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Tag:Kyle Shanahan
Posted on: October 17, 2011 3:07 am
Edited on: October 17, 2011 1:34 pm
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile: Week 6

Posted by Will Brinson


Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action and figures out the most important storylines for you to digest. Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter. Make sure and listen to our Week 6 podcast review below as well and feel free to subscribe via iTunes.

1. What's Your Deal?
By now, you've undoubtedly seen the little melee that erupted between Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz following San Francisco's 25-19 victory in Detroit.

NFL VP of Communications Greg Aiello confirmed to CBS Sports following the game that the NFL will look into the near-fight that went down, and I'd be pretty shocked if both coaches didn't get hit with some kind of fine. Though Harbaugh didn't do much that was noticeable on the video, he did admit following the game that he probably incited Schwartz' anger.

Schwartz, of course, chased Harbaugh down the field and had to be repeatedly pushed back from the crowd. No matter what Harbaugh did, it's hard to fathom that Schwartz behavior is remotely acceptable in the eyes of the league. And though Schwartz might have looked like the aggressor, the blame has to lie with Harbaugh on this one.

Looking ahead, this might not be a rivalry that dies quickly. Niners offensive lineman Anthony Davis, on his newly verified Twitter account, had a little trash talk of his own after the game.

"They talked s*** to us all week," Davis tweeted following the game. "We said nothin ... Came and kicked that a** ... its f***** football f*** classy.. Save classy for Mortons lol"

Steakhouse humor aside, it's worth mentioning Cliff Avril of the Lions saw Davis' tweet and pointed out that it was "real professional" -- Davis responded by pointing out that he "pancacked [Avril] on a passing play ... sooo uh just be quiet go home play with your kids."

So this shouldn't evolve into anything unpleasant in the near future at all!

What's fascinating about this whole thing is how people are defending both sides. Some folks think that Schwartz is an unhinged lunatic. Some think Harbaugh is an arrogant jerk. (Our own Mike Freeman noted on Twitter that Harbaugh's not making himself any friends around the league with his attitude.)

For me, it's hard to blame Schwartz for his reaction, given the way that Harbaugh behaved following San Francisco's victory:



Whatever, here's hoping they meet again in the playoffs. In the meantime, my top-five list for coaches I would pick for a steel-cage death match:

1. Jack Del Rio
2. Ron Rivera
3. Mike Tomlin
4. Jim Schwartz
5. Raheem Morris

Leave your picks in the comments.

2. Speaking of Coaches ...
You'll notice Sean Payton didn't make my top five. And he might not have even if he was healthy, but he certainly wouldn't be up there after the incident that took place on Sunday, when tight end Jimmy Graham came crashing into the sideline and blew up Payton's knee.

The Saints coach suffered a broken tibia and tore his the MCL in his left knee, which means he'll be knocked out of shape for quite a while.

"It's just one of those things, the play kind of got up on me quicker," Payton said Sunday. "I think the second part of the tackle seemed maybe all of a sudden. I mean, every once in a while you feel like you get pinned with the play and that's what happened."

Of course, Payton wasn't the only coach who was injured on Sunday in this game (think about that; seriously) -- Jimmy Lake, the Bucs defensive backs coach, tore his patellar tendon celebrating an interception celebrating, as Ryan says in the podcast above, Martin Gramatica style.

What I'm wondering is if Payton's injury might derail the Saints offense a little bit. Maybe that's a stretch, and he'll certainly have his hands all over the team's playcalling and management, but it doesn't sound like he'll be down on the field for a few weeks.

"I might have to be up in the press box for a few games," Payton said. "Because it’s a fracture, its different. If it’s the MCL you can have the brace, but the fracture on the outside means the weight-bearing part of it really changes."

Maybe it won't have any bearing -- with the Saints playing the Colts and Rams in the next two weeks, Drew Brees can probably manage the offense all by himself.

2. A Boy Named John
With Washington getting two weeks to prepare for the Eagles, and Philly looking very much like a punch-drunk boxer practically begging for a knockout shot, it stood to reason that the Redskins could take advantage of the Eagles porous defense and pick up a critical division win.

They didn't, and that's mainly because Rex Grossman turned into, well, Rex Grossman.

