Shanahan, Redskins just need more time

The scene in Washington is bleak after Sunday's loss. But Shanahan can still turn the franchise around. Leon Halip/Getty Images

Adam Schefter often answers reader questions in his blog. Query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: My Washington Redskins appear to be in free-fall mode after a lifeless performance against the New York Giants. Is there any hope for the future for this team with an aging Donovan McNabb and no long-term solution at RB?

-- Alex (Washington D.C.)

A: The running back issue is not a problem, Alex. That will be solved. Ryan Torain has some talent, Keiland Williams has a bright future, James Davis might have some talent, Clinton Portis might be back next season -- and they'll find more backs. Mike Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner always do. But they need QB Donovan McNabb to show improvement in this offense. If he doesn't, then this team cannot get better. The Redskins had six turnovers on Sunday, and any time a team turns over the football six times, it's almost always going to lose. But give Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen some time. They knew it would take plenty of it. And it's going to. This is not going to be fixed overnight. But you want to give these two men a few offseasons to turn around the program. And the good part is that even owner Daniel Snyder believes in them. He knows he has to give them time and must provide stability. In time, it will turn.

Q: How is the impending NFL lockout going to affect the NFL draft? Will players still be drafted and contracts negotiated? Do you think the lockout will have an impact on the decisions of some college juniors to leave college early in order to enter the draft?

-- Dr. John (Lawton, Okla.)

A: Good question, Dr. John. For now, the impending lockout will not affect the NFL draft. The draft still will take place in April. Both sides, the NFL and the NFL Players Association, are proposing a rookie wage scale, so it looks like the salaries of the top picks will come back down to earth. For underclassmen debating whether to leave school, last year was actually the time to do it. Now it doesn't look like it will matter much. There will be a rookie wage scale in 2012, and there is expected to be one in 2011.

Q: If indeed the Tennessee Titans decide to cut or trade Vince Young they would be left with an aging veteran in Kerry Collins and a very ineffective rookie quarterback in Rusty Smith. How do you expect to Titans to address their QB situation (free agency, draft)?

-- Joe (Sioux Falls S.D.)

A: It is yet another reason why it will be difficult to part with Vince Young, Joe. Say whatever you want about him -- he does need to grow up, he does need to act more responsibly -- but he still is a proven winner in the NFL and a talent at the most important position in sports. Tennessee doesn't have a replacement. They can't expect to rely on Collins or Smith and think this team will be as good. For those reasons alone, Bud Adams is going to have a strong argument as to why Tennessee needs to bring back Young.

Q: After all the hoopla around Randy Moss this season, he has been inexplicably silent the past few weeks. Where do you think he will end up next year?

-- DeShawn (Nashville, Tenn.)

A: Good question, DeShawn. At this point, it's hard to imagine that any team is going to be willing to pay Randy Moss the type of money he would hope to make. Chances are he might have to sign an incentive-laden deal. But if no team steps up and pays him what he wants, that would seem to open the door for a team such as the New England Patriots to see if Moss would have any interest in returning. That's not to say it will happen, just to say it's not out of the question. But it's hard to pinpoint a team right now when Moss has struggled to make any impact in Minnesota or Tennessee this season.

Q: It seems like the Detroit Lions have found every way to lose this year. They are starting to accumulate talent (Ndamukong Suh, Jahvid Best, Brandon Pettigrew) through the draft, but is Jim Schwartz the right guy to turn around the culture of losing there?

-- Jerome (Flint, Mich.)

A: Jerome, at some point, it looks like it's not the coach. The Lions have had some good successful coaches pass through there -- Bobby Ross, Steve Mariucci, Marty Mornhinweg, Dick Jauron, Jim Schwartz. Now how could it be that some of those coaches, like Mornhinweg, have gone on to have tremendous success elsewhere but struggled in Detroit? It makes you wonder. The success of teams usually starts with ownership. The ownership in Detroit has always been the same; unfortunately, so have the results. It goes beyond the head coach. He just happens to be the easiest target. Jim Schwartz has come close to turning it around this season. The Lions are a highly penalized team and make silly mistakes at inopportune times. But it would not surprise me to see Detroit make a playoff run next year if QB Matthew Stafford is healthy.