but Donovan McNabb...'" Glazer said. "Whatever happened with him in Philadelphia and the schism, if you will, that he had in that locker room, he's learned from that because since he's been here he has been a fantastic leader, the type of quarterback that this organization has missed for a long time. The players are definitely scratching their heads on this one, saying, 'what are we doing this for?'"

Menefee asked Glazer about McNabb's bye week.

"Donovan, he just got out of town. He went back to Arizona to try and clear his head, try and get things into perspective. Even when he comes back they're saying that he's still going to be the starter, but the bottom line is that Kyle Shanahan does not believe that Donovan McNabb fits his system. That's what their plan is right now, but again if they're willing to bench him during that Philadelphia game, they're willing to do anything with this guy."

Menefee kicked off the show by saying that, "on the surface, it looks like the Redskins coaching staff is like a bunch of guys who get into trouble and can't get their stories straight." Fox's foursome took it from there (comments are listed in descending order of forcefulness).

Terry Bradshaw: "Donovan, you've had a great 11 years and we all respect you for what you've done. Do not allow your 12th year to go down in ruins with a man questioning your intelligence. I don't believe in the out-of-shape thing. But when they start questioning your intelligence, don't smile. Don't say, 'It's okay, it's the coach's decision.' You fight for everything that you have earned the right to fight for and that's respect. Listen, I know about intelligence being questioned. At 62, I fight it almost every day of my life and I hate every second of it.

"Do not allow that to happen. You fight for it. You stand up to that guy. You understand me? Don't let it happen.

"If you don't, then like most people in America, I'm just going to think, 'You know what? Maybe your coach is right.' "

Howie Long: "The first thing you do at a crime scene is what? You separate the suspects ... and you do that so they can't get their stories matched up. And this was a crime. The dumbest player in the league -- whoever that is and even if I know who that was I'm not dumb enough to tell you who I think it is -- doesn't buy what he heard after the game and in subsequent press conferences.

"You're right [to Bradshaw]. Donovan McNabb has earned the right to be treated with respect. If you don't think he's picked up the offense, you don't think he can handle things, you don't think he's the player that he was, turn him loose. I'm not sure how smart that decision is, given what your options are [*cough* Rex Grossman *cough*], but if you do turn him loose, he'll probably clear waivers because of his salary and the next day he'll be an Arizona Cardinal."

Jimmy Johnson: "Classic case of 'open mouth, insert foot.' Mike was wrong for benching him, he was wrong for saying what he said after the game, he was wrong for the comments the next day and what he didn't say is what he believes. In my opinion, he's not enamored with McNabb as his quarterback.

Michael Strahan: " ... If you don't stand up for yourself, the other players on your team and around the league are gonna say, 'Where's the backbone to this guy?' In the NFL, the player-coach relationship is not one where 'I work for you.' As a player and a coach I work with you. What they're doing right now in Washington is not working with Donovan McNabb."

By Cindy Boren  | November 7, 2010; 12:33 PM ET
Categories:  Donovan McNabb, Mike Shanahan, Redskins  
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Comments

"the bottom line is that Kyle Shanahan does not believe that Donovan McNabb fits his system."

Shanny Sr. gets McNabb for the Redskins.

Shanny Jr. has a system that cannot use him.

Nepotism almost always generates problems. Perhaps it is time to bench Shanny Jr.

Posted by: ad9inaz | November 7, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

It's going to be interesting to watch this play out. Kyle certainly was around when they went out and got McNabb. I'm not sure what the father-son dynamic is, but I know this much: it'd be really really difficult to work for one of your parents, whether the family biz is widgets or fubball.

Posted by: CindyBoren | November 7, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

BENCH KYLE

Posted by: ZeroHero0 | November 7, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I think playing in one system for 11 years... a 4-4 record isnt the greatest thing in the world but in all acutallity with having no O-Line he has rallied those guys...They seemingly believe in Donovan and want him to win so the coaching staff needs to get over themselves and do the same thing! K. Shanny the texans still have a potent offense without you so were you the real wizard out there??!?! Looks more like a NO so why don't you ride your pro bowl quater back and do ya d@mn job! Get an O-line who is just decent and can protect and give your quaterback more then 2 seconds to throw the ball then judge him!

