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7 Straight Wins Perfect Tonic for Shanahan

AP Photo

When his team hit 3-6 in early November and Mike Shanahan started talking about the long-term future, I finally started buying the theory that his reputation had ballooned far beyond his abilities and that he owed his two head-coaching Super Bowl rings to the great fortune of having John Elway as his quarterback.

Then came seven straight wins and the first playoff berth for Washington in five years. The turnaround didn’t erase all doubts about Shanahan, but it invalidated the instinct to read single moments as a flat line on a coaching echocardiogram.

Phil Jackson’s second coming in L.A. should have embedded the point. If a coach can retire, write a book in which he calls the team’s star “uncoachable’’ and then come back to...

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