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Redskins’ Shanahan looking for ‘a few more points’
Question of the Day
_ Albert Haynesworth, no surprise, stands out as the odd piece of the puzzle. He started on the bench and rotated in for about 16 plays, barely making an impact in a 3-4 scheme that doesn’t suit his talents. Shanahan said Haynesworth played “extremely hard” and is getting more comfortable in the defense, but Sunday offered more evidence that the defense might be able to survive just fine without him.
_ Donovan McNabb showed good pocket presence and didn’t have a turnover, but he also played like a quarterback still getting used to a new offense _ which is exactly what he is. He completed 15 of 32 passes for 171 yards.
“Obviously he’s got a lot of game experience,” Shanahan said, “but there’s nothing like calling the plays, executing a different offense in the heat of battle. And in the first game I thought he did a good job.”
_ Even when he gets the true feel of the offense, McNabb will be hampered because his options are limited. Santana Moss and Chris Cooley caught 12 of the 15 completions.
_ Offensive linemen were shuffled in and out, usually not a good sign for a unit that relies heavily on continuity. Stephon Heyer got some snaps at right tackle because Shanahan was uncertain whether Jammal Brown could play an entire game after missing all of 2009 with a hip injury. Kory Litchtensteiger got some plays at left guard after coaches decided he was just about equal with starter Derrick Dockery. McNabb was sacked only once, but Clinton Portis averaged only 3.5 yards per carry.
The Redskins won despite gaining 130 fewer yards than the Cowboys, and despite an 8-minute deficit in time of possession. Perhaps the important number on the night was 12 _ the number of penalties committed by a Dallas team that was clearly not all it was built up to be.
“There’s going to be games throughout the year where the offense plays well, the defense plays well, or the special teams,” Shanahan said. “But at the end of the day, there’s only one thing that matters, and that’s finding a way to win.”
Notes: Shanahan said the Redskins had no serious injuries. … Shanahan’s news conference was far from lively, but the Redskins compensated by having legendary singer Chuck Brown step to the podium after the coach was done. The godfather of go-go will be the halftime entertainment for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans. “It’s like a dream come true for me and the band,” he said.
By Robert N. Tracci
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