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Smith: Play-calling system 'not that complicated'

Offensive coordinator Sherman Smith expressed optimism about the team's new play-calling process, which the Redskins will use for the first time Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field.

New play-caller Sherman Lewis, who will sit in the coaches' box, will read the plays to Smith, who will stand on the sideline and relay the calls to quarterback Jason Campbell. "It's not that complicated," Smith said. "We're just reading them off the sheet."

The complicated part is developing a good rhythm in selecting plays while working against the clock and dealing with game situations such as field position and down and distance. The coaches will work on that today in practice at Redskins Park. "That's play-calling right there," Smith said. "The biggest thing that's got to happen, since it's going from A to B to C, [Lewis is] going to have to have the plays real fast."

The communication devices that enable coaches to communicate with quarterbacks are shut off 15 seconds into the play clock. Lewis must "get the information to me so I can get it to [Campbell] before 15 seconds," Smith said. In an effort to avoid delay-of-game penalties, Campbell might wear a wristband with a variety of plays written on it so that he could call one quickly if problems arise.

By Jason Reid  |  October 23, 2009; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Analysis: Now what, for Zorn and Redskins?

Comments

Glad they have that worked out 'cause that was the big issue.

Posted by: joemktg1 | October 23, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

What this team needs is some LEIGH TORRENCE!!

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 23, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse
--------------------------------------------

Zorn with Leigh Torrence is the key:

We are 6-3 with LT
We are 4-9 since

Sign him at any cost.

Seriously, though, didn't anyone get the feeling that cutting Leigh Torrence last year was a raw deal? There was some rumblings in the locker room that stemmed from that situation, probably because Malcom Kelly could have been IRed, keeping the respected Torrence around.

Not saying that Torrence was Pro Bowl material or anything, but I think when players saw that the organization (yet again) put its stamp on a flashy question mark instead of a solid known quantity, they started to question leadership. Interesting correlation to results, that's for sure.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 23, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 23, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Apparently, Vinny is starring in a movie adaption of the book, "Lies and the lying liars that tell them". Tom Cruise is set to direct; Snyder to produce.

Posted by: Realness1 | October 23, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

mattsound, WOW..are you kidding me??

do you have a mental illness??

Seriously....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | October 23, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

You guys are making me feel like the middle child. No one taking me seriously. I got a coach's mentality.

But, anyone just answer me one question. What would you do after 13 games of offense futility?

And can Vinny be THAT bad if the defense is soo good?

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 23, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Wow Jc will wear a wristband, Why dont other NFL teams do this???????

Posted by: GreatOne1 | October 23, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If DC loses on Monday and Zorn cannot be blamed for playcalling, who will the finger be pointed at afterwards? The long snapper?

Posted by: Realness1 | October 23, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Wow Jc will wear a wristband, Why dont other NFL teams do this???????

Posted by: GreatOne1 | October 23, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Are you being serious?

More than a few NFL teams have their quarterbacks wear armbands with plays on them.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | October 23, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Wow Jc will wear a wristband, Why dont other NFL teams do this???????

Posted by: GreatOne1 | October 23, 2009 11:31 AM |

Brady wears a wristband every game so does Favre, that is nothing new.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 23, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

4th, I'm with you....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | October 23, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Also....WOw @ 15 seconds. Did JReid tell you gus when the clock starts? 40 seconds.

So, in conclusion, Sherm Lewis and Smith have 25 seconds.

Come on People. Scare tactics in effect.

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 23, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"You guys are making me feel like the middle child. No one taking me seriously."


4thFloor = Jan Brady

Posted by: 4-12 | October 23, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

No, no, it's one of those medical wristbands since there's such a high probability he'll be injured playing behind this line.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 23, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

And 4-12 is MArsha.

MArsha, Marsha, MARSHA!

thx Bean..

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 23, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Sarcasm anybody


JEeeeeeeeesshshhhh


next time people tell the dry cleaners light on the spray starch

Posted by: GreatOne1 | October 23, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Someone provided this link a little earlier

http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/articles/20706/1/Learning-What-Not-to-Do-From-the-Leadership-of-the-Washington-Redskins/Page1.html#

It was interesting, he applied the below statement to Dan Snyder, but in reality it can be used for the fans as well. We dont live in reality, we buy the Off-season championship talk every year. Then we get pissed off when it all comes tumbling down.

Live in the past: The Redskins haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1992 and have made the playoffs only three times in the 10 years that Snyder has owned the team. And yet, they act as if they’re perennial contenders for the Super Bowl. The first step in dealing with reality is to live in it.

Posted by: gatorskinz2000 | October 23, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Monday Night is going to be a disaster! I don't think I can watch this train wreck.

Posted by: eedchic | October 23, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

If DC loses on Monday and Zorn cannot be blamed for playcalling, who will the finger be pointed at afterwards? The long snapper?

