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Shanahan: "We'll Tender An Offer For Jason"

Posted by Matt Terl on February 26, 2010 – 12:28 pm

Well, Mike Shanahan broke his long media silence. And broke it, and broke it. He spoke for fifteen minutes from the podium (pictured above, courtesy of the AP), then another twenty-odd minutes to a group of reporters, and then in some semi-one-on-one situations. It is safe to say that the Unofficial Mike Shanahan Media Embargo has come to a definitive end.

And yet, somewhat oddly, for all of the words, not much of note was said. (“Oddly” here refers only to the number of words expended in saying little; as always, I don’t expect Shanahan to reveal his thinking to the assembled media. There’s really no percentage in that.)

Still, here are what I thought were a few of the notable points:

  • The team expects to tender Jason Campbell next week, and Shanahan does “expect him to be here” at minicamp.
  • He noted during his post-presser comments that the team will be using a “Washington Redskins Defense” which will incorporate elements of a 3-4 alignment and elements of a 4-3.
  • He has not yet evaluated Colt Brennan. (Sorry, Colt-a-maniacs.)
  • He parried a question about what Clinton Portis needed to do this offseason to make the team. “Let’s not talk about Clinton. Let’s talk about everybody on the Washington Redskins. Let’s not focus on one guy. I want everybody to be as good a football player as they can be.”
  • There was, in fact, dialogue with Buffalo about their vacancy last year, but it didn’t come together at least partially because of the Buffalo winters.
  • He reiterated what he had told Larry Michael about the importance of offseason workouts. (Summary: they’re very important.)

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s my transcript of the official press conference, as complete as I could make it in the face of some spotty audio on my end. Read more »

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How Valuable Is The Combine?

Posted by Matt Terl on February 26, 2010 – 9:49 am

As I mentioned yesterday, Indianapolis currently feels like it’s been completely turned over to the NFL. Every table at every restaurant seems to be populated by NFL coaches, scouts, broadcasters, beat writers, prospects, trainers, owners, and even a few players. Whatever else is going on here, there’s definitely ample opportunity for networking, bonding, and getting to know your colleagues and competitors.

But that’s not the ostensible point of the Combine. Theoretically, all of these people are braving the frigid temperatures of Indianapolis (NOTE: Dramatic license; it’s chilly, but not really in a noteworthy way) to get a better look at the prospects in April’s NFL Draft. Yesterday and today, they’re conducting interviews and checking heights, weights, and health; this weekend they’ll get to see some drills and some skill demonstrations.

The logic is that getting all these prospects into one place and bringing the teams to them is more convenient and efficient than 350-plus guys having to travel to 32 different teams, or the teams having to make countless trips just to see players in person. But there are a few flaws in the theoryHow useful all that really is, though … well, that’s a matter of some debate.

Redskins general manager Bruce Allen sees the value of the ancillary stuff — “Our coaches will spend time with other coaches and they’ll discuss different strategies, there’s some bonding,” he told me, “that’s part of the football family getting together around the league,” — but says that ultimately the Combine is “all about the players.”
Read more »

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Friday, February 26: Mike Shanahan Wants Competition On The Roster

Posted by Matt Terl on February 26, 2010 – 7:58 am

This is the second part of Larry Michael’s interview with Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan (you can see the first part here), and — for my money — this is the meatier half. Shanahan discusses the value of the combine (which I’ll be writing more on in a little bit) and what he looks for in the prospects, among other things. But there are two comments I found particularly notable.


First, he discusses how important he thinks it is for players to participate in the offseason program at Redskins Park, and his thoughts can largely be summed up in one word: very. Here’s the non-summed up version:

“The organizations I’ve been around,” he says, “everybody has participated. We haven’t had people go off into different places. It’s a team sport and if you want to get good as a team, you’d better practice as a team. And you’ve gotta make sure that the players understand that they’ve got a chance to get better, not only individually but collectively as a team. It’s a commitment to each other.”

So just because you’re working out in, say, one of the training facilities in Arizona or Miami, that doesn’t necessarily satisfy what Shanahan is looking to accomplish. And — as always, when you’re thinking about offseason work and team-building — it’s probably important to keep this in mind as far as Clinton Portis goes.

The second — and even more revealing — comment of note came in response to a question from Michael about when the coach might know who his starting quarterback would be. Here’s what he said: Read more »

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