Tag:Kyle Shanahan
Posted on: December 23, 2010 4:33 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2010 8:54 pm

McNabb's agent, Shanahan exchange public barbs

Posted by Will Brinson

Earlier, we mentioned how Mike Shanahan said he'd be absolutely thrilled to have Donovan McNabb return in the role of a backup quarterback with the Washington Redskins.

There was also some mention of a back-and-forth that would likely occur in the offseason between McNabb's camp and the Redskins coaching staff. Scratch "likely" from that, because McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith, fired a shot back at the Shanahan and his son. (Update: Shanny's sent a shot back at Smith, calling everything below "misconceptions" and saying that things are NOT personal.)

To the lengthy blockquote machine! 
I think it is important to clarify some misinterpretations following Donovan comments made earlier this week on his radio show.

Donovan did say that "he didn’t want to go anywhere" and that he "enjoyed himself" in the Washington DC area. He and his family truly enjoy living in the Washington,DC, area and are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support the fans have shown him this year.

He stated that he wishes to stay in Washington because he came to complete a task - and that task has not yet been accomplished.

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.

There have been many reports leaked of Donovan not being in shape and not being able to grasp Kyle’s offense.

The fact is Donovan came into camp in the best shape of his career having dropped 10 pounds in the offseason. Donovan spent most of his offseason in Washington working out with the Redskins and never missed a practice.

Unfortunately, it appears as though the Redskins coaching staff decided that their 12-year veteran quarterback, who flawlessly executed one of the NFL's most complex offensive systems (in Philadelphia), is unable to grasp Kyle’s offense.

I believe there is tension between Donovan and Kyle that's rooted in the fact that Donovan has suggested modifications to Kyle's offense based on intricacies Donovan has learned in his NFL career.

For example, Donovan has asked all year that the team run more screen passes to help manage the pass rush more effectively. Ironically, Kyle decided to employ Donovan's suggestions after he unceremoniously benched him on Sunday.

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.

Donovan is coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2009 where he threw for 3,500+ yards on 60% completions, with a TD:INT ratio of more than 2:1. He also led his team to the playoffs with an 11-5 record, and that's what he hoped to accomplish in Washington.

This year, Donovan was on pace to set the Redskins all-time passing yards mark before being benched. Every week he went out there in solidarity with his teammates with one goal: to win as much as possible for the fans in this town who deserve a championship caliber team.

Make no mistake, this has been a difficult season for Donovan. Some may say that he has had a down year....that is true specifically because of the high standards that he has set as an elite NFL quarterback in his previous 11 seasons.

Donovan has maintained a high level of professionalism on and off the field. He is determined to continue his relentless commitment to win and looks forward to the opportunity wherever that may be!

Fletcher Smith, III

President, Blueprint Sports Group
So, what can we discern from this statement? Well, basically that McNabb won't be a Redskin in 2011.

Because, really, at this point, it's gone past "he may or may not be out of shape and/or past his prime and/or a good fit for the offense" and things have gotten straight-up personal.

Or not, if you believe Mike Shanahan, who issued the following statement via the Redskins on Thursday night.
"As I stated earlier, when I traded for Donovan McNabb I had hoped that he would lead us to the playoffs. No one wanted him to be more successful than me. When the team was 5-8 and mathematically out of the playoffs, I made the decision to evaluate our other two quarterbacks. This was not personal, but strictly professional. The decision was made in the best interest of the Washington Redskins and I stand by my decision. I will attempt to talk to Fletcher Smith directly to clear up every one of his misconceptions."
So, really, now the only question is how the divorce papers will actually get filed.

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Posted on: December 21, 2010 2:08 pm

'Disrespected' McNabb: 'Let's just move on'

Posted by Will Brinson

It wouldn't be a day in NFL coverage if there weren't some story relating to the Washington Redskins, would it? And thanks to Mike Shanahan starting Rex Grossman over Donovan McNabb in Week 15, we've got enough gossip juice to keep us rolling for the rest of the season, even if Albert Haynesworth stays off the radar.

Tuesday, McNabb appeared on ESPN 980 radio to talk about his benching and he had plenty to say about how he was "disrespected" by Shanny.

"Everything was handled awkwardly," McNabb said. "Somewhat to a disrespect to me and to the team."

McNabb lamented the evaluation process as well as the way that Shanahan handled the benching, not telling the QB of the decision until Thursday (and letting him hear about it through the media).

"Because of the timing and because of all the leaks and everything that was put out there, and no putting out the fire, so to speak," McNabb said. "I'm hearing everything through the media."

And, of course, he was asked about being placed behind even John Beck, into the third-string quarterback slot, something that didn't really thrill him too much.

"Yeah, I don't think too many guys go from 1 to 3," he answered. "That's an unfortunate situation that I guess I'm one of a few to be a part of."

The whole Washington thing is an "unfortunate situation" -- McNabb hasn't played well this year, and Shanahan has every reason to try something else out (although, Rex Grossman, really?) in the spirit of evaluation.

