Formula For a Successful Redskins Season: Part 1 Of 4

Ed Sheahin@@NFLSkinsCorrespondent IMay 15, 2009

CINCINNATI - DECEMBER 14:  Devin Thomas #11 of the Washington Redskins carries the ball Leon Hall #29 of against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium December 14, 2008 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Change #1, Part 1 of 4 - "Westcoast Offense Rule #1 - Pass to Run"

The 2008 Redskins season, in which the team finished 8-8, was filled with glaring flaws that inevitably caught up to them as injuries mounted as did a tougher schedule. Of the team’s eight wins, the largest margin of victory was eight points against the 0-16 Detroit Lions (25-17), in a game that was closer than the final score reflected.

Victories and losses throughout the campaign were played down to the final minutes.  Perhaps it was Zorn’s coaching style–which mirrored Joe Gibbs’ philosophy–a “play not to lose” approach rather than a “go for the jugular” mentality. 

Some were of the opinion that the Redskins were more like a 6-10 team, and lucky to be in as many games as they were. The bottom line, there were some obvious holes in the team’s play each and every week. 

In this four part article I will provide my opinion as to the flaws the Redskins must solve in 2009 to become a legitimate playoff contender:      

The West Coast offense can work as it has been proven time and time again. However, in order for this offense to be successful coaches cannot have a "run first mentality".  In this offense, the pass sets up the run, not vice versa.

For the offense to function properly, receivers have to catch the ball on the run and have the ability to break a tackle of the initial coverage man.  Sanatana Moss, although a superb receiver, is not a great fit for this offense.  Second year receiver Devin Thomas, a strong, big-bodied receiver, will have to be Campbell's main target.

Moss and Randel-El more often than not were forced to run their pass patterns shorter then intended.  They weren't strong enough to fight off defenders, thus they were forced to use their quickness by shortening their routes and coming back for the ball.  This often resulted in 5-yard completions on third and nine and way too many three and out possessions. 

Look for part two of this four part article - "Creating Havoc With The Pass Defense"


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