The Sports Daily > Redskins Hog Heaven
Kyle Shanahan doesn’t know the Redskins secret formula for sucess

Redskins RB Roy Helu, Jr. vs. Raiders

Finally the Redskins have a victory. True, it was against the second stringers of one of the bottom five teams in the NFL, but they will take it.

Given the sad showing of the NFC East, the Redskins somehow have a glimmer of hope.  To have any chances, the Redskins are going to have to kick it up several notches to go on a run.

The question is ‒ how can they dramatically improve their playing in just two weeks?

The answer will not come from Kyle Shanahan.

His first half play calling performance in four games now in a row has been horrific.  It hasn't been that great the second half either.

Perhaps he does his job LESS than half a game because of his half answer he constantly gives to his play calling strategy.  Kyle says 'we'll run what defenses give us.'

That answer is just plain wrong because it is missing the most important qualification.

To understand how a mediocre team of players and coaches wins, the Redskins simply have to look at their win streak last season.  What did they do?

The answer was simple – Haslett got creative to make average players look really good and to let their best players make big plays.  In other words, put your players in situations where they specifically excel.  It took Haslett a bit long to react, but in the end, he put players in on specific situations, he tried creative solutions some that worked and some that did not.  But he changed things up.

This is the Redskins secret that Kyle doesn't seem to get.  The answer to effective play calling isn't just what defenses give you.  It's what defenses give you AND how that matches to your player's specific abilities to make plays.

It took four games for the Redskins to simply try something new, an up tempo offense in the first half.  That helped.  They accidentally discovered Roy Helu Jr. with the Alfred Morris injury.  They finally gave Niles Paul a chance to catch something (giving guys a break that haven't had one is a motivating and creative thing to do that often results in an unexpected spark to a team and that was part of the Redskins secret, i.e. Rob Jackson).  


Another important point is to give those alternative players some confidence.  The mismanagement of Aldrick Robinson continues to baffle me.  The guy needs confidence, so Kyle gives him a 3rd and long as his first shot a few games ago.  Bad idea.  Give Aldrick a bomb at the beginning of the game, not at the end when the game is on the line.  Robinson isn't ready for pressure situations at this point until he gains confidence, but any other team could make him a major producer nonetheless.

I also don't get how the Redskins are the only team in the NFL without a running back screen passing game.  

I want to see Robinson, Jordan Reed, Garcon and Helu Jr. on the field at the same time.  Send Robinson long, Garcon and Reed on middle routes and Helu Jr. out in the flat.  What does a defense do?  No extra help on Robinson means he'll be open deep.  Reed is now a concern requiring extra defensive help as Garcon always is.  If Polumbus does his revolving door block and RG3 can't hit Robinson, then Helu Jr. should be open in the flat due to the defensive concerns above.

That's just one thought out combination.  I don't get how we never see any interesting combinations utilizing the specific talents of this team.  Kyle, the combination of RG3, Morris and Garcon doesn't work anymore because RG3 isn't as fast and crazy as he was last year.  When will you get that?

Extra note – stinker alert – Darryl Young may have been one of the best full backs in the NFL last season.  This season, he always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time missing out on key blocks and blocking lanes for the offense.  That's an extra plug to try putting Morris and Helu Jr. on the field at the same time as one of those combinations that everyone wants to see.



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