As the Redskins prepare to play in one of the most significant games in recent franchise history, Coach Mike Shanahan said he likes what he sees – on the football field and, especially, in his players’ attitude off it.
During Monday’s conference call with reporters, Shanahan made note of the businesslike tone in the visitors’ locker room at Lincoln Financial Field following his team’s harrowing 27-20 triumph over the Eagles 24 hours earlier.
“We’ve got a goal, and that’s not to be in the playoffs, but do something once you get there,” Shanahan said. “I think our football team is well aware of that, and that’s why you saw a locker room that was pretty under control.”
The victory was the Redskins’ sixth in a row, marking the team's longest regular season winning streak since 1996. More important, though, it set the stage for a winner-takes-all showdown against Cowboys next Sunday at FedEx Field. The winner will be crowned NFC East champion.
“They know we haven’t reached our goals yet, but we’re doing the things to get there,” Shanahan added. “And hopefully we can take advantage of one of our goals this weekend.”
When Robert Griffin III and his teammates return to the practice field on Wednesday, the veteran coach said his message will be a simple one: these are the types of opportunities that can define a player’s career, a coach’s tenure, an era in franchise history.
They also don’t come around every year.
“There’s no question you remember this game for the rest of your life,” Shanahan said. “So you want to take advantage of these opportunities, because a lot of people don’t get ‘em. So when you do get ‘em, you want to advantage of ‘em and you stress to the players how important their preparation is, doing the little things the right way.”