After a fortuitous bye week that saw two NFC East opponents stumble, the Redskins are in first place this late in the season for the first time since 2000.
To put that in perspective, this is what the world looked like in 2000:
- The Baha Men first asked, “Who Let The Dogs Out?” And it was cool.
- Millions of people wasted their money on Tom Hanks’s “Cast Away.”
- MLB London Fletcher, age 26, was a defending Super Bowl champion for the St. Louis Rams
- Roy Helu, Leonard Hankerson, and Niles Paul could not yet go to a PG-13 video without parental supervision.
Clearly, it’s been a while.
Yesterday, head coach Mike Shanahan discussed what it meant to try and lead this franchise back to the promised land, and try to recapture the Redskins glory years:
“I think what you do, or at least what I’ve tried to do, is put the best football team together that you can,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of tradition here. The thing that I enjoy about the fans is that they want stability, they want character, they want a football team that’s going to play hard week-in and week-out, and hopefully we can show some consistency too now.”
Already, you can see those seeds of change starting to bear fruit, with the next big test coming this Sunday against the topsy-turvy Eagles. With last year’s 59-28 loss to the Eagles still fresh on his mind, Shanahan said that he has good reason to put that behind him.
“They came in here last year and kicked our rear ends. You know, 59-28, that was very embarrassing for our organization, as well as our coaching staff and our players,” he said. “But we’ll have less than half the people that were part of the 46-man squad actually dress in this next game,” he said. “They weren’t part of this game last year — over half. That’s a huge amount. You take a look at free agency, you take a look at the draft, you think about half of the people weren’t even associated with that game a year ago. We’ve got some young players, we’ve got some new players. ”
“If we play our best football through the season, then we’ve got a chance to do something special.”