Redskins' coaches plan self-evaluation before making offseason roster decisions

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Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 4, 2011; 12:55 AM

Redskins players cleared their lockers Monday, packing their season into duffel bags and boarding flights bound for all corners of the country. The team's coaches, meanwhile, worked throughout the day. In fact, they were due back at Redskins Park first thing Tuesday morning, too, and weren't expected to have a day off until at least the weekend.

Though the 2010 season is finished, coaches still will spend long hours dissecting every tackle, throw and turnover this year. They're game-planning and strategizing as they have each week these past five months, but this time, the Redskins are prepping for a busy offseason, not a football foe.

"Our job is to get better as a football team, as an organization," Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday afternoon, one day after the Redskins concluded their 6-10 season with a 17-14 loss to the New York Giants. "We will do that."

While there will be a lot of work behind the scenes in the next month, Shanahan would not reveal whether he anticipates quick resolution of the two issues that have dominated headlines this season: the fates of Albert Haynesworth, who ended the year on the suspended list, and Donovan McNabb, who ended it on the bench.

"What we're going to do is do what we think is in the best interest of the organization, still with the thought process in mind that we're dealing with people, at the same time," Shanahan said. "It's a fine line there, relative to the evaluation of what direction we're going to go. But we understand both sides of the ledger."

Haynesworth was at Redskins Park Monday for the first time since his Dec. 7 suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. He risked a fine if he didn't show up for his season-ending physical examination. Shanahan did not seek him out for a meeting.

"The last time he was in the building, he would not meet with me," Shanahan said. "So it is what it is. . . . I thought he may stop by; wasn't really sure. He did not."

Shanahan also said he had not yet scheduled a meeting with McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith III, who blasted the organization after Shanahan benched McNabb last month.

Shanahan would not speculate about whether McNabb or Haynesworth will be with the Redskins in 2011. Both are under contract, but Washington could entertain trade offers or release either player without penalty.

Those will be among the key offseason decisions for Shanahan and his staff. And while there may be no answers for several weeks or months, the research process began in earnest Monday. It's not a simple process, and while other NFL teams are busy preparing for playoff games, Redskins coaches will still juggle a heavy workload.

Each position coach is expected to write a detailed evaluation of each player in his position group.

"They'll put them in a pecking order," Shanahan explained, "strengths, weaknesses, starters, backups, ascending player, a descending player."


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