*Post Caveat: I've never played football. I've only watched from the comfort of my couch, and a few times from a stadium seat. But I like to think I know a little about it.*
This is getting ridiculous.
When it was first announced that Mike Shanahan was going to replace Jim Zorn as head coach for the Washington Redskins, I was relieved. Finally, a coach with some experience and a history of winning and success. Sure, we had Joe Gibbs a few years back, but it wasn't the same as the glory days of the 80's.
But I'm beginning to have some doubts. The way he handled the last 2 minutes of the game this weekend against the Lions was terrible. Deciding to bench Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman, a quarterback who has only played in 1 NFL regular-season game since November 2008, was inexcusable. But Shanahan had his excuses. A few of them, actually.
First, it was explained that Shanahan thought Grossman was better prepared to run the 2 minute offense. If this was actually the case, why haven't they put Grossman in during previous games for the 2 minute offense?
Second, it was said that he thought McNabb's "cardiovascular endurance" wasn't where it should be to run the offense effectively, and some nagging hamstring injuries would hamper him. But his hamstring injury didn't seem to be that big of an issue on his long run that set up the first Redskins' score. Shanahan also had plenty excuses for Grossman's fumble that led to the Lions' last touchdown ("We weren't counting on pressure coming up the middle"....because that wasn't happening all day?).
Given McNabb's experience and ability, I'm baffled as to the real reason of this decision. He's been playing football for most of his life. He knows what to do. A couple of out-patterns, a few ball spikes. Standard procedures for going the length of the field with no timeouts. Unfortunately, he's become the scapegoat (yet again). Yes, some of his passes have been off the mark and his completion percentage is about 8-10 points lower than I'd like it. But our offensive line is awful. And our receiving corps are probably bottom 5 in the league.
Doing what Shanahan did, and not actually giving the truth behind it, not only alienates fans, but the players too. It also stirs up controversy that didn't need to be stirred. We've had enough waffling between quarterbacks for too many years now.
Hopefully this is just a minor bump on a long, successful road.