For many reasons, I believe the Redskins are the best team for Donovan McNabb, including the fact that he’ll be greatly appreciated in our nation’s capitol far more than he ever was in the City of Brotherly Love.
The ‘Skins have been waiting for a true leader at the quarterback position for nearly a decade, and now they have one in McNabb. His five trips to the NFC Championship Game bear witness to the fact that he is a consistent winner. Over the last 11 seasons the Redskins faithful have watched McNabb carve up their defense, and now he is on their side.
McNabb never had a consistent running game while running Andy Reid‘s West Coast offense. Mike Shanahan, however, is the most successful descendant of Bill Walsh‘s coaching tree. As one of the league’s best offensive play callers, Shanahan’s zone running scheme has been one of the most potent rushing attacks for more than a dozen years. No longer will McNabb be asked to convert third-and-2 by passing the ball. Instead, he’ll have the use of a productive running game to help preserve a fourth quarter lead.
Finally, coaching does count. The league’s leader in passing yards last season (Houston’s Matt Schaub) played in the same system, under the same coach who will be sending the offensive signals to McNabb in 2010. Kyle Shanahan, Mike’s son, called plays last season with the Texans as Schaub threw for a league-leading 4,770 yards.
In this case, necessity will lead to a greater appreciation, and maybe even championship results. The Redskins needed a leader and got one. The Shanahans needed a proven quarterback who already knows their system, and they landed a 33-year-old with mobility and a cannon for an arm. Lastly, McNabb needed a team and a coach who will tailor the plan to his talents. It’s a good fit for everyone.
Now let’s see if McNabb can lift his second franchise from a perennial loser to the heights of a consistent winner. With this second chance maybe he’ll be more appreciated.