I recently went through some audio left over from the informal workouts the Redskins held last month, and an anecdote that linebacker Lorenzo Alexander shared on the final day made me pause.
He recalled a discussion he had with a fellow linebacker Chris Wilson about how easily the defensive scheme came back to them during installation drills.
“It was like, ‘Man, that’s simple. That’s how easy it was?’” Alexander said. “Because last year it was all foreign to us, so we were learning. We put something in today and it was like, ‘That’s it?’”
Whenever the Redskins get back to work, a major talking point will be their advancement in the second season of their schemes. That natural progression is an obvious storyline. OK, fine.
But Alexander’s story made me wonder if Donovan McNabb would share the sentiment if he got a second year in the offense, and how it’s unlikely we’ll find out.
You know my belief that rehashing all the McNabb tumult seems rather pointless because our energy is best spent looking forward.
But when McNabb is gone and we embark on the final review of his tenure, a defining issue will be that Mike and Kyle Shanahan gave up on a six-time Pro Bowl quarterback, whom they traded for, without giving him a chance to benefit in a second season from his growing pains in the first.
The Shanahans obviously had their reasons to abort the McNabb experiment so soon. Those are well documented by now. It’ll be fascinating to see how their franchise-altering choice affects the club over time.
But, at the very least, hearing how Alexander and Wilson relished the ease of building on last year’s foundation is a reminder of what the Shanahans decided to pass up.