While the bye provided a welcome break for players, Mike Shanahan spent much of the week hunkered down at Redskins Park studying all aspects of his struggling program.
Although he wouldn’t go into detail, or divulge what changes might come as a result of his exhaustive review of the season’s first nine games, the head coach described the sessions as “productive.”
“You look at personnel,” Shanahan said. “You go back and you evaluate the players and you look at your scheme.”
He added: “You take a look at the things you’ve done poorly and you try to correct it. Obviously, I’m not going to go through all the details of the things that we’re going to work on. But it [was] a good, productive week.”
Shanahan said the majority of what he studied during the bye week centered on personnel, particularly reserves who have been pressed into the starting lineup because of injuries and whether adjustments are necessary to accommodate those changes.
“What you do is you really go back and study players,” Shanahan said. “You go back and study the new guys that came in maybe the second, third game of the season. You evaluate their play. A lot of times when you’re looking at schemes, you don’t really get a chance to study these players as much as you’d like to, like you do in the offseason.”
How much Shanahan and Co. actually accomplished, though, could become evident Sunday, when the Redskins (3-6) host the Michael Vick-less Eagles (3-6) in an NFC East contest that amounts to an elimination game for both clubs. The Redskins are 0-4 since 2007 in the week following the bye, according to this post by Rich Tandler on Real Redskins.
“Now, there’s no room for error,” Shanahan acknowledged when asked about his message to the players. “You have to play your best from Philly on.”
The Redskins bolstered their offensive line depth late Wednesday, announcing a trade for Steelers' center Lucas Crowley.
In return, Washington sent corner back Dashaun Phillips to Pittsburgh.
The move comes just a few days after the team's starting center, Spencer Long, had his knee scoped. Long will miss a few weeks because of the procedure, so Crowley gives Jay Gruden another option in the middle of his O-line.
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Crowley, a rookie, played his college ball at the University of North Carolina, and signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent. He caught on with the Steelers earlier in the month.
Phillips played at Tarleton State and also went undrafted. He had been a Redskin for two seasons.
Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson has a lot to say.
The 6-6, 310-pound Texas native was suspended ten games last season for failing a drug test, and with the 2017 season approaching, he has a lot to get off his chest.
Johnson penned an article on The Players' Tribune Wednesday, and had a lot to say regarding his anger toward the NFL and playing in Philadelphia. Being suspended for ten games "lit a fire under my a—," he says, and there may be more perfect place for a person like that than in Philadelphia. Philadelphia sports fans are angry. That's not an insult. If anything, it's a term of endearment. Philly fans like being ticked off and they like it when their players are too.
Needless to say, Johnson is ticked off.
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You really should read the article, and if you do, you will get to this nice nugget about the Redskins, who play the Eagles in Week 1.
Let me tell you what’s going to happen in a couple of weeks: This team is going to go down to D.C. and whup some a— against the Redskins. We’re going to surprise some people.
As of publishing, the Redskins are 2.5-point betting favorites, which essentially means it's a push on a neutral field. An Eagles' win — even a blowout one — won't surprise people. But Johnson is angry, and it's pretty fun to experience.
He ends his piece with this power stroke.
So Philly, here’s what we’re gonna need from you: Fly with us and just be you.
Come out to the games, drink some beers and raise some hell. Make this a place where our team loves to play and everybody else hates — especially Cowboys fans.
We’ll take care of the rest.
At least we can agree on hating the Cowboys.