Deion Disputes Wilbon Claim Of Shanahan Racism

After his decision to bench Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman on Oct. 31 against the Detroit Lions, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan gave his reasoning for making the move with these postgame comments:

Kyle Shanahan and Donovan McNabb

“I felt with the time, with no timeouts, Rex gave us the best chance to win in that scenario. Everything is sped up when you don’t have timeouts. It’s got to be automatic. People forget how quick things are in that two minutes. It’s like learning a new language.

“Are you asking me if we played poorly? Yes, we did.”

After the game, Jamie Mottram posted the above photo of a seemingly perplexed Redskins Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan as he was apparently looking at McNabb during the Redskins-Lions game.

Dan Steinberg of the WASHINGTON POST following up Mottram’s screen shot with a link to this video:

In the brief clip, while watching McNabb run the Washington offense against Detroit, Shanahan said, “What the hell?

The next day McNabb’s replacement, Rex Grossman, told the media that he called his own plays for the two drives he was in the game.’s Ryan O’Halloran subsequently reported,”it doesn’t appear McNabb has such freedom.

Though there does seem to be some circumstantial evidence to suggest that perhaps McNabb is not completely up to speed on the Redskins offense, regarding Shanahan’s postgame defense for McNabb’s benching …

Most Likely: Mike Shanahan was covering his own a– for his horrific coaching manuever

Less Likely: Mike Shanahan was covering for son Kyle advocating a horrific coaching manuever

Least Likely: Mike Shanahan has trust in Rex Grossman’s abilities

Unlikely: Mike Shanahan was completely honest in his explanation for McNabb’s benching

From there, Mike Shanahan only made things worse for himself.

From Jason Reid of the WASHINGTON POST on Nov. 1:

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that Donovan McNabb’s lingering injuries played a role in the coach’s decision to bench his starting quarterback Sunday.

… But McNabb wasn’t able to fully practice and Shanahan said that from a “cardiovascular standpoint,” McNabb couldn’t handle the fast-paced two-minute offense.

The next day, Michael Wilbon wrote this in the WASHINGTON POST:

“Look, I’ve long ago declared my bias toward McNabb and I’m not going to spin away from it now. McNabb, though, hasn’t played all that well and has said so. He wasn’t particularly effective Sunday in Detroit, either.

“And indications are now that the Shanahans, father and son, don’t much like the way McNabb prepares for games. Mike’s assertion makes it sound like McNabb is some dummy, an ominous characterization he’d better be careful about, lest he run into some cultural trouble in greater Washington, D.C.”

Wilbon’s Tuesday column, as noted by Steinberg in the Washington Post, was followed the same day by stronger comments from David Aldridge and John Thompson II on DC’s ESPN 980 that echoed Wilbon’s implication that race may have been a factor in McNabb’s benching.

Ugly? We’re just getting started. Read more…

Antonio Pierce Hasn’t Earned The Rites of Patches

Antonio Pierce dutifully informed us last night that Mike Shanahan has made Donovan McNabb an “escape goat“:

Antonio Pierce calls Donovan McNabb an escape goat. Emmitt Smith approves

(E.J.: Dap Tip)

This kid shows promise, but as Emmitt Smith will tell you, Pierce still hasn’t been given the rice of passage. Or earned the rites of patches. Or … oh screw it.
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Jersey Sore: Reid Makes Fan Remove McNabb Uni

Les Bowen of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS reports from Eagles training camp this morning that head coach Andy Reid reportedly ordered a fan at the team’s practice to remove a Donovan McNabb Redskins jersey that he was wearing while standing on the sidelines.

Andy Reid asks fan to take of McNabb Redskins jersey

(Fierro is reporter from ALLENTOWN (PA) MORNING CALL)

The fan, Jim Devlin, was a friend of a guest of the team that had been granted sideline access.

Eagles fan Jim Devlin, of King of Prussia, was directed to remove the Donovan McNabb Redskins jersey that he was wearing on the Eagles sideline at training camp this morning by security.

Devlin said that security told him that coach Andy Reid wanted the jersey removed. A team spokesman said he was unaware whether the directive came from Reid.

Devlin was on the sideline, not in the stands, on a guest pass, provided by friend Frank Deutchki, of Schwenksville, who is with him. A team spokesman said guests with sideline passes are supposed to be screened at the gate.

Devlin was surprised but also really angry. He was curious what other fans’ reaction would be so he also wore the jersey to Sunday’s Phillies-Mets game.

Deutchki now has the jersey in a bag, with Devlin wearing a red T-shirt.

Two things on this. Read more…

Limbaugh: ‘I’d Like To Have A Beer With McNabb’

Roger Goodell probably didn’t expect The Spanish Inquisition when he went to The Hill on Wednesday for a hearing entitled “Legal Issues Relating to Football Head Injuries.” But that’s what he got, courtesy of Steve King of Iowa (R-Nuts), who used it as an opportunity to grill Goodell on his opposition to Rush Limbaugh as a part-owner of the Rams.

