What was Shanahan thinking benching McNabb?

Let the debating begin in Washington.

It should not be a full-blown quarterback controversy for the Redskins, but you’ve really got to question the commitment of coach Mike Shanahan to Donovan McNabb at this point.

What else can you say about the situation? Down six points at Ford Field on Sunday to the Detroit Lions, and with less than two minutes to play, Shanahan have McNabb the hook and replaced him with journeyman Rex Grossman.

"I thought (Grossman) gave us the best chance to win," Shanahan said.

There you have it. Shanahan said that Grossman is more comfortable and better able to run the two-minute offense. Do you really believe that? I’m not trying to sell Grossman short, but McNabb has been the man getting the vast majority of the practice reps since he was acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles. McNabb is the one the Redskins have said publicly they would like to sign to a longterm extension. And Grossman is better for the two-minute drill when you’re trailing the Lions 31-25?

The Redskins saw their season unravel with a loss at Detroit last season, the first one Jim Schwartz got as head coach. Did things unravel for the Redskins again on Sunday with this loss that drops them to 4-4? They head into their bye week right now and that’s only going to create more time for everyone to examine the Shanahan/McNabb relationship and pick it apart.

Never mind that McNabb didn’t play very well in the loss. Forget that Grossman fumbled after being sacked on his first snap and Ndamukong Suh scooped it up and rumbled in for a touchdown. Focus on what lies ahead now for the Redskins.

“(Shanahan) makes the decisions,” McNabb said, according to Rick Maese of the Washington Post. “I just continue to go with it and just cheer for my team.

“When you get benched, you get benched," McNabb said. “Just have to learn from it and move on. I continue to focus as if I'm the starter. He said I'm still the starter.”

But for how long?

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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