Posted by: SkinzFan4lyfe | November 7, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Baffling, since this is the QB they wanted.

Posted by: CindyBoren | November 7, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Based on these reports, it's looking to me like the coaching staff has been preparing to ambush McNabb for weeks. Hopefully, these reports are based mostly on rumors and innuendos, not facts. If the coaching staff truly feels that the the offense is better off without McNabb, we're in for an ugly 8 game show of finger-pointing that will end badly for everybody. I'm thinking that, against Philly, McNabb will rebound as long as the coaching staff doesn't overreact to any after-the-by-week rust. The o-line should be rested and I'm hoping that the Shanahans will see the value in committing to the run during the first half, something everybody expected they would do. If the Skins can run the ball effectively, that will create opportunities to go play action and help McNabb regain his pro-bowl form. To this point, this offense has not established a clear identity, and benching the QB for a lesser talent will only confuse matters. Running the ball should play to the strength of the o-line, particularly linemen who consistently struggle against the pass rush. Big Mike (Shanahan, that is) is too talented a coach not to insist that Little Kyle adjust his schemes to his personnel. It seems very convenient to me that McNabb is shouldering the blame for throwing into triple coverage when the team should have been running the ball when they were up by 5 points and had the opportunity to run time off the clock. Run the ball. Run the ball. Run the ball.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | November 7, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

THe Shanahans are incorrigible. Ever since their idiotic decision to bench McNabb, it has been one story after another. By Monday afternoon, it was obvious that the best thing they could do is stop talking. But, since they believe themselves to be smarter than everybody else (especially McNabb, but really everyone), they thought no one would notice the changing stories, none of which made any sense.

This treatment of players has been a pattern with these two coaches -- a player falls out of favor, they ride rough on him in private and public, overplay their hands, and then bad information about the player starts myteriously leaking. Now we learn that they were considering benching McNabb in early October against Philadelphia. So let's see: Since their stupid decision, we've gotten at least three different stories, making the Shanahans look foolish and a punch line. We subsequently learn from anonymous sources (cough, Kyle Shanahan, cough) that McNabb is dumb, past his prime, lazy, fat, out of shape and a few other things I've forgotten. If McNabb mails in the rest of the season to keep himself healthy for next year's free agency, you couldn't blame him. He is too much of a pro to do that, but these anonymously sourced stories about McNabb only encourage McNabb to leave.

When they went after AH and then lied their butts off to Devin Thomas, no one paid much attention because those guys were couple of knuckleheads. There was always a lurking danger that they would pull similar stunts on a player more important to the team. And so they have. And will again. It appears to be more important to them to win a point than a football game. The Shanahans arrogance may kill this team, and we are destined for another end-game drama with high profile, big name coaches.

These melodramas have been going on for over ten years. We may just have to accept that these are who the Redskins are: mired in mediocre football, and fit to provide high drama and grist for the talking head mill.

Posted by: haunches | November 7, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I think Kyle is using his father to get his way. He does not have the same pieces in Washington as he did in Houston. If he really thinks there is another QB available hat is better than McNabb, it is news to us. grossman is NOT the answer and never will be.

Posted by: tic24 | November 7, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

It's the offensive line, stupid. McNabb tried to trust his blockers and followed Kyle Shanahan's game plan, he got sacked repeatedly. When he was replaced, Grossman promptly got hit and coughed up the ball for a touchdown.

It's the offensive line!!! Please don't pretend it's the quarterback!

Posted by: RedCherokee | November 7, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Ironically, it's Dan Snyder, not McNabb, who, through Bruce Allen, should call for the Shanahans' to reconsider their imposition of defensive and offensive schemes that don't fit their respective best players and return, through Bruce Allen, explanations that ring true and, if any, plans for change.

Posted by: dcfanoutwest | November 7, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Rooting for the Redskins is a little like rooting for the CIA. It's swathed in secrecy so you don't get all the news and when they do tell you something it's likely to not be the truth. :-)

Posted by: LaureninGlenBurnie | November 7, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

The whole problem, actually two, comes down to the two Shannys. I never have been a big senior Shanny fan and certainly junior is too big for his pants.

