The Redskins pre-season has revealed very little to what type of offense the Cowboys' defense will see on Sunday night. Players have said as much in post-game interviews it's been a scaled-back playbook, and even when I asked Wade Phillips about how he game plans for a new regime with a overhauled roster, he could only reply "It's going to be real tough."
Well, former SB Nation blogger and current Cowboys Nation blogger, Rafael, did a 5-star job breaking down some film that sheds light on what Redskins fans can expect. The Cowboys played the Texans this pre-season and saw an ample dose of the offense Kubiak and the Shanahans ran. (Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak was Mike Shanahan's Offensive Coordinator in Denver from 1995-2005 and Kyle has been with the Texans since 2006...1st year as a WR Coach, 2nd year as a QB Coach, and last year as the OC).
Both of these next two articles links are great reads. Rafael first visualizes how this scheme moves guys around from the traditional formations:
The Texans are in a 1st-and-10 situation on their own 38. Houston deploys in a strong or near-I left, an off-set I with the offset fullback on the same side as the tight end. Note that Houston's tight end is flexed, meaning he's lined up wider than normal outside the left tackle...The flexing moves Cowboys OLB Demarcus Ware out in space, creating a natural crease between Ware and DE Igor Olshansky. This is the gap Houston will attack.
The screen grabs also highlight how the running play sets up the bootleg pass. In his next post, he continues his in-depth analysis showing just that.
In fact, QBs in this system are coached to make a bootleg turn on all stretch plays, to keep a pass option in the pursuit players' minds...If Mike Shanahan can open the game and establish his stretch plays to the perimeter, either inside or outside his tight ends, he'll put the Cowboys OLBs in a quandry.
How many times last year did fans call for Campbell to bootleg? All 3 million Redskins fans except for LJP. It at the worst makes the LB hesitate which is sometimes the difference in hole closing or staying open. Create holes with formations and let the zone blockers do the rest.
But based on how successful Mike Shanahan and Gary Kubiak's offense has been in recent years, time to pour another glass of Kool-Aid!