I really think that Mike Shanahan has lost his marbles. He says that he wants to bench Donovan McNabb to see if Rex Grossman can play. This just in–he’s NOT GOOD. Also, McNabb has been moved to 3rd string because John Beck needs to get a look and has been great in practice. Hey Mike, why don’t you call the Dolphins and ask them about Beck? You know what they would say? He’s NOT GOOD. All Shanahan has done with this move is to alienate the locker room and confuse all the fans in Washington. It’s a shame, as the fans in DC deserve much more….
If Dallas is looking for revenge on McNabb for beating them in Week 1, that might have to wait. According to a slew of reports, starting with Jay Glazer of Fox on Sunday, and now ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com, Rex Grossman could be the starting quarterback when Washington crawls into town on Sunday.
This game doesn’t mean much outside of the Dallas and Washington rivalry. Both teams are headed back to the drawing board when the season wraps up in a few weeks. The Cowboys have looked much better under Garrett so I am hopeful that the Cowboys find a way to win this game.
Will the Cowboys be able to slow down Rex Grossman? The stunning news came down Friday morning that a healthy Donovan McNabb would once again be benched. The Cowboys have prepared for McNabb, but I don’t think the prospect of facing Grossman is all that intimidating. At this point, it almost seems like the Shanahans get a kick out of shaking things up. I believe that Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has always been more comfortable with Grossman than McNabb. There have been reports that Kyle wanted to make this move about 13 weeks ago. Now his father will finally give him the chance. So much for that lucrative contract extension for McNabb. At this rate, it’s hard to imagine his starting for the Redskins again. And while the Eagles respect McNabb too much to laugh about this, they certainly have to feel good about their decision. I sat down and watched a few plays from that loss to the Bucs. McNabb did have some awful throws that short-hopped receivers. He can normally play through those bad stretches, but the Shanahans are tired of waiting for him.
Many of the teams that had needs, or have needs at the quarterback had needs last offseason and they did not make a move for Donovan McNabb at that time. The teams that were interested at varying levels were Washington, Oakland and Buffalo. Oakland has gone out and traded for Washington’s former quarterback Jason Campbell and tacked another year onto his contract. Buffalo has found Ryan Fitzpatrick who’s done very well for them this year. Washington went with Donovan McNabb and the move did not work out well for either side.
Players told me they feel like McNabb is a scapegoat for some of the shortcomings of young offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (Mike’s son). Moreover, Kyle’s stock is being questioned within the organization and beyond, according to team and league sources. Players believe Kyle Shanahan favors Grossman from their time together in Houston, and rather than spend the offseason adjusting some of the system to fit McNabb, he views Grossman as a better fit for the offense as is.
Two NFL coaches I contacted said they also believe the coaching staff has been too regimented with McNabb and not adapted its offense to match the potential Hall of Famer’s skills.
“This is Kyle Shanahan only knowing one way to do things and not being willing to make adjustments for the player,” one coach said. “Look at (Philadelphia Eagles coach) Andy Reid. He had one version of his offense for McNabb, and then tweaked it for Kevin Kolb, and then for (Michael) Vick. That’s coaching. I can’t believe they benched McNabb for Rex Grossman.”
(Note: You can drop that “Future Hall of Famer stuff. The media voters only go with Super Bowl heroes now. They would have considered McNabb in his second or third year of eligibility. It’s doubtful they will do so after this.)
So now it’s eight months after the McNabb trade to Washington, and a second highly respected quarterback guy, Mike Shanahan, has spurned McNabb. Whether you like the move or hate it (and I find the timing questionable, certainly, with McNabb having played better than average Sunday in the 17-16 loss to Tampa Bay), the one thing you have to admit is this: Two smart quarterback men have turned thumbs-down on McNabb in the span of nine months. You can defend McNabb all you want, and Lord knows he has his legions of defenders out there, but Reid and Shanahan are in the business of winning football games. Both have been to Super Bowls. Shanahan’s won two of them. And both said they thought they could do better than McNabb.
Wilbon was asked during an interview by NBC Washington if McNabb should stay in Washington. “Stay here for what?” he said, when asked about McNabb’s future. “I mean, I hope they cut him. I hope they cut him, so he can go somewhere else where there’s an atmosphere that’s not Days of Our Lives. Donovaon’s my boy. Do I want to see him in that? No. I don’t. And I was excited when he came. I thought it might be different. But it’s not different.”