Shanahan provides lukewarm endorsement of McNabb

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Former Eagles, Redskins, and Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb wants another NFL job.  Recently, his former coach in Philly gave McNabb an endorsement.  On Wednesday’s PFT Live, I gave McNabb’s coach in D.C. a chance to share his views on the subject.

Specifically, I asked Redskins coach Mike Shanahan what he would say if someone called for a reference on McNabb.

“One of the reasons we did get Donovan is Donovan is one of the best throwers in the National Football League,” Shanahan said.  “And you saw what he did through the early part of his career.  He could throw the ball, and he’s got great mobility.  You know, the thing that I look at as people get older, ‘Do you want to make that commitment?’  You’ve gotta be in the best shape you’ve ever been in.  As you get older, if you want to play at a very high level, you’d better be in the best shape.  You’d better study, especially when you’re coming in to learn a new system.  You know, you’ve got to spend a lot of time.”

Arguably implied in those remarks is the suggestion that McNabb wasn’t in the best shape and didn’t study the new system as much as he should.  At a minimum, it’s a warning to a potential employer that, before taking a chance on McNabb, he needs to make his commitment to being in shape (i.e., the shape of something other than a pear) and working hard at his craft.

“One of the reasons why we didn’t go in that direction, even after giving up a second [round draft pick] and fourth was we felt [it was] in the best interests of our team to go another direction.  Obviously, it didn’t work out.  I wish him the best.”

Asked whether he has heard from any other teams regarding McNabb, Shanahan said, “No, I don’t think so.  No one’s called me.  And I don’t think anyone has called [offensive] Kyle [Shanahan].”

Shanahan conceded that Donovan McNabb did some good things in Washington, but that at the end of the day the team had to make tough decisions in the hopes of getting to the playoffs and winning a Super Bowl.  Reading between the lines, however, it’s fairly clear that the Redskins decided McNabb wasn’t willing to put in the effort to get the most out of his abilities on the wrong side of 30.

The full clip appears below.  And while nearly all of the content appears above, the video includes shots of McNabb frolicking on a beach in something other than “the best shape [he’s] ever been in.”

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36 responses to “Shanahan provides lukewarm endorsement of McNabb

  1. We’ll if no one else has ever called him that, I will:

    Offensive Kyle Shanahan! There. I said it.

    Trying to pass off Beck as a pro starter. That was pretty offensive.

  2. Shanahan’s all like: yeah he’s pretty good, I mean I wouldn’t sign him but someone else should, preferably in our division.

    Reid’s all like: absolutely someone should sign him. He’s got a lot left in the tank. Someone in our division should definitely sign him.

    McNabb’s all like: I should be in the hall of fame, someone should sign me, preferably in the NFL.


  3. Why?
    McNabb wasted no time throwing Shanahan under the bus when he failed in D.C. and he is still doing it even after he bombed in Minnesota.

  4. “football fans everywhere provide lukewarm endorsement of Shanahan as a headcoach without John Elway at QB”

  5. Look at Shanny being diplomatic! There is some obvious “read between the lines” type quotes, but he used to just say that stuff! Lol

  6. It’s alot easier to say that McNabb was in bad shape than to admit you were duped. McNabbs inadequacies were apparently covered up throughout his career. I found them glaring enough, but alot of people didn’t seem t see them. Reid has a great system, it’s too bad he is terrible at picking starting QB’s….

  7. Coach Shanahan has moved on. He was as politically correct as a former employer could have been. He highlighted McNabb’s positive contribution and moved on from the subject. Skin’s fans have moved on also.

    #HTTR #RG3

  8. As a Redskin fan I really havn’t disagreed with many of the things Shanahan has done. However, and this is not revisionist history, signing #5 was one of them. I never feared him as a Redskins fan. I knew that when playing Philly eventually somewhere in the game #5 would give us a chance to win. Now, our clubs often weren’t good enough to take advantage of those chances, but the chances were given. I know Shanahan has his detractors–rightly so. However, I think history has proven and will continue to prove that he’s on the right side of this one. And, a couple others (Haynesworth, Portis, etc.) His plan may not be the BEST plan, but it’s definitely not the crazy mess that Vinny would craft up while trying to “build” a contender. #5 even seems to be admintting that Shanahan was on to something. Now he’s committing himself to losing weight and working on fundamentals. Isn’t that what Shanahan was trying to get him to do and he balked? “They want me to play like a robot.” I know many of you don’t like him, but you should admin that it looks like he got this on correct.

  9. Shanny is right, the older you get the harder you have to work in this league. #5 simply does not seem to want to put in the work. It’s too bad because he’s tarnished his career a bit these last 2 seasons, and with all the popping off he now does in the media.

  10. McNabb’s just a lazy-ass. He used to be one of the best in the league in Philly. But he doesn’t want to work hard, on conditioning or in the film room. He’s just got this lackadaisical attitude and it’s not good for the locker room.

  11. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- When the guy in front of his TV with a beer in his hand knows McNabb is going to be a bust in DC, and the guys getting paid MILLIONS can’t see it coming, something’s silly……….

