Shanahan doesn't regret handling of McNabb

Shanahan doesn't regret handling of McNabb
December 22, 2010, 10:35 pm
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 5:33 p.m.

By Ryan OHalloran
Staff writer


Despite what his former starting quarterback says, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan expressed no regrets with how he handled last weeks delicate situation of benching Donovan McNabb and promoting Rex Grossman.

McNabb said on his radio show not being told until Thursday he was sitting was somewhat disrespectful, odd, and off. He also took issue with the number of leaks that have been reported nationally this year about his play, knowledge of the playbook and relationship with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

That said, McNabb also expressed a desire to return to the Redskins next year.

Following the Redskins first Wednesday practice with Grossman at the helm, Shanahan was relayed with the key talking points of McNabbs appearance on ESPN 980. (McNabb has yet to address reporters since the benching other than his two gigs in which he is compensated).

I think any time you communicate, its for the right reasons, Shanahan said.

Asked if it was possible for McNabb to be on the Redskins as a back-up next year, Shanahan said, Sure itd be. Im not sure he would be happy, which I would understand. If he was interested in that, obviously it would be a possibility.

Shanahan refuted McNabbs claim he learned of his demotion to No. 3 quarterback behind John Beck for the final two games from the media.

I dont know how thats possible because the first person I told was him we talked about it for five or 10 minutes and I went into detail why I was playing John, why he was going to be No. 2 and why the last two games why McNabb would be No. 3, Shanahan said. Im not sure how that was misinterpreted.

At the end of the day, I do feel very good about the conversation and I did everything I could do.

Shanahan danced around whether he was bothered about the number of unattributed reports that have been fed to national media outlets this year, some that were false and some that had kernels of truth or were entirely accurate.

I didnt let anyone know, he said. People mightve speculated about that, but there was nothing else.

As for being labeled by McNabb as acting essentially unprofessional bothered him, Shanahan said, It really doesnt because the reason I did make the decision was that it was in the best interest of the team and I explained why.

The third-team quarterback normally runs the scout team but Shanahan wouldnt divulge what McNabbs role was in practice.

I dont get into that, he said. Ill let Donovan share that with you.

Meanwhile, the current starter Grossman did meet with the media. He was 25-of-43 for 322 yards and four touchdowns against Dallas.

I know that a lot of people werent expecting a positive performance and that was motivation for me to prove everybody wrong, he said. But the biggest motivation for me was to win and we didnt so that was a disappointment.

Besides helping the Redskins snap a four-game losing streak, Grossman knows he has to limit his turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble against Dallas).

Grossmans first two giveaways led to 14 Cowboys points.

I need to take care of the football and thats my main goal going into the Jacksonville game no turnovers, protect the ball in the pocket and when you throw the ball away, throw it away, he said, alluding to his first interception, which was a throwaway gone array.

Although teammates think Grossman is on audition to go into the off-season as the Redskins 2011 starter, he maintains his focus is strictly on Jacksonville and then the Giants.

As a team, weve got eight quarters left, about 120 plays, he said. I want to do my assignments, do my job at an extremely high level and if I do that, then its out of my hands and I can go back to Tampa in the off-season, relax and wait to see what happens.

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