The Washington Post

Kyle Shanahan: Two plays opened up offense

Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said Thursday his unit got a spark from two plays in particular in last week’s overtime loss to Dallas – a third-down catch by new receiver David Anderson, and the third-down touchdown pass from Rex Grossman to Jabar Gaffney that gave the Redskins their first lead in six games just before the half.

“That gave us confidence, got us going, opened things up,” Shanahan said. “I feel like two weeks ago vs. the Dolphins, we moved the ball all right, but we never got in the end zone. I think we punted twice in that game. We’re just missing a little edge there. No one stepped up and made a play, and in this game, guys did, and I think everyone fed off it, and it resulted in more points.”

The offense scored more points against the Cowboys, 24, than it had in any game this year. Quarterback Rex Grossman, starting for the second straight week in place of John Beck, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another.

“I thought Rex did a hell of a job,” Shanahan said. “He played real well. Obviously we watch everything on Dallas throughout the year. I thought he played that defense as well as any quarterback.”

Carrying a six-game losing streak headed into Sunday’s game at Seattle, the Redskins are looking to revive their running game. Their 24 carries against Dallas were their most attempts since Week 4 against St. Louis, but they still yielded just 60 yards.

“We haven’t got the big runs that we need to open up our run game,” Shanahan said. “But it was good, being in the game, having the score close and stuff, we were able to get a lot more carries than we’ve had the past month, which always helps that pass rush. Just hoping to get one that breaks.”

One difference in preparation for Seattle: Kyle Shanahan finally has some positive offensive tape to show his players.

“I think everybody needs it,” Shanahan said. “When you struggle like you have the last five games, you got to get in that end zone to get some confidence, and we haven’t been able to do that. Miami was, I felt, different than the games prior to that, as far as we moved the ball. But at the end of the day, when you only have nine points, you don’t feel very good about anything.

“So to go into the Dallas game vs. a very good defense, to score some points, especially having that 90-yard drive at the end, it gave guys some confidence knowing they can do this. We are capable. We got to play our best.”

Barry Svrluga is the national baseball writer for The Washington Post.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Play Videos
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
The rise and fall of baseball cards
How to keep your child safe in the water
Play Videos
'Did you fall from heaven?': D.C.'s pick-up lines
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
How to get organized for back to school
How to buy a car via e-mail
The signature drink of New Orleans