The 'Skins quarterback threw four interceptions -- three to Kurt Coleman -- and registered a couple of terrible interceptions that should have been picks. This led to him getting benched for backup John Beck.

“Well number one—we needed a spark," Mike Shanahan said afterwards. "John has been practicing very well the past couple of weeks and with four turnovers there we thought it was time to make a change and give John an opportunity to show us what he could do."

(Ed. Note: Week 6 review will be up early Monday.)

Beck, who's so fancy/awesome he dressed like a gas-station attendant for his post-game presser, isn't locked into the starting role yet, though, as Shanny refused to name next week's starter immediately following the game.

"I would never announce that right after a game," Shanahan said of his decision on who he'll start. "I would announce that later on in the week. We'll make a decision after looking at the film."

That's all fine and well, but who didn't see this coming? Because if the Redskins leading the NFC East after five weeks was the least likely thing in the entire world, then Grossman eventually imploding was on the opposite scale of predictability. And now this is quickly shaping up to be the second rendition of the Donovan McNabb-Grossman fiasco from last year.

On the bright side, it's less expensive?

"I want to play," Beck said, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. "I want to be the quarterback. But I’m not the one that makes that decision, it’s coach, and they’ll make the best decision for the team ... What’s gonna happen next, I don’t know. But I’ll just do everything I can to be prepared if my number is called."

If it's me, I roll the dice with Beck, who seemed to at least provide a little spark to the team when he came on the field. It's not like he's been good this year, the Redskins defense has just kept Washington in games. And Grossman's now thrown three or more interceptions in seven of his 45 career starts. Which means 15 percent of the time that you put Grossman under center, there's a 15-percent chance he's going to hand the ball to the opposing defense multiple times.

3. Maybe Romo's Not the Only Choker?
For what feels like the fourth or fifth week this season, it's time to question Jason Garrett's playcalling for Dallas. With the game tied at 13 all and the Cowboys in the red zone, Garrett called a third-down shovel pass despite Dez Bryant sitting in single coverage.

The result was predictably predictable: the shovel pass didn't work and the Cowboys kicked a field goal to go up 16-13. Then, after forcing the Patriots to punt, Dallas ran three straight times (for negative-five yards) and the result was even more predictable: Dallas punted back to Tom Brady, giving him the ball down three points with 2:31 left on the clock.

If you've followed football at all for the last few years, you've probably already figured out what happened. Tom Brady did what Tom Brady does, which is carve up a defense en route to just another routine comeback/last-minute win.

By the time he hit Aaron Hernandez in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown, Dallas had just 22 seconds remaining on the clock to move the ball far enough down the field to get a shot at a Hail Mary, which Tony Romo threw out of bounds.

On that last drive, by the way, Romo completed two passes for 31 yards. Throw those passes on the previous series and we're talking about a signature win for the Cowboys, against the best team in the other conference at their place.

Instead, we're left to wonder why Garrett continually plays, as my colleague Pete Prisco wrote, not to lose, instead of utilizing the weapons he has on offense in the proper way. And by "we" I mean "me and Jerry Jones."

"You'll always second-guess whether or not we should have tried to run a little offense down there instead of running it three times," Jones said after the game, per our Pats Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard. "We went conservative rather than try to get some points and it bit us."

Jones said that doing so in a regular-season game was acceptable, but it's not the type of thing that he'd like to see in the playoffs. Of course, it's hard to imagine the Cowboys making the playoffs if they can't figure out how to turn trips to the red zone into more than three points a pop.

4. Bollers and Pryors OH MY
Many a pundit's willing to point out that the Oakland Raiders, while a half-game back of the Chargers, are the best AFC West team through the first six weeks of the season.

This isn't that far off. The Raiders are pretty good. But despite winning 24-17 over Cleveland on Sunday, Oakland suffered a seriously detrimental injury on Sunday, as quarterback Jason Campbell broke his collarbone and will likely miss the remainder of the season.

“I’m not going to let this football team blink," coach Hue Jackson said Sunday. "We’ll miss Jason for a little while. I have no idea how long it will take [for him to recover]. We’ll see as we go. I know obviously he won’t be here next week. We’ll continue to press forward and get better."

That's the optimistic point of view. The pessimistic? Kyle Boller, Terrelle Pryor and Shane Lechler are now the top-three quarterbacks on Oakland's depth chart. Yikes.

