ASHBURN, Va. – Donovan McNabb sees "nothing wrong" with an inflammatory statement in which his agent attacked Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
Yet McNabb also tried to distance himself from that statement Tuesday in his weekly radio appearance on ESPN980. McNabb said he wasn't aware that his agent was planning to release the statement before it came out last week.
"He put his thoughts into the whole deal, not Donovan's thoughts," McNabb said.
McNabb was making his most extensive comments since his tit-for-tat with the Shanahans escalated when agent Fletcher Smith released the statement last Thursday. The quarterback who has repeatedly avoided answering questions over the last few days did little to clear the air, continuing in his attempt to play the good cop to Smith's bad cop.
"I support my agent," McNabb said, "and I support his thoughts. ... When I read the whole thing, I didn't see nothing wrong with it."
Smith's statement cited tension between McNabb and Kyle Shanahan, the head coach's son. It was released a week after Mike Shanahan announced he was benching McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman for the final three games of the season because the Redskins (6-9) had been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
Mike Shanahan countered with a statement in response to Smith. Then Kyle Shanahan spoke the following day, disputing many of Smith's claims. Smith then released yet another statement standing by his original statement.
On his radio show, McNabb said he has met with Kyle Shanahan and that "we're both on the same page." McNabb then said several things to indicate perhaps he and the Shanahans aren't on the same page. He reiterated his concern over leaks that paint him as unable to grasp the offense.
"When you hear things like that, you begin to question where it's coming from," McNabb said.
McNabb labeled "false" an ESPN report he plans to ask for his release at the end of the season — although that doesn't rule out Smith asking for McNabb's release. McNabb also repeated his desire to play for the Redskins again next season, but with a caveat.
"Things would obviously have to change," McNabb said. "The relationship would have to be better. Conversations would have to be better."
McNabb indicated a big step regarding his future will come when Smith and Mike Shanahan meet face to face in the coming weeks. He said it wouldn't be "professional" if the Redskins decide to wait until late summer to release him.
Asked if he trusts the people at Redskins Park, McNabb hedged.
"Building a trust takes time," he said.