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Donovan McNabb dismisses controversy, reiterates desire to 'move on'

By Rick Maese

Saying "I don't believe I am" in a quarterback controversy, Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb anticipates some changes in the second half of the season -- both big and small.

"Everyone wants to be a little further ahead," McNabb said Thursday at Redskins Park. "I would love to be sitting here at 8-0. I would love to be sitting at 6-2. But we're 4-4 and that's what we are right now. We can do things to change that these next eight games."

Coach Mike Shanahan hinted earlier this week about possible schematic changes coming out of the bye week. McNabb said those conversations have taken place. Asked whether the offense might be tweaked to better take advantage of his specific skill set, the quarterback said:

"We've talked about a lot of different things. That was part of it. I think it's important for us to be successful and everyone to be comfortable with some of the things that we do well. There's a lot of things that we want to do that we haven't been able to do in the first eight and we look forward to, obviously, showcasing that."

McNabb, who was replaced by Rex Grossman at the tail end of the Oct. 31 loss in Detroit, reiterated that he'd like to put his benching behind him. He said there's no lingering bad feelings between him and the organization.

"Not at all," he said. "I have a pretty good relationship with the people in the organization here and some great backup support. It goes for the players as well."

One of the reasons Shanahan gave for the benching was a series of injuries that had slowed McNabb. Shanahan said the quarterback is still not one hundred percent. Asked about his hamstrings, McNabb offered few details on Thursday, saying: "I'm good. I'm good. Thanks for asking."

Philadelphia media was at Redskins Park to attend McNabb's weekly media availability. One reporter noted that McNabb never faced questions in Philadelphia about his conditioning or his understanding of the playbook. McNabb chuckled.

"It's been quite entertaining, I should say," he said. "From the talks to the reactions and things of that nature, I've been getting some pretty good support from some of the ex-players and commentators. Thank them for that. For me, at this point, it's really just an opportunity to move on. We're playing against a tough team that's playing pretty well right now, coming off a great win. We've got to be able to match that intensity."

McNabb also explained his public reaction to the controversy that followed the team into the bye week and out of it.

"I like to handle my business behind closed doors," he said. "I don't kind of go through the media and try to vent or react to certain situations. I think that's not truly professional. My professional manner is to talk to you man-to-man and try to find out what the problem is. You find out the problem, you come up with a solution, you move on.

"I think for a lot of guys, it's a hard deal to manage because they want to vent. But what really do you get out of the whole deal before it becomes like an ongoing battle of he-said-she-said? That's just not how I go about business. For the guys in the locker room, they know I'm just going to be me. They've seen me over the years, they're seeing me here, kind of hands-on. I believe it's important when the guys in the locker room and people in this organization understand how I feel; that's by sitting down and talking to them."

By Rick Maese  | November 11, 2010; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  Donovan McNabb  
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Next: DeAngelo Hall: Eagles' Michael Vick 'might be better than ever'

Comments

Class act.

Shame his coach is such a pathological liar.

Posted by: Vic1 | November 11, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Coach Mike Shanahan hinted earlier this week about possible schematic changes coming out of the bye week....

there'd better be some friggin changed...whats the definition of insanity....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 11, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

After reading this post...I'm changing my prediction for monday's game --

Redskins 37, Eagles 24

Posted by: PlayAction | November 11, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The Life in Washington....Now all of sudden, Philly Media members feel they can stick their nose up on us....

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 11, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Comment on the last pot. I think the world of London Fletcher. On every level, the man is terrific.

But am I the only one who thinks he's not playing at the level he has in prior seasons? He's still a good player -- but I don't see what I've seen in prior years. Maybe it the scheme, maybe its age. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this ...?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 11, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty disgusted with the story lines the media has created from this debacle, e.g. the race card. It's a pathetic attempt to create content from a storyline (the benching) that was only deserving of but one paragraph in a post-game article.

Glad to see the blog finally start rolling out some other headlines consistently though.

