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…

Shanahan Agrees To Become New Redskins Coach

Mike Klis of the DENVER POST reports that Mike Shanahan has agreed to become the next head coach of the Washington Redskins.

Mike Shanahan

Shanahan is expected to sign a five-year deal worth about $7 million a year, with the Redskins making the official announcement on Wednesday.

The move is also good news for Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, who expects to save $7 million for himself.

Read more…

Glazer: I Didn’t Write Deleted Shanahan Web Piece

Last Monday I noted a Jay Glazer-bylined story on the website that had apparently been completely deleted.  The piece examined the scenario that could lead to Mike Shanahan taking over as Redskins Coach as soon as this season.

Jay Glazer Mike Shanahan To The Redskins Story Why Was It Deleted From

(Glazer Tweet: Web story was “dummy post” he didn’t write) 

At the time I was perplexed why the story was removed. But thanks to Glazer setting the record straight on Twitter this week, we now know what happened. Read more…

Why Glazer’s Shanahan-To-’Skins Piece Deleted?

Last night Jay Glazer posted a piece on the website that trumpeted the distinct possibility that Mike Shanahan would take over as Redskins coach “as early as this season.

Jay Glazer Mike Shanahan To The Redskins Story Why Was It Deleted From

(Full text of piece at the bottom of this post)

That piece was later deleted from the website, but remains in Google’s cache - for now.

Jay Glazer Mike Shanahan To The Redskins Story Why Was It Deleted From

You can also still search it on Google News, but when you click on the story, you get a “page not found” message.

As noted by Dan Steinberg at DC SPORTS BOG, before the article was posted on, Glazer went on Fox Sports TV yesterday with this:

Jay Glazer Mike Shanahan To The Redskins Story Why Was It Deleted From

“It doesn’t matter if you talk to a head coach, a GM, a team president or team owner — everybody in this league, it’s unanimous, they all believe Mike Shanahan will be the next head coach of the Washington Redskins, and they think it’ll happen during the season at one point. Certainly exacerbated by the fact that Daniel Snyder, after they lost to the Lions, flew out to Denver on his private jet, although he claims it wasn’t to meet Shanahan.

You know, the big problem here though, I talked to the league office about it this morning, they said that the only thing they could really do is hire Shanahan on an interim basis during the season because of the Rooney Rule.”

The content of the above Glazer Fox Sports television hit is basically the exact same content as what he posted on later in the day. So why the delete? Read more…

Shanahan Headed To Redskins? Don’t Do It, Mike!

So Carolina has just scored to lead the Redskins 20-17 with about nine minutes left, perhaps sealing the fate of the embattled Jim Zorn. But word on the street is that Zorn was a lame duck anyway, no matter what he does over the next few weeks.

Jim Zorn, Daniel Snyder, Mike Shanahan

Or, as FOX SPORTS noted today, Dead Coach Walking. The next coach for the Redskins? Mike Shanahan. Maybe.

When owner Daniel Snyder hired a consultant to oversee game plans recently, that should have been a signal to Zorn to start packing. Both of the other times that Snyder’s done that in the past, notes FOX SPORTS (Mike Nolan and Steve Spurrier), the head coach was a gone the very next season. What a mess. Could there be a more dysfunctional owner/franchise is sports right now? I mean not within the Oakland city limits? Read more…

Josh McDaniels Is The Broncos’ New Head Coach

During the last few weeks there have been plenty of football coaches in the NFL being fired from their jobs, but I don’t think any of them were as surprising as Denver’s decision to dump Mike Shanahan after 14 years. Sure, the Broncos had only had one playoff win in the last ten years, but Shanahan had Bill Cowher status in Denver, and I thought he’d be there until he decided to leave. Now that he’s gone, I can only wonder how he feels knowing that he has been replaced by a guy who was only 18 years old when he first took the Broncos job.

Yes, that’s right, the Broncos have found Shanahan’s replacement, and it’s none other than New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Read more…

Blog Report: Denver Broncos Fire Mike Shanahan

The NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST is reporting this afternoon that Mike Shanahan has been fired.

