I’m the last person to defend Mike Shanahan. I lost respect for him with how he treated Eddie Kennison when his wife miscarried, and the only rings Shanahan have are due in part to salary cap cheating.
That said, Donovan McNabb uttered one of the dumbest statements about Shanahan, the Redskins, and the quarterback that they want to draft in less than a month.
Ladies and gentlemen, a brilliant statement of wisdom from free agent QB Donovan McNabb, referring to Robert Griffin III, on ESPN2’s “First Take”:
“What type of offense do you run with him? Is it the spread offense that you try to continue to flourish that he’s been successful in? Or are you going to have him in a foxhole with a makeshift offensive line and keep bringing in receivers, you have a solid tight end in Fred Davis that you need to feature, what are we going to see? I don’t think it’s a great fit. If this doesn’t work this year, we don’t see a splash like a Cam Newton splash, this could be it.”
Here are five reasons why Donovan McNabb shouldn’t be projecting career failure on anyone, let alone a phenomenal, bright young man like Robert Griffin III.
1. After LeBron James wins a title, and that is inevitable, Donovan McNabb will be known as the greatest modern-day failure in professional sports. Good enough to bring his teams to 5 NFC Championship games, but he turns the ball over three times in his only Super Bowl, taking points off the board.
2. The Mike Shanahan Offense IS geared for quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III. Steve Young, Jake Plummer, Joe Montana. Shanahan loves to take deep shots (Rex missed 3.5 games and was still 9th in completions of 20+ yards) and he loves quarterbacks that can throw on the run, with a moving pocket (he helped draft Jay Cutler).
3. The Redskins HAVE used Fred Davis well, so there is no reason to question that. Davis averaged 66.3 receiving yards-per-game. Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham were the only tight ends to average more last season, and they both received from quarterbacks that broke Dan Marino’s passing yards record in the process.
4. Saying “that’s it” if Griffin III has a bad first year is preposterous. Why didn’t the Colts give up on Peyton Manning after 28 INTs during Peyton’ rookie campaign? Why are Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder projected to start in their second seasons after their rough rookie campaigns?
Just because you, Donovan, have had trouble dealing with critics and with Terrell Owens taking away your spotlight doesn’t mean Griffin is going to disappear into a shell at the first sign of adversity. It’s really a shame, because McNabb had overcome a lot early in his career. He became the first QB in NFL history to have at least 30 TD passes and under 10 INTs in 2004, a year after Rush Limbaugh insinuated McNabb was only perceived as good because he was African-American.
5. While “First Take” may thrive off of controversial statements rather than insightful commentary, McNabb’s comments could keep him from getting an NFL job. I don’t believe GMs and coaches are going to look at McNabb’s last few years as evidence of a player who they would want in their locker room or mentoring a young starter.
In Washington, he apparently leaked things to the media about how the Shanahans told him about his benching. He also reportedly struggled with conditioning (conjuring up images of puking in the Super Bowl), and refused to wear a wristband for plays. When he got to Minnesota, he reportedly announced to the offensive linemen right before the first game that he didn’t know the protections.
Let me get this straight. Donovan McNabb – traded within the division by one QB guru, benched by another, then let go by a team lacking an experienced back-up – thinks the Redskins are a bad fit for a quarterback possessing all the leadership skills and teachability McNabb resisted?
My hope is that this was just McNabb airing out a grievance against a former boss, or just McNabb trying to be controversial to break into the media world. Either way, his statement will be remembered as an embarrassing one.
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