McNabb said the Shanahans put their egos ahead of what’s best for the Redskins. Through team spokesman Tony Wyllie, the Shanahans declined to comment.
Given an opening to criticize two of his least favorite people, McNabb kicked the door in, which surely pleased ESPN executives. McNabb’s shots at Mike and Kyle made for great television. Unfortunately for McNabb, he came across as a bitter former employee who apparently hasn’t moved on from his only season with the Shanahans. Still, McNabb could have a point. We’ll find out soon enough.
The Redskins and their fans are abuzz about Griffin, whom the team is expected to select with the second overall pick in April’s NFL draft. Without question, Mike and Kyle will have the biggest roles in his development. If it turns out the Shanahans are better equipped to help Griffin, in part because of their brief encounter with McNabb, then at least something good came from McNabb’s time in Washington.
It’s true the Shanahans could have been more accommodating in calling the type of screen plays McNabb requested, especially early in the 2010 season (they argue they did; others in the organization disagree). At times over their two seasons in Washington, Mike and Kyle have seemed too rigid in sticking with game plans despite poor results.
McNabb was a rectangle they tried to cram into a round hole. He was about as comfortable in the Shanahans’ offense as the overmatched John Beck was directing plays that required passes of longer than five yards.
As for the Shanahans’ egos, well, all football coaches are highly confident. Let’s just say Mike and Kyle believe in themselves more than most. McNabb, however, has no way of knowing whether Griffin will face problems comparable to what he encountered.
McNabb once possessed off-the-charts athleticism and arm strength similar to that of Griffin — but that’s where the similarity of their situations ends. Unlike McNabb, Griffin would work with the Shanahans at the beginning of his career. They would have the opportunity to mold him from the start.
When he arrived in Washington before the 2010 season, McNabb was a set-in-his-ways veteran. He already had been in the league 11 seasons. McNabb was a star at the sport’s most important position and carried himself like one. He expected to be treated as such.
The Shanahans asked the six-time Pro Bowler to retool his game. McNabb’s footwork, throwing mechanics, film study — Mike and Kyle had ideas to improve it all.