After the Shanahans and Robert Griffin III sliced through the Saints defense like it was so much runny Camembert, many analysts said that was cool, but just wait. Now that the Redskins and their trickery were caught on film, went the thinking, things wouldn’t come nearly so easily.
But after the Skins’ offense still appeared to be high-flying against the Rams, St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher told ESPN Radio Thursday morning that the Redskins were wise to keep things quiet in the preseason.
“He brings such a different element to the quarterback position,” Fisher said. “And in the preseason, the Redskins were obviously very smart — they didn’t show much. And then they come out in the opener and kind of stunned New Orleans with all the read options, and the options, and the boots, and all those kind of things. He just is a very difficult player to defend....He’s a dynamic player and he’s got a great future, and I know the Redskins are really excited about the types of things they can do with him.”
Next up is Cincinnati, and Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis suggested that things will be a tad easier now that the book is out. This answer came during a Thursday morning appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, when Lewis was asked how much of a traditional Mike Shanahan offense the Redskins are using.
“They really still do it for two-thirds of their offense,” Lewis said. “But a third of it is the hybrid — it’s the pistol, it’s the zone read. Those are the things, that one-third that showed up against New Orleans in the first regular season game that didn’t show up in the preseason games.
“You knew this was going to occur; it was unfortunate for the Saints to have to open up with them, because you’re going into the thing a little bit blind. What were they gonna come out with that you had not seen on video yet? How were they going to constitute it and align it and so forth?
“But I think now, their hand is shown,” Lewis continued. “You saw a little it less against St. Louis. The quarterback got hit a couple times against St. Louis, too. That’s the thing. As you go through the course of a running quarterback’s career, it’s hard to sustain it, because they’re taking these licks out there. And he took a couple good licks last week.”
But Lewis also said the Bengals are taking the RGIII threat very seriously, devoting up to a third of their practice time to whatever wrinkles he might bring.
“The main thing is to make the proper reads,” Lewis said. “Most of these guys that are coming out of college now, they’ve run some portion of this in college. Andy [Dalton] is always pushing us to put more of it in for him. You know, they had a sprinkling of it at TCU. We have a couple [of plays] that we have for him in special situations.
“[Defenders] all are somewhat familiar with how to make the read, but you don’t have a guy that’s gonna [show RGIII’s] athleticism once he pulls the ball, so you can forget that. But you just have to be very disciplined, you have to take some time, and it becomes a little bit of the focus of what you’re doing....They may show up three or four plays in the game, two or three plays in the game, but yet you’ve devoted a third of your practice time to em.”