The Washington Redskins are off this week, but there’s no reprieve from the constant discussion about why Mike Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb late in last week’s loss to the Lions.
The latest talk comes from a report on ESPN on Sunday morning in which Chris Mortensen said that Shanahan and his son and offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, have had to cut their playbook in half in order to pare it down enough for McNabb to learn it.
And it gets worse: Mortensen reports that even when McNabb is operating with the Cliff’s Notes version of the playbook, he sometimes has trouble correctly calling the plays in the huddle.
At this point, with all these stories coming out about McNabb being unable to figure out the offense, it’s hard not to get the feeling that there are folks within the Redskins organization who are making a concerted effort to make McNabb look bad. That’s exactly what ESPN’s Tom Jackson, who played in Denver for three seasons when Shanahan was a Broncos assistant, said after Mortensen’s report.
“If you have a problem with your quarterback,” Jackson said, “you call [him] in and you discuss that. This has now become so public that the
quarterback is going to be completely embarrassed and it makes his job
In Jackson’s view, Shanahan and McNabb simply won’t be able to work together going forward — and Jackson thinks that’s more Shanahan’s fault than McNabb’s.
“I always thought the job of a coach is to adjust your system to the guy who’s quarterbacking your team,” Jackson said. “This situation is irreconcilable.”