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Mike Shanahan On Decision To Bench Donovan McNabb For Rex Grossman: 'Rex Gave Us The Best Chance To Win'

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You knew that the first thing Mike Shanahan would be asked after the Redskins' 37-25 loss to the Lions would be about his decision to pull Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman. Shanahan himself knew it too, and cut off the first question to address the issue. Reiterating that McNabb would still be the starter going forward, Shanahan said he felt Grossman was the better guy to play in that situation.

"I felt with the time, with no timeouts, Rex gave us the best chance to win in that scenario," he said.

Shanahan said that he felt Grossman was more familiar with the Redskins' terminology in two-minute scenarios, because of his time with Houston last year. In a situation where the Redskins needed to make quick calls, Shanahan said he felt McNabb would struggle because he is not as experienced with the system.

"Everything is sped up when you don't have timeouts.  It's got to be automatic," Shanahan said.

"People forget how quick things are in that two minutes," Shanahan said. "It's like learning a new language."

Shanahan said that McNabb understood the decision, and said that McNabb is still the team's starter going forward. When asked whether this is a poor reflection on McNabb's ability to pick up the offense, Shanahan said it wasn't and that picking up a new offense takes time. In a snippy tone, Shanahan also said that he doesn't think it means anything that McNabb was benched. 

"Are you asking me if we played poorly," he said, before cutting off all questions. "Yes, we did." 

[Quotes via Comcast SportsNet's "Redskins Postgame Live" show].