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Need to Know: Shanahan defends play calling

Sep 24, 2013, 5:03 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 24, five days before the Redskins visit the Raiders.

Nickel coverage

Five key quotes from Mike Shanahan’s Monday press conference:

1. Along with many, I commented on the Redskins’ play selection with 50 passes called in what was a one-score game most of the way. I realized that it got skewed in the latter stages of the game when the Redskins fell behind by 10. Mike Shanahan gave the following, more detailed explanation:

“I think when you take a look at that ratio, you have to look at the total game. We had 22 passes that were with 38 seconds left; we had five at the end of the half, we had 17 at the end of the game. Then you take 12 third-down passes, and you get 35 passes there. Then you take your first-down ratio of run-to-pass; I think we had 14 runs, 13 passes. Then you take second-down; I think we had five runs and 11 passes. That’s the type of ratio that we’re looking for. Once you get into the two-minute situation, those numbers can get really carried away one way or the other and that’s what happened.

2. Why hasn’t Bacarri Rambo been playing? This explanation if kind of, well, ouch:

“When he gets his opportunities, he’s got to take advantage of it. We’re not here to keep his spirits up. When he does play special teams or whatever role you’re in, you better play it 100 percent and make some plays. If he doesn’t play anything on defense, he better play well on special teams and if you don’t play well on special teams and you’re not a starter on defense, then you won’t be dressing. So everybody’s got a role and it changes during the season.”

3. Why didn’t Robert Griffin III slide feet first on that critical fourth-quarter play?

“Like I said after the game, I’ve had a lot of guys do it both ways. A lot of people would rather go feet-first, other guys want to get the extra yards and go face-first. Sometimes they feel a little more protected going head-first. I told Robert he can do it any way he wants to, he just has got to hold onto the football if he goes face-first.”

4. Here are his comments on putting Josh Morgan in on kickoffs:

“He’s still a legitimate guy, a legitimate threat as a kick-off returner. Josh [Morgan] has a little bit more wiggle than Niles does. He’s more of a power-type runner. We thought we’d give Josh a shot at it.”

5. Finally, he had this puzzling positive comment on Griffin’s second-quarter interception.

“That was not his fault. I was very upset during the game. I thought he just kind of threw it haphazardly, and really it was a great throw. It just didn’t work out that way. I’m not going to go through the blame, but as I said after the game, I thought it was just a mistake, and it was a good throw.”

Stat of the day

—This via my friend John Keim and ESPN Stats and Information: In first two games, Matthew Stafford completed 1 of 8 passes on throws of 15-plus yards. On Sunday he was 7-9 for 22.2 yards/attempt.

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—Born on this day: current WR Aldrick Robinson (1988), former RB Joe Washington (1953), former C Casey Rabach (1977)

—Days until: Redskins @ Raiders 5; Redskins @ Cowboys 19; Bears @ Redskins 26

—Today’s schedule: Day off, no availability

Shanahan talks turnovers

In case you missed it

  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    On Sunday he was 7-9 for 22.2 yards/attempt.

    I recall several plays in which our secondary was completely confused before the snap, and uncovered Detroit receivers resulted.

    • rg3knees - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Must put the blame on Haslett. During the games when the camera shows Haslett, he looks more confused than his own players. Pretty sure he will not be here next year. He has a long history of being cut by several teams which should tell you something.

      • Rich Tandler - Sep 24, 2013 at 5:23 PM

        Haven’t seen Haz miss a tackle yet.

        • rg3knees - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:18 PM


          Are you trying to say the Redskins defensive problems is all related to tackling. Dude are you a defense attorney? If not you would make a great one!

  2. rg3knees - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    It is hard to imagine why RG3 is passing 50 times a game when the skins have Morris in the back field. Last year we were the leagues top rushing team, and now we are no where near the same form. How about getting Helu in there a little more also?? Mix it up a little bit. Obviously RG3 dropping back 50 times a game is not the way to success. Feed Helu and Morris. Also Royster is no slouch either, he has great acceleration. Skins need to get back to the ground and pound and take some pressure off RG3 who is clearly not back to 100%.
    Can we say next week at Oakland is a must win, I believe so. First off, it has been more than 10 years since a NFL team that started 0-3 made the playoffs. Bills I think back in the 90’s sometime. After watching Oakland last night, it seems the Skins should pull it off on Sunday.

    Hail to the redskins

  3. rpenman65 - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Okay Rich this is a article I have to say is under my “DUH” column. Mike Shanahan isn’t going to flame his son regarding play calling. Anyone in the know, knows Shanahan is a past his prime coach still living on past laurels and here to get his son some experience to further his coaching career. As bad as Detroit’s secondary is you only throw long once? If Kyle was half the coordinator we need here in DC he would go deep atleast 2-3 times a game to keep teams honest. But not this arrogant fool, you take the read option play away and allow teams to line 8-9 in a box with a mediocre at best offensive line and think that calling these 13 – 15 yard crossing routes are going to sustain drives? This dude, his father need to go to work at a Pee Wee League and they need to take that sorry excuse for a Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett with them. We all know even when Mike Shanahas WAS RELEVANT his knock was his defenses. So what does he do, comes here and hired a failure. And sorry Haslett was fired from New Orleans and St. Louis and he has failed miserably here. Too bad Daniel Snyder isn’t as smart football wise as he is Marketing wise. Amazing the product being fielded week after week, and so what the Redskins got hot last year and won the division, this followed up by a record setting 0-3 start. Thanks Dan, Mike, Kyle and Jim. A prime example of the adage there’s a sucker born every second, just so happens that the number one sucker is a rich guy with no Football Common Sense and a bunch of fans that aren’t knocking down the door at Redskins Park demanding for these fool’s heads!!!

