Mike Shanahan’s Comments Irk One of His Own Players

By Greg Bradshaw

Washington Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan spoke a little too candidly after the Redskins’ 21-13 Week Nine loss to the Carolina Panthers. Shanahan said that he would evaluate his players in an effort to determine who would be on the Washington roster in 2013. This comes after he deemed the Panthers’ game a “must win” game.

That did not sit well with Redskins’ linebacker Lorenzo Alexander. His name may not ring a bell among NFL fans, but he is well known as the “jack of all trades” in Washington. Although a linebacker by trade, Alexander has also played on the defensive line, as well as special teams. He’s even lined up as a tight end on offense. Alexander took offense to Shanahan’s assessment, considering that Washington has seven games left, and is not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

Alexander’s contention is well taken. He thinks Shanahan’s assertions are insulting to players like himself and fellow linebacker London Fletcher, who are among the most tenured Redskins. It’s clear that Shanahan is sending a message to underperforming players that have contributed towards the team’s 3-6 record, considering that the defense hasn’t performed well all year. Now the offense seems to have hit a wall, with receivers dropping passes, as well as Washington’s sudden ineptitude in the red zone.

Now is not the time for Shanahan to divulge his roster plans. There’s finally excitement surrounding the Washington Redskins because of quarterback Robert Griffin III, who has made the Redskins more competitive in 2012 than in years past. However, losing at home to one win teams so late in the season can cause some people to be a little more candid than they should be.

Nevertheless, Alexander should put Shanahan’s words behind him.  The NFC East is extremely competitive, and Washington could have won their Week Seven matchup with the New York Giants. No one in the Washington locker room should be satisfied with being in last place. The fact remains that the NFL is a win now league. If the players on the current Redskins’ roster don’t contribute to a culture conducive to winning, they won’t be on the roster much longer.

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