So Oakland has a couple of options going forward. One, roll with Boller. (Again, yikes.) Two, let Darren McFadden carry the ball 50 times a game. (Not terrible, but it could cause some long-term issues in terms of his health.) Three, go out and get another quarterback.

A couple of names spring to mind immediately: Kyle Orton, Donovan McNabb, David Garrard and Carson Palmer. Garrard makes sense because he's openly said he wants to play for a contender and the Raiders, at 4-2, certainly fit the bill.

Orton, McNabb and Palmer seem like longer shots as trade possibilities, but the Raiders have about 36 hours to make a deal, and it's reasonable that the Broncos, Vikings and Bengals would be interested in getting something back for guys that are either going to ride pine the rest of the year or won't bother showing up.

5. Don't Forget the Defense



In this, the year of ridiculously silly offensive outputs in the NFL, it's easy to just gawk at high-powered offensive teams and assume they will end up winning the most games and doing the most damage in the postseason.

But we need to recognize the Ravens for the dirty work they're doing on the defensive side of the ball, suppressed their league-leading points-allowed total to 71 Sunday after casually shut down Houston in a 29-14 victory. Baltimore held 2010 rushing champ Arian Foster to just 49 yards on 15 carries, and limited Matt Schaub to 220 yards and a touchdown in a dominant defensive performance that should make some people take notice.

Ryan and I debated this audio-style, but I think there's a legitimate argument that the Ravens are the best team in the AFC and can contend for the best team in the NFL. Clearly -- quite clearly -- the Packers are the cream of the crop at the moment.

But anyone in the NFL can score these days. Few teams can stop the opposition from scoring. With Haloti Ngata serving as the lynchpin for the defensive line and wrecking havoc on opponents' offensive lines, and with a secondary that's surprising this year, and with Ray Lewis playing rejuvenated ball, the Ravens can do that.

They're lacking in offensive consistency more so than a lot of other teams around the league -- Joe Flacco alternating between awesome and terrible this season is pretty terrifying if you're a Baltimore fan -- but Ray Rice is so good right now that he can carry the Ravens when Flacco's struggling.

And if Rice isn't up for the task, the defense isn't afraid to take over either. Which separates the Ravens from most everyone else in the league.

6. Madden Up to His Old Curses Again
What the hell is going on in Cleveland? Because, one, the Browns aren't winning, so that's a problem. And two, Peyton Hillis has some serious drama surrounding him these days.

We've detailed the drama before (numerous times, actually), but Sunday took things to a whole new level. For starters, Hillis rushed just six times for 14 yards and then left with a hamstring injury, pulling up lame after taking a second-quarter screen pass from Colt McCoy only to have it negated by an illegal shift penalty.

After halftime, Hillis returned and appeared to be out for the game. This is fine, if it's because of injury. Except Hillis returned to the game ... and didn't get any carries. He blocked for McCoy and was on the field, but didn't rush the ball at all.

The Browns weren't exactly ground heavy during the game -- Montario Hardesty only had 11 carries for a meager 35 yards -- and McCoy ended up throwing 45 times (his lowest passing-attempt total on the year is now 32, which is also a bit disconcerting), but to see Hillis hurt but maybe not hurt enough to sit out the rest of the game especially after a controversial injury earlier in the year, well, let's just say that something ain't stirring the Kool-Aid in Cleveland.

7. Ponder This
Sunday night, Christian Ponder got his first real action for the Vikings in their 39-10 blowout loss Sunday night. I mentioned this when writing about the substitution, but you can't pin everything that's going wrong on Donovan McNabb.

He's not the guy refusing to block defenders, and he's not the guy allowing other teams to score 20-plus points in the second halves of games. But it's understandable that some of the players on the team might be a little interested in seeing what Ponder, who at least looked more, um, energetic than McNabb, can do.

"I'm not a coach, but this team definitely could use a spark wherever that may come from," wide receiver Percy Harvin said.

Again, McNabb hasn't been that bad. But the Vikes are 1-5, going nowhere in (arguably) the toughest division in football and need to find out if Ponder's their guy for the long term.

Because at this rate, they'll have another pretty critical decision about some talented young quarterbacks at the top of the 2012 draft as well.

