Redskins Wide Receiver great, Gary Clark, joined Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson on 106.7 THE FAN Saturday morning to talk Dallas. Gary had some great insight on how OLine problems affect how far wide receivers run their routes, which has been a big gripe of mine (for example the 3rd down marker is 9 yards away and our WRs run 7 yard hooks/slants. Punt.). Anyway, Clark and BMitch then got onto the topic of the importance for players to be able to tweak a coach's system, which certainly does not seem to be the case with Shanahan if you listen to Jake Plummer or DeAngelo Hall on Haslett, or Carlos Rogers looking back.
Gary Clark: I don't blame coaches for anything. Well, I blame the coaches for this. When you pick players who aren't willing to tweak your system, us as players, we just no more than coaches in terms of playing our position. The best thing about Joe Gibbs is he was a great strategist that allowed us to tweak his system when it needed to be tweaked. Joe Gibbs is a great head coach, the best head coach I ever got to play with, but Joe never played Receiver, or Punt Returner, or Running Back, or Quarterback. So he had to rely on these individuals who have been playing these positions pretty much their whole life to tweak something when it needed to be tweaked. And have the confidence to go, "OK, Joe, I'm running a scram 7 and I'm suppose to run a corner route but I know I've been giving the guy a 3-step post move, and he keeps going to the corner, they've been game planning us!" They watch film too. So, it's up to me to be like, "I'm not going to run to get covered." So, I'm going to run something else to adapt to this system. I'm going to run a corner hook when he thinks I'm going to the corner, but I'm going to slide back down.
I did it one time in the Championship game, so that's really not the right time to be wrong. (laughing). But you got to have the confidence to be like, "You know what, I'm right, and this is gonna work out." If I am wrong, I'll have to take the punishment that comes along with it, but you got to have a coach that is willing to let you tweak their system. If they don't allow you to tweak their system, than they're a bad coach because we're the true football players.
BMitch: That's what I think is the problem with the Skins. They have a system that they feel is full-proof...
I haven't seen a system that is full proof. I've never seen a great coach without great players...This coaching staff seems to be "this is our way, this is the way it's going to be done, you're not going to do anything else." I think by not giving the players leeway, a lot of these players are playing scared to make a mistake, which in turn, that's all you're going to do.
Gary Clark: Yea. A lot of time players are scared to make that adjustment because if they're doing exactly what is told of them, if something doesn't work, then you say, "Well, I ran the route you told me to. I blocked it the way you told me to block it. So, you can't really punish me for it."
I think there's a lot of validity to the points BMitch and Clark are saying here. The Redskins offense has been horrible for 4+ years now, and one thing is clear, it doesn't appear Redskins QBs have the green light to audible on the fly. Time after time vs the Cowboys last week, the Redskins offense would break their huddle with 9 seconds left on the play clock. That doesn't leave any wiggle room to call off a play, make adjustments, or do hard counts. The Skins of course had a good game offensively, even though their first five drives they were unable to get a first down.
FYI - Here's the positions our Head Coaches have played:
Kyle Shanahan: WR at University of Texas (34 games, 1 start)
Mike Shanahan: Quarterback (High School & E. Illinois Univ)
Jim Haslett: 8 years NFL at RILB and LILB