As his second season at the helm of the Washington Redskins approaches its end, coach Mike Shanahan acknowledged that the year had dragged at a sluggish pace, and that it’s hard to ignore all of the missed opportunities and wonder what might’ve been.
The Redskins this season lost nine players to season-ending injuries, had two more suspended and have suffered five losses by a touchdown or less. After opening the season with a 3-1 record have gone 2-9 since the Week 5 bye.
“Any time you’re not winning, it’s pretty slow, especially when you’re not in the playoff hunt,” Shanahan said. “I think if you look back, you look at the opportunities we had to close games out that we didn’t close. If you look at the Dallas games, you take a look at the New England game, you take a look at the Jets game. You can go through a number of scenarios, and you know how far you are to get into the next level.”
With a win Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington would equal last year’s record of 6-10, which also would tie for the worst 16-game season mark of Shanahan’s coaching career. But a loss would give the Redskins a 5-11 record, which would mark a new low for Shanahan.
Although the wins haven’t come, Shanahan believes that the Redskins have showed signs of encouragement down the stretch of the season. He’ll enter the offseason next Monday and begin looking for ways to both build on those positive developments and to multiply them.
“That’s what you work on and that’s what we’ll be working on in the offseason, not only X’s and O’s, but trying to put the best football team together,” Shanahan said. “I like the nucleus of our team. We’re younger. I think we’ve got a great attitude and we’re going in the right direction. Hopefully, we can play accordingly this weekend.”