"Coach makes his decisions," McNabb said. "I can only say how I feel and what I feel think is best for me."
But the six-time Pro Bowl pick, who led Philadelphia to five NFC championship games and a Super Bowl appearance in a decade as the starter before being traded to Washington in April, certainly wasn't happy to be so publicly disrespected. Asked if he felt it was insulting to have to answer questions about his conditioning and his comprehension of coordinator Kyle Shanahan's offense, McNabb replied, "Absolutely."
Kyle Shanahan apparently agrees, saying his father's postgame and next-day explanations about the benching had "come off as an insult to Donovan."
The younger Shanahan added that the issue hadn't been McNabb's "cardiovascular endurance," but his ailing hamstrings which had limited him in practice in recent weeks.
McNabb, who bounced back brilliantly from his only previous benching in 2008 in Philadelphia, said getting sat down in favor of the less-talented Rex Grossman wouldn't cause him to look over his shoulder to see if he's going to be replaced when the Redskins return from this week's bye on Nov. 15 against the Eagles.
"If you begin to wonder and you have concerns, then it takes away from what you want to get accomplished," McNabb said. "Why go into the game with any more things on the your mind?"
McNabb, who had been limited by ailing hamstrings in practice last week, said that he believed that he was physically able to remain in the lineup when he was pulled after being sacked six times, hit 12 and hurried a dozen more as his protection crumpled against the Lions' furious pass rush.
While Kyle Shanahan said that McNabb was told last week that he might be pulled if the Redskins needed to drive the a long way in the final minutes with no timeouts. McNabb said, "I hadn't heard that part," but said that he had been asked if wanted to sit out against the Lions in order to be as close to 100 percent as possible for the eight games after this week's bye.
"You gotta play," McNabb said. "It's the difference between being hurt and injured. My team relies on me to be there. I want to be there for my team. My work ethic has never been a question. My (practice) tempo has never been a question. People are doing a lot of digging right now."
Mike Shanahan said that he was pleased that McNabb "was able to run today" in the Redskins' last practice until Monday.
McNabb limited his availability to barely four minutes in the midst of the media horde Tuesday so he wasn't asked if his benching had undermined his trust in his coach. The quarterback did term his relationship with Kyle Shanahan "great."
Guard Artis Hicks, who played with McNabb in Philadelphia from 2002-05, said that he and his fellow linemates let down their leader in Detroit.
"I didn't play well," Hicks said. "We didn't play well. If we had played better, none of this would have happened because we wouldn't have been in the two-minute offense."
McNabb, who turns 34 this month and is having the lowest-rated season of his 11 years as a starter, said that he "100 percent" expected to sign a contract extension with the Redskins but added, "If I say 75 or 60 percent, there'd be another story."
Said McNabb, "That would be something we'll definitely see."
Brian Billick and Jim Mora try and make sense of Mike Shanahan's decision to bench Donovan McNabb.