All News & Blogs
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.
View More Images from this story
Visit the Photo Place
"There's a reason why we won four games last year, and my job is to improve on our roster each day," Shanahan said. "We got to get better at practicing, we got to get better personnel, we need more competition, and we'll constantly strive to do that."
Through the draft, free agency and trades, Shanahan and Allen have added both youth and experience to the offense, defense and special teams--an indication of how extensive they perceived Washington's personnel shortcomings to be after the franchise's worst season in 15 years.
Consider this: Six of the 10 players who caught a pass in last season's finale were released or not retained this offseason. The Redskins' quarterback in that game, Jason Campbell, was traded to Oakland last month.
"There's really not a position where we're not going to try to add competition," Allen said recently.
Most of the turnover, however, has occurred at the lower levels of the Redskins' depth chart--the April trade for starting quarterback Donovan McNabb notwithstanding.
Only three first-stringers from last year's team are no longer with the club--Campbell was traded, left tackle Chris Samuels retired and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin was released--so the newcomers' collective impact on the Redskins this season is in doubt.
The team was limited in its efforts to acquire impact players because of new free agency rules stipulated by the league's collective bargaining agreement with the players' union. Players needed six seasons of NFL experience to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason instead of the four required in past years.
And the Redskins refrained from signing the big-money free agents that were available. Instead, they pursued veterans who were once considered among the best players in the league, such as running back Larry Johnson and wide receiver Joey Galloway, or unheralded players that with past connections to Allen or members of the coaching staff, such as quarterback Rex Grossman and defensive linemen Darrion Scott, Greg Peterson and Anthony Bryant.
Shanahan and Allen's preference for veterans over inexperienced players is obvious, though. They have signed 22 free agents with some NFL experience this offseason, compared to the five that Jim Zorn brought to training camp after he became the Redskins' head coach in 2008.