Coming off their bye week, the Washington Redskins returned to the topic of quarterback Donovan McNabb and his benching. Now they are dealing with stories suggesting that coach Mike Shanahan and son/OC Kyle Shanahan are not happy with McNabb, their near benching of him for the first Philadelphia Eagles game and how much they’ve had to pare the playbook. Coach Shanahan dismissed reports that stated the team had considered benching McNabb before the October 3rd game at Philadelphia. Nor did it sound as if Shanahan regretted his decision to bench his quarterback for the final two minutes during the game at Detroit.
Mike Shanahan said: “We went down that road enough and if I keep going down it, it will swerve in a little different direction and we’ve taken it a different way, But it’s a tough decision. It’s not always popular, but it’s one I felt was right. As I shared with the team, sometimes you don’t always make the right decision, but you make a decision based on your gut feeling … and you go with it. It’s the nature of the beast. Anytime you make a decision like that, obviously there’s going to be a lot of controversy.”
Shanahan also said that he’s been pleased with McNabb’s tempo in games and practices over the past month. The guy that replaced McNabb in Detroit and followed offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan from Houston this off season shot down the rumors of a McNabb not having the full play book when he said: “I don’t think it’s true, We had 120 plays going into a game last year and we have 100-some this year. I don’t think we have any less plays because of Donovan at all.”
Quotes, News and Notes:
-- Redskins safety Chris Horton who has had limited snaps with the defensive unit but is a regular on special teams, has been placed on season-ending injured reserve, due to an ankle injury he got while covering a kickoff Oct. 31 at Detroit. Rookie safety Anderson Russell who was signed after the draft and has spent the entire season on the Redskins practice squad was elevated to the active roster to fill Chris Horton's spot in the secondary
-- After attending last week's Tuesday tryouts that featured quarterbacks JaMarcus Russell and J.P. Losman, 6'-1”, 218 pound wide receiver Taurus Johnson was signed to the Redskins practice squad. Johnson had 9 catches for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns before being released by the Hartford Colonials of the UFL. Johnson spent some time in the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns camps this summer
-- Redskins running backs Clinton Portis who is recovering from a torn groin muscle and Ryan Torain who has been dealing with a sore hamstring, both dressed for and participated in practice Monday. It was the first time both backs have been on the practice field at the same time in over a month, if one or the other is unable to go, running back James Davis could be promoted from the practice squad for this week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
– Safety Sha’reef Rashad who also worked out for the Redskins last Tuesday has been signed to the practice squad. Rashad played his college ball at Central Florida and spent the preseason with the New York Giants. To make room on the practice squad the Redskins released wide receiver Ray Small
-- Redskins return man Brandon Banks ranks third in the NFL on punt returns (13.3-yard average) and ninth on kickoff returns (27.3 yards), and could be sidelined 2-3 weeks after undergoing knee surgery last weekend to repair a meniscus tear. Banks reported soreness following the team’s final practice before breaking for their bye week last Tuesday. Banks set a franchise record with 271 return yards, including a 96-yard kickoff-return touchdown, he also had a 95-yard return for a touchdown but it was nullified by an illegal block
-- With safety Chris Horton headed to the IR list, backup tight end Fred Davis is the only member from his draft class still on the Washington Redskins active roster, receiver Devin Thomas (Picked in the second round), guard Chad Rinehart (a third round pick) and quarterback Colt Brennan (sixth rounder) were cut this summer. Cornerback Justin Tryon (fourth round pick) was traded to Indianapolis. Defensive end/linebacker Rob Jackson (seventh rounder) is on the practice squad for a second straight year. Punter Durant Brooks (sixth round) was cut in October 2008. Second-round pick, wide receiver Malcolm Kelly has been on injured reserve all season.
-- Clinton Portis is holding out hope that he may be able to play Monday night but woke up sore Tuesday morning after going full speed on Monday. After practice on Tuesday, Portis said: "I may be able to be ready for Monday, but I feel like it's a work in progress, I got some work done yesterday, as you all seen. But I think it's swelling today. I got the rest of the week to try to get right and make sure I'm going to be 100 percent. Running full-speed for the first time, they had already told me the symptoms that was going to come out of it, It's not a shock.... The good thing about it is no one is rushing me back, I think Coach Shanahan knows what type of injury this is. He kind of told me to calm down yesterday. I think he seen the excitement in my eyes from being back on the field, and he kind of called me off yesterday and was like, 'Don't overdo it.'"