Another week, another frustrating loss for the Washington Redskins; it’s getting to be all too common. It seems that the team, specifically the offense, doesn’t have a clear identity or philosophy, but whatever it has isn’t working. Throughout history the sign of a good coaching staff has been one that conformed it’s system around the strength of its players, instead of forcing a system on a team that doesn’t have the proper personnel to effectively run it.
The latter seems to be the case in Washington. The team is built to be a run first, quick passing attack, with the occasional play-action deep ball. Instead the Shanahans seem intent on having a vertical passing attack. The only problem with this is that the o-line is incapable of pass blocking for longer than three seconds; Robert Griffin III is lucky to even get that amount of time in the pocket to scan the field.
The Shanahans need to put their egos aside and run the up-tempo turbo-offense that RGIII loves so much. They have run it a few times this season, but it needs to be incorporated substantially more. This offensive style allows the Redskins to spread the field in three to four wide receiver sets and run shorter, quicker timed routes. This scheme essentially allows Griffin to get into his rhythm easier and earlier in the game. More importantly, it hides the horrific pass blocking of the interior line. Mike Shanahan loves those smaller, quicker o-linemen for his zone blocking run scheme. While smaller and quicker may work better for the run game, it’s undoubtedly a disadvantage in the drop-back passing game. The offensive line is outweighed and outmatched at the point of attack and routinely get abused while trying to give Griffin time to throw.
It’s frustrating to watch the Redskins play, because it’s clear week in and week out that what they’re trying to do isn’t working and it’s going to continue to not work unless changes are made. One change that can be made is to the offensive line personnel; give the young draft picks a shot. Tackle Tom Compton, and guards Adam Gettis and Josh Leribeus have all flashed signs of potential at one point in time. They need to be given the opportunity to replace the starters so they can show what they can do. If receivers like Santana Moss and Aldrick Robinson aren’t going to consistently get open, and catch the ball when they do, then get guys like Nick Williams and Lance Lewis in there to see if they can perform at a higher level. Williams and Lewis could also help in the Redskins struggling return game. Honestly, how much worse could things get?
I’m not saying that any of these moves will turn the season around, but they might; more importantly, it would show that this staff is searching for answers and willing to try anything to jump-start this season. At this point shaking things up would better than staying complacent with the status quo. Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results; right now the Redskins coaching staff looks insane as hell, and it’s not a good look.