Rush Limbaugh, Donovan McNabb

But when the dust had settled from King’s attack, it was time for Rush himself to comment on the proceedings via his radio show. And that’s when the conservative talk host did a most remarkable thing: He took a page from the Barack Obama playbook. What? Has Rush Limbaugh become a liberal softy? See the quote and judge for yourself. Read more…

So What Exactly Is Vick’s Relationship With Nike?

One of the odder stories of the past couple of weeks concerns Michael Vick and his amazing disappearing Nike contract. What exactly possessed Vick’s endorsement agent, Blue Equity Sports Television Managing Director Mike Principe, to announce this past Wednesday that Vick “just became a Nike client” and “has a new deal” with the company?

Michael Vick

Could it have been a way of testing the waters; a “What if?” type scenario to see if the villagers would take up pitchforks and boycott Nike products if Vick reentered their orbit? Or is Nike simply paying Vick under the table to wear their stuff, thus avoiding the wrath of PETA? Read more…

Hey, What The … Look Who’s Back, Eagles Fans!

In all the commotion over dog abuse, prison time and PETA protests, we’ve almost forgotten who the last person was to wear No. 7 for the Philadelphia Eagles. That would be Jeffrey Jason Garcia, the pride of Gilroy High School and one of only seven quarterbacks in NFL history with two consecutive thirty-touchdown passing seasons.

Jeff Garcia

I prefer to think that all of those No. 7 jerseys popping up in public lately were passive-aggressive cries by Eagles fans to bring Garcia back to the fold. And now with Donovan McNabb’s inured McRibs, A.J. Feely to the Panthers (seriously, that happened) and Josh McCown’s injured McFoot, the NFL’s most prominent recurring theme arrives in Philly to save the day. Read more…

McNabb Approached Eagles About Adding Vick?

In Dave Chappelle’s timeless “Killin’ Them Softly” standup special, he describes his plan for avoiding assassination if he were ever elected President: get a Mexican vice president. It’s funny because it rings so true, that black people in high profile jobs who are subject to the whims and vagaries of public opinion often face added pressure and scrutiny - and rarely have a safety net when it comes to protecting themselves from the type of opposition that seems awfully similar to racism.

Michael Vick Donovan McNabb
(Welcome to your worst nightmare, haters.)

To that end, we were a little confused by CBSSPORTS.COM’s recent column saying Michael Vick’s signing by the Eagles was something of either a warning shot or a slap in the face to Donovan McNabb. Considering the language of the deal makes it heavily likely that Vick won’t spend more than a season in Philadelphia, it seems more like Vick was, among other things, insurance for McNabb against his most virulent of haters. Like a, “oh, you hate McNabb for being black? Just wait till you see his backup!” situation.

So while we don’t really know all of McNabb’s underlying motivation, we do know we weren’t terribly surprised to read McNabb’s recent blog entry at YARDBARKER saying he had personally approached the team about signing Vick earlier in the offseason.

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New Device to Limit Jake Delhomme Interceptions?

The next step toward the inevitable future of football — robot players — has been taken by the new United Football League. A Miami-based technology company has invented The ID Coach, an electronic wristband device that quarterbacks will wear in which plays, and possibly their favorite TV shows, can be transmitted to them during games.

Somehow the makers of the device have convinced the UFL, which begins its inaugural season in October, to use it, but the NFL is going to be a harder sell. Donovan McNabb here seems to really dig it, however (“Will it tell me when overtime begins?”). Read more…

Of Bo Scaife, Wikipedia, And 10-Year-Old Vandals

When it comes to sports news, never trust anything you read online. Especially anything by Peter King. But especially anything on Wikipedia.

Bo Scaife

Titans TE Bo Scaife knew not to panic this week when he was flooded with phone calls asking about his trade to the Eagles. But that’s why you don’t automatically believe Wikipedia, especially when updated by a grade school kid who just got done defacing Donovan McNabb’s page.

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Ex-Philly Mayor Says Eagles Lied About Lawsuits

If you know Philadelphia, you know it’s a corrupt town. It came out that the last mayor was being wiretapped by the FBI, and he still won re-election. So what does it say about the Eagles when that former mayor is calling them liars and cheats?

Tom Ridge, John Street, Jeffrey Lurie, Andy Reid

(l to r: Tom Ridge(?!), John Street, Liar, Hambeast)

To condense the legal mumbo-jumbo, here’s the gist: the city was suing the Eagles, until the Eagles threatened to sue the city for, coincidentally, the same amount of money. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie went to then-mayor John Street, and allegedly made a handshake deal to just let both lawsuits go away quietly for $1 million. Now, Street says there never was such a deal, and protesters are marching on Lurie’s lawn.

It’s always shady in Philadelphia, after the jump.

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