(Darron Cummings/AP)

Even though both teams had key players that did not play, it’s still quite a feat to overcome what this team has to start this preseason so well.

There were many questions surrounding this team before training camp even started, things like what would happen to Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth. Many including myself felt that the way Shanahan was handling the situations was weakening how players, fans and media were viewing him.

As the fiasco was playing out with McNabb it raised more questions, none bigger than who would be the Redskins’ quarterback?

I’m still convinced that neither John Beck nor Rex Grossman are a better quarterback than McNabb, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that even when the decisions Mike Shanahan made didn’t go over well in the public forum of opinions he has still maintained his plan, and so far he seems to be proving he still knows what he’s doing.

No need to get carried away, as the true story won’t be told until regular season gets started. But this team is playing differently, more so than I have seen before.

Here are facts, no matter whether it’s preseason or regular season:

* The offensive line is establishing itself as a solid run and pass blocking unit. I understand they have not been schemed against, but that’s even more reason for them not to get blown off of the ball or give up sacks.

* The backfield looks as though it will be as balanced as it has been since Stephen Davis and Larry Centers.

* The defense looks good and it doesn’t even have all of its big guns out there yet.

* The changes on the defensive line seem to have put this entire unit on track.

All of this is based on two games, but that’s all they can be critiqued on. I’m not implying this is a Super bowl team, but I must admit that with what I’m seeing I’m not as down on the Redskins as I once was. If they can continue to build on what they’ve started here in the preseason they may very well may be able to finish at .500 or better this year.

I have maintained my harsh criticisms of the team based upon my own experiences. I know football and I know it very well.

I also know the Redskins and I know this team very well, so when I say this team does not appear to be like any team I was part of or have watched since leaving, I’m sure of that.

It looks like a team that may have the ability to compete. I’m not sold on these quarterbacks, but I’m more impressed by the guys everywhere else and that gives me reason to believe that this team could turn out to be a factor this year.

Mike Shanahan’s execution of his plan is working and although I will continue to be skeptical until I know for sure that this team is for real, I commend him and this team for the job they are doing right now. They have looked really good thus far.

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