Mike Shanahan

Breaking News: Shanahan Out In Denver
The National Football Post has just been informed that Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan and his coaching staff have been fired. More on this story as it develops.

The website has been offline in spurts since posting the news, probably due to an onrush of traffic.

UPDATE: The ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS confirms the story, and has a statement from Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen. Read more…

Speed Read: Jim Leavitt Has Totally Lost His Mind

Being a college football coach is a high-pressure business - maybe not being an air traffic controller or a heart surgeon, where if you screw up people die, but it can be pretty intense. And if your team is getting a nasty reputation for late-season collapses, it might start getting to you after awhile. Witness South Florida coach Jim Leavitt: THE WIZ OF ODDS has video of him losing his mind during a press conference:

This is exactly how my cousin Aldo used to act, right before he took to chasing after the ice cream truck with his pants off and trying to recruit local children to “help repel the Huns.” Despite the lack of blustery, screaming theatrics, I’d still like to suggest that Leavitt ask his doctor if Paxil is right for him.

If ever there was an appropriate way to recap a ridiculously high-scoring (i.e. actually fun to watch) Week 12 in the NFL, the Saints’ 51-29 thrashing of the Packers was it. New Orleans became the 12th team to score 30 or more points this week, more than during any other week this season.

Saints fan before game vs Packers

Drew Bress continued his assault on the NFL record books, throwing for 323 yards and four TDs, but the Saints’ MVP might have been Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers, who had a very Brett Favre-like performance on Monday night, except this was the bad Favre of 2005-2006. Translation: Rodgers threw three interceptions and the Packers had no chance.

And finally, a word to the wise - if you are going to shoot someone flashing a random group of tailgaters before a Cowboys game, try not to do it from directly behind them. Then again, if the flasher in question looks like a 45-year-old high school softball coach, maybe it’s for the best:

Here are some other stories you might have missed last night as you, like the rest of the US, were an emotional wreck after hearing about the Hannity and Colmes divorce:

  • Not even Tiger Woods is recession-proof: BLOOMBERG says that GM is pulling out of its endorsement deal at the end of the year, meaning that he’ll get to quit pretending that he really loves driving a Buick.
  • Tiger Woods and GM

  • Retired NHL goon Claude Lemieux is attempting a comeback, as the CANADIAN POST reports that the 43-year-old has signed a tryout contract with the San Jose Sharks. He’ll be heading to the AHL first to work on his baiting and sucker punching.
  • RIVALS.COM has a depressing look at Northwestern, the worst basketball program of the major conferences and the only which which has never been to the NCAA tournament. But at least their football team has a rich history of…ugh, never mind.
  • Your usual video of a student’s first trip to the Montana/Montana State rivalry, including drinking, push-ups…and a pretty solid catfight at about 1:05 in. (The problem with catfights in Montana in November: too much clothing to rip off.):
  • Despite this week’s performance, THE GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS would like to see all the Brett Favre vs. Aaron Rodgers comparisons stop, thanks.
  • The Clippers/Knicks trade is in limbo because of questions about Cuttino Mobley’s heart, says David Aldridge on NBA.COM. Literally - the Knicks have concerns about a possible pre-existing heart condition.
  • Mike Shanahan tells the AP that he’s OK with players taking out idiot fans who run out onto the field during games. How does he expect his team to tackle rowdy fans if they can’t even stop the Raiders?
  • Bob Arum confirms to ESPN.COM that the fight between Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley is back on for Jan. 24 in Las Vegas, as boxing continues to respond to rumors of its demise by putting out decent fight cards.
  • Eric Thomas, who helped lead Kent State to the Elite Eight back in 2002, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for burglary and assault. The DAILY KENT STATER says that’s enough to get a banner with his accomplishments pulled off the rafters, but not enough for his number to be unretired.
  • Roger Goodell tells BROADCASTING & CABLE that despite the BCS package going to ESPN, we shouldn’t expect NFL playoff games on cable anytime soon. Also of note: the BCS considered a package that would have put all the BCS games on FX, which is just weird.

