Perhaps a career full of slights prepared Donovan McNabb to handle this most recent debacle with such class.Despite being benched in the midst of a productive season, McNabb pledged allegiance to the Redskins, said he wants to work with Mike Shanahan to return to the coach’s good grace, and gave a shout out to the fans. The worst indictment of the Redskins he could offer was that he felt “disrespected.”
What an understatement.
In truth, Shanahan appears to have proliferated a smear campaign meant to embarrass the 34-year-old Pro Bowl quarterback. Shanahan told the media McNabb was out of shape when he pulled him from the two-minute drill in a winnable October game against the Lions. Then, Shanahan benched him again last week without offering any explanation, even though McNabb was on his way to breaking the single-season franchise passing record.
That follows a pattern of disrespect that started in Philadelphia. He was shown the door after 11 seasons with the Eagles even though he posted a 92-49-1 record and a TD-to-INT ration better than 2-to-1. He was lambasted by teammates despite making it to four straight NFC Championship games. And he never was truly embraced by fans since they jeered his selection in the 1999 draft.
Safe to say, the man has developed some pretty thick skin. Of course, the knowledge that lasting through the season in Washington triggers a $78 million contract extension definitely helps.
That contract is probably the real reason McNabb holds his head high under circumstances that would motivate most players to demand a trade or quit on their team.
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