Posted by: jsh79 | November 11, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

As for this offense ... I'd like to see Shanahan use Dockery as a FB. Help in blindside pass protection ... especially against stunts and combination blitzes.

He would seal the backside on stretch runs and provide power on runs between the tackles.

We've got a big body who can block, and has decent speed for a guy that size. Use him.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 11, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Class act.

Shame his coach is such a pathological liar.

Posted by: Vic1 | November 11, 2010 12:42 PM |

Still crying that the coach doesn't tell you and the media everything, let me clue you in every coach in the NFL is a pathological liar. You never tell the media the truth why would you.

Tom Brady was on the injury report for NE for like 6 years, with an injury he never had.

It's called mis-information and it is essential to a teams success.

Posted by: Flounder21 | November 11, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Screw McNabb and his passive-aggressiveness.

Know your role Donavan. You're a 2-year stop-gap QB who, despite the numbers, is an upgrade from JC. You are NOT on the level of a Peyton, Tom, Drew or even Philip.

My not-so-bold prediction? McNabb goes to Minn or AZ next season and Beck takes the reigns until the QB we draft in April is ready to be thrown into the fire (may be week 10, may be week 3).

I can totally see through McNabbs artificial PC'ness. He knows Shanny is being pilloried and could easily come out and smile and say, "Man, I was playing like azz and couldn't get out of my own way so coach tried to get something going with Rex. I am going to learn from this and come back ready to go out and try to bring home a big win versus Philly."

Instead, he says "I don't remember that" or "That's hilarious" and lets this continue to simmer while basking in the PC protection afforded him by ex-players, writers and analysts. That is B.S. to me and McNabb knows exactly what he's doing.

Dude is a decent QB but he's about as mature and hyper-sensitive as some of the dooshes on this blog.

Shut up and play b*tch.

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | November 11, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 11, 2010 12:47 PM

He's been the best FA signing for us in the last 15 years.

To your point..

It's the scheme and the lack of a dominant NT (average would be an upgrade). He's also been a guy that has always struggled in pass cov and teams are gashing us in the middle of the field.

Posted by: Diesel44 | November 11, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

But am I the only one who thinks he's not playing at the level he has in prior seasons? He's still a good player -- but I don't see what I've seen in prior years. Maybe it the scheme, maybe its age. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this ...?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 11, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------

One concept of the 4-3 is to 'funnel' things to your MLB (given the 5 on 4 blocking, that means there should be one running lane between the tackles).
Ray Lewis earned his HOF stripes in such a system, Uhrlacher, etc are hallmarks of this system in its heyday about 5-10 years ago.

On the flip side, the 3-4 emphasizes the flexibility of the rush end to collapse on any given play, meaning that the Wares and Orakpo's of the league get more of the headlines. So it shouldn't really be a surprise if his 'rep' points diminish.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | November 11, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

We've had 2 weeks to prepare.

Philly is going to get killed.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 11, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

But am I the only one who thinks he's not playing at the level he has in prior seasons? He's still a good player -- but I don't see what I've seen in prior years. Maybe it the scheme, maybe its age. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this ...?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 11, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse


Fletch has been a career 4-3 MLB (if I'm not mistaken) and there's some adjustments to the 3-4.

Rocky Mac indicated earlier in the year that the 3-4 is more of an "equal opportunity" scheme for the ILBs - meaning Fletch is sharing the tackles with Rocky.

In the 4-3, it seemed that the scheme was designed to keep Fletch free to run around and make all the tackles...not so much now.

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jsh79

I assume you read the Wise article this morning? I'd like to see him follow up by asking Doc Walker why, if he's a racist, did Shanahan go out of his way to bring DMac to town to run the offense.

The whole thing is ridiculous. The WaPo sports page is turning into a tabloid.

Posted by: NYPDee | November 11, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

We've had 2 weeks to prepare.

Philly is going to get killed.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 11, 2010 1:16 PM

That's not haiku iH8.

Posted by: PlayAction | November 11, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

So what "schematic" differences do we expect to see?

