Barry Cofield says although the Redskins are off to the worst start since Mike Shanahan took over, this team is better than in years past. (Ben Margot/Associated Press)

At 1-4, the Washington Redskins are off to their worst start since Mike Shanahan took over four seasons ago, and their worst since 2004. But the players still firmly believe that their record does not reflect their level of talent or their capabilities.

Nose tackle Barry Cofield — one of the team’s defensive captains — is now in his third season with the team. His first season, 2010, represented Shanahan’s worst in Washington, as the team went 5-11. Then last season, the Redskins started 3-6 before pulling off a dramatic turnaround and finishing 10-6 to win the NFC East.

Cofield said that this team, despite its poor record, still is better than that 2010 team.

“I just think this team is a world away from when I first got here,” Cofield said. “Even though the record may not show, or we might’ve started off better when I first got here. It’s just a way more talented team. A better focused team and a team that’s way more equipped to win, so I can’t make that comparison at all.”

Cofield also believes that this year’s team is better than last season’s team, and that a turnaround remains possible.

“I honestly think that we are a better team than when we were three games below .500 last year,” he said. “We’re just trying to get on a roll. I think we are better. We are more talented, and we’re on the same page. One win, all three phases working together and a little bit of luck and I think we’ll be right back at it.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins began practice at 1 p.m. Coach Mike Shanahan and quarterback Robert Griffin III speak with reporters afterward.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

Paul says coaching change a factor in special teams strugglesAdditions eager to help

CB Amerson says he feels fine and plans to practiceSpecial teams not special at all

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Reid: Shanahan’s contract status hovers over Snyder

The Outsider: How Hall shut down Bryant, what he’ll face vs. Bears

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