As the fallout from Mike Shanahan’s decision to bench Donovan McNabb late in Sunday’s loss to the Lions continues, there’s increasing talk that the Redskins’ coaches are frustrated because McNabb doesn’t go hard enough at practice.
On Monday night ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Shanahan wasn’t pleased with McNabb’s practice habits, and on Tuesday morning ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck, who spent some time on the Eagles’ roster during McNabb’s tenure in Philadelphia, said poor practice habits are par for the course for McNabb.
“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.”
Although Hasselbeck said he didn’t think Shanahan’s decision to bench McNabb on Sunday was wise, he did say that he can understand why a coach would be frustrated with McNabb.
“He’s trying to send a message that we need more tempo at practice,” Hasselbeck said. “Everybody’s watching you, you’re the quarterback.”
At least, McNabb is the quarterback for now. But Shanahan has shown that in crunch time, he won’t hesitate to pull McNabb for Rex Grossman.