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Shanahan: Donovan McNabb Benched Because He Wasn't In Good Enough Shape

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This McNabb benching story is getting more bizarre by the day. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said yesterday that he benched McNabb in the fourth quarter because Donovan didn't know the terminology of the offense well enough and that Rex Grossman gave them a better chance to win. Bear in mind of course that Grossman has only been in Washington for a year so there's reason to think he'd know the system better than McNabb. Plus McNabb has run the two minutes offense in Washington a number of times this season already... but that was Shanahan's story.

Today, he has a brand new story. Today it's no longer that McNabb didn't know the plays well enough, it's that McNabb didn't have the "cardiovascular conditioning" needed to run the two minute offense.

"When you are calling plays in a two-minute drill ... two plays in advance, and you're working on your cardiovascular [condition] ...  it's really hard to do that," Shanahan said. "I thought it would be in the best interest to go in a different direction."

Shanahan actually claimed that he ha already made the decision during the week that he would bench McNabb in this situation because he wasn't confident enough in his "cardiovascular conditioning." During the week, McNabb had been nursing a hamstring injury.

Does anyone believe a word Shanahan is saying at this point? I'm not sure who he has embarrassed more in this situation, McNabb or himself? The Eagles play the Redskins in two weeks after Washington's bye.

[Note by JasonB, 11/01/10 8:11 PM EDT ] Chris Mortenson just reported on ESPN that this dissatisfaction with McNabb has been brewing all season and that Redskins brass actually discussed benching McNabb after his performance against the Eagles in the Redskins week four win.