So far there have been about a hundred different reasons listed for why Mike Shanahan decided to pull Donovan McNabb from the Lions game in favor of Rex Grossman. First it was his understanding of the two-minute offense, then a few lingering injuries, his cardio-vascular endurance, maybe even who he was planning on voting for on election day today.
On Monday, we added another reason to the list. Chris Mortensen came out with a report saying that Shanahan benched McNabb in part to send a message about his lackadaisical practice habits. On Tuesday, Tim Hasselbeck, a teammate of McNabb's while he was with the Eagles, confirmed that McNabb's tempo during practice has been a problem in the past; via Pro Football Talk.
"I was a teammate of Donovan McNabb's in Philadelphia," Hasselbeck said on Mike and Mike in the Morning. "One of the things that drove them crazy in Philadelphia was the lack of tempo at which he practiced. . . . It was always something where you're leaving the quarterback meeting and it would be, 'Hey, listen, the head man wants a little more tempo today.' Nearly every single day. That's been the deal with Donovan McNabb. I know exactly what Mike Shanahan is talking about."
Donovan McNabb always seem so calm and collected, but I guess there are times where that attitude is more of a hindrance then a help. Mike Shanahan is anything but relaxed, so I can believe that he might he might take issue with a player who isn't going full speed in practice. Donovan McNabb responded:
McNabb: "My work ethic has never been a question. My tempo has never been a question. People are doing a lot of digging right now."
I said it yesterday and I'll say it again today, this thing is not going away any time soon. The only thing that can cure this is for McNabb to be able to get back out onto the field and win games for the Redskins, but with a bye week coming up on the schedule he won't have that chance for a little while. Get ready for a week and a half of stories about practice habits ...