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With the Redskins, nothing is ever simple.

General manager Bruce Allen has interviewed five candidates to replace fired coach Mike Shanahan. He has gained permission to interview another six and counting. Is there a punch card of candidates so the Redskins get the next one free?

Allen pledged to search extensively for the next coach, but the only guy overlooked so far is D.C. United futbol coach Ben Olsen. No word on whether Allen will also interview Centreville High coach Chris Haddock.

This is getting out of hand. Either the Redskins are simply gaining roster evaluations from coaches leaguewide under the pretense of hiring them or Allen wants to use excessive research as a public-relations excuse should the new coach not work. Either way, get on with it.

There are not 11 real candidates for this job. There are a handful. The rest are window dressing to show fans how much the team cares. Maybe Allen is gathering info for the 2016 search?

Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was interviewed. So were Dallas special teams coach Rich Bisaccia, Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.

The Redskins have requested permission to interview San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman, San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, who was supposed to be Maryland’s coach rather than Randy Edsall.

This quixotic quest doesn’t even include well-worn names like Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Art Briles, Russ Grimm, Hue Jackson and Danny Wright.

Oh Pepper Rodgers, where are you?

The Redskins are scattershooting the board, which is scary because it means they don’t have a real target. Well, Lovie Smith might have been it, but Tampa Bay beat Washington to him. And if the Redskins don’t stop this never-ending nonsense, a couple more top names may vanish, too.

This isn’t saying the Redskins shouldn’t do their homework, but it’s reaching the limits of diminishing returns. Five other teams need coaches. The Redskins are burning time looking at anyone and everyone available.

Who is the real target? Interview, investigate and invest in him without the sideshow of looking like Perry Mason and the Case of Due Diligence.

Owner Dan Snyder thrives on marquee coaching hires. Marty Schottenheimer, Joe Gibbs, Steve Spurrier and Shanahan were blockbusters. The one time Snyder wasn’t prepared netted Jim Zorn, after the owner waited too long to make a choice.

The Redskins just can’t perform without turning everything into drama. The only surprise is no big name is behind the curtain.