Here is the cycle: Team that remains competitive in games - Add some missing pieces in the offseason - fans get excited - players talk about how this team is much improved - media exploits negatives - team falters - fans outraged - team continues to lose while staying competitive in games - Add some missing pieces in the offseason...
This is what the Washington Redskins have looked like year in and year out. It makes no difference who our coach has been, who our QB has been, who our GM has been, etc. The only thing that is going to break this cycle is to maintain continuity. Sure, Shanahan probably didn't make the wisest move to bench McNabb, but I believe him when he says that he felt it gave the team the best chance to win. The media and fans will hound him. Personally, I have been sick to my stomach. But, I came to the understanding that the one difference in this situation compared to other past situations is that Dan Snyder is going to stay out of this. No changes will occur because of one stupid move. Shanahan will not be fired. McNabb will remain the starter. Things will continue on the same intended path instead of returning to the same path traveled on in the past.
I believe that Shanahan will eventually make this team what he wants it to be. He won't let it become a circus, and that is best. He proved this with Haynesworth. No irrational moves were made. He stayed his course and I believe the team is better for it. I think that Shanahan does not believe he can win this year. I think that he is surprised by the fight in this team. I believe he is still feeling out this team to see how it faces adversity in different situations. He is obviously not happy with just being mediocre and no one player is placed above his desire to win. He is going to do what he feels is right each and every week and he does not care who agrees or does not agree with him. He wants to make this his team. He wants players that want to play for him and that want to win. Benching McNabb is his way of telling Donovan that he is not cutting it.
While the rest of us fans are pretty content with having McNabb throw for some big gains and showing on field leadership that has been lacking in the past, Shanahan is not content with that. We, as fans, don't know any better. Shanahan does. No regrets, only progress.
Who is going to step up on offense and lead this team? If McNabb doesn't do it, then nobody will. McNabb is our only hope and he has been the most inconsistent of all our offensive players. He needs time to gel with his receivers. The offensive line isn't giving him any time. He has no running game. I'm sure Shanahan doesn't want to hear any of these excuses. Get the balls out to the receivers, move the chains, and score touchdowns. That is what is expected of McNabb. The system is in place. It is the players who are not getting it done, and it starts with McNabb. McNabb needs to step up, bitch out his offensive line, make proper reads and get the job done. If our leader is mediocre, the rest will follow. Bottom line.
Year in and year out blame is placed on anyone that comes in contact with the team. It is time that we start seeing it for what it is. The players are the ones accountable for what is happening on the field. It is time for this offense to shut up or get it done. Shanahan knows it. McNabb now knows it now too.