McNabb’s Agent: Shanahan’s out to get Donovan

Donovan McNabb said earlier in the week that he would like to remain in D.C. in 2011. But his agent Fletcher Smith is making it hard for that to happen.

Fletcher ripped Mike Shanahan
and his son/offensive coordinator Kyle for being “beyond disrespectful” in their decision to bench McNabb. Then he went on to essentially say that the Shanahans have it out for his client.


“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,” Smith wrote. “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.”

You have to appreciate Smith coming to defense of his client but is he honestly saying that Mike Shanahan benched McNabb and then Kyle Shanahan employed McNabb’s suggestions with Rex Grossman? As the ESPN article noted – that seems like a bit of an overstatement.

Mike Shanahan has recently fired back at Smith.

“As I stated earlier, when I traded for Donovan McNabb I had hoped that he would lead us to the playoffs,” said Shanahan. “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.”

If the Shanahans believe that McNabb can’t run their offense, then they did nothing wrong in benching him. If they honestly think Grossman is better than they would be wrong. But at least their reasoning behind McNabb makes sense. (If he’s not going to be here next year, why keep playing him?).

That said, if the Shanahans want McNabb back next year and expect him to compete as a starter, then their decision to bench him for the human turnover machine looks ridiculous. Because even though the Redskins are out of it they would still benefit from McNabb taking as many reps in Shanahan’s offense as possible – especially if he’s struggling to grasp the system. You don’t bench the guy and then say, “But hey, maybe you’ll be better next year. We’ll see you then!”

What a weird situation.

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