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News & Notes: Shanahan Says Success Will Take Time


Mike Shanahan admits that he is not used to being patient.

He is, after all, a two-time Super Bowl champion as a head coach.

Success is an expectation for Shanahan.

Patience is required for the Redskins, though. They have lost four of their last five games to fall to 5-8 on the season.

"It's always disappointing when you don't win," Shanahan said. "With all the time that you put in and all the effort in the offseason – not only the coaches but the players – it's really hard to lose."

From bouts of inconsistency to major mistakes at critical times, it has been evident all season long that the Redskins are a work in progress on both sides of the ball.

Shanahan declined to suggest the Redskins are in a rebuilding phase, but he did say that success would take time.

"Going from four wins to a chance to win the Super Bowl takes some time," Shanahan said. "It doesn't happen overnight. It's a day-by-day process. There's a lot to do in the offseason, relative to the draft and free agency. And we still have three games of evaluation against three pretty good and talented football teams.

"We'll get a good feel of who will be with us after we take a look at the last three games of how our players play."

He acknowledged that the team was limited last offseason in the type of free agents they could acquire due to the uncertainty of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Dozens of players expected to be unrestricted free agents were instead classified as restricted free agents.

Presuming a new CBA is ironed out between the league and the player's union, free agency should be more bountiful in 2011.

"Next year there should be a normal free agency and a normal draft," Shanahan said. "We'll get a chance to evaluate our players from this season and hopefully we can head in the right direction."

As the season has progressed, Shanahan has gradually moved away from veterans and started to rely on younger players in key roles.

He pointed to offensive linemen Kory Lichtensteiger and Will Montgomery, running backs Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams, wide receiver Anthony Armstrong and kick returner Brandon Banks.

Each of those players have experienced ups and downs this season, but it's hoped that they are gaining valuable experience.

"What you have to do is evaluate these players," Shanahan said. "If players keep on making mistakes like they're making, then you make a decision to go a different direction. You're hoping that these players grow and at the end of the season are playing pretty good football.

"They've made mistakes, but they're made full-speed and you see potential in what they can do. It's all part of the process of evaluating these players."


Holder Hunter Smith continued to take the blame for not handling the snap from Nick Sundberg on a game-tying PAT in the final seconds of Sunday's 17-16 loss to Tampa Bay.

Mike Shanahan weighed in on Monday.

"I think the snap was a little bit high," he said. "It wasn't perfect. There were some tough conditions. It was wet. Could it have been a better snap? Sure. Could he [Hunter] have gotten it down? Sure.

"Like most winners, you want them to take that blame. Hunter's that type of guy. Extra points, you're thinking 99.9 percent. Obviously it's disappointing when that doesn't happen."


Cornerback Carlos Rogers is expected to return to practice this week and he could be available to play in this Sunday's game vs. Dallas.

Rogers has missed three of the Redskins' last four games due to a hamstring injury.

"Carlos, I think, will be ready to go this weekend," Shanahan said.

Rogers' return would certainly boost a secondary ranked 29th in the NFL in pass defense.

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