Posted by: Realness1 | October 23, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

YOU SHUT YOUR WH*R5 MOUTH!!! ETHAN ALBRIGHT IS A SAINT!!

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | October 23, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

No, no, it's one of those medical wristbands since there's such a high probability he'll be injured playing behind this line.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 23, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Yea Jason Campbell will be the youngest person ever to be equipped with a Life Alert wristband. This way the trainers won't have to waist time running out to him they can just send the ambulance.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | October 23, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

A 700-page playbook was too complicated.
A one-page playbook was too complicated.
Why haven't the tried the comic book approach? Little stick figures on the wristband ... just an idea.

Posted by: hock1 | October 23, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

You guys are making me feel like the middle child. No one taking me seriously. I got a coach's mentality.

But, anyone just answer me one question. What would you do after 13 games of offense futility?

And can Vinny be THAT bad if the defense is soo good?

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 23, 2009 11:29 AM

OK, I get you 4th. But then, on the flip side, who should be held accountable for the offense being terrible for the last 13 games, spanning two seasons?

Of course Zorn is getting the shaft fro mthe FO, and he sure deserves a lot of it - he is not a good head coach. But who hired him? And shouldn't those who hired the guy be accountable as well?

And then what about the manner in which all this has been handled? It's the WAY Snyder and Ceratto have handled the coaching situation this season that has turned the Redskins into a national punchline. Again, accountability?

It takes more than just evaluating talent to build a successful team and, by extension, franchise. Ceratto may be good at identifying some talent (which I have givein some credit for in the past), but he is not good at building a successful team over the long run (he's had 9 of the last 10 years). Some would say that's the most important part of being a GM.

Maybe you don't think so.

Posted by: hithere1 | October 23, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

JReid is chatting now, by the way. Forgot to link to it in the busyness of the morning, sjk and so forth.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/10/16/DI2009101601936.html

Posted by: Cindy Boren | October 23, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Monday will be fun to watch for it is 5 days before Holloween trick and no treat go eagles

Posted by: joevick | October 23, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

That wrist band better have a tractor beam on it

"Beam me up Sherm!"

Posted by: ElYeah | October 23, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

But, anyone just answer me one question. What would you do after 13 games of offense futility?

And can Vinny be THAT bad if the defense is soo good?

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 23, 2009 11:31 AM

I would've fired Zorn last week and promoted an iterim, not give play calling to someone who's only been around 2 weeks.

Yes to your second question. Real or imagined, Vinny is the mouthpiece of Snyder IMO. Either he doesn't know how to run a circus-free team or he doesn't have the backbone to tell Snyder when he's wrong. That's why I think he has to go as well as Zorn. Of course if Snyder just brings in another weak GM it doesn't really matter.

Posted by: skinswest | October 23, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The only time the offense has clicked is during the hurryup.

Silly idea, why not run a hurry-up and let CAMPBELL call the plays.

Makes Philly stay in the base, establishes rhythm, makes the clock an ally not an enemy, eliminates delay of games and...oh never mind, makes too much sense for this outfit.

Posted by: TheCork | October 23, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | October 23, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

15 or 25 seconds...it does not really matter...you need to assess the outcome of the previous play, consider down and distance, evaluate the opponent's defensive tendencies and THEN choose a play, communicate it to the play caller who THEN sends it to the QB. It is not like Lewis is going to call something simple like "3R" or even "Trips Right", but rather something like "Eagles Right 21 Dive Pass 456". You have both a delay and a failure point with Sherm Smith (he needs to do some mental QC along with a possible read back to Sherm Lewis) which spells delay of game and/or blown timeouts. At least if Campbell has a list of plays on a wristband we can hope that this does not get too f'ed up.

Posted by: skipper7 | October 23, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"He had a great catch out of bounds last week"
—JIM ZORN about DEVIN THOMAS

Sure, good play and all, but I don’t think it compares with another Redskin highlight, DeAngelo Hall’s out-of-bounds interception.

Posted by: TheCork | October 23, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Live in the past: The Redskins haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1992 and have made the playoffs only three times in the 10 years that Snyder has owned the team. And yet, they act as if they’re perennial contenders for the Super Bowl. The first step in dealing with reality is to live in it.

Posted by: gatorskinz2000 | October 23, 2009 11:39 AM

Completely, 100% agree. That's why I criticize blindly optimistic reactions to the Redskins right now.

Posted by: hithere1 | October 23, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

That wrist band better have a tractor beam on it

"Beam me up Sherm!"

Posted by: ElYeah | October 23, 2009 11:43 AM

The wrist band is actually going to be a watch that JC can talk to KITT who'll be sitting in the parking lot getting ready to TURBO BOOST into the stadium.

