While it was a known and foregone conclusion that Mike Shanahan was to be fired, the question became to who would become the new coach of the Washington Redskins. Once it was announced that Jay Gruden would be the new head coach the main question became this; “What will happen to our draft and off-season plans now” Well Gruden was able to help us quell any questions we had about the defense. The 3-4 Defense is going to stay, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more 4-3 looks similar to the 4-3 Over looks that Wade Phillips have made very effective in the NFL.
The bigger question though comes to the Offensive side of the football and what will happen under Gruden. When looking at Cincinnati likes to do, there are a few things we can surmise that Gruden will want to have with the offense in Washington. The main one is obviously more weapons at the WR position. Just for giggles here are the receptions numbers between the various WR’s for the Cincinnati Bengals.
AJ Green 98 Receptions
Marvin Jones 51 Receptions
Mohamed Sanu 47 Receptions
Between the top 3 receivers you can notice that they look to get the ball to the #1 Receiver a ton in Green, but also look to spread it out throughout the various different playmakers they have. If you include RB’s and TE’s, the Bengals had 5 different players have over 40 receptions. For comparisons sakes the Redskins only had 3 players. So what can we look to expect? The Redskins will do anything possible to add more WR’s who are strong and physical to make plays for RG3 and the offense.
As just noted, the Bengals also drafted strong and physical receivers both at the TE position and the WR position. The starters for Cincinnati at the WR positions average 6 feet 2 inches tall. Currently the Redskins don’t really have that height and physicality to the WR position and Gruden will ensure that it is fixed and added to.
The real change that will be seen is obviously throughout the OL. There’s a bit of a common misconception with Jay Gruden that I want to start to dispel some. Gruden ran a mix of zone scheme, but also power blocking schemes as well. In a nutshell you can call it a power zone scheme where you have guys who can execute both the zone blocking concepts, but also line up man on man and make plays. Trent right now is probably the only one who can play in the scheme moving forward from the current OL, but I wont rule any of the reserve linemen out because we haven’t truly gotten a chance to evaluate them in game situations in the regular season.
So to surmise it all, what’s going to happen to the draft plans? Well look for Gruden to start to make it a point to add a new dimension to the offense. It’s not just the need for playmakers, but also the need to make a philosophical change with the whole Offense. There are pieces to work with here, but also there are things that need to be fixed before this offense can reach the potential that it can. The Defense will be added to most definitely both in FA and the draft. Look for these changes to be more gradual than just overnight changes. Gruden knows he has a few years to play with in rebuilding up the team and if the FA and Draft are done correctly he will be able to oversee hopefully a drastic and positive impact on the overall team