My guess is that it will be geared around masking the weakness of the interior line in pass-pro.

-more 3-step drops
-more Fred Davis (hopefully) as a short-intermediate pass-catcher
-more screens (including TE screens, maybe this is another way FD gets involved)
-more roll-outs (assuming the hammies are sufficiently healed)

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I didn't even read the "Old Wounds" article.

You know what opened up old wounds for me?
Seeing our QB throwing a late pick and taking a ton of sacks.

This has nothing to do with race, whoever wrote that is a moron.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 11, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

We've had 2 weeks to prepare.

Philly is going to get killed.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 11, 2010 1:16 PM

That's not haiku iH8.

Posted by: PlayAction | November 11, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse
I love haikus. It is haiku day?

I agree with p1: more screen passes to negate the weak interior line.

More Fred Davis.

Then run the ball.

I believe the coaching staff will figure it out.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 11, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I can totally see through McNabbs artificial PC'ness. He knows Shanny is being pilloried and could easily come out and smile and say, "Man, I was playing like azz and couldn't get out of my own way so coach tried to get something going with Rex. I am going to learn from this and come back ready to go out and try to bring home a big win versus Philly."

Instead, he says "I don't remember that" or "That's hilarious" and lets this continue to simmer while basking in the PC protection afforded him by ex-players, writers and analysts. That is B.S. to me and McNabb knows exactly what he's doing.

Dude is a decent QB but he's about as mature and hyper-sensitive as some of the dooshes on this blog.

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | November 11, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse


???

So after Shanny came out and made himself look like a fool by giving us 3 different options as to why McNabb was benched, McNabb should just come out and continue the foolery by saying "I know why he REALLY benched me..."

Of course he's going the PC route and dismissing stuff.

If he wasn't going to be PC, he'd say "Yeah, I've got some things to work on, but the reason we stink is because Casey Rabach and Kory Lichtensteiger stink at pass pro. The offensive line has been really really bad in front of me."

I wonder if you'd be up here applauding his honesty...

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Class act. Donovan really doesn't need to address the way in which the coach handled this situation. Integrity (or lack thereof) can speak volumes.

Hopefully, the Shanahans have made the necessary schematic adjustments to showcase Donovan's talent and help this team win. We all know Donovan can still play the game. Remember the Texans game when everyone was singing the praises of McNabb? He and the coaching staff need to step up their game and prove to everyone why they are/were considered "professionals".

Posted by: Neisha_H | November 11, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for putting in Montgomery or Robinson or whoever at center, and playing Dockery at guard again.

We just need brute strength.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 11, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Do the Skins play the Eagles on Monday Night???????? It seems that every Fu-c%$$# week, there is very little discussion from the media about the upcoming game. It's either Devin Thomas;Haynesworth;McNabb;Shanahan, etc

Posted by: kingpenn1 | November 11, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Coach Mike Shanahan hinted earlier this week about possible schematic changes coming out of the bye week.


We have a list of what you should expect to see:

Pete Kendall will replace Kory Lichenslieger at left guard as he has better experience at getting rolled by pass rushers.

Stephon Heyer has let the 'dreads' grow back.

Roydell Williams promises to disappear on the sideline rather than on the field.

Casey Rabach will eat more donuts to have the bulk needed to play against stout nose tackles.

Derrick Dockery will ask, "Who am I and why am I here?"

Joey Galloway will wear an Ohio State Buckeye jersey to remind us all of who he used to be.

And fortunately, Trent Williams promises only to get better.

And this last development is the only one we can guarantee.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Do the Skins play the Eagles on Monday Night???????? It seems that every Fu-c%$$# week, there is very little discussion from the media about the upcoming game. The weekly topic is either Devin Thomas;Haynesworth;McNabb;Shanahan, etc

Posted by: kingpenn1 | November 11, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Diesel44, p1funk, mattsoundworld

So I'm not the only one who has noticed Fletcher seems to have lost something.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 11, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Stephon Heyer has let the 'dreads' grow back.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 1:31 PM

I hope not. Since cutting them, he is the spitting image of a young Dexter Manley. Don't think so? Check out the picture of him sitting on the bench on the WaPo Redskins page. I checked to see if the bench he was sitting on was really a disoriented Gary Hogeboom.

