The Washington Post has cranked out some quality columns this weekend. If you're in the mood to have your heart strings pulled, the story of Cornerback, Reggie Jones' tragic family incident at age 13 is a moving read and still incomprehensible for me.
More related to on-field action, Mike Wise had the chance to sit down with Head Coach Mike Shanahan just before the Steelers game. The two DC sports power houses engaged in a conversation similar to how I envision any fan would want information on Shanahan regarding Beck and the direction of this franchise. The former Broncos' skipper was defiant in how he saw value in Steve Young, John Elway, and Joe Montana when others had written them off. Shanahan still feels strong toward Beck. A lot of media and fans consistently say another bad year for Shanahan puts him on the hot seat. Ken and I have disagreed with everyone that backs this view since Ken and I saw first hand how giddy Dan Snyder was to have Shanahan here turning this boat around. Shanahan then gave his side:
"I knew it wasn't going to happen overnight. One thing I told Dan Snyder was: ‘If you don't plan on me being here for five years to do this the right way, then you shouldn't hire Mike Shanahan. But I'm going to do it the right way. And if you believe in my background and you believe in what I've done, then you should hire me. But if you're going to ask me to take shortcuts, I'm not going to take shortcuts. I'm going to do it the right way.' And he said he would."
A couple thoughts spring to mind. First, the coaching carousel is mercifully over in Washington. Second, doesn't trading two high draft picks for an aging Quarterback count as shortcuts? Enough with the past. The Redskins have an "infusion of youth" as Bruce Allen said on Friday and the Mike Shanahan plant is starting to bear fruit.
"And when we do have this thing turned around, people will see it, and say, ‘Oh my God, that's the way you do it.' "
We're clearly already seeing it. Many people on this site were demanding the Redskins sign Cullen Jenkins and Ryan Harris. Harris has been out with backs spasms and Cullen Jenkins has had significant injuries in the past. It hit me that all the Redskins draft picks and key free agents were team leaders with no prior injuries (Bowen, Cofield, Jenkins, Kerrigan). Of course the most important ingredient in Shanahan's recipe is competition. Even with the QB competition lacking a big name player, there is so much to like about the Burgundy and Gold. We were saying this before the pre-season game and each week in practice validates things more.