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The story goes on. Securing a franchise quarterback and revamping an offense to fit his talents are no small steps for Shanahan. But Griffin, for all his gifts, can’t rush the quarterback, not get beat deep, block and provide deep threats. Without first-round picks the next two years in exchange for Griffin, options to fill the holes (that seem to grow by the day) are even smaller. Future difference-makers are difficult to find on the roster. Griffin aside, where is reason to believe things will change?

At some point, results must replace bad luck or untimely injuries or patience for youngsters to develop. Shanahan built this team. No tempest over words can hide that. And any evaluations should start not with the men who occupy the roster but the man who created it.