Posted by: gixxer998 | October 23, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I think Devin Thomas is ready for that breakout game. I believe Sherm Lewis will spread the ball around more and Devin Thomas could be a beneficiary of the whole Sherm Lewis thing.

Posted by REDSKINHEAD

It should work, You have a playcaller who doesn’t know the plays sending in passes to a QB who can’t hit a receiver throwing to a WR who doesn’t know the pass routes. I see NOTHING but success.

Posted by: TheCork | October 23, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

mattsound, WOW..are you kidding me??

do you have a mental illness??

Seriously....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | October 23, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------

The facts of the post are supportable. Players questioned the move, our record stinks since, and now its open season on organizational leadership.

So, no, I'm not joking, and I don't have a mental illness. I think players take note when a Ryan Clark, or Leigh Torrence, or Khary Campbell is cut in favor of the latest flavor of the month, because someone who sweated their butts off with them all year is now gone to make way for some kid who can't get out of the training room.

Ryan Clark plays with Pittsburg, btw, and Leigh is now with the Saints. Yeah, the Saints of 'best defense in the league this year' fame.

So I'm fairly confident I thought this post a little bit more than you did.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 23, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I think Devin Thomas is ready for that breakout game. I believe Sherm Lewis will spread the ball around more and Devin Thomas could be a beneficiary of the whole Sherm Lewis thing.

Posted by REDSKINHEAD

I thought he looked on a couple of catches in the Carolina? game. I know he missed one that he should've had. He's more dynamic than Kelly anyway.

Posted by: skinswest | October 23, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I hope Ethan Allbright isn't a Saint; they've already got enough players

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | October 23, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Since the Skins are determine - beyond all reason of sanity and intelligence - to make JC a hall of fame QB, an idea would be a football guided system. The system would detect its current position as well as those of the open receivers, it would calculate and guide the football to the best target; also, it would alleviate JC's need to think.

Posted by: hock1 | October 23, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

REDSKIN OWNER DEVELOPS SIGN LANGUAGE SYSTEM FOR OFFENSIVE PLAYS

Dateline: Washington, D.C.

According to unnamed team sources, Washington Redskin owner, Daniel Snyder, will implement simple hand and finger gestures to express his desire for the outcome of the game. While he'll mainly be calling offensive plays from his owner's box at Fed Ex Field, he could deliver the gestures personally on the sidelines, sources say.

While sitting in his box, Snyder, 44, owner of a team who has been to the playoffs less than 30 percent of the time he has owned the team, will eat grapes and be fanned by lovely vixens and then will rise up off his cushion and deliver thumbs up or thumbs down signals for certain players and coaches during the game. According to team sources, Snyder will also use a stabbing motion to the chest or a slice across the neck to convey his offensive signals.

While no one will go out on a limb and say the obvious, it is implied that this Philadephia game will resemble the infamous "body bag" game at Veteran's stadium in the 1980's where Redskins were carted off after having been injured by Eagles. The one difference with this "body bag" game is that Snyder will use former actors from the Sopranos to deliver the blows. Sources also confirm extra stretchers and body bags are being delivered to the field in anticipation of on-the-field injuries.

The unnamed source also confirms that Snyder could inflict the fatal blow to Zorn should his team lose and lose badly. There is no word yet how Snyder will inflict the wound, but he has hired a 10 year old girl to do his bidding should he need to make the fatal cut.

In other Redskin News....

The Vinnie Cerrato toilet seats are now available at Redskins' Stores near you! Nothing passes crap better than these seats!

Jason Campbell is having a hard time with the new play calling wristbands. He says they cause an imbalance in weight on his arms and they feel funny.

Reports from the front office of the NFL indicate that 31 NFL team owners are yucking it up at the expense of Daniel Snyder. The New England coach was overheard saying "I wouldn't waste tape on this offense - no need to take additional advantage of a situation that is gift wrapped when it takes the field."

Clinton Portis sprained his hair during practice this morning and will be held out of any other practices this week so that he can heal well enough to play Monday Nite.

Eagles Quarterback, Donovan McNubb, has expressed dismay that he is playing against the Redskin team that actually plays well enough to win. "Why can't I play on defense against that offense? I could tear them up!"

Posted by: laserwizard | October 23, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

sounds like BS to me.

"its not that difficult, but it will be difficult"

Posted by: TBADOW | October 23, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, play-calling hasn't really been the problem. As the players and coaches have been saying all along, it's execution.

That's not to say that a new approach won't help. Provided the new approach is:

1) simple. Particularly in the red zone. When you have weapons like Portis and Moss and Cooley, you want to get them the ball and let them do their thing with it.

2) aggressive. The Skins' offense has fallen into the trap of being overly mannered and precise. Worried about doing the wrong thing. You want the defense on its heels, worrying about what you'll do, not the other way around.

