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Redskin Faithful Look to the Future

Barrington Salmon and Elton Hayes | 1/9/2013, noon

Sean Hoggard, a 22-year-old Penn Branch resident and a lifelong Redskins fan praised the team's performance.

"Overall, it was a miraculous season. Even though it ended with the loss to Seattle, the team should still feel proud with what they accomplished," said Hoggard, a journalism student at the University of the District of Columbia. "Everyone counted them out after they started 3-6 and after the tough loss to Carolina. Instead of bowing out, they did what they had to do to make the playoffs. They turned the season around and won the NFC East championship. They were no longer the laughing stock."

Going into the game Hoggard said he thought the Redskins had a really good shot at beating Seattle.

"I figured that it would be a tough battle because Seattle was on the same hot streak that the Redskins were and they play good defense," he said. "Heading into the playoffs, the Redskins' season was a miraculous story. The fact that a rookie quarterback led the team in crunch time late in the season and took them to the playoffs, could have been the highlight of 2013 if the team would have won it all."

Coach Mike Shanahan rued the loss.

"It was a fun run," he said. "[But] I'm very disappointed. You always want to play your best football during the playoffs. We probably had our best first quarter. After that first quarter, we just didn't seem to get things done."

The spectacular season will likely take a lot of pressure off the two-time Super Bowl coach who endured a great deal of criticism for a string of sub-par seasons.

Bill Reed, a local journalist and longtime District resident, said the loss left him numb.

"I'm not feeling too good," said Reed during an interview Sunday night. "I was anticipatory. I have bought into the RG3 hype. After the game I feel real let down. He should have been gone real early and [Second-String Quarterback Kirk] Cousins given a chance. He performed real well. Fifty percent of RG3 was not enough. I hope he's not hurt too bad. He was much more mobile in past games."

Nana Efua Badu Osundara was one of those Redskins fans who juggled sorrow with hope for the future.

"My heart is broken. But I still don't feel so bad," said Osundara, who became a Redskins fan after watching games on television with her mother. "I didn't expect to get this far. I knew Seattle was tough. I was nervous when I heard we were going to play them. I thought the buck might stop there. It may have been a closer game and we may have won if RG3 was healthy. Next season, next season. They'll be back strong. I'm happy we beat the Giants, shut Dallas down and clipped the Eagles' wings so it's all good. None of them are going. They're sitting home too," said Osundara who lives in Lanham, Md.

Accompanying the predictable emotions of loss and questions of what might have been, were two other salient questions that only time will answer: Will Griffin make a full recovery and did Coach Mike Shanahan and the team sacrifice Griffin's future health and well-being by allowing him to continue to play?