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NFC East Update: Washington Redskins

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ASHBURN, VA - APRIL 6:  Mike Shanahan, head coach of the Washington Redskins presents Donovan McNabb with his new jersey during a press conference on April 6, 2010 at Redskin Park in Ashburn, Virginia.
ASHBURN, VA - APRIL 6: Mike Shanahan, head coach of the Washington Redskins presents Donovan McNabb with his new jersey during a press conference on April 6, 2010 at Redskin Park in Ashburn, Virginia.

On the last 'New York Giants Talk' radio show Inside Football's Pat Traina and I did we were joined by Rick Snider (DC Examiner/WarpathConfidential). Rick is a veteran DC sports writer and has covered the Redskins for more than two decades.

Let's check out some of what Rick had to say about the Redskins, where things seem to be changing with the arrival of new coach Mike Shanahan and new quarterback Donovan McNabb.

On the difference Shanahan has made thus far.

"I have never seen OTAs like this. They are already as sharp as training camp, they look like they could just start heading into the pre-season games. ... This guy's got 'em marching quickly, and that's a great thing because it sets the tone for everything in that building. A sense of urgency is so needed. Jim Zorn never had that.

They are very much ready. Now, does that translate into more wins this fall? Who knows, but I will say that they'll ready Day 1 of training camp to maximize their time."

About the changes on defense.

Rick said new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett is "probably the Redskins best defensive coordinator since Richie Petitbone back during their Super Bowl years ... we're talking 17 years."

The Redskins are transitioning to the 3-4, and here is Rick's take on that change.

"I don't think they quite have the pieces. They tried to bring in a lot of defensive linemen to figure out how they can make it work. They're going to move Andre Carter back from defensive end to linebacker ... They're moving Lorenzo Alexander from end to linebacker ... I think they're still a little short on the personnel. The hardest part to gauge here is that Albert Haynesworth has said 'hey, voluntary is voluntary and I'm not coming.' And he hasn't shown up for five minutes. ...

You can't really see how your 3-4 is going because the guy who is supposed to be the big cog in your 3-4 isn't here. He is really missing a lot, and his teammates are pretty irritated."

On whether Haynesworth, the troublesome but immensely talented fat man, will play for the Redskins this season.

"If I had to throw my money down right now I will say no, that he'll be traded in August. They tried to trade him, they couldn't find anybody to give them what they wanted. I'm not sure exactly what that was, but it was at least a second-round pick, and it should be because the guy -- when he wants to play, Albert is one of the best defensive forces in the league.

"The problem is he's a big, fat load who doesn't want to do it at times. He's never given everything he's had. He talks about wanting to be in the Hall of Fame, but you gotta put out to be in the Hall of Fame and he has not done that.

The guy does not care. I don't think he really wants to play football, he just wants the money."

On Donovan McNabb.

The real key on this whole team is going to be McNabb because the players have immediately lined up behind this guy, which they never did with Jason (Campbell). They liked Jason, they didn't respect Jason as a leader. There's a big difference.

McNabb from Day 1 has been the leader of this team -- and has embraced it. He came in here with a great attitude."

Rick had lots of other interesting things to say about the possibility of Brian Westbrook joining the Redskins, a potential Washington, D.C. Super Bowl and an apparent change in the attitude of Redskins' owner Daniel Snyder.

-- Download the podcast of the full interview here.