So yes, Sherm could help. As Joe Gibbs used to say, this is football, not rocket science. There aren't any geniuses in football.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 23, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Campbell might wear a wristband with a variety of plays written on it so that he could call one quickly if problems arise.

Badly written phrase, I think. I've read this is a look-up chart, so they can get "Red 1" in there quickly and JC can look up that code for the full play on his armband.

The above sentence sounds like JC has a list of audibles for different situations on the armband. Perhaps that's also true, but either way the sentence lends itself to two interps.

Most interesting is that we're finally hearing the first words from the O-coordinator this season. Glad to see that's he's being integrated somehow. Starting to look like the "too many things on his plate" critique (not that Zorn is simply overwhelmed (which could also be true)) has some merit.

Posted by: WorstSeat | October 23, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Couple things:

You have to spread some caca around if you want to grow a good garden. Well, its flying, that's for sure. Chris going down(as feared and expected), Thomas going down(as feared and expected, the resultant overall weakness of the Oline being exposed, the inability of the triplets to contribute after 1.33 seasons, the inability of the coach to manage the game and call effective plays within his scheme,
the inability of the QB to effectively make plays, the inability of the coach to recognize how he is actually hindering the QB ability to effectively, the failure of the HC to hold players accountable for their failures, the failure of the president of Football ops to effectively build a complete 53 man roster, the failure of the president of Football Ops to build a roster to synergistically improve the coaches ability to run his scheme, the failure of the players to take personal responsibility for their failures to execute and the continued repeating of trite "we are just not clicking, we only have 2, 3, 4+n losses", the failure of the owner to recognize his large contributions to the overall malaise and dysfunction that envelops the team he so loves ...

Did i leave anything out? Its widespread, plenty of caca has been distributed and contributed across the board. The hobbyist Gardener needs to realize that enough siht has been spread and its time to hire a real Botanist with championship vegetable growing skills to come in and takeover the tending. the hobbyist Gardener merely needs to ask the botanist how much money he will need for supplies, and then let the Botanist select the stock and plant the seeds.


Zorn was screwed from the get go by having to call his plays from the field and manage the game. He has no vision of who what where is going on from his field level sideline view. There is no way he can see the field and the plays developing/ breaking down. He needed to see what is open, see how the D is reacting to his formations and shifts, how they are rotating, etc etc etc. He can catch glimpses, but he can't get the commanding view. He also has to wait to see ball spots on close plays. From the box, Shlewis will be able to quickly see all the above, he'll know instantly where the ball is and which play to dial up next. He will be able to synthesize the flow of his play calls by his overview vision of the offense and defense. Shlewis also needs to tell JZ to STFU when he wants to get in JC's head 45 mins before the game and every point after that. This is the price you have to pay JZ: You can keep your job, but you can't call plays or interfere with the operation of the offense in any way. Talk about a deal with the devil.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | October 23, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I DONT CARE WHO CALLS THE PLAYS AS LONG AS CAMPBELL THROWS THE BALL. IM SO TIRED OF SEEING HIM HESITATE LIKE HE DOSENT TRUST HIS ARM. I THINK THIS BENCHING WAS A WAKE UP CALL FOR HIM AND HE WILL COME OUT THROWING ALL OVER THE PLACE IT'S EASIER TO PLAY WHEN YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE MUCH HARDER WHEN THE EXPECTATIONS ARE HIGH IM A REDSKINS FAN FOR LIFE AND WILL NEVER DON ANOTHER TEAMS JERSEY THIS IS GONNA BE A LONG SEASON AND A TRUE TEST OF FAITH FOR REDSKINS NATION ONLY THE DIE HARD FANS WILL SEE OUR TEAM THROUGH IT

HTTR!!! RIP#21 4EVER

Posted by: cpt55back | October 23, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Lewis to Smith to Campbell, wtf don't Smith & Zorn have headsets, shouldn't this be direct P 2 P (Lewis to Campbell) unless the headsets are misfunctioning. Time management was a problem when it was only Zorn to Campbell, if it has to go from the Consultant to QB via OC (name only) these guys are cracking me up...

Posted by: snake_taylor | October 23, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Why not have Sherman SMITH call the plays and not hire anyone else? Unless (conspiracy theorists) there was something else going on!

Posted by: 1of9000 | October 23, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Vinny is starring in a movie adaption of the book, "Lies and the lying liars that tell them". Tom Cruise is set to direct; Snyder to produce.

Posted by: Realness1 | October 23, 2009 11:30 AM

Obama's picture is on the cover of the DVD.

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | October 23, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Sherman Lewis: Split T – Left Fly – Right Fly – H Flare Left – Center Stop-half back arizona dive.
---
Sherman Smith: Split T – Left Fly – Right Fly – H Flare Left – Center Stop-half back arizona dive.
------
Jim Zorn: Wait..here's what I think..CLICK...SILENCE


Posted by: pennstate1 | October 23, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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