For the Bears part, lets give credit to Mike Martz and Lovie Smith for learning that if you actually give Jay Cutler help to block pass rushers, you can produce offensively.

Except they learned this last year, too. Remember how the Bears stunk and Cutler looked like a candidate for serious brain damage through the first few weeks in 2010? And then the Bears started running the ball more and protecting Cutler? Yeah, maybe next year they'll remember before they're a quarter of the season in.



8. Down South in ... Tampa Bay?
The Saints were supposed to blow out the LeGarrette Blount-less Buccaneers this weekend and the Panthers were supposed to upset the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. And then I was going to spend a large chunk of this column talking about the Panthers secretly being the second-best team in the NFC South.

Well, apparently no one else in the entire world got the same memo I did (thanks a lot for not forwarding the revised copy, you big jerks), because the Panthers got handily dismantled 31-17 in Atlanta and the Bucs straight up took care of business in route to grabbing the division lead with a 26-20 win over New Orleans.

If you missed it, lemme fill you on why the Panthers lost: their defense is terrible. It's not bad coaching and it's not to mean to the guys in the lineup, but the best way for Tiki Barber to revive his career would be to just try and get a tryout with whoever's playing the Panthers in the coming week, because there's a decent chance he could scamper for a buck fifty against that fishnet of a rushing defense.

They'll get better in the future and there's no reason to question Ron Rivera's capability as a defensive coach, but if you can run the ball, you can kill the Panthers. After Cam Newton threw a terrible pick to defensive lineman Corey Peters, the Falcons got the ball up a touchdown with six minutes left to play. Eight plays later -- seven of them running -- they were up 14 points.

Everyone knew they were going to run and there still wasn't any way for Carolina to stop it. New Orleans is a different deal, though, because Blount's absence meant the Bucs would struggle (in their wins thus far, he'd done well, and in their losses he hadn't; it's science!). Instead, Earnest Graham piled up 109 rushing yards on 17 carries, Josh Freeman got loose with Arrelious Benn and the Saints found themselves in a 20-10 halftime hole that they couldn't ever climb out of.

In short, a motivated Tampa Bay team showed up, created turnovers and completely flipped our perspective on the NFC South.

9. Bungle in the Jungle
The Ravens, as noted above, are the class of the AFC North. And the Steelers are coming off a second-straight win in which their defense prevailed and Rashard Mendenhall and the running game looked good.

But it would be silly to discount what the Bengals have done this year, moving to 4-2 after a 27-17 win over Indy, especially considering most of the offensive production is coming from a pair of rookies in Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.

Dalton's not lighting up the statistical sheet, per se, as he's averaging just 218.5 passing yards per game, and he's only found the end zone seven times. But four of those have been to fellow rook Green, and -- I'm as surprised to be writing this as you are reading it -- Marvin Lewis was write about his offense getting an upgrade during the offseason.

And the Bengals are benefiting from a soft schedule; they could realistically be undefeated, considering that their two losses were by a combined seven points. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they have the second-best defense in the league, allowing just 278.5 yards per game. That defense has

The schedule gets harder down the road -- multiple matchups with both Baltimore and Pittsburgh loom -- but there are four more games left where the Bengals will either be favored or basically a pick 'em. The idea that this team could win eight games as recently as September was, well, not there. The four they have now is probably what they'd have topped out in most preseason projections.

And now they're a reasonable contender for a Wild-Card berth if a few things go their way in the rest of their division matchups.

10. Things to Do In Denver on Your Bye
It's fascinating to me that a team like the Broncos could, somehow, manage to create a ton of noise about their team. On their bye week. Without really talking about Tim Tebow.

I mean, there was some Tebow talk this week, of course, but it wasn't out of control. Charley Casserly reported that the Broncos won't change their offense much for Tebow, and that's probably a good thing and/or not that surprising, since this is a John Fox offense.

Most of the noise centered around Denver's decision to start trying to ship every single talented veteran on the roster out of town. Brandon Lloyd wants gone, and it seems like he could be moved before Monday's practice (the team apparently doesn't think he can be on the same field as the coaching staff). Eddie Royal's on the block too and he's generating some interest; this makes sense since both player are rentals for the rest of the year.