The Shannys have blown up the Redskin season. I have been a fan of the team for six decades. But I will be surprised if they win two more games this season.

Posted by: royhobbs56 | November 7, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"Baffling, since this is the QB they wanted."

Maybe Philly was right about him.

Has anyone even mentioned that anywhere?

Posted by: rmcazz | November 7, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully this will light a fire in McNabb. He better start producing or he'll prove Kyle right. Pressure is on McNabb so what are ya gonna do?

Posted by: thorhero | November 7, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Raiders won today, keyed by a great throw by Jason Campbell, the QB that couldn't throw the ball in D.C. I'm no genius but perhaps it IS the OL. Perhaps instead of that disaster of a draft in 2008, they could have drafted a lineman or two. I hope McNabb runs like heck and takes his next QB job where he might actually win a championship, even if it is as a backup. Shanahan may or may not have lost his team, he has surely lost this fan.

Posted by: bfjam | November 7, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

This is dumb, there's no way Jay Glazer has sources good enough to get into the minds of Kyle and Mike Shanahan. This was just for show, to report that they have been 'thinking' about this for weeks is a joke, Glazer is a poor man's Adam Schefter.

Posted by: eternale5150 | November 7, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

If the Shanahans think that Grossman is that doggone good of a quarterback then play him. Go ahead and play him. See how long that ish lasts!

Posted by: BenThere | November 7, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I thought the way McNabb's been throwing has been a slap in the face. But I'm not as smart as Curt Menefee.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | November 7, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

the fact they considered doing it in Philly on Donovan homecoming just means how stupid this two head father son combo we got going on. i never liked this move from the being and in year one its already looking like last 5 years in denver

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | November 7, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

It's not like Sonny Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer where both guys are winners. Rex Grossman is no plan B - he's not even a plan C.

Posted by: nativedc | November 7, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

4 games into the season and they'd lost confidence in McNabb? Why couldn't they have lost confidence in him BEFORE they gave Philly those draft choices? Working for the Redskins is a disease. Stupidity attaches to anyone coming in contact w/ the team.

Posted by: randysbailin | November 7, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Grossman is a catastrophic injury back up......not a benching back up......

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | November 7, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Kyle has been suspect in his play calling so far this season and now I have lost confidence in him as an offensive coordinator. There is no way he has what it takes to be a head coach. It's time for him to go.

Posted by: bobilly2 | November 7, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

the shanahans need to be benched.i keep telling you all over and over and over again that this crew is taking us farther down in the dumps.mike shanny is somewhat manic and senile,the game has passed him by.that zone blocking stuff of his is outdated,and kyle benefited from numerous first round draft choices,who just needed to be on the field to be succesful.the o-coordinator doesnt have a clue as to what to do with these players

Posted by: billydee123 | November 7, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

This years offense is ranked 4th worst at protecting the quarterback giving up 23 sacks, in 8 games. Last years offense gave up 46 in 16 games. Quarterback hits is not a stat the NFL keeps but in last weeks game against the lions, McNabb was sacked 6 times and hit 9 and let's just say for the sake of argument he has hurried another 5 times. That's 21 passes where he did not have adequate time to make a play. McNabb threw 30 passes, so this means 2 out of three passes he had someone breathing down his neck
Until Washington gets a real line no one should expect any QB to have any success. But hey ya gotta blame somebody so why not through Donovan under the bus, sure beats having to consider it being the coaches fault.

Posted by: jackattack949 | November 7, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Maybe John Unitas can run Kyle's offense?

Posted by: DesiHungama | November 7, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Classic case of the media fueling the source of their income -- controversy. A man's opinion goes no further than where the edge of the bread meets the butter. This especially true of color commentators.

