Mike Shanahan Reverting to Old Washington Redskins Philosophy

Philip SpeakeCorrespondent INovember 2, 2010

DETROIT - OCTOBER 31: Kyle Vanden Bosch #93 of the Detroit Lions hits Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins during the first quarter of the game at Ford Field on October 31, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

After the mind-boggling benching of Donovan McNabb this past Sunday in Detroit, the Washington Redskins crazy carousel is running at full speed. Despite McNabb’s poor play this season, the idea to bring in Rex Grossman was a bad one, and the fallout from McNabb’s benching is going to linger for a long time.

McNabb had an opportunity to lead the Redskins down the field for a game-winning drive. He most likely would not have succeeded, since his pass protection was atrocious the whole afternoon. Even so, the Redskins would be sitting at 4-4 heading into their bye week—a record almost any Redskins fan would have been happy to live with.

If he did lead the team down the field, Washington would be riding sky high—a 5-3 record, a great comeback and a new-found belief in No. 5.

But after the benching, the media is swarming like vultures. Players are questioning the coaching staff privately, if not publicly, and McNabb's future with the organization is in reasonable doubt.

This moves clearly illustrates that Mike Shanahan is starting to lose faith in McNabb. His Monday afternoon press conference was one for the ages, where he questioned McNabb’s ability to call two plays at once, run up the field and organize a drive with no timeouts remaining.

He sounds like a real believer, doesn’t he?

JaMarcus Russell was brought in today for a workout at Redskins Park. Why!? If you believe that Russell is seriously being considered as a candidate for the roster, then you are delusional. Unless of course he is going to play left guard.

Even the idea of bringing in Russell is stupid. The team extended John Beck's contract early in the preseason and brought in Grossman because he is familiar with Kyle Shanahan’s offense from his days in Houston. So from a public relations standpoint, I just do not understand it at all.

Now, with all of this controversy, Shanahan’s large ego is starting to show its face. He has now benched McNabb, Albert Haynesworth and Derrick Dockery. Even with the atrocious play of current left guard Kory Lichtensteiger, Dockery has remained inactive the past few weeks.

With all of these moves, fans are already beginning to lose the faith that was restored in the offseason. Sounds familiar, huh? Has anything really changed?

What if Randy Moss is picked up off waivers by the team? Is this a sign of a team looking to make a playoff push, or another clue that nothing has changed at Redskins Park?

Instead of the national media ignoring us, which we should all prefer, they are all putting the front office's feet to the fire. It has been a very bad week in Ashburn.

The bye week will not dilute these distractions. Washington faces Philadelphia on Monday Night Football in Week 10. The questions and poor answers will continue to circulate for weeks to come.

When will the day come that the Redskins simply put their best 22 out on the field week in and week out and see what happens? They have shown the ability to defeat good teams (Eagles, Packers, Cowboys).

Now let’s keep the ship going in the same direction. A few big waves will crash down from time to time, but all is not lost.

Unless the new regime rips the boat to shreds.