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Need to Know: Other Redskins ‘distractions’ minor compared to this situation

Dec 11, 2013, 5:39 AM EDT

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Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 11, four days before the Washington Redskins visit the Atlanta Falcons.

Now THIS is a distraction

When things like the Albert Haynesworth controversy or the Redskins name debate pop up some fans and folks in the media immediately label it a distraction.

That’s accurate to some extent. The players will get some questions about what’s going on and, in the case of Haynesworth, there are ripple effects in the locker room.

However, if you are gong to call things like that distractions you have to come up with a new word to describe what is happening now, with the future of the head coach and the entire coaching staff up in the air.

While some players have been asked about the team name from time to time, the topic is not anything that affects their daily lives. There were plenty of questions about Albert but the fate of the other 52 players was not in any way tied to his.

This is a different situation. For one thing, the status of Mike Shanahan will be an all-encompassing subject in the locker room. They won’t be able to escape it.

Far more significant than getting asked questions during the 45-minute open locker room is that some of these players may have their NFL futures at stake. A change in coaches inevitably brings about roster change. If the new coach doesn’t use the zone blocking scheme or wants to switch to a 4-3 defense, many won’t have jobs with the Redskins. Even if there are no scheme changes some will not be back.

So there are some who are wondering if they will have to pick up their families and move if they are going to continue their NFL careers. And those are the lucky ones. There are some, “Shanny’s guys” who wouldn’t be in the league if not for Shanahan and there is no guarantee that even if Shanahan lands a job elsewhere that they will be able to continue drawing six- and seven-figure paychecks.

To be sure, a player doesn’t get to this level unless he is able to compartmentalize. But Santana Moss said to LaVar and Dukes on 106.7 The Fan that this is the low point in his nine season in Washington when it comes to facing this type of adversity.

“Every moment you get, it’s more, it’s more, you know like, you’re able to deal with so much as a player, especially when it’s not containing you. So you kind brush a lot of things away but, when it’s like okay, I brushed that away, now you’re bringing back more . . . you try to get away from it man, so it sucks to be a part of and it sucks that we all, even though your name or what you’re doing might not be a part of it, but it’s your team, and so we’re all a part of it. And you hate to walk around with that on you. “

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Stat of the day

—On the season the Redskins have one of the better teams in the NFL when they get near the goal line. They score touchdown when they get into the red zone 59 percent of the time (8th in the NFL) and score touchdowns 74 percent of the time they get in goal to go situations (tied for 11th).

Timeline

Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 4; Cowboys @ Redskins 11; Opening Sunday 2014 season 270

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III news conferences and player availability after practice (approx. 2:00)

In case you missed it

Shanahan on focusing on the job at hand

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