What they're saying about McNabb
Mike Shanahan's benching of Donovan McNabb has been the most talked about story in the NFL this week. Here's a roundup of what people are saying, including some of McNabb's ex-Eagles teammates.
What they're saying about McNabb
I hate starting posts with disclaimers, but it's probably necessary here.
If you don't care about what's going on with Donovan McNabb, Mike Shanahan and the Redskins, click away. I'll have a more Eagles-focused post later.
But if you have any interest in what's been the most talked about story in the league this week, here's a roundup of what people are saying around the country:
SI.com's Peter King doesn't expect McNabb to be in D.C. for too long:
I think the Redskins have long-term questions about Donovan McNabb's work ethic, mechanics, footwork and ability to play well in the clutch. That's why coach Mike Shanahan has spent the past few days explaining and re-explaining why he pulled McNabb from the final minutes of Sunday's game against Detroit, with the outcome still very much in doubt.
Mike Wise of The Washington Post rips the Redskins and Shanahan, and defends McNabb:
McNabb was left twisting in the wind by a coach who has now indicted the intellectual abilities and physical fitness of an established professional in a span of 48 hours, without once uttering, "Oh, yeah, and the offensive line we failed to significantly upgrade is just putrid. Oh, and we probably should have found a younger, more athletic target at wide receiver than Joey Galloway, who we acquired off waivers from the Paleolithic era."
Tim Hasselbeck questioned McNabb's practice habits as an Eagle. Here's what he said during a radio interview, per ProFootballTalk.com:
"I was a teammate of Donovan McNabb's in Philadelphia," Hasselbeck said on Mike and Mike in the Morning. "One of the things that drove them crazy in Philadelphia was the lack of tempo at which he practiced. . . . It was always something where you're leaving the quarterback meeting and it would be, 'Hey, listen, the head man wants a little more tempo today.' Nearly every single day. That's been the deal with Donovan McNabb. I know exactly what Mike Shanahan is talking about."
Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com rips Shanahan and the Redskins organization:
While spewing Mike Shanahan’s narrative Tuesday on ESPN, Chris Mortensen kept pointing to Andy Reid’s decision to trade McNabb within the division as a sign that McNabb is no good. Maybe Reid was smart enough to look at the Washington roster and realize only Peyton Manning could make the Redskins offense mediocre. One thing we know for sure is Rex Grossman isn’t the answer. Unlike the dumb, fat and lazy McNabb, there’s seven years worth of NFL information that says Grossman isn’t a long- or short-term solution.
Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post has no problem with Shanahan's decision:
The main thing the Redskins complain of is a lack of consistent rhythm. This seems directly a result of McNabb's enigmatic play. He ranks second in the league in plays of 40 yards or more - he's a spectacular big playmaker. Yet he had completed just 23.5 percent of his passes on third down going into the Lions game. And third down was a critical failing against the Lions. "I'm not sure I've ever been in a situation where we had as many third and longs," Shanahan observed.
Les Carpenter of Yahoo Sports writes that Shanahan can't hide his sourness of McNabb:
Clearly, though, something is wrong. Too much smoke is flying around Redskins Park. Communication between coaches and quarterback looks broken. An example of this came after Kyle Shanahan, answering a question that came at the prodding of a Redskins official, said the relationship with McNabb is good and as evidence of this offered that McNabb and Grossman went out on Monday night and invited him along. A few minutes later, McNabb, on a weekly radio appearance he makes on a station owned by Redskins owner Dan Snyder, confirmed that he went to dinner with Grossman but said “no” when asked if he asked any coaches to join them.
Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post calls Shanahan's decision a dumb one:
But benching McNabb is completely dumb. Bringing in Rex "Pick Six" Grossman to relieve your starter, a guy you traded for, is stunningly dumb. Telling people that you went to Grossman because he knows the two-minute offense better is even dumber. And believing it, if you actually do, is the dumbest thing yet.
As noted over on Eagletarian, Terrell Owens wasted little time taking a shot at McNabb:
"Well, I don't really want to start anything, but I did play in the Super Bowl and there were rumors where he couldn't get our two-minute offense going at the end of the game," Owens said. "I'm just saying."
ESPN.com's Ross Tucker wonders whether Shanahan knows what he's doing:
As I wrote in September, the quarterback is the guy everybody looks to for leadership in tough situations, and Shanahan's decision to pull McNabb for Rex Grossman, even though it was still only a one-score game, could serve to undermine McNabb's ability to lead. It is imperative that all the players believe wholeheartedly in the signal-caller, and most -- if not all -- of the Skins felt that way about McNabb because of the career he has had. Now, at least some of them will question that, and both McNabb and some of those teammates may be wondering if Shanahan will give his QB the hook should the offense struggle in its first couple of series over the next few games. That's not good.
Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports says Shanahan's always had trouble managing his quarterbacks:
Now, it seems as if McNabb is becoming the latest member of the Shanahan’s Society of Disillusioned Quarterbacks. Eventually, however, the common denominator in this group is not something about their ability. Rather, it’s who’s managing them.
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