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The main event

Good morning, folks. Today is the most important one for those of us following the Redskins at the NFL Scouting Combine in snowy Indianapolis.

Head coach Mike Shanahan is scheduled to speak with reporters at 4:45 p.m. It’s the first time he has fielded questions from the beat corps since Jan. 3. He and his assistants have since analyzed all the film of the 2010 season and evaluated each player on the roster, so there is a lot of ground for us to cover with him.

We know Shanahan well enough by now not to expect any earth-shattering revelations. I’d be stunned if he was forthcoming with his plans for quarterback Donovan McNabb and defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth. He certainly isn’t going to tell us his honest preliminary evaluation of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton—and even if he did, we couldn’t be sure of the truth.

That said, we’ll go fishing and see what news and insight we can reel in. Among the issues that need to be addressed, in addition to the ones listed above, are Brandon Banks’ recent stabbing; the status of expected free agents such as receiver Santana Moss, linebacker Rocky McIntosh and Carlos Rogers; running back Clinton Portis’ status; overall team needs and the team’s approach to free agency (if that ever happens). I know I’m forgetting some, so please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email, leave a comment or hit me on Twitter with what topics you want us to discuss with the head coach.

And if Shanahan breaking his silence isn’t enough for you, the quarterback and wide receiver prospects also are meeting the media today. We expect to hear from Newton, Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert and the rest of the crop of passers the Redskins could consider drafting.

And for those of you interested in how Stafford product and University of Maryland receiver Torrey Smith is faring these days, I hope to sit in on his media session, as well.

Far be it from me to suggest staying at work late on a Friday afternoon, but I encourage you to stick with me on Twitter and the blog into the evening. I’ll have updates on Shanahan’s interview and what the quarterbacks had to say.

In the meantime, here’s the story I wrote for this morning’s newspaper about teams pressing forward amid the labor uncertainty. I also must bring to your attention Shanahan’s admission to the team’s official blog that he met with McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, earlier this week. Shanahan shared no details about the meeting, but I still sense that those hoping for a reconciliation between Shanahan and McNabb’s camp ultimately will be disappointed.

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