Talk continues that McNabb can't figure out Shanahan's offense

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.”

38 responses to “Talk continues that McNabb can't figure out Shanahan's offense

  1. McNabb has never been an intelligent quarterback, but rather one that relied on his uncanny physical ability. With age comes a decline in physical attributes, and that will be the demise of Donovan as a franchise quarterback.

  2. Of course Tom Jackass thinks Shanahan is to blame. He is an apologist for any failing by any player in the league.

  3. He hasn’t been offered an extension for nothing. Manipulative move by Shanahan and less than classy. McNabb will be a Viking next season.

  4. Mcnabb is a SMART MAN……..I repeat, a SMART MAN…….just watch his interviews and letr his answers resonate…….he is brilliant….he did well academically at Syracuse………I worked out with him every off season in AZ……this is total BS by Shanahan…..blame thje recievers, blame his son….dont blame D MAc……….this is getting crazy……trade him to Chicago NOW.

  5. How are they making him look bad? facts are facts and this is big league football. If #5 can’t cut it, then why should the staff blame someone else to cover up for him?
    McNabb makes millions of dollars and part of that deal means taking responsibility for your performance.
    I hate when you guys try to blame a team or coach for a player’s shortcomings!

  6. This article should read “Kyle Shanahan’s in over his head, and Daddy’s protecting him”.
    Donovan is no dummy, this is BS spewing from the Coach and his boy.

  7. It’s looking more and more like Reid covered McNabb’s ass all these years. I mean, who can forget the press conference where, after playing in the league for over a decade, he didn’t know the OT rules….

  8. The boss gets to call some shots.
    not all employees can pull a favre, a la 2008 with the jets, and make the team change the offense after 3-4 weeks.
    mcnabb has always been catered to and had questionable conditioning.
    shanahan isnt catering to him. it’s all so terrible.
    que lastima.

  9. “Sorry to say this, I don’t think he’s been that good from the get-go,” and there is this… “I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”
    Hmmm… oh wait that’s racist, at least that’s what Rush Limbaugh was called in 2003, little else has changed as far as Mr. Over Rated McNabb…

  10. “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.”
    He apparently has difficulty comprehending the Cliff’s Notes version of the overtime rules as well…..

  11. Let me say up front that I don’t think race has anything to do with this.
    But I lived in DC for 6 years, and I am telling you that in that city you need to be damn careful before you accuse your black QB of being too dumb to learn your playbook. There, more than anywhere else, you can’t be leaking that type of stuff.
    David Aldridge, who has lived all his life in the city, said much the same thing on the radio the other day. He pointed out that accusing your top african-american defensive player of being fat and lazy and your top african-american offensive player of being stupid is not going to score you too many points in that city.
    You’re not in Denver anymore, Shanny. Better patch the leaks on that ship or troubled waters are ahead.

  12. I dont believe this post for a single bit. First of all, Mortensen is notorious for reporting incorrect information. Second, this is a rumor site and anything relating to the redskins (mostly bad) is hot news, even when it’s made up or not entirely correct.
    Now, I’m not a skins apologist (they deserve a lot of blame) but I just can’t see this being true since it wouldn’t do any good to release this information. McNabb was in one offense his whole career so it definitely would take any qb time to adjust.

  13. McNabb has never been touted as brilliant but Shanahan should not be saying stuff like that publicly. If McNabb is not playing up to par, then simply bench him and say that Grossman gives them the best chance at winning. Grossman has a bad reputation but he does have skill. People remember that he had the 3 worst QB rating games in 2006…but he had the top 3 that year as well. If McNabb is not cutting it, play Grossman and deal with the criticism. Once Rex wins a couple of games (if he can) the criticism will go away

  14. Guy scored a 14 on his wonderlic, this is borderline illiterate. No suprise here. He’s a system qb that was helped by consistent offenses for 10 years in Philly. If he knows the offense he’s pretty good.

  15. This is getting ridiculous. No one can name one quarterback that mastered a offense in one season. Peyton Manning was an INT machine his first five seasons. Not only McNabb has been playing bad, but the entire offense has been playing bad. I am not going to let McNabb off the hook, and I am surely not going to let Kyle Shanahan off the hook. He called only “ONE” good game this year, and the was against his former team, the Texans. And then in that game he called a “SWEEP” with Larry Johnson on third down! He knows the defense well and practiced against the Texans defense for weeks and years. McNabb and Shanahan needs to get there stuff together because if this was the Patriots, Kyle Shanahan would have been out the door.

