The Washington Redskins to a large degree had the element of surprise on their side as they attacked the New Orleans Saints with an teacher to new wrinkles thanks to the talents of quarterback Robert Griffin III.
But now opposing teams have film on Griffin and in the option plays that he ran in the Redskins’ offense.
The team and quarterback now face the challenge of maintaining the same level of effectiveness even though the scouting report is now out on them.
As he prepares the St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan says this challenge does not differ greatly from in years past. But he does welcome the challenge and says that Griffin and the Redskins’ other new weapons give him greater flexibility.
“It’s the challenge with everything. Each week, each year it’s harder in the NFL,” Shanahan said. “You always got to adjust on offense, you’ve always got to adjust on defense. But the thing now, you’re excited. You’ve got players, you’ve got a quarterback and they’re all capable of doing everything. You want to go into a game with the plan but you to always have a chance to adjust depending on what people are doing.”
Shanahan said that this year’s upgraded collection of playmakers make his job easier as a play caller. He pointed to the 88-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Pierre Garcon and noted the change this between this year and last year.
“I know how pumped I was. I know how pumped our team was,” Shanahan said. “It took us until Week 16 to run a TD in on a reception and it happened in the first quarter of this game.”
Redskins coaches believe that even though opponents now know they will see zone read option plays when they face them, Griffin and Co. still will hold an edge and large degree of unpredictability.
“Well, what defenses have to do now is they have to account for him in the running game,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said. “They don’t know how many times we’re going to run him in the game along with the possibility of running him. We can run our offense and dictate what we are going to do and not necessarily what they’re going to do. So we can hopefully keep people off balance. It’s a fine line but it’s something that’s been fun for us, experimenting with all the things he can do.”