The surprising decision of Redskins coach Mike Shanahan to bench quarterback Donovan McNabb with the game on the line has triggered plenty of media consternation.
It also could be causing major problems within the organization.
As explained in this week’s Monday 10-pack and in my post-SNF game visit with Bob Costas (appearing in the video box below, after addressing the Randy Moss situation), the idea that McNabb was yanked because his backup knows the two-minute offense better than the starter holds less water than a camel with a kidney infection.
And with two weeks to analyze and scrutinize and hypothesize, this one will get more interesting in time. Especially as other players on the team make their feelings known.
First up? Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, the original tenant in the Shanahan Family Doghouse. “I mean, that’s Donovan McNabb on your team,” Haynesworth said, per Mike Wise of the Washington Post. “I would always
keep him out there on the field — no matter what. That’s just me.”
A player who requested anonymity told Wise that the player “felt the strained relationship between McNabb and Kyle Shanahan,” and that McNabb “gives the offensive unit more confidence in the
huddle than any player in recent team history,” which “counts for more
than a scheme.”
Look for more accounts like this to emerge. It’s Shanahan-McNabb, and everyone in the organization will have an opinion.
In the end, Shanahan’s is the only one that matters. But his effort to coax the best performance out of McNabb (or, perhaps more accurately, a better performance than mediocre) could create the kind of problems that could keep this team from achieving its potential, what its potential may be.
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