Best way to fix the Skins' offense? Patience

Best way to fix the Skins' offense? Patience
November 8, 2011, 3:28 pm
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There are voices all over the media and in the Redskins fan base taking Mike Shanahan to task for an unproductive offense. And Shanahan said that he wasnt happy with where things are right now.But it is quite possible that the best solution right now may be to do nothing. Let the same 15 or so starters and rotational players, who average around 26 years old, get in sync, to soak in some of that valuable experience and perhaps things will start to click and the offense will begin to produce.And when that happens, the Redskins will have the building blocks for an offense that could be productive for a good chunk of the coming decade.Many point out, and rightfully so, that this is Shanahans team now since he hand picked about three-fourths of the current roster. But he did not necessarily choose players based on their ability to be able to be able to produce in 2011.For example, Shanahan did not necessarily want wide receiver Leonard Hankerson (pictured) to see the field this year. The team would have been perfectly content to let him develop on the scout team in 2011 and have him ready to contribute in 2012. But Santana Moss injury and Anthony Armstrongs injury and ineffectiveness after he returned accelerated the timetable.So, hes out there playing now and making some plays and some mistakes. As he practices with the first team and gets game experience they are hoping that there will be more of the former and less of the latter.And all they can do is hope. I doubt that Shanahan or anyone else would be able to say with any certainty that things will click for Hankerson or Roy Helu or Maurice Hurt or Niles Paul or Terrence Austin or if they every will get it. In reality, the chances are that the good plays will never outweigh the bad plays for some of them. But they drafted 12 players this year and will probably take another eight or ten next April knowing that if they get quantity the chances of finding quality are much improved.The alternative to suffering through the growing pains would be to bring in Terrell Owens to play wide receiver, see if someone like Clinton Portis has enough left in the tank to contribute at running back and scour the streets to find a veteran guard who might be able to block better than Hurt. The offense might look prettier and perhaps the team would even win another game or two in 2011.But at the end of the year, you would have the players you brought in going elsewhere to cash in on whatever productivity they had here and youd be starting from scratch with inexperienced players who still have to go through growing pains. In other words, you would have the Redskins of most of the past 18 years or so.That being said, the coaches are not totally helpless. While getting shut out by the Bills last week it seemed that there were not many adjustments made. Perhaps they could swap quarterbacks and bench the 30-year-old John Beck in favor of the 31-year-old Rex Grossman. That might help around the edges but ultimately things wont get substantially better until the newcomers reduce the mistakes and increase the positive plays.That may happen next week and it may happen next fall. With some of the players it may never happen. Patience will be a virtue.