NFL Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins’ 5 Best Personnel Decisions Made by Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen

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Five Best Personnel Decisions by Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen

Washington Redskins
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It's hasn't all been daisies and rainbows.

In fact, after an embarrassing Week 10 home loss to the Carolina Panthers last season the Washington Redskins were 3-6. Worse, the man brought to Washington with the job of restoring the Burgundy and Gold to glory was a woeful 14-27 in two and a half seasons. It was at that point when head coach Mike Shanahan notoriously stated that the goal for the remainder of the season would be to "evaluate players" as all playoff hopes were lost.

Of course, all hope wasn't lost. The Redskins went on a seven-game winning streak to close the regular season and captured their first NFC East division title since 1999. While the injury to quarterback Robert Griffin III in the team's playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks has dominated offseason headlines, the general consensus is the Redskins are pointed in the right direction.

And while the book on the Shanahan era has yet to be written, I have argued on numerous occasions that whatever you think of Shanahan's coaching or his frosty demeanor, you cannot deny this: The Redskins have greatly professionalized under the stewardship of Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen. The two came to D.C. after the debacle that was the 2009 season and were faced with the task of cleaning up a dysfunctional organization that had been grossly mismanaged for decades.

Yes, there have been missteps. The trade for quarterback Donovan McNabb was a mistake in hindsight. Other player personnel decisions such as quarterback John Beck, defensive lineman Ma'ake Kemoeatu, or tackle Jamal Brown, have been at best, forgettable.

Still, this is a franchise in a much, much better place than it was when Shanahan and Allen arrived.

Here we will take a look at the five best personnel decisions made by Shanahan and Allen.

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#5 Quarterback Kirk Cousins

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Many lambasted the decision to draft Cousins after the team had taken Robert Griffin III with the 2nd overall pick. However, Cousins was a significant contributor down the stretch last season, playing well in victories versus the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.

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#4 Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Many think the Redskins overpaid for Garcon. However, the team was 9-1 with the speedy receiver in the lineup last season and 1-5 without him. Garcon has proven to be a favorite of quarterback Robert Griffin III and the team's one game-breaking receiver.

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#3 Running Back Alfred Morris

Washington Redskins
Daniel Shirley-USA TODAY Sports

Shanahan has always had a specialty for tough with unheralded running backs. The latest, of course, is Morris. The 2012 sixth round draft pick from Florida Atlantic set a Redskins rushing record in his rookie season.

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#2 Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan

Burgundy and Gold
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kerrigan, a first round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, has played every defensive snap through two seasons and become the team's best defensive playmaker.

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#1 Quarterback Robert Griffin III

Hail to the Redskins
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins paid a steep price to get Griffin. But the Baylor product showed all the attributes of a franchise player in winning the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.