The Washington Redskins went into Cleveland last Sunday and defeated the Browns 38-21 with an offensive attack that seemingly didn’t miss a beat without starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was nursing a sprained LCL in his right knee.
So how’d they do it?
That’s what former NFL head coaches and NFL Network analysts Brian Billick and Dennis Green examined on a recent segment of “The Coaches Show,” in which they praise Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan for putting rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins in a position to succeed in his first-career start.
“I think they had a brilliant gameplan that all week long they knew they were going to go with this not conservative, but more consistent style of play. It looked like more of the Denver Broncos of old with the stretch-zone play. Even if RG3 had played, he could’ve orchestrated that offense, hand the ball off. You don’t want to be running the pistol and the read-option with RG3 with his knee situation. So even if RG3 would’ve played, he could’ve done certainly what Kirk Cousins did from the pocket, a little bit of boot and waggle. And the fact that he didn’t play, I think was Mike Shanahan saying, ‘You know what, I think we can beat the Cleveland Browns,’ and RG3’s going to be that much healthier next week when they play the Philadelphia Eagles. I get to do that game — I’m looking forward to it.”
Green said last Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland was a perfect example of why a team would draft a player like Griffin III as the second-overall pick, but also take a guy like Cousins at the same position in the fourth round.
“I think it also reinforces back to the beginning, when he drafted Kirk Cousins, and everybody said, ‘Why?’ Why? Because you need two good quarterbacks. We had a chance to get a great one in the first [round], and we had another chance to get another great quarterback, and we decided to do it. … You also know the fact that it could be RG’s going to get banged up a little bit. He runs with a style of play that, I wouldn’t say is reckless, but is very aggressive. And because it’s very aggressive, there’s going to be some times that he can’t play. Many times a good team will use two quarterbacks during the course of the season. I think that was the case [last Sunday].”
This isn’t the first time in recent days that Green and Billick have praised Shanahan and his coaching staff on “The Coaches Show.” They were also impressed with the way they handled the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago, when the Redskins pulled out a 31-28, overtime win after Griffin III suffered his injury.
Here’s the entire aforementioned NFL Network “The Coaches Show” segment about Shanahan and the gameplan against the Browns:
Tags: brian billick, Dennis Green, mike shanahan, NFL Network, washington redskins
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