Do You Buy This?

OC Kyle Shanahan has thrown down a doozy of a statement: [via The Post]

I’m real excited about our offensive line. I mean, they talk about that that’s been a weakness and stuff, but I don’t see it on tape and I don’t see it out on the field. I think we got some real good players….

“It’s tough, when you watch tape of an old staff, you don’t want to watch too much because you’re not watching scheme. You don’t know what they’re asking players to do, so you’re not really evaluating that, you’re trying to watch the individual and when you watch the individual, you do see talent.”

… and Guard Mike Williams here is echoing the sentiment:

“I can tell you right now, it’s not the same offensive line. Regardless if you have the same people, or had the same people, it’s not the same offensive line.

“When they’re talking about we’re gonna work together, we’re gonna work hard, we’re gonna run to the ball, we’re gonna run back, it’s just a different attitude, you know? We can get hung up on all the criticism and stuff like that, but you know what? A person can change. Each individual can change. Well, so can a line. The ability for a coach to tap into the talent that they have and pull it out there on the field, that’s what can change from [last year’s] offensive line — even though it’s the same personnel — to this offensive line….

“We’re running that thing now. We’re moving. You talk about walk-through; there’s no walk-through. It’s a run-through. Walk, what? Run. And that’s the difference, [that] and paying attention to details….

“You know, like I said, I guess the criticism still gonna be there until people see you live in action. They can criticize this team — well, they went 4-12 — and stuff like that. This team will pay attention to details. We will work hard, or you won’t be here. And that’s no secret, [Mike Shanahan] has said that before. You want to be here, you’re gonna work hard. That’s it.”

So what is the message here exactly?   Is it just that people can change?  One can look within themselves and find a new sense of urgency for their talents they’ve always had? Or is it that the old coaching staff did their talented offensive line an injustice by not utilizing them the right way.

Whatever the truth may be, the implication seems to be that the new staff has gotten through to their offensive line and one clear message has been delivered — you need to work your tails off if you want to stay.

But here’s the reality check for those who aren’t buying the bit from OC Shanahan — all posturing aside you can’t simply say that the O-line has talent on tape and on the field… because any old follower of the Redskins will point to several things:Jason Campbell on his back 47,000 times, rushing yards per game was towards the bottom of the NFL,  inconsistency with picking up short yardage situations, the over-reliance on gadget plays potentially due to the fact that the players couldn’t execute the pedestrian ones, and if you can’t take most everyone’s word for it…

The NFL egg heads have the Redskins ranked  at 27 of 32 offensive lines in the NFL [link]

This is not a myth folks — the Redskins absolutely need Russell Okung at #4.



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