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Donovan McNabb v. Mike Shanahan: Is Race a Factor?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 05:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins looks to throw a pass against the New York Giants on December 5, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Redskins 31-7.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Stacey MicklesCorrespondent IIDecember 17, 2010

In another shocking move, Washington Redskins head football coach, Mike Shanahan, has decided to not only bench star quarterback Donovan McNabb, but regulate him to third string.  Huh?

Didn’t the Redskins just pay this guy a HUGE amount of money, and now he is riding the pine?

Has Shanahan lost his mind, or is this what he had in mind from the beginning?

This relationship has been rocky for weeks every since Shanahan bench McNabb in the fourth quarter in the last minutes of a game winning drive when he decided to play Rex Grossman. People were wondering then what the hell was he thinking, and now this.

Obviously, there are some issues between quarterback and coach, but is it play involved or McNabb’s race?  McNabb hasn’t played his best ball this year, true, but it’s kinda hard to do that when you don’t have that much talent surrounding you either.

But unlike a Drew Brees, Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning, McNabb doesn’t have a bunch of all-star wide receivers and running backs to help him out; he is basically on an island by himself.

The interesting part in all of this is why does this keep happening to McNabb? Although, he won more then he lost in Philly, Andy Reid took a chance and dumped him for Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick, which in the end, looks like the smartest move since the Dallas Cowboys traded Hershel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings.

There have been a few rumblings about McNabb, but other then T.O., no one has ever accused him of not trying to play his best, but this thing with Shanahan has all of us scratching our heads. Give McNabb credit, through all of this, he has kept his cool and his mouth shut and let Shanahan literally hang himself.

Shanahan is starting to look very bad in this situation. Some of the stuff he has “hinted” about McNabb, makes you wonder if he has a problem with more then just his play.

Yanking him for Grossman at the end of a game, making lame excuses about said move, and now making him third string, makes you wonder if he doesn’t think McNabb is smart enough to run his offense; a line that use to be used to justify why black players wouldn’t make good quarterbacks.

Take away John Elway and Terrell Davis, and Mike Shanahan would be Wade Phillips. After both of them retired, Shanahan didn’t do much of anything in Denver and hasn’t done a damn thing in Washington this year either.

Shanahan not only screwed up with McNabb, but with Albert Haynesworth as well. Both of these incidents makes you wonder if it’s really the players that have the issue or is it the coach?

This is not all his fault, most of the moves made by the front office have been terrible, but when you bench your best player and make him third string, this situation goes way beyond McNabb’s play; this may be a deeper issue on this team that might show it’s ugly head this weekend against the Dallas Cowboys.

Want to read more of Stacey’s take on football? Catch her on College Football Confidential http://collegefootballconfidential.wordpress.com/

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