  16. McNabb was an Eagle for 11 years. He never seemed to have trouble grasping an Eagles playbook. If he did have trouble, how did he stay the starting QB for 11 years?
    I don’t believe for a second that the mediocre Redskins have a playbook that’s oh-so-much-more complicated. Something reeks of BS here. Either Shanahan is protecting his son or there’s a personality issue between McNabb and someone else. No one who knows football is gonna sit and there and buy this story that, after 11 years as a an upper third echelon NFL QB, McNabb is clueless on how to run on offense.

  17. Damn, Shanahan still stabbing folks in the back? If he keeps this up he will make the 100 million dollar man look like a victim……

  18. Right, he can’t grasp your offense, but he did fine with Andy Reid’s for 11 seasons to the success of 5 NFC championship appearances and a Super Bowl appearance. Yes, because Andy Reid wanted to keep him because he couldn’t grasp his offense for 10+ years because as you recall that he, the actual coach, was the holdout on trading him.. Also, it’s very easy to hide a QB in a “system” for 10+ years. All of these things make sense….in crazy Mike Shanahan world.
    Keep spinning, Mike. Maybe you’ll spin into some success one day without Elway instead of being an overrated loser who will end up being the 5th failed Snyder coaching hire, lol.
    He’s always been a distasteful man, maybe now everyone can see what a piece of garbage human being Shanahan is from how he treated his players in Denver when he seemingly had a lifetime pass to coach that team.
    AFC West fans will tell you that his playbook, despite the media misinformation, isn’t that extensive. He’s varied with formations, but the playbook isn’t that deept. Ask Denver fans about him after Elway left.

  19. Mcnabb is a SMART MAN……..I repeat, a SMART MAN…….just watch his interviews and letr his answers resonate…….he is brilliant….he did well academically at Syracuse………I worked out with him every off season in AZ……this is total BS by Shanahan…..blame thje recievers, blame his son….dont blame D MAc……….this is getting crazy……trade him to Chicago NOW.
    What a ridiculous comment. It is well known that McNabb is not that bright. Does an honor student at Syracuse misuse the ellipsis and use size 16 font ? An A at Syracuse must equivalent to a D at some average school.

  20. andy reid and co are looking like genuises and the shanarat family like a bunch of bumbling idiots.
    who do you think got the better deal 4skin fans? eagles with a 2 and 3 for two future young players that will play for 10 yrs or an aging QB who sucks and the org is throwing them under the bus… is great at doing that as ask all the former players that have played there…..emabarassing.

  21. TD40 says: November 7, 2010 11:58 AM
    McNabb was an Eagle for 11 years. He never seemed to have trouble grasping an Eagles playbook. If he did have trouble, how did he stay the starting QB for 11 years?
    Please correct me if I am wrong Eagles fans ,but I believe McNabb was not allowed to audible was he?
    Really it says it all that a head coach who LOVED McNabb and always took the fall for him whether it was deserved or not TRADED.HIM.WITHIN.THE.DIVSION. Occam’s Razor.
    That said, Shanny’s a total dick who has no sense of how to deal with players and shouldn’t be making personnel decisions nor should he be a HC and he has handled this whole thing very poorly. Let McNabb finish that game, STFU with all his comments on why he pulled him, say he is making the decisions that are best for his team and leave it at that. Then use to bye to prepare the next guy more intensely for the starting role since it is obvious McNabb is not his guy. Calling out a very, very, very oversensitive martyr type like McNabb publicly is NOT going to work. It’s not a good strategy for any player but it’s a killer for a guy like McNabb. Plus it gives all his apologists in the media another reason to coddle him and slam Shanahan..POOR DONNIE! HIZ COACH IS SOOO MEAN! Shanahan has ZERO people smarts. I have said for years he should be an OC…ONLY. And this is coming from a fan of a team he OWNS…the Patriots.

  22. Bwahahaha…I see the Teabagging Rush suckers are out in full force. First…Rush is Gay, OK. Second…Shan is starting to panic…he’ll be fired by years end.

  23. I don’t know how much of this is true or not but let’s keep in mind that this is the first new offense McNabb has had to learn since his rookie year. Campbell on the other hand has had to learn a new offense every single year since he was drafted by the skins and was never given a break by the fans.

  24. McNabbs strengths are feeling and sensing, not intuition and thinking…in fact thinking is his downfall.
    McNabb might be done in a relatively short time unless he can find another more laid back coach like Andy Reid. His introverted feeling isn’t going to mesh too well with all the extroverted thinking in the football world.
    I should have seen this coming a while ago….

  25. “Quarterback isn’t smart enough to grasp the entire playbook.” Code for he’s black.
    Truth is that no quarterback has an entirely new playbook mastered in their first year in a new system. Neither do some assistant coaches for that matter.

  26. CKL
    No, no audibles. And no halftime adjustments for that matter. Maybe they couldn’t veer from a script, for years we just sat confused as to why the gameplan never changed.
    I still can’t figure out if that was McNabb or Reid’s fault…but starting to look at least like equal blame can be shared given what we’ve seen in DC.

  27. I agree with Tom Jackson. And that separates the great coaches from the good ones. Great ones adopt their system to their personnel, good ones are fine as long as they get the players to fit their system.

  28. First, they accuse McNabb of being out of shape, and now they label him as being learning disabled.
    Maybe, but he didn’t seem fat or brainless before Shanahan got hold of him.

  29. ohgoodie,
    Except Dan Marino, the most statistically successful Qb ever, got a 12, lol. If the Shanahans really believe he can’t “grasp” their offense, which isn’tthat complex to begin with, start Rex Grossman, lol. If they really believe that he’s the problem, Rex Grossman is there….he’s been to a Super Bowl, too so if he “gets” their system better, they should be able to win with him easily, lol.
    We’ll see who’s right whenhe’s throwing to Fitzgerald and has a competent head coach next year, as opposed to the overrated pos that he’s working for now.
    If he really believed that McNabb couldn’t “grasp” his offense, he could have called up the CArdinals. I’m sure they would have come off a 3 for him considering that they don’t have a QB and could seriously have made a Super Bowl run with him in the fold in that awful division, even with him coming inmid-season.
    Coaches will learn one day that players win games ,not their systems, and Shanahan hasn’t won as many the last 12 years or so without John Elway or Terrell Davis.
    Also, for you people quoting Rush Limbaugh, the druggie, please get a life. What was he right about? McNabb went on to play in a few more NFC championship games, a Super Bowl the next season, and have great statistical success as well. If you’re using such a weak minded drug addict as your life compass, on this subject or any others, then you’re quite sad.
    I don’t really understand how your opinion of what’s plain to see, that McNabb has been really good for the last 10 years in this league, can be shaped by what a whacked out drug addict told you almost 10 years ago (as evidenced by restating that dumb stance in this context), despite the obvious subsequent success by McNabb…that’s funny.

  30. dbartdog,
    It’ll be interesting to see how they turn on him when his “lifestyle” is exposed just like the drug habit. These people worship their hypocritical heroes, make excuses for them, and don’t miss a beat. No doubt there will be a reasonable explanation for why he likes playing hide the weenie with other weenies, lol.

  31. Shanahan has never done a damn thing with out John Elway.
    When he fails (which is much more often than he is successful) it is always someone else’s fault. Shanahan is a marginal coach at best, has Mike been to 5 NFC championship games? But of course it’s Donovans fault not the play calling from Shanny Jr. After all, if it’s not the starting QB’s fault it would have to be coaching. If Dono is so bad, why not start Grossman for the rest of the year? Guess Grossman doesn’t know little Kyle’s offense either.
    Mike Shanahan is an overrated back stabber that is just protecting he & his his son’s lack of coaching skills by offering up another player.

  32. Making a public comment like this is outrageous. Shady-han cannot say that he hasn’t adjusted his playbook before for other quarterbacks he has coached. It’s an inevitable process that all coaches do. At least the good ones.
    Most professional athletes will tell you that it takes time to learn an entire playbook. Veteran or not. Shady-han’s mistake was placing an unskillful Rex Grossman (who just fumbled the ball) during the last two minutes of a game.
    The Washington Redskins needs major changes. I’m happy for Jason Campbell.

  33. jason “jesus” campbell will prove his worthlessness this week and show that we ripped the lmao raiders off!!! oh wait nevermind i forgot jason campbell is a future hof’er the best black qb in football who even without a run game and help from the wr’s not dropping balls and making plays off his 5 yard passes can win games by him self!! he is so much better than McNabb who is the biggest 1st round flop in eagles history lmao lmao jason campbell is a joke he was one of the biggest wastes of a 1st rd pick in recent Redskins history dude should have been takin in the 6th round def not the 1st! he is really pathetic when you consider a All-Pro Qb capable of winning a playoff game and maybe the Super Bowl went ahead of him by one pick! GOD I WISH SAINT JOE WOULD HAVE TRADED UP FOR A STAR LIKE RODGERS NOT A CHUMP LIKE campbell! Who kno maybe Joe gibbs wouldnt have retired embarrassed cause of his pick of utter failure named jason campbell TRUE THAT TRUE THAT

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