    But anyway, all is forgiven now, the Redskins fans are going to be completely head over heels in love with the Shanahan/Allen combination, because NOW they’re doing things right- YOUTH, draft picks, etc……..this year they’ll be much improved, and next year they’ll be competing for big things.

  12. Mr. Wright 212 says: May 16, 2012 3:01 PM

    But people were falling all over themselves to endorse a guy who hadn’t played football in a year coming off FOUR neck surgeries?
    McNabb would probably have been better off not playing football last year. Manning may have missed a season, but he doesn’t have any game tape in his file like the tape of Donovan in Minnesota. I’m sure if four surgeries could remove that blot from McNabb’s resume, he wouldn’t think twice.

    Really, it boils down to a question of whether it’s better for one’s career prospects to sit out a year and return to form, or play poorly and get benched: a question that neither Mr. Wright nor I are qualified to answer. The only person who can truly make a call like that is an NFL GM, and I believe the answer was declared loudly and clearly back in March when Manning became a Bronco, while an unemployed McNabb continued working on destroying his legacy.

  13. I disagree with the detractors on a few fronts.

    1) QBs don’t need to be in the type of shape now that they needed to be in 10+ years ago. I’m a Giants’ fan so I know. Eli will never confuse anyone with having a body like Calvin Johnson. If McNabb could lose some of the flab, his shape would be just fine.

    2) Arm. The guy still has a rocket of an arm. Does he throw a few worm burners? Sure. But any time that he has had at least one legit weapon, he’s been pretty decent. He had absolutely no one on Wash or Minn. Really, he only had T.O. in Philly for one year and that was the year they went to the Supe. He had DJax and Maclin early in their careers.

    3) Studying. Yes. Agree completely here. If physique isn’t as important as it once was, studying is twice as more important now than ever. Schemes, technology, defenses, all of it is super complex. If McNabb studies, keeps some of the flab off and goes to a team with some hope at WR, he could be effective. Perfect fit would be SF behind Smith or when Smith struggles.

  14. An athlete who is not in shape and doesn’t study to get up to speed on a new system has mentally checked out. Clearly, McNabb has moved on in spirit if not bodily. A guy like him has success playing at a high level, and then he simply wants to repeat it rather than grow and change with age. It is clear to the most casual observer that that his year in Philly, then in DC and the Vikes, McNabb was mailing it in. Time to move on. Go into business or get involved with your wife and kids.

  15. If any NFL organization falls for the McNabb con-job…it should be fined a hefty STUPIDITY TAX!

  16. At a minimum, it’s a warning to a potential employer that, before taking a chance on McNabb, he needs to make his commitment to being in shape (i.e., the shape of something other than a pear) and working hard at his craft.


    Methoughts the shape of a pear could only be applied to Mike Sherman, especially since he’s back in the NFL now.

  17. snowpea84 says: May 16, 2012 3:03 PM

    It’s alot easier to say that McNabb was in bad shape than to admit you were duped. McNabbs inadequacies were apparently covered up throughout his career. I found them glaring enough, but alot of people didn’t seem t see them. Reid has a great system, it’s too bad he is terrible at picking starting QB’s….
    Can’t it be both? While Shanahan was clearly duped, McNabb was also in awful shape and very resistant to learning his new team’s offense. If you sell me a car with a rusted gas tank and I don’t notice until November, when someone later asks what the problem with the car was, do I answer “I was duped”, or do I say “the gas tank is shot”? Just because I was swindled doesn’t mean the car works great and conversely, just because the car is broken doesn’t mean I wasn’t swindled. Basically, Shanahan discussing McNabb’s poor conditioning and sub-par play in Washington is essentially admitting that yes, Andy tricked him, however it doesn’t make Shanny’s remarks any less true.

    Other than that first sentence, this is a really great summary of McNabb’s career and Andy Reid’s strengths as a coach. However, as much as I hate the Eagles I don’t agree that Reid can’t pick good starting quarterbacks. He’s good at choosing passers that fit his system and he uses them to the best of their ability while they play under him. Leaving Philadelphia, however tends to reveal their weaknesses and leads to guys like McNabb and Kolb struggling to start elsewhere.

  18. I like what he said in that hilarious piece on ESPN the other day where he was acting like a fool throwing the football in the ocean. He’s like, “people just saw how strong I was and equivated (?) That I was out of shape. Now that I’m lighter, everybody’s like oh he’s in shape.” Ahaha!!! What a delusional fool!!!! Why would somebody say that somebody who is strong is out of shape? Also, even though he claims to be lighter, I haven’t heard anybody say that they think he’s in shape now. I actually heard a lot of people say be looks out of shape after seeing him strut through the ocean with that big ol gut on him. I would not even trust this guy with a backup role. He’s obviously looking for a couple more paydays.

  19. The Redskins didn’t get a quarterback in the draft, but perhaps the guy they wanted was on the roster all along.

    Coach Mike Shanahan strongly endorsed John Beck’s ability to start in the NFL…
    Beck was tops on Shanahan’s board.

