With the Redskins 3-6 in 2012, coach Mike Shanahan said that he would use the rest of the season to “evaluate players and see where we’re at.”
Some Redskins players objected to the implication that there was nothing left to play for and then went out and won the NFC East with a second half turnaround that raised the expectations heading into this season. Those expectations have not been met and the Redskins have officially been eliminated from playoff contention this time, but Shanahan’s not willing to shift back into evaluation mode.
“Players know when you’re playing for the future,” Shanahan said, via CSNWashington.com. “Players know that [the coach’s] job is to play the best players that give you the best chance to win. If you want to see a team turn on you, just go start playing younger players and start playing for the future.”
There was a lot less talk about Shanahan’s job security last year, which may explain why evaluation has become a less interesting topic.
Shanahan did allow there were some young players who were close to warranting a boost in playing time, but stressed that he wouldn’t give it to them just for the sake of giving it to them. He didn’t note any of them specifically, but the team drafted three offensive linemen in 2012 who have yet to see much time on the field. Third-rounder Josh LeRibeus hasn’t played at all while fifth-rounder Adam Gettis and sixth-rounder Tom Compton have played sparingly. Given the rapid accumulation of sacks in recent weeks, that might be a place to start not evaluating for the future.