Appearing on ESPN's First Take yesterday, Donovan McNabb couldn't resist taking a shot at his former coaches in Washington D.C. Asked how he saw Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III fitting in in Mike Shanahan's offense, McNabb responded:
I don't think it's a good fit. If this doesn't work this year, if we don't see a splash like a Cam Newton splash, this could be it. How long does he have with RG3? The seat is hot right now. Here's a guy coming out who's very talented, mobile, strong arm -- we've already heard he's intelligent -- football mind. Are you going to cater the offense around his talent, and what he's able to do, or are you going to bring the Houston offense with Matt Schaub over to him and have him kind of be embedded in that?
McNabb went on to list all the failed quarterbacks that have played under Shanahan (conveniently leaving out his own name) before being asked if he had an axe to grind with the organization.
I do, but I don't. The whole deal about it is, we hear so much about players who move on somewhere, how the next year will be a lot better. Give him a chance to learn the offense and understand what we do. I never got that chance. And a lot of people haven't.
Clearly, McNabb feels he wasn't given a fair shake in Washington, and perhaps that's true. But it's not like he went to Minnesota, his next stop after being let go by the Redskins, and lit it up. In fact, McNabb played so poorly that he was benched in favor of rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, who came in and sparked an offense that had looked moribund under McNabb.
(On a side note: When is the rest of the league going to learn that once Andy Reid is ready to let a player go it usually means the guy is done?)
Will the Redskins have a winning record in 2012?
Now, none of this dismisses what McNabb is saying—Shanahan's track record since winning back to back Super Bowls with John Elway as his quarterback is less than stellar. Even Jay Cutler, probably the most physically gifted quarterback he's worked with since then, didn't win more games than he lost under Shanahan. Of course, there are myriad reasons for that.
Shanahan knows that this is most likely his last chance in Washington, and possibly as an NFL head coach. I don't think, as McNabb states, that Shanahan needs a "Cam Newton splash" out of RG3 this year. Drafting RG3 buys Mike a couple years at least. But the organization gave up a king's ransom to be in position to draft a franchise quarterback and if Shanahan doesn't succeed with him, you can bet Redskins owner Dan Snyder will be introducing a new head coach a few years from now.