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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Evolution - According to Plan

Sort of . . .

The other day I was listening to the Joe Theismann Show on the radio and a listener asked a question regarding Albert Haynesworth and the defensive scheme.
Joe said that the Skins are not going to ask Albert to change is plays or style too much, rather the coaching staff is going to change the style of the defense to complement him. His presence will make everyone better.

Meaning you build your scheme around your key personnel.

He will demand attention and lots of double teams. This will free up the other linemen and LB into more 1 on 1 coverage or force someone else, such as a RB or TE, to check down on them before releasing out to the flat.
This is a great plan and the skins have the defensive coaching staff to do this quite well.

But this got me to thinking about the rest of the team.

First, the other side of the ball.
The Offense.
Then about - The management.

First the offense.
Who is the marquee player the offensive coaching staff is going to build the offensive plays around?

Clinton Portis?
Jason Campbell?
One of the receivers such as Santana Moss, Malcolm Kelly?

Other teams have done this.
San Diego with LT. Minnesota with AP.
New England, Colts, Giants with their QB’s.
Arizona with Larry Fitzgerald

Now for the Management . . .

Everybody knows Snyder loves the big splash. The next big thing.
Now here is why . . .


It’s what everybody in business, marketing and sales wants. The WOW, The next big thing.

This is how he got rich and it is what he does best.

So, this was his plan with owning and running a football franchise.
To Make Money.

Trouble was, he did this every chance he got at every level he could.

This is not a plan for building a team.

So this is what has happened over the past several years.
An Evolution of sorts. . .

A)The Redskins have had way too many changes at the helm and within the offensive system in recent years to be anything other than consistently mediocre. (6 coaches and numerous Offensive coordinators in the past 9 years)
B)After floundering around a bit (circa 2000) the Redskins hired Schottenheimer who had a wonderful personality and reputation and got along sooo well with both the management and players that, despite a really good turn-around during the season, was fired after only one year.
C)Then the skins acquired a bold hot coach from Florida (Spurrier) and they got him his version of a coveted QB (Ramsey).
But, Ramsey got absolutely pummeled and had the $#@! sacked out of him.
D)Then they got Clinton Portis to be the marquee running back.
But his strengths , running style, did not fit in with the Riggo blocking schemes and he did not do well his first year here.
However, Gibbs (notice Spurrier gone) was smart enough to change and Clinton had one of his best years ever the second year.

E) Then they got Jason Campbell
Everybody wanted/wants Jason to be “the man”.
But Gibbs got old . . .
And at first Jason was in a system which was super complicated and worked off of timing, route running, and trusting that the receiver is going to be where you throw it.

F)But that is not Jason’s strength . . . more on this later . . .
G)So now they have Zorn
The first year his staff knew the offense was not good enough to overcome mistakes, so the biggest thing they asked of Jason was do not turn it over.
He responded with a franchise record of consecutive passes without an interception.

H)Then the Redskins did something unique to them. They started drafting targets for Jason to throw to instead of going for another one of “the marquee player” receivers.
They started to try and build something around Jason by adding personnel to complement what a QB does.
This year, I have seen something else happen. Zorn and his staff are finally crafting plays that play to Jason’s strengths.

I)Jason is what I call a Line of Sight QB.
They have been stretching the field with a regularly thrown deep ball
Calling more ‘slant’ type patterns

He has as strong an arm as anybody.
He can be quite mobile.
J)So now the Skins seem to finally have an offensive plan.
A good QB
A good complement of RB’s and WR’s.
Lots of offensive targets (Moss, Kelly, Thomas, Mitchell) (Note: I would not cry for Hackett, Randle-El, or Shelton leaving)
Good RB’s (Clinton, Betts, and even a couple good “rookies” in Mason, Alridge, Dorsey) (Though I would probably keep Cartwright over Dorsey)
K) Trouble is,they still have Snyder who for some god awful reason decided to try for the next big thing tactic this off season and risked jeopardizing the whole process and plan that seemed to be evolving.

Fortunately he failed this time around.

So, here is a toast to the new season, the final Pre-Season game, hoping my favorite rookies make the roster spots and to hopefully a successful season for Jason, and the entire offensive package that is still evolving and seemingly “plan” for the Redskins future.


Gimpdiggity September 3, 2009 at 7:50 PM  

Just want to post on point A.

A team, in any sport, can't possibly have success when the core values of the team and what it is built upon changes too often.

If you look at teams that are astronomically successful in ANY sport, they generally have the same gameplan now as they did years ago. Different coaches didn't bring different gameplans...the Colts have been successful with the gameplan they've had for years. The Pats are the same. The Yankees. The Red Sox. The Lakers. The Red Wings. The Gators. The Buckeyes.

All the teams that you think of when you think of great teams seem to have one thing in common. They built a gameplan and stuck with it...

Sam September 4, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

Good observations, Doug. So are you saying that I should draft Jason Campbell as a sleeper in my draft? I've thought about it and your post is pushing me further in that direction. I've always thought he was a good QB in a difficult situation.

Doug September 4, 2009 at 6:57 PM  

He is worth a late round pick.
Trust me he will be there, because NOBODY is picking the skins to do anything this year.
Of course I am biased but you knew that already.
The main concern, rightfully so, that everyone has is the offensive line.
I hope the skins look at the waiver wire this weekend for a quality OL.

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