Monday, November 1, 2010


Redskins Lose, As Shanahan Benches McNabb For Rex Grossman by Garry Cobb

The game was on the line, yesterday in the fourth quarter with the Detroit Lions having just taken a 31-25 lead over the Redskins. Washington head coach Mike Shanahan made a move that is the talk of the NFL this morning.
He benched starting quarterback Donovan McNabb and put in backup Rex Grossman. According to reporters, Redskins players said they were stunned by the move. After the game Shanahan told the reporters he had a reason for the decision.
“I felt with the time and no timeouts, he was the best chance to win in that scenario,” Shanahan explained. “Just knowing the terminology of what we’ve done, how we run it.”
That doesn’t even sound like the truth. It’s clear like many observers have said. The only way a coach removes his starting quarterback in that situation is because he doesn’t believe in that quarterback.
No way he takes McNabb out of the game if he believes in him and thinks there’s a chance he will drive the ball downfield and get it into the endzone. Grossman had spent only one season with Skins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is head coach Mike Shanahan’s son, so he’s not a master of their two-minute offense.
This move says a lot about what Shanahan and his son think about McNabb and his performances so far. By the way Grossman was sacked and fumbled on his first play. One of the Lions picked the ball up and ran it in for a touchdown, which sealed the Lions victory.
I don’t see any way the Redskins offer McNabb a contract extension, which also means Shanahan will be open to benching McNabb for Grossman in the future. It’s also going to adversely affect the entire team and could be start of the team’s downfall.
After the game, McNabb gave a standard answer and played the good soldier which I don’t think was totally sincere.
“He makes the decisions, I just continue to go with it and just cheer for my team,” he said. “We had opportunities we just didn’t take advantage.”
McNabb was benched a couple of years ago at halftime of a game against Baltimore Ravens, so he’s been down this road before.
“You just have to learn from it and move on,” McNabb said. “I did it then, and I’ll do it now.”
McNabb has to be furious but I don’t think he has any options at this point. I think he will continue to play hard because he knows he’s auditioning for his next job. It wouldn’t make sense for him to get into a public battle with Shanahan because he hasn’t been playing well.
Ultimately, if you’re not playing well, there’s no guarantee you’re going to keep your job. That’s the way it is in the NFL.
Shanahan has come forward to say that McNabb is still his starting quarterback, but I wouldn’t take that to the bank. He’s still his starting quarterback, but……
I think you can be confident that McNabb will be playing for another team next season.
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1 comment:

  1. I am not piling on when I say this, because I have been saying it for years: McNabb is a mediocre quarterback. He was hyped by the media and certain players made him look good (example, Terrell Owens). I do not think you can build a successful team around him anymore. He chokes under pressure.


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