    • nitzenbaum - not yer momma's 'skins fan - Sep 24, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      What are you talking about? I guess you just couldn’t wait for the opportunity for a wittle rant. Feel better? I suppose you think the same about Tomlin, Coughlin, etc., etc.. Plenty of coaches have won in the past and it is very hard to compete in the league. Like it or not (or obviously not), these coaches have the ability and are continually doing what it takes to improve and make the team competitive. Perhaps with an extra bit of cap room we could have gotten those 2-3 additional players for a SB run. I guess you’d be happier to have Norv Turner or maybe Ritchie Petibon? Whine on buddy, just don’t snoop around when the team gets back on track.

      • rg3knees - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:31 PM

        Shanahan is 21W \ 52L for a win percentage of 40%. It is hard to argue that he has been great for the skins.

        Tomlin: 63-34 W-L, 5-3 W-L in playoffs, 1 SB won in the last 5 years. Can not compare him to Shanny obviously.

        Coughlin is 27 / 23 with a superbowl win in the last 3 years.

        Tomlin, Coughlin etc. etc. have MUCH better track records than Shanny. Shanny first 10 win season in the last six years was last year. So lets not act like Shanny is a superstar with a great current resume. I am not saying that Norv or anyone like that would be better, but Shanny is no Spring chicken anymore, and I totally agree with post above that the play calling is questionable. Skins have no big play potential in the current offense and it shows

  4. weneedanewcoach - Sep 25, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    We need a young and hungry coach and MS is none of the above. This team is his now and after 4 years does not look much better and lets all hope this staff has not ruined our 4 pick franchise QB. Let me ask in what areas of this team improved with this staff? Our D has gotten worse with no replacement in sight for LF and with very little if any at all improvement with Orakpo seriously when will this staff teach him another move to the QB? our secondary speaks for itself poor EVERYTHING! and our pass rush when not sending all is horrible…

    now look at STs no real returner yet a very old punter who is not consistent and no real good sign at kicker, who by the way is hurt now and I wonder if that has to do with him trying to strengthen his leg for kick offs??

    O looks ok at times and a second later looks horrible, I don’t think our OL is worth two cents and don’t give me the crap on how we were the best rushing team last season that is over now and we see how they look without rg3 able to run at 100 %. WRs not sure about this group, I do not like Morgan for sure and QUESTION this staff on why they take a WR out after he catches a pass has anyone noticed this? drives me crazy! TE I still say give Reed more snaps not a big of Niles Paul you know the guy our HC and some fans called the next S Sharp ..LMAO! LP gets the job done for the most part just not explosive and IMO Fred Davis has been a waste of talent. RBs besides AM who thank god got his chance and proved last year only because of injuries is all we have, would like to see CT get some snaps as well!

    • rg3knees - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      Well at least you are being honest, which is something that you do not get very much with a lot of these posts. I do agree with what you are saying and believe a lot of fans/bloggers are in some what of denial.

      • Rich Tandler - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        Ah, yes, the cynic being called “honest.” Being honest or panicking and accentuating the negative?

        • weneedanewcoach - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

          ” Ah, yes, the cynic being called “honest.” Being honest or panicking and accentuating the negative?”

          Rich YOU CAN SPIN IT ANYWAY you want if it makes you feel better …. the bottom line is my post is my opinion and yes the TRUTH so sorry you cant handle the TRUTH!

      • Rich Tandler - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:29 AM

        And, by the way, if you don’t think I’m being “honest” in my posts then you are free to skip this site when choosing your reading for the day. If you want to find cynics to read there are plenty of them out there.

        • rg3knees - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM


          Actually I like your posts and that is why I read them. And I obviously care about the Redskins or I would not waste my time typing all this stuff. Sometimes I have used your blogs to vent, but that is what blogging is about, getting comments from all sorts of points of view. You were probably an English major, so you know that we all interpret things differently. By the way I read that you do not have a picket fence. Last week I put one up in my front yard and looks great next to the Redskins flag I having hanging off a tree. You should get a picket fence and paint it white.

        • Rich Tandler - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:57 AM

          Townhouse HOA doesn’t permit it but thanks for the thought.

          And all I am trying to do by jumping into the comments is challenge people to defend what they and maybe think more, vent/react less.

        • weneedanewcoach - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

          RICH again you react before reading, I have never seen anyone say your post are not honest :))

  5. weneedanewcoach - Sep 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Hey Rich I have an honest question for you its two part , how many times have we heard our VP / HC say players must be in “playing shape” to play on sunday ?

    Was RG3 in playing shape in the Seattle game and was he in playing shape in week one this season just asking ? :)) Archives

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