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Coaches’ Report, January 7 2011

The Redskins started the 2010 season with a lot of hope.  We had a Super Bowl winning coach and a Pro Bowl quarterback, a strong running game, a few new offensive linemen, and a defensive strategy that looked like a sure thing.

That quickly fell apart, and we ended the season at 6 – 10.  And the end of the season looks an awful lot like the beginning. 

Several key players are injured. Chris Cooley, Casey Rabach, Kedrick Golston, LaRon Landry, and Kareem Moore are all starting the New Year by undergoing surgery, certainly not part of anyone’s resolution(Moore, Mike Sellers, and Donovan McNabb all topped the list of preseason injuries).

And just how physically fit is Big Al?  Maybe the better question is how many times do we have to test him to find out?  Haynesworth showed up after his suspension just in time to clean out his locker and take his physical.  According to Mike Shanahan, the reason for his visit was to avoid another fine, not to talk to the coach about his status with the team.  But Shanahan acknowledged that he didn’t ask to speak with Haynesworth or make any effort to do so, leading me to believe that Albert’s behavioral issues will continue to fester long into this year’s training camp. 

And although Shanahan apologized for not having been more honest about benching McNabb in Detroit, he remains tightlipped about the QB’s future and about the ongoing offensive strategy.  The most anyone can get out of him is that he’s still evaluating.  Whether that means he’s still evaluating the players, the coaches, or the strategy, he won’t say. 

The only thing he online casino will say for certain is that he is retaining his coaching staff, a fact that I find shocking.  Haslett’s defense is among the worst Toutefois, les conseils sont un peu moins a la roulette online . in the league, despite having started the season with primarily the same talent.  For all the commentators who have been raving about his skill at patching together a line despite the record number of injuries, let me say this.  Who exactly is responsible for keeping the team healthy if not the coach and his training staff?  If the line is falling apart, it’s Haslett’s fault. 

I’ll save my opinions on Kyle Shanahan for another day.  He deserves a full evaluation in a venue all his own.

The one ray of hope gleaming from Shanahan’s comments at the start of the New Year is that he is definitely with this team for the long haul.  His vision is for the long term, and his strategy is far reaching.  For those of us in DC who are sick of the quick fix, the bought and paid, signed and sealed solution, that is definitely heartening. 

And the draft situation is in his favor.  The Skins have a 10th overall pick in the April 28th session, and word is we’re looking for a young quarterback.  Our 3rd and 4th round picks were traded for Jammal Brown and McNabb.  But we will be picking in the 2nd, 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds.

Certainly depth on the offensive and defensive lines will be a need as well.  No quarterback can run plays effectively from his back—just ask Patrick Ramsey.  And Brian Orakpo needs help on the blitz.  Surprisingly though, running back is not on the list, although Clinton Portis’s return is questionable, and Shanahan has already stated that Ryan Torain will not be handed the starting position.  So keep your eye on the free agent trading to see who we pick up.

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