    “It wasn’t even close,” Shanahan said. “He has everything you look for in a quarterback. No. 1 you have to love the game, you have to have the mindset. What I’m looking for is a guy first to work and last to leave. You’ve got to be able to run this offense at a very high level. He can do things with his legs that a lot of quarterbacks can’t do.”

    “I have a lot of confidence in John Beck,” Shanahan said. “I think the world of him.”

    A)If this doesn’t show Shanahans’ views on QBs should be highly suspect, nothing will
    B)Shanahan’s bad mouthing players through leaks to the media is nothing new.
    C)Mcnabb was a handy scapegoat for a lousy Redskin offense which has even got lousier in the year plus after he left.

  20. No one in the NFL has ever understood Mc’Nabbs problem. He has an inate inability, to throw an underneath pass to a crossing receiver. He throws at the receiver, he cannot lead him! All his throws in college were down field! When McNasbb went to DC, the first few games the Receivers were going into an open area and sitting down, so McNabb could throw at them. By week 3/4 the Defences saw that and took it away and thats when he started to throw INT’s and suck. His success in Philly was mostly due to his mobility to buy time and throw deep! His Red Zone problem arose from his inability to lead a receiver, he had to throw at them.
    I don’t blame McNabb as much as I do Reid, for not admitting his mistake and adjusting the offfense to accomadate his QB!

  21. all i have to do is see at the end of the SB game against Pats, he was so out of gas he couldn’t even thtow the ball away… and he was 2 yards from the sideline! stick a fork in him… he’s done

  22. billsfan1 says: May 16, 2012 3:00 PM

    “football fans everywhere provide lukewarm endorsement of Shanahan as a headcoach without John Elway at QB”
    Ask Elway and Steve Young. They might know a bit more than “football fans everywhere” who all listen to the same commentators reciting the same canards about Shanahan not winning without Elway. How many Super Bowls did Noll win without Bradshaw? Zero. Landry without Staubach? Zero. Walsh without Montana? Zero. Shula without Griese? Zero. Blah, blah, blah….

  23. What kind of decent offense can adjust to that? Everybody run button hooks all day? McNabb is cooked. Never liked him or his attitude and now only that he has lost his career Is he working hard supposedly. Every offseason he went to Arizona for his “legendary” workouts then showed up at training pushing 250 and looking like a LB not a QB. Was never all in and it is transparent

  24. Huge Skins fan here….I HATED when we got McNabb. It just reaked of something bad….happy when we released him. McNabb is a terrible leader. It’s always someone else’s fault, I mean, even though I HATE the Eales, they should have won 1 super bowl….McNabb, sorry pal, It’s your fault you are not in the League….and Rex and Beck still are in the NFL.

    Beat it pal


  25. Reid is the best QB man in the NFL

    If you buy one of his QBs expect him to be worse than he was in Philly.

    The End.

    PS I’m a Skins fan.

  26. Philthydelphia masked McNubb’s weaknesses for over a decade. They knew he was lazy and never well-prepared. He wasn’t a leader. His on-field persona was sloth-like. He was never in condition and the only reason he did as well as he did was he had Porky Pig as his head coach.

    When Philthydelphia saw how horrible McNubb played in the Super Bowl – and it was a wretched performance that showed how out of shape McNubb was – Philthydelphia knew it had to get rid of McNubb. The writing on the wall was McNubb against the Cowpukes.

    Shanny over believes in his abilities to coach up all players except for running backs. Shanny thought he could take McNubb and win more games than he’d lose. Unfortunately Shanny didn’t watch enough film about McNubb to see that McNubb is gracious on cam, but a toad on the field. When you factor in that 15% of McNubb’s passes are consistently thrown to the dirt, you know you aren’t dealing with a quality player. And McNubb’s arrogance (masked by his calm demeanor) means he isn’t going to change for anyone.

    Now that McNubb has been a demonstrated loser, he’ll be lucky to sweep locker room floors in any future season. While it may not be said publicly, in private Rush Limbaugh was spot on about McNubb early in McNubb’s career – the only reason he was hyped was because of his skin color – he didn’t have the true talent to warrant such praise. Like it or not, the truth is the truth. Now we see that off-season comments by McNabb that he is working out are all dog and pony shows for the media – smokescreens to the stupid. McNubb is a lazy jerk who will never commit to anything but his own self-promotion.

  27. The Cleveland Browns should ABSOLUTELY consider taking McNabb on as an early season starter and put him I’n a role to prepare Cleveland’s younger QB’s. His experience is wirth the vet minimum Cleveland would have to pay and could boost their wins. Iunless of course Cleveland is tanking the season for next years #1 pick for Barkley which I could understand. Colt McCoy and Breeden behind Center, nobody expects them to win anything. So a tanked season could be pulled off fairly easy, ie, Indianapolis Colts last year. No doubt in my mind they tanked for the #1pick. McNabb could be a SERIOUS addition to the Browns, cheap

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