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Kollette Plummer

November 4, 2010 by staff 

Kollette Plummer, (CP) – The problem with making excuses is that everybody has to improve those that came before. After benching Donovan McNabb in the final minutes of Sunday’s loss against the Lions, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said his quarterback was not ready to run the offense for two minutes.

A day later, Shanahan – five times, no less – that McNabb “cardiovascular endurance” was not up to par.

The next day his son, Kyle Shanahan offensive coordinator, said they had considered sitting McNabb “it remains in place and the best for the rest of the year” before he has talked out of it.

So the next time a Shanahan or the other decides to pull their quarterback off the field – and there will be a next time – get ready to hear a story about how the dog ate playbook McNabb.

That’s how things work with Shanahan. He inherited John Elway early in his coaching career in Denver, won back to back Super Bowl, and has yet to find another quarterback they trust to carry out his game plans carefully prepared.

When replacements were named Bubby Brister, Brian Griese, Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler, it was easy for Shanahan to give the benefit of the doubt. But McNabb?

Not so much.

In less than a half-season, the coach has managed to alienate Albert Haynesworth, who made a boatload of money to anchor the Redskins defense, and now he is cons undercut a quarterback, he signed discount on all last April.

This is not the first time unnecessary drama raged around McNabb. A pack of fans notoriously hard pushed Philadelphia to New York for the day boo McNabb the Eagles had drafted. Then the radio talker Rush Limbaugh dragged McNabb in his sermon on “quarters black.” Then, Philly coach Andy Reid, a feature of his most loyal supporters, has paved the way for sending him out of town.

Up to this point, the list of sins McNabb was fortunately short: he never won the jackpot. It took the Eagles to five NFC championship games and the Super Bowl, only to have then-teammate certified blowhard Terrell Owens whether McNabb had enough endurance to the end of that.

Through it all, McNabb managed to hold his tongue. He tried again this week, just after the Shanahans got their stories.

“I am ready to move forward, focus on what I should do after the week off,” McNabb said during a radio interview Tuesday.

“You can ask these guys,” he added, referring to his teammates, “how I work and my work ethic. My work ethic has never been an issue. My pace was never a question. But I think there is much research going on right now, digging variety. ”

It is fair to question McNabb performance. The Redskins have already equaled their victory total for all last season, although it was far his best. He threw eight interceptions against seven touchdowns. Her score of 76.0 on watch is the lowest since he posted his rookie year.

He approaches 34, but if he had 134, it would be even better than Rex Grossman, who replaced him Sunday against the Lions, and JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 pick down with the Redskins gave second look a workout Tuesday.

Neither QB will provide the leadership that Shanahan has been looking for, and submarining McNabb could not only unjustified all choices of the coach has done before that, he could lose the rest of his wardrobe.

Shanahan is a control freak that back in Denver, he put cameras in the locker room so he can attend team meetings in his office at the CCTV. It’s unlikely he’ll do the same thing in Washington. Even with a week off to cool things, chances are good he would not want what he saw.

Maybe that’s what prompted Shanahan, finally, to walk back some of his critics and said that a long-term agreement was still possible for McNabb.

“We all know that Donovan is a franchise quarterback. … Obviously, there are continuing negotiations with both parties,” Shanahan said. “Time will tell, as it does with all of our players.”

McNabb said in his radio that there was a “100 percent” chance he would quarterback the Redskins next season.

“If I would have said 75 or 60,” McNabb said frankly, “it was another great story.”

Maybe.

But the chances he ends the season as a starter Washington are considerably lower than that. If past is prologue, Shanahan is already trying alibis new and improved.

They needed to be better than what came with the measure because it would not be the first guy to point out that the concealment is much harder to get away with crime.

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