Posted by: andypitt | November 8, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

There is something very wrong with the Redskins. Yesterday the Oakland Raiders moved into playoff contention with an overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Jason Campbell played a very good quarterback. The Raiders have been terrible since the 2002. They do not have a big name coach. The head coach was the offensive line coach. But the raiders have an offensive line. No Casey Raubach, Stephan Heyer, and on and on. The Redskins have one decent offensive lineman. Jason Campbell was killed several times when he was here. Clinton Portis was knocked out last year and this year. Dan Snyders legacy anbd epitaph for a dead team is "I played without an offensive line." We are not very good because no one on the offensive line can play. PERIOD. It is not Jason Campbells fault. It is not Donovan McNabb. There is no one who can block. Allen was going to build a team. No offensive Line. Shanahan was going to build a team. No offenisve line. Zorns offense did not work. No offensive line. Gibbs offense did not work. Turners offense did not work. no offensive line. No offensive line. In 10 years there might be an offesive line after 10 drafts. ONe thing about Shanahan he loves the drama as much as Snyder. Drama does not win football games. He has not won a championship since the 90s. He was handed John Elway. Stop the Drama. Stop leaking all of this information Shanahan. Man up. Did I mention that his son has never been the offensive coordinator for a playoff team. Stop the Drama. Get an offensive line. Win.

Posted by: HelloNewman53 | November 8, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

You people really think McNabb is too good to be benched? We aren't talking about Peyton Manning here. The media loves a good controversy, I can't believe some of you are buying into this garbage. If Shanahan wants to bench him in Philly, he should bench him, not worry about what Terry *ucking Bradshaw thinks or any of those other morons on tv. I think this is a nonissue, McNabb isn't the "second coming", and I realize the O-line has more holes than swiss cheese.

Posted by: Painful_priapism | November 8, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

You people really think McNabb is too good to be benched?

Yes, he is too good to be benched for Rex Grossman - He!! yes!!!!

Posted by: SPUD2 | November 8, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

How are the Eagles doing without "the All Pro" McNabb ? Just asking....

Posted by: rixxk | November 8, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

this staff from the get go has NOT made matching scheme to talent a priority.

in fact just the opposite, it has not even been a factor in their consideration.

Shanahan admitted the last year he watched the 3-4 defenses in the NFL and convinced himself that when he was back in the league he would use it.

But nowhere in that discussion/evaluation was a consideration of the talent the Washington Redskins have and whether it fit that system.

Ditto on offense.

Kyle Shanahan probably because he is 32 years old doesn't have any adaptability in his constituency. He is all or nothing at this stage of his NFL career.

He has been buffeted working for his father's friend and long-time assistant Gary Kubiak in Houston and now his father with Washington.

No one is challenging HIM to devise strategies to put in place what will work for McNabb, Cooley, Moss, Armstrong, etc on a more consistent basis.

The situation seems to be that the focus has been on what McNabb does not do well.

McNabb has been in the NFL for 10 years.

What he has not done well is in plain view or should be for experienced coaches and talent evaluators.

The fact we are 8 games into the season and there are still these 'fit' issues coming to the surface means the staff has failed.

They failed to properly assess what they needed at QB in the offseason BEFORE making the McNabb trade.

And now they are blaming McNabb for the results or lack thereof.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | November 8, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

It would be great if they would just release McNabb; he's clearly no use to the genius Shanahans. I can't wait 'til Snyder gets fed up with these losers and fires the family Shanahan. I hope he makes it a public circus and subjects them to similar humiliation. Unfortunately, it'll be a couple of years from now while the Dead 'Skins are mired in back to back 4-12 seasons.

Posted by: guisher | November 8, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

HelloNewman53 wrote:

There is something very wrong with the Redskins. Yesterday the Oakland Raiders moved into playoff contention with an overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Jason Campbell played a very good quarterback. The Raiders have been terrible since the 2002. They do not have a big name coach. The head coach was the offensive line coach. But the raiders have an offensive line. No Casey Raubach, Stephan Heyer, and on and on. The Redskins have one decent offensive lineman. Jason Campbell was killed several times when he was here. Clinton Portis was knocked out last year and this year. Dan Snyders legacy anbd epitaph for a dead team is "I played without an offensive line." We are not very good because no one on the offensive line can play. PERIOD. It is not Jason Campbells fault. It is not Donovan McNabb. There is no one who can block. Allen was going to build a team. No offensive Line. Shanahan was going to build a team. No offenisve line. Zorns offense did not work. No offensive line. Gibbs offense did not work. Turners offense did not work. no offensive line. No offensive line. In 10 years there might be an offesive line after 10 drafts. ONe thing about Shanahan he loves the drama as much as Snyder. Drama does not win football games. He has not won a championship since the 90s. He was handed John Elway. Stop the Drama. Stop leaking all of this information Shanahan. Man up. Did I mention that his son has never been the offensive coordinator for a playoff team. Stop the Drama. Get an offensive line. Win.