Kyle Orton's situation is a little more interesting. He'll also be a free agent after this year, and one would think that he'd LOVE to get out of town since a) the coaches yanked him in Week 5 for Tebow despite acting like Tebow's worse than Brady Quinn, b) he'll be a free agent in the offseason and c) he's more reviled by the fans around Mile High than Carmelo Anthony during his "trade me to New York or else" run last year.

But the Broncos issued a statement on Sunday night denying rumors that Orton wanted a trade, so apparently he's content hanging around and playing -- ahem -- nursemaid to Tebow. Or he thinks the experiment will fail miserably and he'll be starting in a couple weeks anyway.

Regardless, Denver, you're 1-4. Spend the bye week getting better, not drawing attention to yourselves when you're not playing please.

Muffed Punts
Leftovers from Sunday's action ...
... Shane Lechler's first career pass attempt also produced his first career touchdown pass, when the Raiders faked a field goal in the third quarter against the Browns. Oddly enough, Lechler was the emergency quarterback, set to replace Kyle Boller who replaced the injured Jason Campbell.
... No one will talk about it because they won and because of Handshake Gate, but Jim Harbaugh threw a challenge flag on a scoring play. Huge gaffe, since those are all automatically reviewed. It cost him an unsportsmanlike conduct delay of game penalty.
... Drew Brees became the first quarterback in NFL history to post four-straight games of 350 or more yards passing.
... Packers are now just the seventh defending Super Bowl champ to start the next season 6-0.

Worth 1,000 Words


 
Jim Irsay Pop-Culture Referencing Tweet That's Sure to Drive Colts Fans Insane of the Week
"Little red light on the highway...big green light on the speedway...hey,hey,hey"

This one might seem meaningless ... unless you happen to be a Grateful Dead fan and recognize the lyrics to "West L.A. Fadeaway." In which case you, like me, are clearly one of the first people to realize that Irsay's moving the Colts to Los Angeles. Who didn't see that coming?

GIF O' THE WEEK

Big ups to @Jose3030 for pulling this clip of LeSean McCoy pulling an aggressive version of the Pillsbury doughboy poke on Eagles coach Andy Reid. There's so much that's perfect about it, from Reid's stomach jiggling to Reid's head snapping back to Reid being totally unprepared for the punch, to McCoy later tweeting an apology for doing it.



Hot Seat Tracker
  • Jack Del Rio -- He wasn't supposed to beat the Steelers, in Pittsburgh. And he didn't. But the Jaguars showed some life. Still hard to imagine he survives this season though.
  • Jim Caldwell -- In the words of the Talking Heads, stiiiiiiiiiiiiillllll waiiiiiiting ...
  • Tony Sparano -- He only lasts through 2012 if Steve Ross is waiting out Jon Gruden.
  • Steve Spagnuolo -- Another guy who wasn't supposed to win Sunday, and he's been ravaged by injuries. But man, how did we all think they'd win the division?
  • Jason Garrett -- Perhaps a bit early, but Jerry Jones is questioning his playcalling. That's never good.
  • Leslie Frazier -- He needs to go to Ponder now to keep his seat cool.
  • Ken Wisenhunt -- He's got the Cards practicing on their off day during their bye week. Might be feeling some pressure.
Chasing Andrew Luck
You'll notice a shifting of the odds this week -- we're no longer accepting wagers that return any money to you. Mainly because there are just too many crappy teams in the NFL right now.

Colts (-500): The Jaguars and Panthers sandwich their Week 11 bye, and besides a Week 17 date at Jacksonville, well, those are the only games that even remotely look winnable right now.
Dolphins (-350): Their schedule is also quite bleak. At least their fans are happy?
Rams (-250): Al Harris is one of their starting cornerbacks. This is not 2001.
Broncos (-225): They're doing everything in their power to deal away anyone with any talent. And this is different than the Josh McDaniels era how?
Vikings (-125): Minny still has Adrian Peterson? Guh that Bears game was depressing.

MVP Watch
Pretty clearly, there's only one choice: Aaron Rodgers. Guy's doing everything he did down the stretch in 2010 but now it's being spread out over the course of a regular season. If he keeps this up, the Packers will have as many losses as there are people who don't pencil his name in for the top MVP vote.
Posted on: August 5, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 3:18 pm
 

McNabb says 'you become robotic' for some coaches

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It took nearly a week and the ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement, but Minnesota quarterback Donovan McNabb finally got on the field with his new teammates.

