Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who spent his second-to-last season playing under Mike Shanahan in Washington, ripped the head coach following his benching of Robert Griffin III on Wednesday, saying it was all about Shanahan's interest in giving playing time to Kirk Cousins and added "the locker room has turned their back on RGIII, and now [he has] solidified it.”
Speaking on NBC Sports Radio following the big news out of Washington on Wednesday, the 37-year-old, six-time Pro-Bowler questioned the timing of Shanahan's decision to shut down RGIII with three weeks to go in the season, taking a jab even at Shanahan's son, Kyle, an offensive coordinator on the Redskins:
“This is about Mike Shanahan. Mike and Kyle Shanahan trying to show why they feel like Kirk Cousins gives them the best chance of winning. So many things have leaked out, and I’ve always kept my ear on things that are happening with the Washington Redskins, teams that I’ve played with. And when you hear reporters that I know are linked to Mike Shanahan talk about [RGIII’s] preparation, you talk about he’s missing some reads, you know, he’s not reading some things. And I knew that he was big on having Kirk Cousins to get out there and run the offense.
Now, when we see it on film, yeah he’s missed some throws. Everybody misses throws. What about the balls that are dropped? What about the offensive line not blocking? What about the defense can’t tackle anybody? Yeah, I understand this kid has been banged up. He’s coming off of ACL injury. I’ve had ACL/MCL injury. But you wait 13, 14 weeks in the season to say, ‘I want him to be healthy going into the offseason?’ You might not even be there in the offseason. And so, what message are you sending to the guys in the locker room who are banged up in the training room every morning that are still going to meetings and out there practicing? We’re gonna rest the franchise quarterback, but you guys gotta get out there and play and finish the season out the right way and hopefully you don’t get hurt.
I think that the locker room has turned their back on RGIII, and now you’ve solidified it."
Last season, the team played Griffin while he was dealing with torn ACL and LCL ligaments in his right knee, and on Wednesday Shanahan said it was his decision to bench him for the season, despite RGIII being healthy, because, after discussing with team owner Dan Snyder, who Shanahan said "[couldn't] care less about the other positions," they were worried about the fact that Griffin has been sacked 38 times this season, 24 in the team's last five games, which were all losses for the 3-10 Redskins:
"Any time you’ve been hit as many times as he’s been hit, I thought it was in his best interests, and the organization, to talk about whether we should continue playing Robert if he’s been hit as much as he’s been hit.”
McNabb went on to say that Shanahan should stop pointing fingers and should instead look in the mirror because he feels the subpar play from Griffin should be on him:
“I’m used to this whole deal because, listen, I was benched for Rex Grossman,” he said. “And [Shanahan] came out and said he gave the team the best chance of winning. Well, Rex Grossman finished the season 1-2 or 1-3. I mean, that didn’t help nothing. And so, the whole thing about it is, sometimes you have to look in the mirror and look at yourself. Stop looking at everybody else. I don’t think that he and Kyle Shanahan can do that. And I say that because they feel like what calling should be ran effectively."