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Kyle Shanahan on Coaching Fast Track After Adapting Redskins 'O'

McKissic for the win

Lanky Livingston

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Chris Cooley was cut by the Washington Redskins on Aug. 28. The veteran tight end then returned to the team Oct. 22.


It's pretty tough for him to comprehend what transpired in the eight weeks in between.

"When I got back, it was a new offense," Cooley recounted recently. "The learning curve for me was drastic. I missed seven games. The last game I didn't play was against the Giants. I watch all the games and I'm in tune to what we're doing, [but] I couldn't have called a third of the plays in that game. I couldn't have told you what they were, what the responsibilities were. The way they'd grown from Week 1 to Week 7 was unreal."

So is the ascension of Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan on lists of potential head-coaching candidates. And Cooley's explanation hints at the primary reason why.

After leading a middling offense his first two years in Washington (ranked 18th and 16th in the league) under his father Mike, the younger Shanahan retrofitted the traditional scheme Mike has run around the talents of Robert Griffin III, for whom the Skins yielded a ransom to draft. Kyle installed concepts that Griffin ran at Baylor, mixed them with the old stuff, and created a unique attack designed to put his rookie quarterback in the best spot to prosper quickly. It worked. To wit:

Exihibit A: Griffin's 104.2 rating, 66.4 completion percentage and 18-4 TD-INT ratio.
Exhibit B: Washington now ranks fourth in total offense.
Exhibit C: With Griffin out in Week 15, it was easily adjustable to fit Washington's other rookie quarterback, Kirk Cousins.

"He's definitely exaggerating a little bit, just talking likely Cooley does," Kyle Shanahan said over the phone, when apprised of his tight end's comments. "The whole basics of the zone read, we'd worked on that, did it really hard, put time into it from a Football 101 standpoint starting in OTAs, going from normal formations, getting the o-line right, getting the quarterback and running backs on the same page with the ballhandling. What Cooley saw was the simple ways to do it. That was the first couple games."

From there, the Redskins have kept defenses on their toes not by changing the concepts, but expanding the looks.

It's working. Washington topped the league in rushing at the quarter pole, stood second both at the midway point and after Week 12, and has risen back up to first since. So at this point, the idea that other teams would simply "catch up" to the problems the Redskins have created with their unique attack looks shaky.

"We've added moving parts -- out of crazy formations, running guys across the formation, bringing receivers in the backfield," Kyle continued. "Each week, we add to it. We got most wild with it the first time we played the Giants. To me, a lot of it is illusion. And it all goes back to what we've already done. The teaching has never really changed. The window dressing has. We can make it look like a lot of different stuff."

The motivation to innovate here, moreso than the actual schematics, illustrates part of the appeal Kyle Shanahan will draw from other clubs in need of a head coach this offseason. The 33-year-old chose to base his offense around the talent on hand, rather than forcing the talent to adapt to his ways. Which is to say he's inventive enough to be adapatable, something that would help any coach get the most out of his players.

Click link for the rest of the article...
 

Lanky Livingston

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The motivation to innovate here, moreso than the actual schematics, illustrates part of the appeal Kyle Shanahan will draw from other clubs in need of a head coach this offseason. The 33-year-old chose to base his offense around the talent on hand, rather than forcing the talent to adapt to his ways. Which is to say he's inventive enough to be adapatable, something that would help any coach get the most out of his players.

In Griffin's case, Kyle said, "When we studied him, we saw a lot of things he did well, but (the zone-read) is what he did best, and we weren't going to take that away from him." So the Redskins went about trying to take what Griffin did best and make it something the offense could do well.

Pretty much the opposite of what Bitter Betty McNugget said at the beginning of the season. HOW'S THAT FORCED RETIREMENT TASTE, MCFLABB????
 

Rymanofthenorth

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well to be fair, they did try to force Mcrapp to do things he wasnt comfortable with and they didnt tailor the offence to fit his strengths the way they have for Rg3, but then its hard to find an offence that fits a guy who one hops 30% of his passes.
 

servumtuum

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This should answer some questions that seem to pop up from time to time.

Memo to Bruce, Mike and Dan-if you let Kyle get lured away to a HC job someplace else I will have a very hard time forgiving you.
 

tshile

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he came here to coach with his dad.

he came here to be the next coach of the redskins, with his dad picking the players.

no amount of money is going to change that. the only way it changes is if the environment becomes toxic, and his dad says 'get out while you still can', which I had real concerns about leading up to 3-6.

He's not going anywhere. They want to win rings together :)
 

Goaldeje

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well to be fair, they did try to force Mcrapp to do things he wasnt comfortable with and they didnt tailor the offence to fit his strengths the way they have for Rg3, but then its hard to find an offence that fits a guy who one hops 30% of his passes.
Wait. McNabb had strengths? Please, name three.
 

SirClintonPortis

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well to be fair, they did try to force Mcrapp to do things he wasnt comfortable with and they didnt tailor the offence to fit his strengths the way they have for Rg3, but then its hard to find an offence that fits a guy who one hops 30% of his passes.
Yeah, Mcnabb was very comfortable with his wormkiller footwork and never bothered to think it was limiting him.
 

McD5

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A fantastic dancer in the tunnel.
 

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he was a decent basketball player on pros vs joes.

LOL anyway I am glad that some people caught my Sarcasm, Mcrapp wanted them to cater the offence to him the way Reid did, only we didnt want to throw 65% of the time to get him in synch and he couldnt figure out that we ran a different tree, with different concepts. Its easier to cater an offence to a qb who doesnt one hop every third pass and who can make sequential reads.
 

Lanky Livingston

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The broad sides of barns were always safe with McNabb around.
 

Goaldeje

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James Madison

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Grand second place finisher
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A fantastic dancer in the tunnel.
The broad sides of barns were always safe with McNabb around.
You guys are killin' me. :)
 

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