Redskins’ ‘East Coast offense’ remains a work in progress

October 18, 2012

Through six weeks of the NFL season, the Washington Redskins have put on display an offensive attack that has encompassed just about every end of the spectrum.

 


Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said the Redskins’ diverse offensive attack remains a work in progress. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

The Redskins, led by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, at times have run zone-read option plays with high frequency, and then have broken out the triple-option. The Redskins have lined up in the pistol. Other games they have sported the traditional offensive attack that Mike Shanahan drew up on Super Bowl winning teams in San Francisco and Denver. Then last week, the Redskins added some wishbone formations to the mix.

 Despite the every-changing looks, the Redskins have remained effective, racking up the third-highest total of yards and second-most points in the league through six weeks.

 Griffin and Shanahan were asked on Wednesday if their offense yet had an identity, and neither could exactly answer the question.

 Said Griffin: “Our game plans are pretty dense, and we have many things we can do with it. If they’re going to shut down one thing, we can go at them with another thing.”

 Said Shanahan: “What we try to do is adjust our offense to the type of defense we are going to face and we have the capabilities to do a lot of different things. As you get a quarterback like Robert and see what he is comfortable with, you try to run your offense accordingly. It is a learning experience. You are going to grow with this thing every week. It is kind of fun to deal with a guy like Robert because you can do so many things and he picks up things so quickly and he is able to execute them on the football field. It is a work in progress for us, it is kind of fun to tinker around with a number of different things. Some things you haven’t done before, other things you have and you can see what he does and what he likes.”

So, for now, the unpredictability and wide range of looks and methods of attack are the identity of the offense, if one has to be defined, Shanahan says.

 “Every place I have been, everybody says, ‘What do you call this offense?’ [ESPN columnist] Rick Reilly had asked me and he wanted a name, so I said, ‘Call it the east Coast Offense.’ I get tired of answering the question, to be honest with you. I’m not sure what the name of the offense is, but we’re just experimenting with what Robert can do, and we are having fun with it. Hopefully we can keep executing.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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