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Shanahan: McNabb saga a disappointing 'soap opera'

December 27, 2010 - 04:37 PM
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Mike Shanahan said he is disappointed over how Donovan McNabb's benching has played out. (Photo: Associated Press)

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that he has yet to speak with Donovan McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, over the misunderstandings between the quarterback’s camp and the team's management and coaching staff. Shanahan also expressed disappointment with how the "soap opera"-style saga has played out.

Smith last week blasted the Shanahans for mistreating McNabb and leaking negative reports about the quarterback to the media. The agent also accused offensive Kyle Shanahan of pushing for the six-time Pro Bowl quarterback’s benching because the coach didn’t want to take McNabb’s suggestions for modifications to the offense.

Mike Shanahan hours later issued a response and stood by his stance that the benching was performance based and a result of the coaching staff wanting to evaluate the other quarterbacks on the roster. Kyle Shanahan also called Fletcher's claims false, and "a joke." Mike Shanahan, also the executive vice president of the team, said that he would be meeting with Smith to clear up any misconceptions.

But four days after releasing that statement, Shanahan has yet to do so.

“I haven’t,” Shanahan said Monday afternoon. “I told [Smith] when he was in this area, if he’d like to meet with me, I’d love to be able to sit down with him one-on-one, but I haven’t.”

McNabb had previously said that he wanted to remain in Washington despite the benching, and added that he is confident that he can continue to work with Kyle Shanahan as the Redskins’ starter. But Smith came out and said that the relationship between quarterback and coaches have become extremely strained, and is expected to push for McNabb’s release this offseason.

Shanahan and the Redskins just eight months ago acquired McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles on Easter Sunday in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2010 draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2011 draft. Shanahan at the time, even said that he believed McNabb, despite being in his mid-30s, could lead Washington to a Super Bowl as an aging John Elway did the Shanahan-coached Denver Broncos twice.

Now the relationship between the two parties have been reduced to a war of words with anonymously-sourced jabs being exchanged through the media. Shanahan, aside from his statement on Thursday night, has declined comment. But on Monday, he did describe the way things have played out as disappointing.

“Yeah, you hate to see it,” Shanahan said. “It’s kinda like a soap opera, like you’re saying. You hate to see it, and quotes going out, and that’s why I try to stay away from it unless someone documents something, but I think there’s been enough talk about that over the last couple weeks.”

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