Here is some of what was heard around Redskins Park today:
Left guard, right guard, no big difference right? It's significant, says Will Montgomery, who is starting a left guard this year after playing right guard most of 2010.
“It’s a lot different. Your footwork is all switched around, your dominant hand’s all different. It’s a mirror—it’s all similar but it’s different . . . Playing right guard and center are similar because your right hand is down. With your left hand down [at left guard], it’s just a little footwork, a little hand work, hand placement. Little, small nuances with the technique.”
By the same token Keyaron Fox has found himself pushed out of his comfort zone playing different inside linebacker spots. He usually backs up London Fletcher at the Mike position but against the Bills he spelled Rocky McIntosh at the Jack spot and played in some dime packages in passing situations. What’s the difference?
Your gaps, your splits, your coverage, your reads—it changes a little bit . . . Last week [in practice] I was all Mike and during the game I played all dime and Jack . . . I’m a lot more comfortable in Mike than I am right now at Jack or dime. The Jack and dime are a little bit easier positions to play because you’re not making the calls.
Kyle Shanahan talked about how he has to alter his play calls and simplify the playbook when younger, less experienced players are in the game:
“Yeah, we definitely do. It’s a different game plan every week with the amount of stuff you take in. You have to do what players can do. I don’t think we had a lot of mental mistakes, but we have to get them to play faster and get them to play better . . . You obviously want to be able to do everything that you want to be able to do, anything that comes to your mind. That’s what coaching is – you have to think of what your players can do best and try to put them in the best chance to be successful.”
Kyle realizes that he will be under the gun any time the offense performs poorly and especially when his team gets shut out. He even hears it when he gets home:
“That’s life. Any time you get shutout, I expect to get criticized. I expect it from you guys, I expect it from my wife and I expect it from myself. It’s embarrassing. I’ve never been shutout before and I don’t want it to ever happen again. But it is what it is and you’ve got to man up and deal with it. Really what matters to me is whether the players believe in me or not – that’s really what it all comes down to. If the players have confidence in you and they believe in what you’re doing, then you have a chance. I believe in these guys and I think they believe in me and we just have to go to work.”
Jim Haslett says that the notion of halftime adjustments is a myth:
“We make them all the time. That halftime stuff is a bunch of baloney. People say you go in at halftime and make the adjustments – you make them throughout the whole game. One time when they were empty, we were checking to something. I think you make them throughout the game because you work on things you think you’re going to get, but you don’t know until you get there. So that’s something you make during the game. Halftime – you’ll go over the stuff you need to work on, but 12 minutes, think about it, by the time you get in there and go to the bathroom and come back, you’ve got about three minutes. It ain’t like you have a big strategy program. You make adjustments throughout the game.”