But the difference between the way he and McNabb are handling things publicly is stark, to say the least. McNabb continually says the "right thing," even when it involves him not looking for an apology ("At this point, let's just move on") or possibly returning to the Redskins in 2011 ("I do want to be back here").

Shanahan continually acts towards his would-be franchise quarterback in a manner that could, at best, be considered "motivational" in the right situation.

In this scenario, the only real word for it is exactly what McNabb used -- disrespectful.

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Posted on: November 18, 2010 9:00 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2010 10:36 pm

Redskins spreading the blame around to everyone

Posted by Will Brinson

Were it not for the still-not-subsided rage in Washington over Donovan McNabb's new contract, there might have been a whole lot more noise made about Albert Haynesworth giving up on a play. In case you missed it ...

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he finally saw what happened about "3:30 in the morning when [he] watched film," which means he was probably totally thrilled with the outcome and the hustle from Haynesworth.

But he also said he doesn't totally blame Haynesworth.

"If he’s going to take a lot of heat, there are a lot of guys out there that are going to take a lot of heat for that play because the quarterback held the ball for about eight seconds," Haslett said. "We had coverage then we let it go and then plastered right at the end. I think he understands that we want to get him up and chase him."

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, whose team has just been terrible on third down this year (and didn't convert a single one on Monday night), also spread the blame around.

"I think ['here we go again' on third down is] what people think," Shanahan said. "Each play is it's own play. You can't worry about the last play. As a whole, guys are doing well. We're not doing [well] at it but guys are doing well at times. It only takes one guy to break down a play and that's what [has happened] on third downs."

Shanny Jr. also pinned the coaching staff for the poor third down performance. Really, though, it doesn't matter who's to blame, because something needs to be fixed before Sunday if the 'Skins want to avoid another embarrassing beatdown and get booted from playoff contention.

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Posted on: November 15, 2010 3:37 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2010 4:56 pm

McNabb, 'Skins agree to huge contract

D. McNabb signed a five-year deal with Washington that could be worth as much as $88 million (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You know how Washington coach Mike Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb two weeks ago, and it seemed fairly clear the Redskins, including offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, didn’t think much of his abilities, especially running a two-minute offense?

Apparently, the organization thinks enough of him to have signed him to a massive five-year extension.

According to ESPN’s Michael Smith, McNabb and Washington have agreed to a five-year deal worth $78 million, with $40 million of that guaranteed.

Smith also reports the deal, with incentives, could go as high as $88 million.

Not bad for a guy who’s perhaps having the worst season of his career since he became a full-time starter. His 57.4 completion percentage through eight games is worse than every year except 2006. He’s thrown seven touchdowns against eight interceptions (his worst TD to INT ratio was 2003’s 16 to 11), and his passer rating of 76.0 is his worst ever.

You may recall that CBS Sports' Charley Casserly reported last Sunday that the Redskins still wanted to work out an extension with McNabb, even though he'd been benched. And Josina Anderson of Inside the NFL reported that McNabb and the 'Skins were on the "fast track" for a new contract just three days ago. 

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Posted on: November 7, 2010 1:01 pm

Redskins 'still want to work out' McNabb deal?

Posted by Will Brinson

By all accounts, the Washington Redskins and Donvoan McNabb are unhappy with each other, and given that Kyle Shanahan might have been trying to bench McNabb for several weeks, it's not inconceivable that the team's given up on trying to keep McNabb past 2010.

CBS Sports' Charley Casserly reported Sunday, however, that the Redskins are still interested signing McNabb to an extension.

"What I was told by the Redskins is this -- they talked to him after being benched on Sunday and told him they still want to try and work out a contract extension," Casserly said. "If they can't agree to it, the Redskins only course to keep him next year is to franchise him -- one-year, $16 million guaranteed. Might be interesting to watch that decision."

The prevailing sense here is that Casserly was being sarcastic with that last line -- the thought of Washington paying McNabb $16 million for a one-year deal in 2011 is summed up well by Boomer Esiason's loud, side-stage, sarcastic laughter after Casserly's quote.

Still, it's interesting to hear that Washington hasn't totally given up on McNabb, although at this stage, the Shanahan family's motivational ploys are getting a little far out there, especially for a player who's not exactly on Albert Haynesworth's level of petulance.

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Posted on: November 7, 2010 12:17 pm

More on McNabb, Kyle Shanahan

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

According to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan talked about the possibility of pulling starting QB Donovan McNabb from the game as early as a few weeks ago.

Glazer said on FOX’s pregame show that the idea to replace McNabb if he struggled was floated before the Redskins faced the Eagles on Oct. 3.

Simply put, Glazer said, Kyle Shanahan doesn’t believe McNabb fits his system.

For now, though, McNabb will stay as the starter. All of this is baffling to McNabb’s teammates, who like McNabb and his leadership skills.

Besides, does anyone think Rex Grossman would be more effective in that offense than McNabb?

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Posted on: November 4, 2010 3:06 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 3:31 pm

Dey Took Er Jobs: We Talking About Stamina

Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday, Mike Shanahan inexplicably pulled Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman. Were it not for Randy Moss and Brad Childress, that's all anyone would have talked about Monday and Tuesday.