No truer words have ever been spoken. I would absoultely LOVE IT if they would start Rex Grossman for the rest of the season -- I would be laughing my behind off!! It would be GREAT!!!

Posted by: guisher | November 8, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Kyle Shanahan is the typical young arrogant manager, threatened by anyone with greatr experinece and talent who does not embrace the young turk's system. Were KS mature he would adapt his system to his talent. Seems like he needs control because of his insecurities. Sounds like his father.

Posted by: jetnarongaolcom | November 8, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Daddy has to make a decision: support Jr. or help his team win.

Posted by: kahlua87 | November 8, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

You people really think McNabb is too good to be benched? We aren't talking about Peyton Manning here. The media loves a good controversy, I can't believe some of you are buying into this garbage.

----------------

seriously! This is a 3 ring circus and the clowns are pretending they know what's good for the Redskins. Benching McNabb was the single best decision Shanahan has made in the last few weeks. Now he needs to follow that up with benching Kory.

And when you watch McNabb make dumb boneheaded play after play, you wonder if he really IS smart enough to lead this team. Jason Campbell had to adjust to a new system every single yr. McNabb's had a lot more stability and he still looks like a green rookie who has no idea where to throw the ball, how to sit in the pocket even when he does have time, when NOT to throw the ball 60 yrds downfield (overthowing his receiver by 10 yards, etc etc.

F McNabb. It is unbelievable to me how many folks think he shouldn't have been benched. He SUCKS!

Posted by: cstanton1 | November 8, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Jason Campbell wasnt the answer either. He got off to a rough start in Oakland and is still far from perfect, but he's making it work... RED FLAGS start to fly in the "DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING DEPT" when you bench Donavan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman

Posted by: gcottrill | November 8, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The arrogance of the Shanahans' knows no bounds. Mike is trying to recreate the Elway years in Denver-he was never anything without Elway. Kyle makes boneheaded calls, then Mike blames McNabb for not being able to execute said bonehead play. The OLine which has been a fiasco for years gets no attention. Mike blames McNabb. Shanny has come out with several differing stories, which smack of CYA, and demean McNabb-interestingly, he does not hold himself or Kyle accountable for anything. Boy that's integrity.
The question isn't whether a coach can bench a QB, or even if McNabb is a good quarterback.. the questions are the timimg of the benching, and was he replaced by someone who could win the game[We were only 6 down].
The timing made no sense, and Grossman is a joke.
Shanahan has shown a penchant for lying his entire career and shows a blatant disregard for integrity. Great stand up coach.--NOT.
Fact is McNabb is our best chance to win this year, even without an adequate OLine and an arrogant coach.
One question for Shanny-Do you honestly believe Skin's fans are dumb enough to believe the excuses you have put forth the last week? That too is arrogance.

Posted by: alyd69 | November 8, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

If it isn't clear to everyone, it should be now that A Reid and the Iggles got one over on us. They knew EXACTLY what they were getting rid of or they wouldn't have done the deal within the division.

For all the talk of changing the way the 'Skins do business, it sure doesn't look that way. Expensive, over the hill, declining veterans for valuable draft picks.....Again.

Posted by: splitbill | November 8, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Donovan is a breath of fresh air compared to what we had before at the QB position. Shanahans need to stick with him and cut him some slack!! Quit cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | November 8, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I cool with it if George Allen fires Kyle.

Posted by: moralcompass1 | November 8, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

They should have never went for McNabb in the first place. It was a bad decision. We should have drafted a quarterback with our second round pick.

Posted by: cwhiteco | November 8, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

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