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Redskins Offensive Identity - Who Makes this Team Tick?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Every NFL team has an identity - yes, even the Browns! Some teams are defensive-minded, and rely on that side of the ball to keep them in games, and create turnovers and big plays to flip field position. Others teams rely on their offense to lead the charge. Some are pass oriented, some are ground-and-pound. Some are a nice mix of both. There are even some that rely on the big play to make their offense potent.

The obvious mix for success would be to have a team who is competent on both sides of the ball (and special teams). Even with that mix, there is usually one area that the team can hang their hat on.

I think it’s fair to say that since Mike Shanahan took over as coach of the Redskins, we have certainly been a team with an offensive identity. Jay Gruden has made that even more prominent in his four years as head coach.

So what or who makes this offense tick?

Kirk Cousins: We have never had a quarterback like Kirk Cousins in D.C. Over his three years as a full-time starter under Jay Gruden, Kirk has averaged 4392 passing yards per season, and 27 touchdowns versus 12 interceptions, while completing 67 percent of his passes.

With Kirk, you get an intelligent quarterback, but he’s not really the type of player coaches give carte blanche to. His ability to audible at the line of scrimmage and get his team into the best play to be successful, is something I question a bit with him.

The Offensive Line: Trent Williams and company make up a very solid unit here in Washington. Trent is one of the top three left tackles in the game today. Brandon Scherff is probably considered a top five offensive guard. Morgan Moses would rank in the top 10 of right tackles in the game, and the combination of Spencer Long/Chase Roullier give us a solid option at center.

Many teams offenses run through their offensive line... if they are a dominating group. Ours holds up very well in pass protection, but we are really not a threat in the running game when Kelley or Perine is in the game. Is it fair to pin that deficiency on our linemen?... I really don’t know.

Jordan Reed: It’s not that common for an offense to run through a tight end, but when you have a guy with the talent of Jordan Reed, it’s very possible. Gruden has said in previous interviews that his offense indeed does run through Reed, but when your star player has missed 16 games (or what equates to a full season) over the past three years, that makes him very difficult to count on.

Chris Thompson: When the running game works, it opens up a lot of other areas of our offense, specifically, the play action pass. Now I know that Rob Kelley or Samaje Perine didn’t wow anyone with their 3.1 and 3.4 yards per carry average respectively, BUT, before Chris Thompson got injured after playing in 10 games, he was averaging 4.6 yards per carry, and had two rushing touchdowns (one for 61 yards), plus 39 receptions for 510 yards and four touchdowns. These are pretty significant numbers, and if we extrapolate these numbers over a full 16 game season, we are looking at 1300 yards of total offense, and eight touchdowns. Thompson is part of a running back-by-committee approach, but he certainly makes an impact when he’s in the game.

Jamison Crowder: Many NFL offenses run through a wide receiver (sometimes two or more). In 2016, the offense ran through Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. Unfortunately for the Redskins, they don’t have those two anymore, but they do have Jamison Crowder. Crowder’s season started off slow as he was plagued by some drops and some fumbles on punt returns, but he finished the season strong, and was Cousins’ favorite target, collecting 66 receptions for nearly 800 yards and four touchdowns.


Which player or position group makes the Redskins offense tick?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Kirk Cousins
    (320 votes)
  • 23%
    The offensive line
    (156 votes)
  • 6%
    Jordan Reed
    (43 votes)
  • 19%
    Chris Thompson
    (130 votes)
  • 0%
    Jamison Crowder
    (5 votes)
654 votes total Vote Now