Today looks to have been the final nail in the coffin for Donovan McNabb's brief career here in D.C. And while it comes with a great deal of controversy, it also comes with a bit of irony.
Remember Week 8 against the Lions? The incident that started the whole McNabb drama?
Number 5 was taken out of the game with just over two minutes left in regulation, and in came Rex Grossman. When the media asked Shanahan for his reasoning for benching McNabb, he gave several answers. One reason was that the 11-year veteran was not familiar with the two-minute offense. Another reason given was that McNabb was hampered by injuries in the previous week and that McNabb and the Shanahan's had discussions about possibly benching him to get him healthy.
But then of course, was the most talked about reason as to why he was taken out of the game:
Shanahan was quoted as saying:
"I think I just tried to explain to you, the cardiovascular endurance that it takes to run the two-minute, going all the way down with no timeouts, calling plays, it's just not easy."
"One thing that you have to do with the two minute is you have to be able to move, you have to be able to run. Not only does your cardiovascular endurance have to be there, but you've got two plays that you have to call in the huddle, you've got to move up to the line very quickly to execute the two-minute offense. And I really didn't feel Donovan, relative to not being able to get any cardiovascular endurance and run the two-minute offense for the last four or five weeks, that I'd put him in a situation that would just injure him."
Flash forward to Week 14 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where down by 7, the Redskins had to drive the length of the field with 3:47 left to play in order to force overtime.
What ensued was McNabb's best drive as a Redskin. He went 8/11 for 79 yards and a touchdown, targeting six different receivers and completing passes to four of them. The offensive line held up and as a result, McNabb had plenty of time to survey the field in the most critical of situations. He was able to hit quick throws to receivers and allow them to either get out of bounds or move the chains to give the Redskins a chance to use their timeouts. In what might have been his last throw as a Redskin, he darted the ball in Santana Moss's chest for what looked to be the game tying score.
But we all know what happened after that.
So, after that final drive, after excelling in the two minute situation he supposedly was not comfortable with, you would think that McNabb would have proven to Shanahan that he is capable of running the offense.You would think that Shanahan might begin to give his starting quarterback more of a ringing endorsement.
Instead, Mike Shanahan permanently benched him and will likely ship him out of town before next year.
You can't make this stuff up.