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He's NOT What We Thought He Was. Or Is He?

A few months ago, I wrote about hope.

The birth of a new season of Redskins Football always seems to engender optimism within. For me, anyway. This year was no different. We had a new coach, a guaranteed Hall of Fame coach, no less. Yes, we had problems, but every team has problems. Mike Shanahan was going to change the culture of the team, dammit! I think we all hoped for a playoff spot, but more realistically, considering the disaster that was 2009, thought a 3-4 game improvement would happen.

The season started out with great promise - a win over the hated Cowboys, followed by a disappointing but somewhat encouraging loss against the Texans. Our offense was clicking in that game, everyone looked great. When the defense would figure out how to put it all together...

Then a set back against the Rams, followed by two great wins against the Packers and Eagles. And we were back in the playoff discussion. Sadly, that was the high point of the season. Five games in? How could that be the high point?

I watched "Henry Poole is Here" a couple of months ago. Kind of a fun, yet ultimately disappointing Luke Wilson movie. I remember looking at my wife about half way through and saying, "this is terrific! I can not believe how good this is, this may go down as one of my favorite Indy movies - if it keeps up". Thank goodness I put the qualifier in there.

It's not that it completely sucked in the second half, it's more that Luke Wilson couldn't finish. I like him much more as an actor than his brother Owen. (You can't see it, but I've got my But-Face on as my 13 year old says). But, I'm not sure he can carry a movie by himself. Think about his movies, rarely is he asked to be the lead, usually he complements Vince Vaughan, Will Ferrell, Reese Witherspoon (my wife will kill me if I don't mention Legally Blonde, sorry), etc.

Some players are best in complementary roles as well. Is it possible we and the media gave McNabb a little too much credit in Philly? Could it be his supporting class was a little better than we imagined? Before the pre-season, I wrote that I saw similarities when comparing McNabb with William Shatner playing Denny Crane. I may have been more right than I thought.

Back then, I wrote:

Denny Crane. An extremely well-written character, perfectly acted by Shatner. More than a little crazy, able to play off the rest of the ensemble cast beautifully well, a person you find yourself admiring, laughing with, and genuinely caring for. His ability to step back from the limelight and allow James Spader, Christian Clemenson, Julie Bowen, Candace Bergen, et all to take over when necessary, but still able to steal the show when needed is fun to watch.
Hmmm. Now I then went on to write that perhaps his supporting cast could provide that relief here. Yeah. Let's just ignore that part, mmm'k? Donovan's drive Sunday to potentially tie the game was well done. It wasn't perfect, but it did get the job done. And then his supporting cast let him down.

Please understand, I am not defending McNabb or the trade that brought him here. I am only arguing that I think everyone's expectations were a little too high for what he brings to the table, and what he needs out of the rest of the team.

The sad thing is that those expectations include Shanahan's as well.

I have already seen the prognostications that this free agent class will be one for the ages, because of the collective bargaining agreement problems last off season. So expect Shanahan to convince Danny to open up the check book and make a few big splashes in order to get Donovan a better supporting cast.

Sorry Henry. I wouldn't expect the cycle to be broken any time soon. Even though what we need to do is follow Henry Poole's lead in the movie: at the end of the movie he tears down half his house.

Of course he also ends up in the hospital, so it isn't a perfect comparison... :)

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