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That’s the approach inside the locker room, as well. When last season moved to the brink of disaster at the bye week, Shanahan prodded them into adopting an underdog’s mentality, the old us-against-the-world outlook.

It worked. Players stayed motivated and played through aches and pains. They worked with a sense of pride that, if you ask them, was essential to winning seven in a row.

These Redskins know they must recapture that feeling.

“When you have that kind of a run, you finish a season like that, and then you bring back the same core, you feel like your expectations are high,” Cofield said. “Then adding the players that we have off of injury and the rookies we’ve added, we definitely feel like we can compete. If you have that feeling, but at the same time play like a team that no one expects to win, it’s a great combination.”