Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said that he in no way meant to imply that he was giving up on the season when he said that the team would now start to evaluate their talent for years to come.
“To suggest that the season was over with is completely ludicrous,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan said, “I never said we were only going to play young players. … I’m not saying I gave the perfect quote. … We’re always going to play the best players that give us the best chance to win.”
The coach said that he meant that each week is a playoff game for the Redskins, and that players will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis as they fight for a strong finish.
“You have no choice. You have to, especially when you know that only three teams since  have made the playoffs [after starting 3-6],” Shanahan said.
The coach said that he will talk to his players on Tuesday and make it clear to them that he wasn’t giving up on the season, and what his expectations are.
Shanahan said there will be no changes to his coaching staff during the bye week, despite the team’s 3-6 record.
“No. There will be no changes,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan said that he and his coaches are committed to doing everything in their power to turn the season around.
The coach said he still feels good about the offense despite the fact that the unit has produced only 25 points combined in the last two games. He pointed to the ability to move the ball as signs that the schemes are still working. “But you have to finish,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan said he still doesn’t know when wide receiver Pierre Garcon will be able to return. The hope had been that the team’s biggest free agent signing of the year would come back after the bye week, but Shanahan said that the receiver’s injured toe remains painful when he walks. “It’s still that freak injury … But only thing I can tell you is when he’s ready, he’ll play,” Shanahan said.
The coach said he’s more optimistic that strong safety Brandon Meriweather will be able to return sooner than Garcon. Meriweather has been sidelined all season long by strained ligaments in his left knee.