ASHURN, VA - APRIL 6: Mike Shanahan, head coach of the Washington Redskins presents Donovan McNabb with his new jersey during a press conference on April 6, 2010 at Redskin Park in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
This week, why Donovan McNabb's comments could help Robert Griffin III. Plus, the Caps go down to the wire, and the Nats get a new season started.
Before we get truly started, I have to deal with the Wizards continuing to "Dump for Davis," as in Anthony Davis of the national champion Kentucky Wildcats. How good is Davis? Hall of Fame Coach Larry Brown thinks he will mean 50 wins for any NBA franchise that gets him next season (he must have forgotten about his former franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats).
I don't agree with Brown, but I do love the idea of Davis playing in D.C. with a veteran like Nene and young bigs like Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker. That would give the Wizards some serious depth in the frontcourt. That combo, along with a veteran small forward that can shoot, would speed up the rebuild. Now they just need David Stern to make it happen.
Meanwhile, there's plenty of actual news outside my dream scenario for the Wizards in this week's edition of "Chain Reactions" as it now appears it will be RGIII in DC, the Caps continue playoff push, and the Nats demote a former Opening Day starter as they get set for the start of this season.
McNabb Meltdown May Help 'Skins
You may have heard Donovan McNabb had some not so nice things to say recently about "The Shanahans" ability to adjust to talent, among other things. Many have just shot the messenger, ripping McNabb's cardiovascular fitness and short-lived tenure with the Skins. Mike Shanahan himself is taking the "high road"
"I'd like to let the statistics speak for themselves. I think I can take the high road."
Of course, had the stories not mysteriously leaked out two years ago about McNabb being out of shape and not knowing the offense, then we may not be at this point today. So it's a little rich that the Coach/Czar of the Redskins is "taking the high road" because clearly he did not two years ago.
Back to McNabb. Yes, he certainly has an ax to grind with the coach and his son. Many have pointed out that McNabb is washed up and is trying to secure a TV analyst gig. Very true, but it does not mean he is completely wrong on this topic and others.
Where McNabb is misfiring here (probably low in the ground) is with his idea that the likely pupil (RGIII) is starting from scratch with the Shanahans. The difference is that the young quarterback is ready to learn from a coach for whom he has a healthy respect
The positive in McNabb finally airing out his dirty laundry is this: it will not be just 'Skins fans scrutinizing every moment in RGIII's development. No, now the entire NFL will be watching this one closely. Are the Shanahans able to adjust to Griffin's unique talent? Will they be patient with him through thick and thin?
For those of you scoring at home, this will be QB No. 4 for in three years for the coach that was hired to return the Redskins to glory. The Redskins have no choice but to do any and everything possible to make sure the RGIII Era (or, if the Colts turn in the wrong card, the Andrew Luck era) is a success. RGIII is already the most beloved Redskin who has yet to become an actual Redskin.
The Shanahans really have no choice given what they gave up to move up to the 2nd pick. This must work or they will eventually be looking for other work. So in the end, here's hoping the Shanahans use this bulletin board material from McNabb as extra motivation to make this a Super success. Also, keep in mind, if McNabb had been good here in D.C., they would have never thrown the kitchen sink at the Rams to move up for RGIII this season.
Caps Go Down to the Wire
Two games remain in the NHL's regular season and the Capitals still haven't locked up a playoff spot. They are, if nothing else, talking the talk as Brooks Laich went Joe Namath without the uncomfortable exchange with Suzy Kolber.
"I have a belief we're going to be in the playoffs and that's it," the center said. "I don't want to discuss any scenario that we're not. My belief is that we're going to be in the playoffs."
Let's hope Laich is right because, as I have written too many times before, it should have never come down to this for the Capitals. There are still many more questions than answers with this group and the off-season will likely be very eventful if it ends without at least some postseason success.
The Nationals open their season today against the Chicago cubs. Now, this is the time of year when we are supposed to ask: Can the Nats make the playoffs? Instead we are talking about a two-time opening day starter, John Lannan, asking for a trade after being demoted to AAA. I do not blame Lannan for wanting out after the surprising demotion. I also do not blame the Nats for giving Ross Detweiler the nod for outpitching Lannan. Detweiler earned it on the field, he had no options left, and he can pitch out of the bullpen, which Lannan cannot.
Ok, back to the question at hand. Can the Nats contend for the post season? And if they can contend, will they make their first ever postseason in DC? I'm still skeptical of the offense, especially at the leadoff position, but I do think the Nationals can improve on last year's win total. Yes, there is the extra Wild Card to think about this season, and I believe they will be in the race in September, but I'm just not sold enough on them offensively to call them a playoff team just yet.
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