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Redskins still trying to get everyone on same page of offensive playbook

Nearly at the midway point of the season, the slogan for the Redskins' offense might as well be "a work in progress." Entering Sunday's game at Detroit, coaches still think they're getting there.

The offense that the Redskins installed in training camp is more complex and more intensive than what the team trots out each Sunday, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said.

"We scaled back every game plan," he explained. "When you go into training camp or OTAs, you are trying to put in your entire system. Each week is a whole new game plan. You build from that library that you put in.

"We come in here on Monday and Tuesday, and by the time the players get here on Wednesday, they have a game plan. It is not always just your mass libraries. It is narrowed down and isolated based on what the defense is doing."

The Redskins are averaging 333 yards per game, ranked 18th in the NFL. They're facing a defense that ranked No. 26 overall and 27 against the run.

Shanahan said coaches simplify the game plan to prepare for a specific opponent, not because the offense is too complicated to execute. The offense's bigger problem is one of consistency, Shanahan said.

"It is not necessarily the game plan as it is isolating what we have practiced and getting our guys to work better together and moving together," he said. "You go into a game, defenses are moving on you, you get some stuff you don't expect in practice and you have to remember that your guys haven't been playing together that long. They can't all adjust to it the same. One guy might adjust to it and two guys next to him don't -- when it is like, that you need all 11 guys to adjust and move together."

By Rick Maese  | October 29, 2010; 4:15 PM ET
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"One guy might adjust to it and two guys next to him don't -- when it is like, that you need all 11 guys to adjust and move together."

seems like he's talking to the Oline first and foremost.

Posted by: RomoLongballs | October 29, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

A lot of people made fun of Wierd Al's 700 page playbook and our offense's difficulty in mastering it... looks like deja vu all over again!

Posted by: Alan4 | October 29, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Is it my imagination or is this team too dumb to understand any offense? For years I have been hearing the same lame excuse: The offense is too complicated … blah, blah, blah.
Either get dumber coaches with simple offense plans or get smarter players to understand a simple play pattern that they must follow. I don’t think I have ever heard any other team, year after year (oh, pardon me, I meant to say: year in, year out), complaint about plays been too complicated.

Posted by: hock1 | October 29, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Describing the offense as a "Work in Progress" has been the theme for the past 11 years!

Posted by: Redskinrex | October 29, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Either get dumber coaches with simple offense plans ...

Posted by: hock1 | October 29, 2010 5:34 PM

We tried that the last two years. Didn't work.

Offenses, particularly blocking schemes and pass routes vary based on the defense they see AFTER they break the huddle. Not to mention, a play you've run the past 5 weeks may be altered this week, based upon something the coaches saw in the opponent's defense. This, too may change, based upon a defensive alignment that was unexpected. Recognizing the NEED to change your assignment is the first hurdle. What the correct adjustment actually IS, is another matter altogether. So, honestly, there's nothing "easy" about it.

It really takes TIME, meaning game experience and success, to get these moves to solidify into an offense. I'm encouraged, however, that the Redskins are TRYING. They haven't decided that "it's just too hard, so let's go to a high school offense with no adjustments." That was last year and it was pitiful to watch.

Don't underestimate the intelligence of today's NFL players. Just because some of them play that ghetto role. Football is a game of intellect, it's like chess, but with ass-kicking in between moves. A gambling idiot can thrive now and then, but there's a reason Peyton Manning is the best. And it's not because he has the fastest 40 or the strongest arm. The guy is a hard worker and with a gifted mind. Period.

If he were on our team, he'd be able to explain to the other 10 starters where they are supposed to be if the left defensive end suddenly goes upright before the snap on 3rd down, and where you should be if he does it on 1st down.

I swear to you, it is not easy.

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 30, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse

"Redskins still trying to get everyone on same page of offensive playbook"

Huh? It's @ the half of the season already plus 5 preseason games.. there is no excuse for this stupidity.

Posted by: RedCherokee | October 30, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Inconsistency comes from lack of talent.

Posted by: MadeRED | October 30, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

" 'Is it my imagination or is this team too dumb to understand any offense? For years I have been hearing the same lame excuse: The offense is too complicated … blah, blah, blah...' Posted by: hock1 | October 29, 2010 5:34 PM"

It is your imagination.

I know how jet engines work, I have been a licensed mechanic in my career. I have worked on jet engines (for racing).
That does NOT make me as good at it as someone int the airline industry who works on them more frequently, or has had superior training to my own.

Nor does it make me stupid, just not as experienced in the ways that might make me faster or more proficient at working on jet engines.

Same thing with offensive schemes, routes, and blocking. If you want a lineman to block in a technique new to him, it takes time to get just the right result.

If you have one guy who DOES what you want and one guy who doesn't, the guy who does usually tries to help the guy who is not coming along as well. So now you're suffering at two positions, until the SECOND guy learns what HE should be doing.

Again, neither guy is stupid, or bad, it means neither guy can block at 100% for their respective reasons.

So also to MadeRED, ummm, nope, not always buckaroo.

Posted by: ThinkingMan | October 30, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I agree just about every comment made up above. And, if going to be a continuous Work in progress. I'd consider 2 things: 1. I feel that Coach Shanahan is trying to make the starting O-Line younger. That, is a Work in Progress and is needed. The most overlooked thing of our Previous Leadership. If you want to call them that! But, using the term for a work in Progress for the quarterback position in this late in the season is a Joke. I could except this with a young quarterback, but, not a 34 yr. Vet. I've seen time after time where a vet quarterbacks have step in new systems, and do good if not great job leading their new teams. I think Shanahan will fix the O-Line, but, I don't think he'll be able to fix the quarterback position, with a 34 yr. old. 2. Draft a young quarterback, and move forward! Atleast, this would be a real Work in Progress. Stop, making excuses for McNabb. Teams are getting younger in that position, so, should we!! Go Skins!!!

Posted by: eztiger44 | October 31, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather be lucky than good. Today the luck just ran out. This teams o-line must be completely rebuilt starting with keeping TRENT WILLIAMS and going forward. WILLIAMS did NOT hold on the play called on him. Pure BS. The ref saw a slip and called a phantom foul.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 31, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking SHANAHAN drafts a Q-back #1 in 2011, and o-line guard we have a #2?

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 31, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

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