Washington Redskins Need To Retain Kyle Shanahan

By Greg Bradshaw
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III has been sensational in his rookie year. In addition, fellow rookie Alfred Morris has been a real gem for the Redskins at the running back position. Each has experienced great success, and have both contributed greatly to Washington’s offensive resurgence in 2012.

However, there is definitely enough credit to go around. Redskins’ defensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (above, left) must get kudos for the job he has done in 2012. He has tailored schemes for Griffin III to take advantage of his excellent running ability. Griffin III has run Shanahan’s read option to virtual perfection when he is healthy. In addition, the zone blocking scheme implemented into the Redskins’ offense is directly responsible for Washington’s top ranked rushing offense in 2012.

Shanahan was the architect of a Redskins’ offense that ranked fifth in total offense and fourth in scoring offense at around 27 points per game. Of course, those statistics are greatly aided by the presence of Griffin III and Morris. Washington’s wide receiving corps, led by Pierre Garcon, is average at best. Nevertheless, they were functional enough to contribute to Washington’s 10-6 record.

With that said, Shanahan may garner some consideration for some of the newly vacated head coaching positions. At 33 years of age, he has his best years of coaching football ahead of him. But if Redskins’ owner Daniel M. Snyder, general manager Bruce Allen, and head coach Mike Shanahan knows what’s good for them, they will do everything in their power to retain the younger Shanahan.

Need more evidence of Shanahan’s prowess? Refer to the week Griffin III missed due to a right knee injury. Fellow rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins was called upon to start Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns. While many fans expected a decrease in production in comparison to what Griffin III provides at quarterback, Cousins played well against the Browns. Shanahan devised a game plan that focused on rolling Cousins out of the pocket, which eschewed the read zone scheme that Griffin III executed so efficiently. The plan proved effective. Cousins threw two touchdown passes in Washington’s 38-21 road victory over Cleveland.

Redskins’ fans have been treated to an exciting brand of football in 2012. There’s an excitement for Washington Redskins’ football that has been dormant for many years. Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheme, as well as the vital cogs in Griffin III and Morris that operate in it, are the reasons for the franchise’s rejuvenation. If Kyle Shanahan decides to go elsewhere to become a head coach, it’ll be tough to expect the same offensive success from the Redskins.

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