And not unlike his 2010 season in Washington, McNabb's first official day on the job was a mixed bag. The St. Paul Pioneer Press's Jeremy Fowler writes that "From 50-yard completions to ducks crashing into the grass, Donovan McNabb made just about every throw in his first full practice with the Vikings."

To be fair -- and McNabb pointed this out after the fact -- it was his first workout with a new team, with new faces, in a new system.

"We made a lot of big plays today, but some plays we want back," McNabb said, according to the Pioneer Press. "Everything was moving a mile a minute (early on); your legs feel so fresh that your drops are extremely fast. You just have to calm down."

One difference between Minnesota and previous teams -- at least to hear McNabb tell it -- is that Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is more amenable to input from the quarterback than former coaches (we won't name names but we'll venture a guess…).

"Some coaches say 'Hey, it's my way or no way,' " McNabb said. "You become robotic. That's when you pull away from your style of play and the way of things that got you successful. If things don't go as well as you'd like them to, you find out what the mistake was, you correct it and you go right back and get it done."

McNabb probably deserved to be benched at some point last season, but that's not the issue. Why did Mike Shanahan give up a second-round pick to division rival Philadelphia for a guy who didn't fit his system?

(And if the argument is, "Well, he thought McNabb was a good fit and that's why he traded for him," that makes Shanahan seem out of touch and a horrible judge of talent. Which is fine for your fantasty football team, less so when you're coaching an actual NFL franchise.)

Worse still: once it was determined that McNabb wasn't working, the backup plan was … Rex Grossman.  (If nothing else, the Redksins' chronic ineptitude over the years has provided some much need comedy relief. So there's that. )

Now McNabb gets a fresh start in Minnesota. And maybe he will find some of the magic that helped propel the Eagles to annual playoff appearances in the mid-2000s. But it's just as likely (and maybe more so) that 2011 will not only signal the end of McNabb's run as an NFL starter, but usher in the Christian Ponder era. The only question is when.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:38 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 11:40 pm
 

Grossman signs, battles Beck for Skins' QB job

Posted by Ryan Wilson

One of the least surprising moves of free agency was the Redskins' decision to jettison quarterback Donovan McNabb after just one season in Washington. Despite a new head coach and general manager, the Skins still appeared to be the same slapstick (unintentional) comedy act when it came to roster building.

Mike Shanahan unceremoniously benched McNabb for Rex Grossman midway through the 2010 season (good news, however: Shanahan proclaimed last month that "I love Donovan McNabb," so there's that), and Washington's other backup, John Beck, appeared to win the job by default.

Well, Grossman, a free-agent until Tuesday, has signed a one-year deal to return to the Redskins. And now the biggest storyline in Washington will be which player, with seven starts between them in the last six seasons and a combined career passer rating that averages in the mid-60s, wins the starting quarterback gig.

“This is all I can ask for: an offense I love, a bunch of players I think are really good,” Grossman said on his first day back at Redskins Park. “I’m excited about this team, this offense and my opportunity.”

Washington's coaches have stressed that the QB job is wide open, even if it seemed that Beck was anointed the starter during the offseason.

“They all got a good opportunity,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said, according to the Washington Post. “Whenever you don’t have a designated starter, you got a lot of competition.”

Maybe that's a shot at McNabb (Shanahan was rumored not to be much of a fan) or maybe it's the realization that the team's going into the season with either Beck or Grossman as their starting QB. It can't be a comforting thought for supporters who have endured more than should be expected of any fan base not located in Detroit during those heady Matt Millen days. Upside: Grossman and Beck both sound like they want the job. It's not much but, well, it's something.

“I want to be able to do the second half of the Cowboys game throughout 16 weeks and on through the playoffs as well,” Grossman said of a half in which he was 18-of-30 passing for 214 yards and three touchdowns. “That’s my challenge: to be consistently great.”

And while Beck has just four starts in his four-year NFL career, the last coming during his rookies season in 2007, he exudes confidence.

