Although one would like the Redskins' bye to come later in the season, it is what it is and "it" is still pretty good for fans.
Yes, strong starts have happened before for this franchise but this is the first strong start under Mike Shanahan. He has established that his teams are for the most part very disciplined and mature.
Through a quarter of the season, here are some reasons why I feel this 3-1 is different:
-- The defense is improved and a lot more aggressive. If they keep it up, they may need a group rate at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
-- The team is for the most part not killing itself. Who knows what happened against the Rams (10 penalties committed) but the league-low 10 penalties in the three games prior to that is what this team truly is.
-- They have shown they can win at home. They had a dismal 2-6 at FedExField last year and they have already matched that win total this year.
-- The division is officially wide open. Neither Philly, Dallas or New York is running away with this NFC East -- which various pundits thought would be the case before the season started.
Now here are a couple things that the Redskins need to say "bye-bye" to post-bye:
-- Turnovers. Even though I'm not 100 percent confident that he can, quarterback Rex Grossman has got to take better care of the football for an entire game. This team can't and won't survive the late turnovers that have become synonymous with this quarterback.
-- Chatter: Although the media loves the sound bites, this team would be better served handling questions about their upcoming opponents with the same silent storm approach they had during training camp.
-- No More Mr. Nice Guy: This team is talented enough to be blowing teams away. The wins against the Cardinals and Rams should have been statement games. not last-second victories that have you wondering.
These are just a few thoughts. What are you thinking after four games in the books?
Lou Holder is a long-time sports broadcaster in the Washington, D.C. region. He hosts "Redskins GameTime Live Presented by Verizon" for Redskins.com and the Redskins Broadcast Network.