Callahan, who replaced Jay Gruden on Monday, has said he wants to run — a lot. By talking about it all week, the longtime offensive line coach has essentially challenged Miami to stop his team’s ground game. That might not be easy for the Dolphins, who are giving up a league-worst 175.8 rushing yards per game. Callahan has said he wants running back Adrian Peterson to get into a rhythm, which Peterson fully endorses. Penalties on the Redskins’ offensive line have killed too many drives. Sunday will be a chance for the group, still without star left tackle Trent Williams, to stabilize. And Case Keenum will take command of the offense as the starting quarterback, replacing Colt McCoy in a move Callahan called “a no-brainer.”
The Redskins have not made the opposing quarterback uncomfortable. They were able to reach Tom Brady a few times last week, but Brady often sat back and picked apart the defense. They need to pressure an opposing quarterback into running for his life. Sunday would be the perfect opportunity. Miami quarterback Josh Rosen has only one touchdown pass and three interceptions, he’s playing for a job next season, and the Dolphins’ offensive line has not protected him well.
The Redskins have repeatedly damaged offensive drives or ruined good defensive stops with inopportune penalties or coverage breakdowns. Callahan demands discipline and obsesses over details. Will that attitude spread?
Win the early part of the second half
Nothing has hurt the Redskins more than the few minutes after halftime. Several times, Washington has carried a lead or momentum into halftime, only to come out flat. Gruden seemed perplexed as to why that kept happening, insisting he had made adjustments. The players also say they are baffled. Callahan thinks the players have lost stamina in the second half, so he’s making them run sprints and stretch differently during practice. Sunday’s game will tell whether he has identified the problem.
The Redskins have played some excellent quarters. They were running over the Philadelphia Eagles in the first game and played the Patriots close for a good part of the first half. They have displayed, at times, a big-play offense and an effective defense. They just haven’t done any of these things for an extended period. That’s why they are 0-5. With the Dolphins struggling, Sunday provides a chance to play a complete game.