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Roster Younger, Deeper Heading Into 2012


When Mike Shanahan took over the head coaching duties for the Washington Redskins two seasons ago, he made clear that the Redskins needed an overhaul.

The Redskins were coming off of a 4-12 season in 2009, and needed more than cosmetic changes.  From the original 53-man roster that Shanahan inherited, only 12 players remain with the team.

"We feel pretty good about our progress," Shanahan said about how the roster looks.  "We're looking forward to May 14th, the first day that we can really work everybody out together--that's when the real analysis begins.

"So far nobody has eliminated themselves, so that's a good thing."

With five signed from last weekend's rookie tryouts, there will be a host of new faces at OTA's and mini-camps next week.

This offseason, the Redskins front office added 37 players to the roster, in addition to re-signing seven pending free agents. 

There will be training camp competition at every position, a stated goal of general manager Bruce Allen. 

"We're very excited," Allen told the media on Monday.  "Over the last couple years we've upgraded the talent on the team, and in this league, we want depth."

Like most people around the NFL, Allen is particularly interested to watch the Redskins' progress at quarterback, with rookies Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins added to the mix.

"The quarterback position is the most important position in sports," he said.  "We're very excited about Robert, and if we can surround him with the right talent, then we'll be okay."

With the departure of aging veterans and the infusion of youth to the roster, Allen felt comfortable that the team would make major strides this summer.

"I think one of the keys to [this offseason] is that this time last year was the lockout," he explained.  "To be able to work with those draft picks from last year and this year is going to a great advantage."

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