QB Controversy?? STFU, Please.

As a diehard Redskins fan, I had to give my two pennies on this here big pile of doo-doo that we’re facing.

Yesterday, while trailing 31-25 with 1:45 left in the fourth quarter, the Redskins began what they hoped was a touchdown drive from their own 30 yard line to win the game. As the offense lined up, I noticed a number 8 jersey standing on the field behind the center. “Wait, that’s where the quarterback usually stands. And Donovan McNabb, the starting quarterback, is number 5, not 8. So who is….oh God. NOOOOOO!!” But it was too late. It took about 3 seconds after the ball was snapped for my all my fears to come true. Pressure. Fumble. Touchdown. Lions. Game. Not the kind of touchdown drive I was hoping for.

Twitter was overrun with cries of outrage. Facebook news feeds drenched with profanity and insults. The Redskins message board nearly imploded on itself. The rivers ran red with blood.

It was an awful decision by a two-time Super Bowl Champion coach. Taking your franchise quarterback out of the game with less than two minutes to go when the game is still in reach in favor of your backup quarterback who hasn’t played a down all season. Not to mention the fact that you’re going to be putting him behind an offensive line that couldn’t block Lindsay Lohan if they tried. Not to mention the fact that your backup quarterback is Rex Grossman. It’s pretty impossible to support this decision no matter how you look at it.

I knew the media was gonna make a huge deal out of this and they have every right to. But there isn’t a quarterback controversy. Mike Shanahan hasn’t lost the team. The DC sports media lives for something negative to say. And to be honest, the Redskins make that EXTREMELY easy. But come on! I think the biggest mistake that people can make is to think that this one decision nullifies Shanahan’s abilities as a coach. Today, Shanahan spoke about the fact that McNabb was not at 100% before the game. Injuries that were sustained in weeks past, including sore hamstrings and a shin contusion, weren’t completely healed. Add in the fact that the offensive line came dressed as turnstiles while McNabb got sacked 6 times, including a couple of times when Casey Rabach tripped McNabb himself (#jesusbeanoffensiveline). So Shanahan felt Rex Grossman, being 100% healthy & not hobbling around, gave us a better shot. It smells like BS, I know. And yes, it was STILL a dumb decision on his part & one that I wouldn’t have made, but how much of that is hindsight? If Rex Grossman had somehow gotten a drive together and won the game, we’d be talking about Shanahan the Genius. He took a risk & it didn’t pay off. It happens.

McNabb had been wildly inaccurate before that & was getting beat up pretty bad. To be honest, I didn’t have any confidence in him getting something together with the offense at that point. Granted, I don’t believe McNabb gives you a worse chance to win ANY game than Rex Grossman, but it’s not my team. Shanahan is the coach. The only problem I really have with the whole thing is Shanahan not admitting that it was a mistake to take McNabb out. At the same time, I respect him for sticking to his guns and not backing down from the decision he made. He supports it and won’t second-guess himself. As a coach, you make a decision and have the confidence that it’s the right one. The funny thing is, if McNabb had stayed in and gone 3-and-out (like he had been doing all game long), or worse, fumbled or thrown a pick (like he did earlier), then I can almost guarantee people would’ve been calling for Grossman to see what he could’ve done sighting McNabb’s inability to do anything for most of the game (and the game against Chicago). That’s the world we live in. Hindsight coaches.

The real question isn’t why Shanahan benched McNabb, cause what’s done is done, but how they’ll get past it. How will the team react to this through the rest of the season? That will be the real test. How does Shanahan get his team motivated and hungry after a devastating loss like that? After benching his franchise quarterback? After all the vitriol and pessimism is released into the air, how will this team react? If we keep winning games, keep fighting, keep improving, and McNabb (for some reason) signs an extension, no one will even remember this happened. The DC sports media will go back to speculating about Albert Haynesworth giving Mike Shanahan the finger when he’s not looking or something. But if we keep losing, and losing ugly, may God be with Mike Shanahan.

-TDA

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4 thoughts on “QB Controversy?? STFU, Please.

  1. FIRST!

    ” If Rex Grossman had somehow gotten a drive together and won the game, we’d be talking about Shanahan the Genius.”

