For the first time since Jan. 2, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan addressed the media this afternoon at Redskins Park. Needless to say, this experience was quite a bit different.
When last we spoke, Shanahan was carrying the burden of a 5-11 season on his shoulders. I’ve never seen him look defeated, but he was out of answers for his team’s performance, and frankly looked exhausted.
His demeanor at the time was the understandable reaction to a season gone awry. After the strangest offseason in NFL history, Shanahan led his team through a strong preseason and into a 3-1 start to the regular season. His offense ran like a well-oiled machine and his defense was well-rested.
Things looked good.
But through a series of unfortunate events, the wheels quickly fell off. The Redskins exhausted every avenue to field a healthy team, and the team weathered a six-game losing streak that killed the season. By Week 17, the only silver lining was the No. 6 overall pick, and that came with its own list of question marks.
Fast-forward 114 days, and the questions–along with the stress–have all but evaporated at Redskins Park. At least 99.9 percent of it, as Shanahan told the gathered media that the Redskins were all but certain to land their guy, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Shanahan told jokes and smiled at the podium today, clearly comfortable with the franchise’s position headed into the draft. Countless hours of homework have gone into reaching this point, and countless hours of execution lie ahead. But for the first time in Washington, Shanahan appears to have a long-term solution at quarterback, and a guy that inspires confidence, franchise-wide.
If Shanahan’s demeanor was any indication today, exciting times lie ahead for the Washington Redskins.