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Where does Shanahan rank among his coaching peers?

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Where does Shanahan rank among his coaching peers?

"He won big with John Elway, but that was a long time ago. MikeShanahan must win with Robert Griffin III or else."That take on the Redskins coach comes from The Sporting News which onits 1-32list of 2012 NFL head coaches ranks Shanahan right in the middle, number16.Is that assessment fair? I'd so say, in both a historic and current context. The ranking? Let's see...First, the parameters."These rankings consider what a coach has accomplished. But they alsoconsider where each coach stands now and who you would want on the sidelineif you had to win one game"Mike Shanahan has two Super Bowl wins on his coaching resume. Those are somesweet accomplishments. That alone warrants a spot above his untested andunproven peers, not to mention the overall breadth of his long career.The fact that the anniversary of his last championship just celebrated a BarMitzvah and his last appearance in a conference title game was in 2005 warrantshim being outside the category with today's elite names.That group includes Tom Coughlin, Bill Belichick, Mike McCarthy and MikeTomlin, the top four on the TSN list and the only active coaches to have won aSuper Bowl since Shanahan's last triumph (The Lombardi Trophy hoisting Sean Payton is not whatwe would call active right now and he was not among the 32 coaches ranked).Five others placed ahead of Shanahan - including Andy Reid, Lovie Smith andKen Whisenhunt - have taken their team to at least one Super Bowl since 1999.Three more - Rex Ryan and the Harbaugh brothers - coached in a conferencechampionship game within the last two seasons.The other and less credentialed (in a big picture sense) names ahead ofShanahan include Marvin Lewis (11), Gary Kubiak (12) and Mike Smith (15). All three currently direct teams that in theory should finish ahead of theRedskins this season. All three combined also sport a 1-7 playoff record. Lewishas never finished with consecutive winning seasons during his nine seasonswith the Bengals while Kubiak likely needed last season's playoff appearance tokeep his job with the Texans.Unless the here and now fortunes of their respective teams are the decidingfactor, I could understand why anyone might quibble with Shanahan being belowthose two. Same goes for Whisenhunt (14) though personally I'm a believer ofthe hardnosed coach and former Steelers assistant.Of the 16 coaches ranked behind Shanahan, four are first-timers whileMike Mularkey (Jaguars) and Joe Vitt (Saints) are on their second tour butare taking over new gigs. Notable names in the bottom half of the list include JimSchwartz (Lions, 17), former Redskins coach Norv Turner (Chargers, 20), PeteCarroll (Seahawks, 22) and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett (23).Obviously such lists are designed to create discussion though are hardlydefinitive. Still, with his legacy is at a crossroads, ranking Shanahan smackin the middle of his current coaching peers seems rather appropriate. What sayyou?

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Redskins Trent Murphy trying to move on from 'gut-wrenching' suspension news

Redskins Trent Murphy trying to move on from 'gut-wrenching' suspension news

Trent Murphy enjoyed the best season of his NFL career in 2016, delivering nine sacks for the Redskins. The excitement took a blow in the offseason, however, as the NFL suspended the former Stanford star for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

Murphy will miss the first four games of the Redskins season, and the news devastated Murphy. 

"It was extremely disappointing to find out. It’s kind of like a gut-wrenching feeling," he said. "Took me by total surprise."

He spoke Wednesday for the first time since the suspension became official in April. With an early bye week for Washington, the four-game punishment will actually mean Murphy does not take the field for the Redskins until Week 6 against the 49ers.

A second-round pick in 2014, Murphy registered only six sacks his first two seasons in the NFL before last season's breakout performance. Six of his nine sacks came in the first seven weeks of 2016, and Murphy's production slid late in the year as he battled a serious foot injury. 

Without Murphy for the first month, the Redskins will lean heavily on Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan. All three players logged more than 400 snaps last season in pass rushing situations, with Kerrigan going nearly 500 snaps. The team also added outside linebacker Ryan Anderson in the second round of the 2017 draft, he could push for playing time right away, especially with Murphy unable to suit up. If he remains healthy, Junior Galette could also be an option at edge pass rusher, though after missing the past two seasons the Redskins would be smart to limit his offseason work.

For Murphy, the time off will hurt but he will remain focused on football.

"I kind of moved on the only way I could, which was just to get back to work," he said. "The people that are closest with you know your character, know where you come from, they’ll always be by your side. My team has rallied around me, they’ve been very supportive so I’m just going to do the best I can to recover from this."

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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Does bigger mean better? Will Matt Jones come back? 3 takeaways from Redskins OTAs

Does bigger mean better? Will Matt Jones come back? 3 takeaways from Redskins OTAs

The Redskins certainly got bigger this offseason. That much was obvious on Wednesday as the team invited media to watch an OTA session. The increased size stood out, but plenty of other things did too. Three takeawys from Tuesday's OTA:

  1. Does bigger mean better? The Redskins receiving group was noticeably bigger, something that happens when the team adds two free agents at least 6-foot-4 in Terrelle Pryor and Brian Quick and drafts another 6-foot-3 receiver in Robert Davis. The increased size might help, but it's the play of Pryor that turned heads on Wednesday. With long powerful strides and impressive hands, Pryor looked like a dangerous weapon for Kirk Cousins this fall. Second-year pro Josh Doctson also impressed, catching a long touchdown pass towards the end of the session. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon are gone, but if things break right and the duo stay healthy, Pryor and Doctson could form a devastating pair.
  2. Attendance is (not) mandatory - Jordan Reed and Trent Williams did not attend the OTA session. Both are Pro Bowl players that Jay Gruden trusts to be working out on their own, and it's important to point out the workouts are voluntary for players. Third-year running back Matt Jones also missed the OTA session. Gruden did not have much to say about his absence, but he added, "This is a voluntary deal, as we all know, and I can’t force the issue on anybody. So if he’s disgruntled in any way, shape or form, it’s news to me. I imagine like Jordan Reed and Trent Williams, I’m sure Matt is working out and staying in good shape." With the fourth round draft pick of Samaje Perine, the running back position is getting crowded. Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson are roster locks, and Perine seems like he has a very good chance. If the 'Skins keep four runners, Mack Brown has the inside track on that spot. Jones seems to be on the outside looking in, which might be the root cause of his absence. 
  3. Deadlines do deals - The elephant in the room at every turn for the Redskins is the looming contract situation with Kirk Cousins. The QB talked Wednesday, and while he didn't clarify much, it seems clear the franchise and Cousins' representatives are at least staying in touch, which wasn't the case this time last summer. Cousins made one thing obvious: Don't expect a contract until near the July 15th. "Deadlines do deals."

Bonus: Cool Twitter video of the running backs going through drills - including 2016 draft pick Keith Marshall - and some Instragram pics. 

Some #Redskins fans would really like to see this in the fall

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Josh Norman talking with his new safeties Su'a Cravens and DJ Swearinger

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<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back