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McNabb agent fires back at Shanahans

The feud between Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan and his son continued Thursday with a blistering statement from the quarterback's agent.

Fletcher Smith took aim directly at the Washington coach and Kyle Shanahan, the Redskins’ offensive coordinator, for the way they have handled the benching of his client.

Smith said the bad blood between the quarterback and the Washington coaches is due to McNabb’s suggestions for improving the Redskins’ offense.

“I believe there is tension between Donovan and Kyle that’s rooted in the fact that Donovan has suggested modifications to Kyle’s offense based on intricacies Donovan has learned in his NFL career,” Smith wrote.

McNabb was benched in favor of Rex Grossman for Sunday’s game vs. Dallas.

McNabb listened to questions from reporters Thursday while sitting in his car after practice, but did not answer before driving off. He said only that he was told by Mike Shanahan that he would not play the remainder of the season.

Smith said in a statement that the Shanahans have made comments that go beyond disrespectful and “unprecedented for a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback such as Donovan.”

Smith said that the comments made by the Shanahans – “both Mike and more specifically Kyle” – have made the quarterback’s relationship with Washington difficult to maintain.

Late Thursday, Mike Shanahan responded with a statement of his own, saying he had decided to evaluate his other two quarterbacks.

“This was not personal, but strictly professional,” Mike Shanahan said. “The decision was made in the best interest of the Washington Redskins and I stand by my decision. I will attempt to talk to Fletcher Smith directly to clear up every one of his misconceptions.”

The 34-year-old McNabb was listed as the No. 2 quarterback during the Redskins’ 33-30 loss to Dallas. McNabb said he felt “disrespected” by the way he was benched and demoted.

“Everything was handled awkwardly,” he said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on ESPN980, “somewhat to a disrespect to me and to the team.”

EXTRA POINTS

Jets coach Rex Ryan said Mark Sanchez’s sore shoulder is worse than he first thought, though he still expects the quarterback to start Sunday at Chicago. If not, Mark Brunell would be under center. ... The 49ers will start Troy Smith at quarterback Sunday against the Rams while leaving open the possibility they might switch to Alex Smith at any time. ... Brett Favre missed his second straight day of practice with the Vikings. ... Broncos linebacker Elvis Dumervil was cited for assault and disturbing the peace for an alleged run-in with a security guard at Invesco Field on Oct. 24. ... Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield was fined $7,500 for his Monday night hit on Jay Cutler that opened a gash on Cutler’s chin. ... The Broncos placed kicker Matt Prater (groin) on injured reserve.

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