To counter said distraction, Shanahan and the Redskins brought in Jamarcus Russell for a tryout.

As much as all of that reads like an Onion Sports story, it's the truth, folks -- and as such we have some sort of a quarterback controversy going down with the 4-4 Redskins.

Well, perhaps "controversy" is too strong a word. After all, Grossman isn't as good as McNabb, and Russell, who weighed in at 286 pounds, might have trouble making a Lingerie Football League team. (Actually, he might have an easier time getting on an NFL squad than that, but you see the point.)

The hemming and hawing of Shanny was the worst of it all -- he originally claimed that Grossman was better at running the two-minute offense (clearly a) a lie and b) patently wrong) and then decided that McNabb wasn't in good enough shape to stay on the field.

Regardless of why, Kyle Shanahan (yes, son of Mike) protege Grossman entered the game and immediately guaranteed the Lions a win with a fumble-turned-touchdown.

We understand now that there are locker room issues with Washington (I mean, duh, right?) thanks to Shanahan's decision, and that while he certainly doesn't have the problems of the aforementioned Childress, he's getting dangerously close to blowing up a Washington season that once had promise.

Will Grossman start for the Redskins the rest of the way home? We can only hope so -- after all, that means when the Vikings sign McNabb next year, Leslie Frazier will finally get the respect he deserves.

Whatever, that's a lot of projection, but is it really worth discussing whether or not Grossman should replace McNabb in the starting lineup? Of course it's not -- if the possibility of David Carr replacing Alex Smith in San Francisco a mind-boggling mishap of mediocrity (and it was, as I said and then we saw) then this is just a slap in the face to common sense.

Most coaches go out of their way to avoid quarterbacks controversies like these -- somehow, Mike Shanahan has managed to invite one, while also insulting his veteran leader and the only talented quarterback on the roster.

No amount of humiliation-based motivation is worth the obvious downside to this. And swapping out McNabb for Grossman at this stage would just be proof that Shanny had his brain surgically replaced with Dan Snyder's.


Speaking of the 49ers, Troy Smith did a pretty good job of making sure that David Carr won't be seeing the field as a starter (there are always injuries, and he'll seemingly always get a job based on just potential, sigh) any time soon.

But what happens when Alex Smith returns in a few weeks? At that point, Troy will have had multiple weeks with reps as the starter and possibly even more wins than Alex, in many less tries.

It's not like we're discussing someone off the street either -- Troy has the credentials to a degree (the Heisman Trophy has to be worth something, right???) and reasonable stats when he started. His accuracy isn't as good percentage wise as Alex, but he doesn't cough the ball up as much, and San Fran is very much a Frank Gore-based team.

Just saying we shouldn't be so quick to roll right back to Alex just because he was the top pick a few years ago.

Matt Moore and Derek Anderson will continue getting the nod -- both moves are the smart play, in reasonably similar situations -- both teams are equal at -65 in point differential, both have star wide receivers, both have a talented pair of running backs that are underperforming, both teams have rookie quarterbacks they believe to be the future, etc., etc. The only difference is that the Cardinals are in a crappy division. And given the way Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall have played, which is to say, "not good," it behooves both coaches to allow their youngsters to develop on the bench and learn while watching for a little while.

Pants on Fire (Hot Seat Watch)

- Brad Childress: If I fired Andy right now, no one would notice or care, but the bosses would probably say "um, why did you do that without telling us?" and then fire me too. (Just kidding, I don't have hiring/firing power. And if anything, I'm the Randy Moss of the group. You should see what happens when my coffee isn't premium brand.) Thin ice for Chilly.

- John Fox: Someone asked Sean Payton if he would be willing to hire Fox as an assistant next year, even though Fox still has a job (technically). That's an indication of something, insomuch as 1-6 is at least.

- Wade Phillips: At some point, the awkwardness of Wade's eventual firing will wear off. Thank goodness he doesn't have a primetime game this week!

- Jack Del Rio: Betting against Del Rio when his job is on the line is like betting against Michael Jordan these days. Still, the Jags are going to be hard pressed to make the playoffs in that division with that talent and you have to think Wayne Weaver will at least explore something new once the CBA gets sorted out.

- Mike Singletary: The bright side of eventually losing the NFC West race to the Seahawks and Rams is that he'll be immediately employed as a six figure motivational speaker.

- Marvin Lewis: No one's really talking about Lewis' job being in jeopardy because it's too easy to place blame on Carson Palmer for stinking. But there's a lot of talent on this team and they're underachieving badly.

- Josh McDaniels: The biggest problem for Pat Bowlen is that admitting he messed up with McDaniels is about as fun as Mike Shanahan admitting he messed up with Grossman. Which is like full circle or something, man.

- Norv Turner: A win against the Texans on the road would go a long way towards keeping Norvell safe, particularly with divisional games coming up and Vincent Jackson returning. He should also give Philip Rivers 10 percent of his paycheck for winning games with a receiving corps only outflanked in mediocrity by the Bolts' special teams.

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