The team is different and his playbook has evolved. But Mike Shanahan’s offense hasn’t changed that much over the past 10 to 15 years — at least not the stuff he believes in, from the stretch zone to the bootlegs. That’s why it was interesting when former Redskins safety Matt Bowen took a look at his notes before a game vs. Shanahan’s Broncos in 2005 for the National Football Post. Yes, Kyle Shanahan now calls the plays, but his father has a heavy say in what plays they decide to run — and with the game plan. And, yes, he’ll do different things with Robert Griffin III at quarterback. Keep in mind, though, that Jake Plummer was a mobile QB for Denver.

And it was interesting to hear some of what stood out to Bowen, which is what I wrote about in this week’s email report.

A couple things stood out:

1. How quickly they could diagnose the shifts and motions. “We’ll know their shifts and motions by the end of the first 15 [plays]. He’ll put his best stuff out there in the first 15 plays. You won’t get anything new after that. If you can handle those shifts and motions after the first 15 you’ll be fine. You don’t panic and you should be able to run your own defense every play.”

2. First and second down tips. “Anytime the Z receiver motions into the formation in the slot and he doesn’t have I formation in the backfield, it’s a pass. Anytime the Z motions across the ball it’s a pass.”

3. Bowen was surprised by how often Shanahan called for a run in certain situations. “I didn’t expect him to run the ball this much. On the goal line, 11 runs and five passes. In the red zone, 12 runs and eight passes. That stood out to me.”


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