Monday, November 1, 2010

The "Franchise"

Every year I buy into the Redskins. I remember thinking Turner/Johnson, Spurrier/Ramsey, Gibbs/Campbell would all lead us to the promised land. Every season I bought into the Redskins plans, and every year, about halfway through I realised I've been duped.

Despite all that, I thought this season would be different. I truly believed in Shanahan and McNabb.

Up until the Halloween game against the Lions things were progressing smoothly. I didn't expect the Redskins to be much better than 7-9 in 2010 but it looked like Shanahan was restoring credibility to the Redskins, credibility they've been lacking since Gibbs first left. It looked like the players believed in him, and he brought on board a 6 time Pro Bowler who's won 92 football games as a starting quarterback. Donovan McNabb.

Even with a loss to the Detroit Lions the Skins could survive. They'd go into the bye and regroup. They could rally behind their "Franchise" quarterback and experienced coach and find a way to beat the Eagles in week 10. Except Shanahan did the ONE thing that could make the loss to Detroit even worse. He benched Donovan McNabb in favor of his backup Rex Grossman. A perfectly healthy McNabb was left grimacing on the sidelines while Grossman fumbled away any possible chance of a victory. Coach Shanahan claimed he was concerned about McNabb's level of fitness. The same McNabb who's just played over 58 minutes of football without incident and who led the team in rushing. He said Grossman had a better grasp of the hurry up offense... despite the fact that he had not played this season, and has been a Redskins for a shorter time than McNabb.

He did the one thing that could create controversy going into the bye, the one thing that could undermine the player's confidence in him... and in McNabb, Mike Shanahan did the one thing that could undo the goodwill created by he and General Manager Bruce Allen.

Mike Shanahan panicked with two minutes to go and the game on the line and made a terrible decision.

Now the Redskins have two weeks to find a way to fix it.

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