    He’s clearly no Bill Belichick. 😉 Going for it on 4th down and actually making it is genius. removing your starting QB is stupid and if it works, it’s lucky at best.

    I think it is ridiculous that Donevan was removed from the game. How do you bounce back and instill confidence when deep down most players doubt you really have it. Football is one of the few sports where believing in team is important. You have to trust someone will make a tackle for you or that your tackle and hits to the head are worth it. Sadly, McNabb can’t believe in his offensive line and he still goes out to play.

    On a side, long winded note: The way people describe genius reminds me of how some describe impulsive in the addiction field. Something is only impulsive if the outcome is negative. Relying on the outcome to define a word isn’t the best solution especially when trying to create pre-clinical instrumental models to treat addiction. Anyway, leave it up to a psychologist.

    With that said, McNabb, there is a team out there who will ride or die for you. You just haven’t found it yet. Go to the gym and workout some. You’ll be irresistible!

    • “removing your starting QB is stupid and if it works, it’s lucky at best.”
      I agree with a lot of your points. Like I said, I thought the decision was stupid before the fumble & even worse after it. It is true that even if it did work & we won the game, now you have questions as to who your quarterback is going into the future. The drama wouldn’t go away. And this post isn’t a rebuke of McNabb. I love the guy and hope he stays. He’s easily the best QB the Skins have had in 20 years.

      However, I can’t fault Shanahan for doing what HE felt was best for the team to win. Confidence in your players is needed, but he’s also trying to figure out what this team is. Almost everyone is auditioning to stay on the team. Shanahan has shown that he doesn’t care who you are or when you were drafted (e.g. Devin Thomas). There’s the “win now” mentality, but also the “we’re rebuilding” reality for the Redskins. Let’s be honest, McNabb has kept us in some games with his playmaking ability, but also looked extremely mediocre at other times. Shanahan, regardless of how many draft picks we traded for the guy, might not be that happy with McNabb’s play thus far. Maybe this lights a fire under McNabb and this whole thing blows over or maybe the relationship between them is forever destroyed. We’ll see. But I respect his decision.

      The worst thing Shanahan did was to handle his explanation of his decision so poorly during his press conference. I mean, he basically threw McNabb under a bus. Shanahan is the type of coach who usually doesn’t give the media anything, so it was surprising that his explanation seemed to be so damning of McNabb. Maybe Shanahan didn’t trust McNabb to get it done and just wanted to try something new or maybe McNabb’s injuries are more serious than we thought and Shanahan was trying to protect him by saying that Rex had more experience in the 2-min drill. I don’t know. It just added fuel to the fire though.

      The Redskins are still a team without much of an identity and a coach trying to figure out where we’re going. Down the road, the 2 draft picks used to get McNabb might have been wasted thanks to this moment right here. Who knows? Shanahan obviously wasn’t in a rush to extend his contract before this point anyway. All I can say is that the honeymoon is definitely over.

  2. I can’t help but wonder if there is a race issue. I’m normally the last to bring up the race card, but after receiving a text from my cousin this morning about how this has to do with McNabb being black, I can’t help but wonder. I responded to this text saying that no smart being would allow racism to keep him from winning and keeping a job. I could be wrong.

  3. Add in the fact that the offensive line came dressed as turnstiles

    lmao I LOVE THIS!!!

    im in agreement with Ivy. i think it was a stupid decision and even had Rex not choked, it still reeks of WTF?!i think its a bad move to put in a completely UNPREDICTABLE backup who hasnt taken a snap all season in the last 2MIN!!! i dont give a damn if he ran the best 2min drills during practice–practice is NOT the real thing.

    donovan clearly struggles with the o-line. and perhaps he does have some injuries that keep him from overcoming and overcompensating for the horrendous o-line. but to me, a good coach will make shifts before the 11th hours. why not take McNabb out sooner (like the 3rd q or beginning of the 4th), see how Grossman does, and then go from there? i mean, the LAST 2MIN WHEN YOUR TEAM IS DOWN!?!?! thats a TERRIBLE IDEA!!!! its not all on Grossman, dude was probably nervous for numerous reasons, and rightly so. hes got so much riding on him that its easy to mess up. unfortunately, he didnt have the time to correct his mistake and try again next time.

    Mikey gets an F for effort. *2 thumbs down*

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