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'Evaluation Process' Continues For Shanahan


On consecutive days last week in training camp, head coach Mike Shanahan halted practice after he noticed sloppiness in the Redskins' play.

He huddled his players around him and gave what amounted to a pep talk.

In Saturday night's 23-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at FedExField, Shanahan couldn't stop play, of course.

But it's clear that some of the sloppiness carried over into the game.

Turnovers, red zone woes and four sacks allowed by the offense. More than 140 rushing yards allowed by the defense.

There's plenty for the Redskins to improve upon in the final weeks of preseason.

"We had a dropped ball here and there, we had a couple missed assignments and we were just not very consistent," Shanahan said. "That goes with camp. We are going to have some highs and lows."

Positives from the game?

Quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman combined for 365 passing yards and the offense converted 20 first downs.

And the defense limited the Ravens to just 1-of-10 third down conversions and Albert Haynesworth and Robert Henson posted the defense's first two sacks of preseason.

"We had some good effort, but we have a lot of work to do," Shanahan said.

Of course, Shanahan wields power when he turns on the game film.

It's all going to be taken into account in his evaluation.

Starting jobs and roster spots are in the balance.

Saturday night's game was certain to be a measuring stick for the new-look Redskins offense.

The Ravens have one of the league's more aggressive defenses, with Pro Bowlers Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata among the front seven.

Surprisingly, the Redskins' emphasized the passing game. Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman combined to throw the ball 47 times.

They were each sacked twice. On one of McNabb's sacks, rookie left tackle Trent Williams was soundly beaten by Suggs.

"[The Ravens] did a good job with their pressure package," Shanahan said. "They put pressure on the quarterback and took advantage of some blitzes that we didn't pick up on and we didn't envision."

And while the Redskins' ground game was not an emphasis, the 25 rushing yards and 1.8 yards-per-carry has to be cause for concern.

"We couldn't get things going and our game plan wasn't quite what it was a week ago," Shanahan said. "We do want to be a lot more effective than we were [Saturday night]."

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