ASHBURN, Va. – Washington's Kyle Shanahan took his turn at the microphone on Friday, challenging comments made by Donovan McNabb's agent.
Not that he provided clarity to the ongoing saga. If anything, the situation got more confusing.
The Redskins offensive coordinator said Fletcher Smith's comments were "disturbing," so he spoke "face-to-face, man-to-man" with McNabb Thursday night at Redskins Park. He said the 12-year veteran told him that the claims made by his agent were untrue.
Smith said in a statement Thursday that the "tension" between the quarterback and the Washington coaches is due to McNabb's suggestions for improving the Redskins' offense.
"When I talked to Donovan, he said he didn't say any of that," Shanahan said during his weekly television interview on CSN Washington. "I'm like, 'well, your agent did, which to me is you.' He said he didn't agree with any of that, that those words didn't come out of his mouth and that he didn't tell his agent that stuff. So all I can go off of is what Donovan tells me.
"We've never had a confrontation all year. We've never had an argument. Everything's been good, so it is really a different situation to hear that stuff, but when I cleared it up with him, I've got to go with the reality of what two guys between us talk about."
Smith said in a statement Thursday that the Shanahan, and his father, coach Mike Shanahan, have made comments that go beyond disrespectful and that were "unprecedented for a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback such as Donovan."
The agent stood by his comments on Friday.
"Donovan and I talk constantly and have done so with more frequency during this season. We are absolutely on the same page. I standby my statement and will reserve any further comments until after I have had a chance to speak, directly, with coach Shanahan." Smith said in a statement.
Among the claims made by Smith Thursday were that after the Redskins loss to Tampa Bay, Kyle Shanahan said McNabb would never play for him again.
"Zero," said Shanahan when asked if there was any truth to the assertion.
Smith also alleged that Shanahan ignored McNabb's suggestions when it came to making changes in the offense, specifically more use of screen passes, adding that "ironically, Kyle decided to employ Donovan's suggestions after he unceremoniously benched him on Sunday." Rex Grossman started for the Redskins Sunday against Dallas.
"That quote was entertaining," said Shanahan. "Asking Donovan about that, he nor I remember that conversation. To hear that we had a different offense for Rex is a joke. We ran six screens versus Dallas. We have ran five or six screens in every game since our bye week. I really have no idea what he's talking about, and it's completely inaccurate."
McNabb, 34, was listed as the No. 2 quarterback during the Redskins' 33-30 loss to Dallas and is expected to the No. 3 quarterback for the final two games. Earlier in the week McNabb said he felt "disrespected" by the way he was benched and demoted.
On Friday McNabb declined to comment when approached by reporters other than to confirm he did speak with Kyle Shanahan.
McNabb was benched only once in 11 years with Philadelphia, and he's already doubled that total with the Redskins in less than one season. Mike Shanahan yanked McNabb for Rex Grossman in the final two minutes against Detroit in October with the game on the line, then offered several strange excuses for the decision.
The coach declined to comment on the matter Friday other than to say he had yet to speak with Smith "but I will talk to him."
Notes...Mike Shanahan ruled out LB Brian Orakpo (groin, hamstring), DL Kedric Golston (groin), and SS Reed Doughty (concussion) for Sunday's game at Jacksonville. KR Brandon Banks (knee) and FS Kareem Moore (knee) will be game-time decisions while LB Lorenzo Alexander (groin) is expected to play. Rob Jackson, called up from the practice squad this week, will replace Orakpo...SS LaRon Landry underwent a non-surgical procedure — shockwave therapy — to increase blood flow to his Achilles tendon on Wednesday. Landry, who played and started in the first nine games of the season and was placed on the injured reserve list earlier this month, is expected to be in a boot for four weeks with an expected recovery time of 12 weeks.