Well at least Mike and Kyle Shanahan know how to keep things interesting. By this time last season, the Redskins were simply playing out the string under lame-duck coach Jim Zorn. On Friday morning, news broke that the Redskins had once again benched starting quarterback Donovan McNabb, this time for good.
Something tells me that McNabb won't be able to use this benching as leverage, as we saw happen when Mike Shanahan yanked him from a game in Week 8 against the Detroit Lions. On Nov. 15, the Redskins appeared to make a commitment to McNabb with a contract extension, but we quickly found out that only $3.5 million was guaranteed. Now that McNabb will reportedly be the third quarterback behind Rex Grossman and John Beck the rest of the season, it's pretty clear he won't return to Washington in 2011.
McNabb was coming off another poor performance against Tampa Bay and he has been pretty bad all season by his standards. But then, it's not exactly like he had "The Fun Bunch" as a supporting cast. Shanahan's decision to head to training camp with an aging collection of running backs and wide receivers hurt this team. First-round pick Trent Williams has been pretty good at left tackle, but he's about the only offensive lineman you could brag on.
With today's news, the Philadelphia Eagles look as shrewd as ever with the timing of their McNabb trade to the Redskins. Yes, I know they had Kevin Kolb in mind as McNabb's replacement, but it's still hard to argue with their decision. McNabb has once again been humiliated by Shanahan & Son. The Redskins tried to sell a fan base on McNabb as the starter for at least two or three years, but the head coach quickly soured on his new quarterback.
It's one of the most remarkable stories of the NFL season. With all the excitement surrounding Shanahan's arrival, you thought he'd be given plenty of grace in this first season. But nearly all of that is gone. Now the Redskins probably will have to draft a quarterback and start over.
I'm sure Mike Shanahan will portray this as a failure on McNabb's part, but I think the coach deserves a large share of the blame. He has been around some of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, and most of us believed he could figure a way to function with McNabb as his quarterback.
On Friday, Shanahan conceded that he wasn't up to the task. McNabb will find a home in a place like Minnesota or Arizona next season, so he'll be fine. I don't think we can say the same for the Redskins.