When you think “historically inept sports teams” you think about…

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Speed Read: Mets Up To Same Old September Trix

In a way, the Trix Rabbit is very much a metaphor for the American Dream. Every red-blooded American wants that shiny pot of gold, or cereal. And the Trix Rabbit, God bless him, never gets it.

Much like the New York Mets, who wanted those tickets to the postseason so badly last year, but never got it. And this year, plus Johan Santana, the same fate has been bestowed on Those Ovarachievin(?) Amazins.

Jeff Wilpon should be a comedian

(Bright Side: Mets owner launches comedy career on heels of team’s collapse)

One man who seems to be eating plenty of cereal, CC Sabathia, was mostly the reason the Mets’ loss sent them out of the Wild Card hunt. His complete game sent Milwaukee (Algonquin for “the playoff land”) to their first postseason series since 1982 (and set off a Prince Fielder postgame celebration that inspired Japanese porno aficionados long-suffering Brewers fans):

Prince Fielder Bukkake

Meanwhile, I think the Detroit Tigers have had just about enough cereal. They’re full, but MLB is force feeding them breakfast foods as they have to travel to Chicago and make up their 162 game against the White Sox to determine the AL Central winner.

If the Soxo Blanco win, they force another bonus game, this time against Minnesota, with the victor earning a playoff spot against Tampa. If they lose — against former Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia, no less — then Minnesota wins outright, and hopefully we can stop talking about Detroit baseball altogether. (Although I surmise they’ll force them to keep playing meaningless baseball games against the Indians until November.)

Your playoff pairings, sans Tampa:
Red Sox-Angels, starts Wednesday at 10 p.m. (Josh Beckett)
Brewers-Phillies, starts Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Dodgers-Cubs, starts Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

But could playoffs be in the future of this man?

Yes, that’s Kerry Collins, of the Tennessee Collinses. At a robust 36 years old, he’s led the Titans to a win over the Minnesota Vikings and a 4-0 record. One other team has a perfect 4-0 record, and it’s the Buffalo Bills. So maybe it’s not so impressive if Buffalo can do it too.

Denver would have been 4-0, but the Hochulian karma finally caught up to them as they dropped a sulfurous egg in Kansas City, losing 33-19 to the Chiefs. Strangely, this puts Mike Shanahan — with ALL those career wins — at 3-11 in games at Arrowhead Stadium, notes KSNT/TOPEKA.

Dallas might also be 4-0 were it not for the fervent Washington Redskins, who never trailed past the second quarter, who prevailed 26-24 over their Cowboyish rivals. As the DALLAS MORNING NEWS points out, football genius/wide receiver Terrell Owens knows why his team lost: it’s because he didn’t get the ball enough. Never mind that of the team’s 60 plays, 20 of them were either touched by or thrown to him. Honestly, if it was just Romo, T.O., and nine linemen out there, nobody could beat them. Marion Barber had 26 yards on eight carries, which was 26 yards that Owens could have accumulated instead. What a selfish running back, always thinking about himself.

Also: Brett Favre never threw six touchdowns in a game before? Seriously? Next thing you’re going to tell me, Hank Aaron never knocked three dingers in a game.

We’ve always shared ten links in the SbB Speed Read, but don’t let that stop you from thinking this is our career high:

In memoriam of Paul Newman, which sporting figure best embodied one of Newman’s films?

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Kiffin and Linehan Could be Unemployed Monday

A combination of Rams loss and Al Davis finally doing what he’s been reportedly threatening to do everyday since the season has started could equal a historic Monday.


PRO FOOTBALL TALK notes that the firing of Scott Linehan, which Peter King reported yesterday would happen on Monday should the Rams lose today’s game against the 3-0 Buffalo Bills, combined with a Monday firing of Lane Kiffin could be the first time since the AFL-NFL merger that two NFL head coaches in the same season were fired before their team’s fifth game. Only five other coaches have been fired this early in the season and it’s never happened in the same season.

Read more…