At least one guy understands the McNabb benching: Terrell Owens

Very few people out there have sided with Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan on his decision to bench Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman on Sunday against the Lions.

Now there's at least one guy in his corner. Former teammate and pain-in-McNabb's-heiney Terrell Owens(notes) said Tuesday on his "reality" show that he could see where Shanahan was coming from. From the AP report:

“Well, I don’t really want to start anything, but I did play in the Super Bowl and there were rumors where he couldn’t get our two-minute offense going at the end of the game,” Owens said. “I’m just saying.”

When pressed on the matter by [Bengals teammate, receiver Chad] Ochocinco, Owens said, “I’m just saying.”

Owens defended Redskins coach Mike Shanahan’s decisions to change quarterbacks, saying the coach knows best.

“He’s the head coach, so it has to make sense,” said Owens, who has complained that the Bengals aren’t paying attention to his suggestions for the offense. “Well, this is a situation where Mike Shanahan, he sees these two quarterbacks on an everyday basis. … So he’s had a chance to observe.”

I'm sure you remember when Owens shoved McNabb into a woodchipper after Super Bowl XXXIX. He said in reference to McNabb, "I'm not the one who got tired in the Super Bowl."

So there actually is a pattern here. McNabb was once accused of lacking the cardiovascular conditioning to finish strong in the Super Bowl, and that's essentially the same reason Shanahan gave for benching McNabb this time. I'm not saying it's true, of course, or that it's a reason to bench a guy for Rex Grossman(notes), but it is consistent with past criticisms.

And I think the last point Owens made is a valid one. Of all the people criticizing the benching, none of them get to see McNabb and Grossman throw, day-in, day-out. Shanahan does. Again, not saying that makes him right, but it's a point worth considering.

We should also point out, though, that the "rumors" of which Owens speaks, that McNabb got tired in the Super Bowl, were created entirely by Owens himself. And it's a pretty bold move for Owens, of all people, to play the "the coach is always right" card.

Either way, it's been a rough week for McNabb. First, he gets benched, which ignites a national controversy, about which he's been answering questions all week. Now the old grudge against Terrell Owens is back in the limelight. I'm pretty sure he didn't see any of this coming. The Redskins might want to consider going out and getting Randy Moss(notes) to make it up to him.

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