“I know where I stand, and I know how I’m viewed,” he says, according to Yahoo.com. “But I feel differently about myself. I know the questions are justified. I haven’t thrown a lot of passes. I have to prove to everyone what I can do. … Coach Shanahan is giving me my chance. That’s all I’ve been asking for in this league – a real chance.”

However the rest of training camp and the preseason play out, there's a very good chance that the Redskins' will begin the season with a 30-year-old under center. All that's left to sort out is if it will be a former first-round pick who has underachieved for most of his career, or a former second-rounder who has yet to win an NFL game.

If nothing else, it should give some indication of what the Redskins coaches thought of McNabb.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 5, 2011 1:12 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Redskins shouldn't expect much for McNabb

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's been a recurring theme this offseason. Anytime the conversation turns to matching a veteran quarterback with a team desperately in need of a starter, Donovan McNabb is usually mentioned as an afterthought if his name comes up at all.

It's not altogether shocking; McNabb is 34 and has been average (or worse) the last two seasons. But the manner in which McNabb was relegated to QB scrap heap has been something of a surprise. Washington gave division rival Philadelphia second- and fourth-round picks last offseason for McNabb, presumably because new coach Mike Shanahan thought the 11-year veteran could still play at a high level.

It only took eight weeks before Shanahan yanked McNabb late in a game against the Lions for Rex Grossman. And by the final month of the season, McNabb was on the bench for good, his Washington career effectively over some 14 weeks after it started.

So why would the 'Skins give up on McNabb less than a year after trading for him? In May, a source told CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco that it's all because "The son doesn't like him." That would be Shanahan's son, Kyle, who is also Washington's offensive coordinator.

Technically, McNabb is still a member of the Redskins, but that'll change soon after the lockout ends, and for better or worse, it will also usher in the John Beck era. The only question is if Washington will trade or release McNabb. The latter is contingent on the former, although there's no guarantee that other teams think enough of McNabb, especially given his hefty contract (signed after Week 1 of the 2010 season), to give up much to get him.

The Washington Post's Jason Reid writes that a confluence of reasons will likely lessen the demand for McNabb's services.
Forget about holding out for the highest draft pick. Don’t keep McNabb on the roster throughout the preseason in an effort to create a bidding war. That would only prolong a lingering, ugly situation that requires resolution as quickly as possible. …

The Shanahans did so much to devalue McNabb that the Redskins should not expect to receive much in exchange for a player beginning his 13th season. Also, teams are expected to ask McNabb to rework his contract to facilitate a trade, so the Redskins will need his cooperation, limiting potential trading partners.

McNabb probably would give back his $3.5 million signing bonus if the Redskins were willing to release him when the lockout ends, but Shanahan wants something more than money after squandering second- and fourth-round picks on McNabb. If the Redskins move McNabb a minute after a new collective bargaining agreement is formally implemented or wait until the day after their first regular season game — the option deadline — it would still be surprising if any team offered more than a sixth- or conditional seventh-round pick for him. Shanahan needs to let McNabb move on at any price.
Wherever McNabb ends up, it will probably be as a backup. The Dolphins, Titans, Vikings, and Seahawks are all in the market for veterans, either to challenge for the starting job or mentor young QBs currently on the roster.  

If there's a silver lining it has to be this: whatever role McNabb assumes in 2011 -- even if he's out of football -- it will almost certainly be preferable to what he endured in Washington last season.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: June 18, 2011 9:28 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2011 9:40 pm
 

Bruce Allen says McNabb signing wasn't a mistake

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Despite the disaster with Redskins QBs last year – if you don’t remember the horror, check out the breakout box below – Washington GM Bruce Allen told CSN Washington that if he had it to do over again, he would still make the trade with the Eagles to get McNabb.

McNabb's nightmare year
“We would make the move again with Donovan,” Allen said. “The 6-10 record wasn’t what we had dreamed of for the season.”

But Allen also doesn’t blame McNabb for the subpar record. And he says the outside world doesn’t really know what went on inside the locker room.

“When you’re inside the locker room, you have all the facts,” Allen said. “You know the affections and feelings we have for Donovan as a person and player. We’ll let people speculate and create rumors. Hopefully they go off the wrong tracks and that will give us an advantage when we start playing.”

And as far as that little tiff between McNabb and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan?

