Put yourself in the shoes of the Shanahan’s (Mike and Kyle) as the Redskins prep for the Giants this Sunday at Fed Ex Field. The season opener with Rex Grossman under center.
What are you going to see from New York defensive coordinator Perry Fewell? Pressure, some unique looks, plus a front four that can allow the Giants to play coverage and still get to the QB in 3rd down passing situations. Thinking that way, what is your counter, your adjustments and how do you build your game plan to put Grossman in a position to produce? Here’s what I would do…
ICONWant to see Grossman produce? Give him a game plan that is loaded with inside breaking routes.
– Deep shot in the first three plays of the game. I understand the need to run the inside and outside zone with RB Tim Hightower (something we will see on Sunday), but I am going to test the top of the defense early. And it’s most likely going to be a double-move with WR Santana Moss.
-Inside breaking routes. That’s where Rex is at his best. But keep it simple. Run the dig (square-in), slant, Hi-Lo crossers, the option route, curl, etc. Short to intermediate throws that break back to the middle of the field. No need to see Grossman trying to throw the deep out.
– Use the boot and sprint game. Last thing I want to see is Grossman having to retreat from pressure and throw the ball off of his back foot. Get him out of the pocket with the swap boot action (counter action in the backfield) and use the basic curl-flat combo in the sprint out pass.
– Screens. Easiest way to slow down pressure is by incorporating the screen game into the call sheet. That will get those Giants’ DEs to slow their rush and if you catch New York in a blitz, we are talking about a big play.
-Manageable third down situations. We can say this for any starting QB in the league, but does anyone want to see Rex facing 3rd and 11-plus on a consistent basis? Move the ball in early down and distance situations and give him something to work with. The playbook has multiple options on 3rd and 3-6. After that? The playbook shrinks—drastically.
– Use three and even four WR personnel packages. The Giants have had injuries at the CB position. Find out where they are talent wise on the depth chart. Basically, wear them down.
– Give him some confidence through the play calling. No QB wants to be handcuffed in the huddle. The ‘Skins need to give him some opportunities to play aggressive and challenge the Giants. The early deep shot like I talked about above, vertical play action concepts and the opportunity to check to a route down the field when he sees press-coverage.
I’ll be honest here…when training camp opened in D.C. I was sure this was John Beck’s job. But with Grossman taking the snaps this Sunday, you have to script a game plan that gives him an opportunity to produce like a No.1.
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