The weather isn’t nice in Minnesota, but star running back Adrian Peterson would make a trip all worthwhile. California has too many earthquakes, but the scenery is beautiful in San Francisco. Maybe even a return trip to Chicago could be in the works considering the way Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s been playing. Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb had to be pondering all of this while watching backup Rex Grossman fumble the game (and possibly the season) away Sunday against Detroit. He has eight games left on his one-year deal with Washington, an offensive line that can’t block, a coach who just embarrassed him and two weeks for things to fester. Think he’s going to be amped to resign after the year? Probably not.

Washington coach Mike Shanahan just unknowingly sabotaged the remainder of this season and next season by putting his ego ahead of the team. The way he coached Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions seemed like he was trying to throw it. He repeatedly watched the middle of his offensive line get ripped through like candy wrappers on Halloween but kept his best guard, Derrick Dockery, on the sideline for his own personal reasons. And when you take a quarterback who hasn’t played all year and throw him in with 1:50 left and expect him to win a game, you can’t tell me you’re trying to win. Don’t even try it.

“I felt with the time and no timeouts, (Grossman) was the best chance to win in that scenario,” Shanahan told reporters after the game, “just knowing the terminology of what we’ve done…how we run it.”

Come on Shanahan, really? The franchise-saving signal caller that’s been with the team since April that’s gone through a full offseason and seven games of the regular season didn’t give you your best chance to win? If there’s a hidden beef with McNabb then Shanahan should just come out and say it instead of spinning off riddles and fairy tales. Just like he could’ve came out and voiced his personal opinions about Albert Haynesworth, Clinton Portis, Dockery and Devin Thomas instead of coating the issues with fluff and football rhetoric.

McNabb may not know Washington’s terminology but he already understands the language of being benched. He knows it means his coach doesn’t trust him and the team doesn’t have a plan. He also knows he has options when the year’s up and he doesn’t have to stand for the insults. Shanahan always casts an eerie resemblance of George Bush to me and for Halloween on Sunday, his costume was on point. He had the face, he had the mindless excuses and he even had the dumb decision-making down to a “T.”

And all this time we thought it was Haynesworth who was putting himself before the team.

 

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO