Coach Shanahan, We Don’t Believe You, You Need More People.
Music provides the soundtrack for life. Many of the things that happen in life, there is that perfect song that describes what is going on. Mike Shanahan’s press conference after their loss to the Detroit Lions should have had Jay-z blaring in the background. Shanahan stated that he benched Donovan McNabb and inserted backup quarterback Rex Grossman with 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, because “Rex had a better understanding of our 2 minute drill.”
Here is new quote from Shanahan on why McNabb wasn’t in the game.
Shanahan on Monday said McNabb has been struggling with hamstring injuries for five weeks and didn’t have the “cardiovascular endurance” to stay on the field with the game on the line against Detroit.
Now if you have a drop of common sense, you stared at the TV with twisted lips as those words spilled out of Shanahan’s mouth. The statement itself didn’t make sense, or the reasoning behind it. To think that a Pro-Bowl quarterback that has been to numerous conference championships and a Super Bowl, wouldn’t have command of a 2-minute drill is laughable at best. ‘We don’t believe you, you need more people.’
Shanahan is the master of the ‘non non-issue’. He’s like the girlfriend that’s really pissed at something the boyfriend has done, but when asked, she sits with folded arms and says…..”I’m fine (I know this, because I’ve been guilty of it). It’s the same ‘water under the bridge’ type of statements he gave after Albert Haynesworth FINALLY passed the conditioning test. But we all knew it the water wasn’t under the bridge, but was flooding the bridge. There was that game Haynesworth didn’t play at the beginning of the season, for no apparent reason. It really wasn’t until the unfortunate death of his brother, that Haynesworth and Shanahan have seemed to put the past behind them and Haynesworth’s play has been stellar ever since.
This situation with McNabb being benched doesn’t have anything to do with a 2-minute drill. There is something going on behind the scenes, at practice, or at meetings. Maybe McNabb is changing the plays in the huddle(Willie Beamen), but one this is for sure, coach and player aren’t seeing eye-to-eye. Benching McNabb was his way of saying ‘I run this, and I have the power. Get on board or get left behind.” I have mentioned this before, Shanahan is the antithesis of Vikings head coach Brad Childress. Childress cannot dress himself in the morning without the permission of Brett Farve and ‘lil’ Farve. Childress desperately seeks approval from his players and Shanahan could not give a damn about players’ approval.
The sad thing is both are going about things the wrong way. Shanahan could lose his team because at the end of the day, Shanahan was willing to lose a game to prove a point…correction, he DID lose a game to prove a point. No one is going to follow a leader like that for long. That type of leadership certaintely isn’t going to get the Redskins to the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl.
Shanahan should also keep this in mind, while the discord between him and McNabb and Haynesworth can provide a viable excuse for the continued mediocrity, it won’t shield him long from the wrath of the impulsive, short tempered owner, Dan Synder. The same display of power he demonstrated to McNabb Sunday, can be displayed by Synder as well.