The Washington Times - March 29, 2012, 11:43AM

Coach Mike Shanahan issued a public challenge to right tackle Jammal Brown during Shanahan’s season-ending news conference.

“His future will be determined by how he heals up in the offseason,” Shanahan said on Jan. 2.

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Brown has responded proactively, Shanahan said Wednesday at the NFL annual meetings. He has been a regular presence at Redskins Park this offseason as he works to improve the left hip on which he had labrum surgery in 2009.

“He’s taking yoga,” Shanahan said. “He’s really worked on his flexibility. He broke up a lot of scar tissue this offseason. He said he’s feeling better right now than he has over the past couple years. Hopefully he’ll get more flexibility and be able to play at a higher level.”

Brown’s improved flexibility is noticeable when Brown gets into a full squat, Shanahan said. That’s an important first step for Brown in his attempt to retain his starting spot next season.

“He knows he’s got to get well,” Shanahan said. “He was hurting but still wanted to play at a high level. In my opinion, the reason why he couldn’t play at the level he’d like to play at was that scar tissue. He was a little bit too sore. He played through a lot of pain, but he’s vastly improved from this last season.”

The Redskins’ starting offensive line remains the same through 15 days of free agency, but that doesn’t mean it will be that way in training camp. Brown’s work to improve his flexibility and range of motion is admirable, but there’s a difference between showing it in March and in game situations.

Considering how badly the Redskins’ lack of quality offensive line depth hurt them after left guard Kory Lichtensteiger was injured in Week 6 last season, it stands to reason that they will address that area in the draft next month.