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Redskins Coaches Never Prepared Defense for Mohamed Sanu as QB

Mohamed Sanu was a wildcat QB for Rutgers with four career passing did the Redskins not prepare for that?

Larry French - Getty Images

Certainly one of the key parts of the Redskins loss to the Bengals was the first play from scrimmage where the Bengals showed a wildcat formation that ended in Mohamed Sanu throwing a 73-yard TD pass to AJ Green. I get that throughout the course of a season, coaches will out-trick their foes from time to time, but the TD to AJ Green stands out, especially when Lorenzo Alexander mentioned they were never prepared for it. Shouldn't someone on the Redskins staff have known that Sanu threw four touchdowns pass as a Rutgers wilcat QB? The One Man Gang was on 106.7 THE FAN's Mike Wise Show this morning and Chris Johnson asked him about it:

Were you guys aware that Sanu had played QB in his past?

Lorenzo Alexander: No, that was nothing we ever went over as far as him coming out in the wildcat, setting him, and throwing the ball. Most teams come out and run it. That didn't lose the game. Obviously you don't want to start off the game with a big time play like that, but we were able to rebound [and] score on defense as well. Teams are going to trick you from time to time. I don't think it was any lack of preparation. They hadn't shown it, we hadn't seen it. You can't prepare for every single scenario opposing teams can do.

To the Redskins defense, the Bengals had not shown the wildcat with Sanu once this season, even pre-season. I can't help but think that's the job of the offensive research details such as these. Every draft profile mentions his wildcat skills. Sanu mimicked Tebow in practice as a wildcat QB before the Bengals played the Jets in pre-season. Comically, Sanu even made public he's a better passer than Tebow. It appears he is correct.

Let's be clear, I'm not a witch hunt to go after Redskins coaches. But we'll certainly be keeping tabs on our staff.

[Update: OK, so after all that....Mike Shanahan had this to say POST GAME after the loss if he scouts film all the way back to college:]

"We do. We go back. In fact, I just got a tape on the Wildcat, I think 50 plays of Rutgers going against the Wildcat and some things they adjusted to. You go back years and years and you take a look at all the different scenarios. They did a good job."

OOPS. What about running the wildcat, Coach? Here are Sanu's career passing stats courtesy of

Year School Conf Class Pos Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
2009 Rutgers Big East FR WR 1 7 14.3 38 5.4 8.3 1 0 107.0
2010 Rutgers Big East SO WR 6 9 66.7 160 17.8 24.4 3 0 326.0
2011 Rutgers Big East JR WR 1 2 50.0 9 4.5 4.5 0 0 87.8
Career Rutgers 8 18 44.4 207 11.5 15.9 4 0 214.4

"It was supposed to be me on Green and the safety on the quarterback," Hall said. "But I couldn't get him lined up. I had to go out and cover [Dalton]. We would like for me to get out on Green and for him to go out on the quarterback but sometimes things don't work out the way you plan and you have to adjust on the run and it resulted in a big play against us."