Washington Redskins: Mike Shanahan Leaves Them Better Than He Found Them

By Brian Skinnell
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It was an ugly and awful ending to the Mike Shanahan era, but it finally happened for the Washington Redskins. On Monday morning, they fired their coach and in his last press conference at Redskins Park, he stated that the Redskins are better off now than they were four years ago and he’s absolutely right.

When the reign of Shanahan began, this team was in shambles. The team had just finished off a 4-12 season under Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell and Todd Collins were quarterbacking this team. None of the running backs that were on the team then are with them now and Santana Moss is the only receiver remaining from that year.

Along the way these past four years, there have been numerous bumps in the road. There was the Albert Haynesworth saga at the beginning of his tenure and who can forget the Donovan McNabb debacle? This past season, there was the feud between Shanahan, Robert Griffin III and Dan Snyder. The past four years weren’t pretty, but the Redskins are certainly in better shape all things considered.

They have a franchise quarterback in Robert Griffin III and one of the NFL‘s brightest running backs in Alfred Morris. Defensively, they need improving but David Amerson is going to be a solid cornerback for the Redskins for years to come. Pierre Garçon lived up to the hype and Trent Williams has proven to be a solid anchor for the offensive line.

While it’s hard to see, the Redskins really are better off now than they were four years ago. The cap penalty is behind them and they have a wealth of young talent on the team, brought to you by Mike Shanahan. He was a good evaluator of talent and was able to bring quality players to Washington. However, he ran into trouble when it came to coaching that talent and properly using it.

The past four years have been difficult for the Redskins with 2013 being the ultimate hardship, but it’s all over now and, whether you want to admit it or not, Shanahan has put this team in a position to be competitive for years to come. Are there places where the Redskins need improving? Yes, there always are. However, the pieces that are in place are going to only benefit the Redskins for years to come and you have to give the credit to Mike Shanahan.

Brian Skinnell is a freelance sports writer for RantSports.com and contributor at Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter and add him to your network on Google.

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