Posted by: MColeman51 | November 11, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

he is the spitting image of a young Dexter Manley. I checked to see if the bench he was sitting on was really a disoriented Gary Hogeboom.

Posted by: MColeman51 | November 11, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

You mean a disoriented Danny White?

Posted by: Rusty6392 | November 11, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

EAGLES Suck!!!!!!!!

Posted by: BeatDontStop | November 11, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"One reporter noted that McNabb never faced questions in Philadelphia about his conditioning or his understanding of the playbook"

Really? I seem to remember a looong off season of questions about McNabb's conditioning after his Super Bowl super-slow 2 minute drill.

Come on washingtonpost.com. You are turning in to Fox News.

Posted by: jgarrisn | November 11, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

waiting for w. mongtgomery to provide brute strength on o-line"..it is obvious you are from another world if you think w. montgomery can prove brute strength he is just as weak and sickly as licthensteiger and rabach but shamm-o-KLAN NEVER attacks any of them because he is so-called white like them..and to take it a step further the DIC-azz-head-tater has only attacked black players (haynesworth,mcnabb,thomas,e. williams) even back-up bums like doughty never a disparaging word from this liar,racist and loser.

Posted by: wathu19 | November 11, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I think LF has fallen off too, but he's probably getting old. Stubborn too which means he will play at a high level for the next couple years but not what he was...

Posted by: ElYeah | November 11, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say Fletch has fallen off. If i'm not mistaken I think he's number 2 or 3 on the Skins in total tackles. He's everywhere. Probably would be leading the team if we didn't have that beast numero 30.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 11, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Number 9 in the NFL in total tackles. Has 2 forced fumbles. 2 fumble recoveries. 1.5 sacks. Fletcher falling off? C'MON MAN! Dudes still a beast!

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | November 11, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

It's one thing to lie about an injury report.

It's quite another to lie and call another man "stupid" and "lazy."

Shanahan is a fraud.

I've seen enough. No surprises left for me.

And to think people actually compared him to Joe Gibbs.

It's like comparing Michael Vick to John Elway. They both can win, but which one would you rather win WITH?

And flounder21 and the other Shanny Youth will just keep eating the feces bars with corn and calling them chocolate, calling everybody else stupid for saying, "Hey, this candy bar is actually a toilet log!"

Zeig Heil, Shanny Youth. Your Supreme Leader-lead team has the same record as my Redskins. I just don't find cause to swallow his Bull Sh!t without calling it just that.

He's so full of it, no wonder his head is bright Fking Red. He's constantly pushing crap out of his mouth. He's probably got a Broncos diaper on under his starter pants, the sawed-off little tyrant.

I volunteer to bash his face in on behalf of the team. Let's see how well he does with TWO glass eyes.

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 11, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

So what is Shanahan to do if McNabb has a sub 70 quarterback rating with 2 interceptions on Monday night against the Eagles? I say bench him. Put up or shut up.

Posted by: thorhero | November 11, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Lost in the vitriol against Shanny on this board is the fact that Donovan has crappy stats. 7 TD and 8 INT. Is that what you want out of the QB position? I like that he is a generally calm guy and can manage the game but he's been incredibly streaky. I'm sick of seeing the Skins jump out to a big lead and then try and hold on for the win.

Posted by: calhokie | November 12, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

"Coach Mike Shanahan hinted earlier this week about possible schematic changes coming out of the bye week" Does that mean he figured out that playing to a player's strength (especially an 11 year veteran) is better than trying to "coah him up" and squeeze that square peg through that round hole thing? GREAT!! I knew there was a reason they called Shannahan a genius!

Posted by: eello | November 12, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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