Kyle Shanahan is the offensive coordinator, but he’s hardly the only one with input into the Redskins’ game plan. In fact, it’s a staff effort that begins each Monday and doesn’t end until Saturday.
Not that it always was a group effort for Shanahan when he became a coordinator with Houston.
“When I was younger I tried to do everything,” he said. “You’re so excited to have the opportunity to be a coordinator that you want to work at every single area as hard as you can. But you start to go crazy because there aren’t enough hours in the week. So I’ve gotten better at divvying up stuff and allowing others to help me….Just getting to know them, you start to trust them more and they start to know what I like. It becomes more efficient when you work with the same people.”
So every Monday, here’s what each offensive coach works on: Receivers coach Ike Hilliard does first and second downs, three-receiver formations and the two-minute area. Quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur does third downs and all the empty, no-back sets. Tight ends coach Sean McVay does the red zone as well as their U personnel (two tight end sets; one receiver, two backs). McVay also gets started on first and second down Tiger sets (two tight ends, two receivers). Running backs coach Bobby Turner does short yardage and goal-line situations. Assistant offensive line coach Chris Morgan handles all the protections; he gets every blitz the opponent ran and draws them up and focuses on potential protection issues that week. Quality control coaches Mike McDaniel and Richmond Flowers start breaking down the overall team stuff and enter it in the computer so the coaches can have the stats and percentages. Shanahan and line coach Chris Foerster watch film by themselves.
The process continues throughout the week, with each day holding the same pattern throughout the season (unless, of course, it’s a Thursday game like this week). And in my Q&A with Shanahan for the email report, he talks about when they script their first 15 plays, how often they rep each play in practice, how often they throw out plays from their initial game plan and whether or not the debates over plays gets heated.
As for Shanahan, he said he enjoys every aspect of putting together a game plan.
“When I was younger and first starting, it was always the pass game that I enjoyed because that’s what I was most comfortable with,” Shanahan said. “I really enjoy the run game now. It’s newer, it’s fresher. It’s nice to do different things. I’ve always loved third downs.”
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