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Redskins have overhauled roster in a short time
Rocky McIntosh (left) and Carlos Rogers will be at minicamp, even though they haven't signed their tender offers.
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BY RICH CAMPBELL
ASHBURN--When reporters are welcomed onto the practice field sideline tomorrow morning to watch the Washington Redskins take part in their second minicamp under new coach Mike Shanahan, it will feel like walking into the remodeled kitchen of a familiar house.
You know the structure, but the look has changed. What was once recognizable is distinctly new.
That's because Shanahan and new general manager Bruce Allen have spent the last four months on their own sort of renovation project. They've made wide-ranging changes to a team that produced only four wins last season, all with the intent to intensify competition for roster spots and improve the Redskins' level of play.
"I think when [the Redskins] brought in Bruce Allen, that was sending the team in a different direction, saying to the team, 'OK, we're ready to start winning,'" veteran running back Clinton Portis said recently. "Then you go out and get Coach Shanahan, and it just solidified that you were tired of being the laughingstock of the NFC East. I think you're going to add that kind of personnel, and you see the power of moves they make. I think they're just loading up our roster, which is a good thing because it makes everybody compete."
After two months of unrestricted free agency and the completion of last month's draft, the group of 80 players that Washington will take to training camp this summer is almost set. Expect a few tweaks between now and late July--and player evaluations continue in earnest at this weekend's voluntary minicamp--but the bulk of Shanahan and Allen's work is finished.
With the three-day session set to begin this morning, the Redskins have protected the rights of 83 players--including their six unsigned draft picks and veterans Rocky McIntosh and Carlos Rogers, neither of whom has signed his restricted free agent tender offer from the team.
Of those 83, 34 (41 percent) were not with the team in any capacity at the end of last season. The total includes 22 veteran free agents.
Such extensive additions are balanced by the 16 players--many of whom were high-profile contributors--that the Redskins have either released or traded away in the last two months.