Okay, let’s be fair. No question, McNabb could have taken a different approach. He’s not as athletic as he once was, so perhaps he would have benefited from having more of an open mind.
But McNabb isn’t the first veteran set in his ways. Surely, he won’t be the last. And none of it warrants trashing him around the league. (Even after McNabb’s best performance — a 426-yard effort during a Week 2 loss to the Houston Texans — the coaches’ talk focused on all the plays McNabb failed to make because of his errant throws and poor decisions.)
The doors are open at Redskins Park as The Washington Post's Tracee Hamilton, Tarik El-Bashir and Jonathan Forsythe discuss the team's laundry list of post-lockout priorities.
And here’s the main flaw in the argument that McNabb deserves most of the blame: He didn’t trade himself here. Shanahan has player-personnel control. He has the final say on who plays for Washington.
The people in charge are responsible for doing their due diligence before making moves. McNabb didn’t undergo a major physical change once he joined the Redskins. His personality didn’t form overnight.
Philadelphia Coach Andy Reid understood what he had in McNabb, designing an offense to capitalize on what McNabb does best. Such tactics are called coaching.
Reid also accepted that, for them to coexist and prosper together, he had to tolerate aspects of McNabb’s performance and approach. The Eagles, however, were willing to trade McNabb within the NFC East, which should have raised some red flags for Shanahan.
The information was out there about McNabb’s supposed shortcomings. Obviously, Shanahan either didn’t hear the talk or ignored it.
It shouldn’t have mattered that Shanahan knew owner Daniel Snyder really wanted McNabb. Even if Shanahan thought it was too early in their relationship to disappoint his boss, that’s what he should have done if he believed McNabb would be a bad fit.
Snyder is paying Shanahan millions of dollars for his years of football expertise.
If that experience doesn’t help when the team is considering a major trade for the most important position in the game, when will it?
In another time, McNabb may have been just what the Redskins needed. He could have been the one to end Snyder’s long search for a franchise quarterback, at least temporarily.
But it couldn’t happen now. Not with the Shanahans.