“I think they jelled very well at times,” Allen said. “It was the first year for everybody with the Washington Redskins, and it takes some time to learn the other person’s desires.”

Unfortunately for McNabb, he most likely won’t get to learn Allen’s desires for Year No. 2. Because, as soon as the lockout is over, McNabb is probably gone from Washington.

So, yeah. Overall, just a great trade.



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Posted on: December 28, 2010 4:30 pm
 

Now, McNabb agrees with his agent (huh?)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Frankly, it’s hard to get through a shift these days without posting the latest development between Redskins QB Donovan McNabb, his agent Fletcher Smith, and Washington coaches Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan.

So, here’s the latest.

On his weekly radio show today, McNabb basically said he backed his agent’s statement (which can be found here) from last week. This comes even though he said last week there were portions of that statement with which he disagreed. Today, though, it was all about supporting Smith and his thoughts.

"When I read the whole thing, I didn't see nothing wrong with it," said McNabb, who didn’t see the statement until after it had been released. “He put his thoughts into the whole deal, not Donovan's thoughts."

McNabb still maintains he won’t ask for his release in the offseason, despite the fact he was not on last week’s 45-man active roster. In fact, he actually wants to stay in Washington.

"Would I like to be the quarterback here? Yes, absolutely," he said said on ESPN 980 this afternoon, via the Washington Post. "Things would obviously have to change. Relationships would have to be better. Conversations would have to be better."

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Posted on: December 25, 2010 11:41 am
 

Fletcher Smith responds to the response

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Why won’t this Donovan McNabb/Shanahan’s/Fletcher Smith story just die already? (Ahem, probably because idiots like me keep posting the next chapter in this saga.)

You know the story already, but here’s what happened Thursday when Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan responded to the statement released by Smith, McNabb’s agent. Basically Shanahan said he was disturbed by Smith’s comments and that he and McNabb had a meeting to clear the air. Apparently, McNabb told Shanahan that not every word in Smith’s statement was, um, true.

Now, Smith has responded to the response, via sportsbuzz.com.

"Donovan and I talk constantly and have done so with more frequency during this season. We are absolutely on the same page. I standby (sic) my statement and will reserve any further comments until after I have had a chance to speak, directly, with coach Shanahan."

Anybody else excited for McNabb to move to another city once the season ends?

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Posted on: December 24, 2010 3:58 pm
 

Kyle Shanahan, McNabb have meeting of minds

D. McNabb and Kyle Shanahan had a chat today to help clear the air. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Continuing our never-ending coverage of the soap opera between Redskins QB Donovan McNabb and coaches Mike and Kyle Shanahan, you’ll recall the lengthy statement that McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, made Thursday.

Mike Shanahan later fired back and said there was no one that wanted McNabb to be successful more than Shanahan and nothing that had occurred was a personal shot at McNabb.

Today, Comcast SportsNet, via the Redskins official website, caught up with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who said he was disturbed by Smith’s statement. Disturbed enough to set up a face-to-face meeting with McNabb today, who told him that there were portions of the statement that were inaccurate.

Apparently, everything is cool between the two now. Well, cool in the sense that McNabb isn't going to punch out anybody, but not cool in the same way that life would be cool if McNabb was still the starter.

Here are a few of Shanahan’s rebuttals to Smith’s letter to CSN.

Fletcher Smith: "While Donovan's feelings about Washington remain the same, the Shanahans – both Mike and more specifically Kyle – have made this an extremely difficult relationship to maintain. Their comments have been beyond disrespectful and unprecedented for a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback such as Donovan."

Kyle Shanahan: "I asked [McNabb] if he did have any problems that he wanted to talk to me about; he said 'No, not at all. We've always been good.' So when I heard that from him, talking man-to-man, face-to-face, that's what I've gotta go with. So it is a little weird to hear the other stuff."


Fletcher Smith: "After Donovan quickly led the Redskins down the field and scored what appeared to be the game saving drive against Tampa Bay, Kyle was quoted as saying 'He'll (McNabb) never take another snap for me again.' Remember that statement came after Donovan led the Redskins on one of their best drives of the entire season."


Kyle Shanahan: "Zero [truth to that]. I was with Donovan at the end of that Tampa Bay game. You can talk to Donovan about that. I mean, we were together the whole time. So I'd like to know where he got that quote."


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