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Monday, December 26, 2011
Mike Shanahan expected it to be better

By Dan Graziano

Shanahan
Shanahan
Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has gone back and forth this year on whether to use the term "rebuilding" when describing his mission. But after the Redskins' disappointing loss on Sunday, Shanahan was asked if the process — rebuilding or whatever you want to call it — has so far taken longer than he expected it to take when he took over the team prior to the 2010 season:
"A lot longer than I first anticipated," Shanahan said in the wake of the 33-26 home loss to the lowly Minnesota Vikings that dropped the Redskins to 5-10 heading into Sunday's season finale against the Eagles in Philadelphia. "We had less depth than I thought. We were a little bit older at a few different positions. I thought we might keep those players a little longer than we did."

This is likely proof that things look different from the outside than they do on the inside. Personally, I thought the reason Shanahan was hired to coach the Redskins was because they needed a drastic overhaul and owner Dan Snyder decided it was worth giving Shanahan a five-year deal and control of personnel decisions in order to bring one about. Shanahan took a shot in 2010, trading for Donovan McNabb to play quarterback and trying to make an instant contender out of what he was given. But that didn't work, and it seemed as though Shanahan operated last offseason with the long view in mind, signing players in their 20s who were already established but could grow as the team grew around them.

The process must continue this offseason, and I believe as most people who read this blog and people around the league believe that it needs to start at quarterback. But we'll keep an eye on what Shanahan's doing and see how quickly he thinks he can turn this thing around as he heads into the third year of his five-year deal.