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Kyle Shanahan Addresses Statement By McNabb's Agent


Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan called the statement released by Donovan McNabb's agent Fletcher Smith on Thursday "disturbing" and "surprising."

Shanahan discussed the statement in an interview with Comcast SportsNet's Kelli Johnson at Redskins Park on Friday.

"When I heard [about Smith's statement] last night, it was definitely a little disturbing," Shanahan told Johnson. "When you work with someone every day like I do with Donovan – we've been together for at least seven months, we're around each other all time and we eat together every day, and we've never had a confrontation. So to hear stuff like I heard is a little surprising. Of course it bothered me."

Shanahan said he met with McNabb afterwards.

"I called him last night and asked him to come in and talk to me about it so I can at least see what they were talking about," he said. "When I talked to Donovan, he said he didn't feel any of those things, said that the stuff there wasn't true. That's what he told me personally.

"I asked if he did have any problems he wanted to talk to me about, he said, 'No, not at all. We've always been good.' When I heard that from him, talking man to man, face to face, that's what I have to go with. It is a little weird to hear that stuff, but I asked the guy face to face and that's what he had to say to me. So I think we're all right."

Smith released a statement on Thursday that, among other things, criticized Shanahan and head coach Mike Shanahan for their handling of McNabb this season.

Kyle Shanahan said there was "zero" truth to Smith's charge that he did not want McNabb to play a snap for him again following the Redskins-Buccaneers game in Week 14.

Smith also charged that Shanahan did not take well to McNabb making suggestions to his offense.

Asked if McNabb had ever made suggestions to his offense and what his response was, Shanahan replied: "That quote was almost – it was entertaining. Asking Donovan about that, neither he nor I remember that conversation. To hear that we have a different offense for Rex is a joke. We ran six screens versus Dallas, and we ran five or six screens in every game since our bye week. I really have no idea what he is talking about and it's completely inaccurate."

McNabb was benched by Mike Shanahan last Friday for the final three games of the regular season.

He is expected to serve as the No. 3 quarterback behind starter Rex Grossman and backup John Beck for this Sunday's game in Jacksonville and the season finale against the New York Giants on Jan. 2 at FedExField.

McNabb has completed 275-of-472 passes for 3,377 yards, 14 touchdowns and a career-high 15 interceptions. His QB rating is 77.1, ranked 26th in the NFL.

Asked about McNabb's performance this season, Kyle Shanahan said: "It has been a work in progress all year. We haven't done very well all year. I think Donovan would be the first one to tell you that he has struggled this year, too.

"I wanted him to play better as his coach, I get paid to do that. I've been coaching him to try to get him to play better all year. He has [gotten better] at times, he has been a little up and down, but both of us aren't satisfied where he's gotten to."

After Friday's practice, Mike Shanahan stood by the statement he released to the media on Thursday.

"As I stated earlier, when I traded for Donovan McNabb I had hoped that he would lead us to the playoffs. No one wanted him to be more successful than me. When the team was 5-8 and mathematically out of the playoffs, I made the decision to evaluate our other two quarterbacks. This was not personal, but strictly professional. The decision was made in the best interest of the Washington Redskins and I stand by my decision. I will attempt to talk to Fletcher Smith directly to clear up every one of his misconceptions."

McNabb was not available to speak to the media on Friday.

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