I’ve heard of a lot of crazy things from NFL coaches in my lifetime. I’ve heard Lovie Smith continually say that Rex Grossman was his quarterback for months, even though Rex couldn’t hold on to his jock strap without losing it. I’ve heard Andy Reid call his quarterback situation a blessing when it really is a huge curse. I’ve heard Ken Whisenhunt say that Derek Anderson is the perfect man for his offense ( somewhere Matt Leinart is still laughing at that one)…
But there is nothing dumber than what I heard from Redskins coach Mike Shanahan when discussing why he benched Donovan McNabb with less than two minutes and the Redskins down only 6 points yesterday at Detroit in favor of the aforementioned Grossman. Shanahan claimed that Grossman had a better grasp of the two minute offense and gave the Redskins a better chance to win than McNabb… Um, what?
You mean the same quarterback that was cold coming off of the bench that hasn’t played a live snap in two years? You mean the same quarterback who lost his job in Chicago to Brian Griese? You mean he gave the Skins a better chance to win over the six time pro bowler who lead the Eagles to four straight NFC title games and a Super Bowl and that you paid a hefty price for to acquire from Philadelphia? Really Mike… REALLY??!!
Now let me ask Mike Shanahan a question, do any of us from spectators to Skins fans look that stupid? Apparently so in his eyes. Because after Grossman fumbled away the game to Ndamukong Suh and the Lions finished off the Skins 37-25, there was Shanahan feeding the football world his trash. Unfortunately for McNabb he’s seen this episode before.
This is the second time that McNabb has been pulled from a game due to ” performance” in his career and for the second time it leaves you scratching your head as to why.
In Philadelphia he was pulled by Reid for Kevin Kolb at Halftime of a game versus Baltimore where the Eagles were only down by 3 points. Reid’s reasoning was that he felt the offense needed a spark and he pit Kolb in to do so… against the best defense of the decade. The Eagles then got blown out.
However that was different than this benching in the sense that McNabb and Reid had a history, Shanahan has no history with McNabb at all. What he did was undermine his quarterback and basically his entire team.
What kind of message do you send to your team when you bench your starting quarterback late in a game where you need one score to tie and you’re in the thick of a divisional race? Call me crazy but not a good one.
For once in his career I just Donovan to go off on someone like they properly deserve. It seems as though every year McNabb is in the center of some type o controversy and always takes the high road like a true professional. Just once I want him to rear back an let some venom fly onto the individuals who continuously put him in a bad situation. Instead he calmly addresses the situation after it’s over an moves on. He’s a better man than I would’ve been.
The worst part of the whole situation is that the Redskins now have a bye week to let this whole story stew before the Eagles come to Fedex Field on the 15th. That means two weeks of stories, analysis, questions and no answers.
Shanahan says McNabb will stay his starter, but for how long? What about that contract extension McNabb sought after? Why would he want to stay after this incident? Also you have to wonder about the ever present Haynesworth situation. Maybe his behavior towered Shanahan wasn’t his fault after all. Maybe Shanahan brought that tension on by himself just like the McNabb situation.
Just what the Redskins and their fans needed, more uncertainty about their team. They tried to create an identity for themselves with the acquisition of Donovan McNabb and now at 4-4, an improvement over season, they still seem to be stuck in the same position as last year.
In the NFC 4-4 is good enough to stay on the playoff hunt. However, you have to wonder with Mike Shanahan’s decision making how much longer they’ll be there. If any of his decisions are as bad as the McNabb benching then not very long.