We’ve heard a lot of media folks ask the question in recent days: Why doesn’t Donovan McNabb defend himself more publicly?
Let’s ignore the fact that most players are skewered when they speak out against coaches. McNabb is so favored publicly in large part because he avoids these situations. Let’s instead focus on McNabb’s agent Fletcher Smith, who decided to stick up for McNabb in a statement released widely Thursday.
“While Donovan’s feelings about Washington remain the same, the Shanahans — both Mike and more specifically Kyle — have made this an extremely difficult relationship to maintain,” the lengthy statement began. “Their comments have been beyond disrespectful and unprecedented for a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback such as Donovan.”
The meat of the statement takes aim at “leaked reports” that McNabb couldn’t grasp Shanahan’s offense.
“I believe there is tension between Donovan and Kyle that’s rooted in the fact that Donovan has suggested modifications to Kyle’s offense based on intricacies Donovan has learned in his NFL career,” Smith writes. “For example, Donovan has asked all year that the team run more screen passes to help manage the pass rush more effectively. Ironically, Kyle decided to employ Donovan’s suggestions after he unceremoniously benched him on Sunday.
“After Donovan quickly led the Redskins down the field and scored what appeared to be the game saving drive against Tampa Bay, Kyle was quoted as saying ‘He’ll [McNabb] never take another snap for me again.’ Remember that statement came after Donovan led the Redskins on one of their best drives of the entire season.”
In theory, the statement is intended to help clear McNabb’s name. The purpose really seems to be an attempt to take down Kyle Shanahan.
We’re not sure it really matters who’s “right.” Both Shanahans and McNabb have been among the NFL’s biggest losers in 2010, and the relationship’s ugly end isn’t helping matters.