The Washington Times - January 25, 2012, 08:46AM

MOBILE, Ala. | The Redskins’ search for a franchise quarterback is, perhaps, the main storyline in the ongoing narrative about coach Mike Shanahan’s tenure. (It might be surpassed only by his assumption of control of the roster from the owner and other influences.) It certainly drives the narrative of the franchise’s history dating from it’s last Super Bowl win 20 years ago Thursday.

Shanahan was asked after Tuesday’s practice how strongly he is keying on the six quarterbacks here at the Senior Bowl given the team’s need for one. His response did not break new ground, but as we proceed through this offseason in which the quarterback position is again the main focus, it helps to know the latest about Shanahan’s mindset on the topic.

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“I think everybody wants a franchise quarterback,” he said. “If you don’t have a franchise quarterback and you say you’re not looking for one, then you usually won’t be working very long. Everybody wants that guy. People that usually do have that guy are consistently winning. You’re always looking for that guy, but it’s easier said than done.”

What stood out to me is the “easier said than done” part at the end of his comment. Of course he wants a Tom Brady or Drew Brees or Jay Cutler to speed up this building process.

But we know Shanahan is not going to settle for a quarterback in which he does not believe. It’s why the Redskins repeatedly traded down in the 2011 draft.

The alternative to settling on a quarterback Shanahan doesn’t believe in is to continue to fortify the supporting cast. The Redskins could help whoever plays quarterback in 2012 and make the total product better by addressing needs at receiver, offensive line and running back. Keep that in mind as the pre-draft process plays out.