McNabb: RGIII benching ‘is about Mike Shanahan’

December 11, 2013

(Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

You knew it was only a matter of time before Donovan McNabb responded to the benching of Robert Griffin III, and that time was mere minutes, as McNabb’s radio show began a half hour after the press conferences of RGIII and Mike Shanahan ended on Wednesday.

McNabb has always been an RGIII supporter and isn’t the biggest fan of Shanahan. On NBC Sports Radio, he put the blame for the quarterback switch solely on the coach.

“This is about Mike Shanahan,” he began. “Mike and Kyle Shanahan trying to show why they feel like Kirk Cousins gives them the best chance of winning. So many things have leaked out, and I’ve always kept my ear on things that are happening with the Washington Redskins, teams that I’ve played with. And when you hear reporters that I know are linked to Mike Shanahan talk about [RGIII’s] preparation, you talk about he’s missing some reads, you know, he’s not reading some things. And I knew that he was big on having Kirk Cousins to get out there and run the offense.”

It’s a bold move to accuse Shanahan of being some sort of evil genius who planted stories to damage RGIII’s reputation. But McNabb has a bit of personal history to explain his cynicism.

“I’m used to this whole deal because, listen, I was benched for Rex Grossman,” he said. “And [Shanahan] came out and said he gave the team the best chance of winning. Well, Rex Grossman finished the season 1-2 or 1-3. I mean, that didn’t help nothing. And so, the whole thing about it is, sometimes you have to look in the mirror and look at yourself. Stop looking at everybody else. I don’t think that he and Kyle Shanahan can do that. And I say that because they feel like what calling should be ran effectively.

“Now, when we see it on film, yeah he’s missed some throws. Everybody misses throws,” he continued. “What about the balls that are dropped? What about the offensive line not blocking? What about the defense can’t tackle anybody? Yeah, I understand this kid has been banged up. He’s coming off of ACL injury. I’ve had ACL/MCL injury. But you wait 13, 14 weeks in the season to say, ‘I want him to be healthy going into the offseason?’ You might not even be there in the offseason. And so, what message are you sending to the guys in the locker room who are banged up in the training room every morning that are still going to meetings and out there practicing? We’re gonna rest the franchise quarterback, but you guys gotta get out there and play and finish the season out the right way and hopefully you don’t get hurt.

“I think that the locker room has turned their back on RGIII, and now you’ve solidified it.”

You know who hasn’t turned their back on RGIII?  McNabb, who is clearly still waiting for that phone call.

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Dan Steinberg | December 11, 2013