Shanahan’s running game is starting to take shape in Washington

Washington Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan watches as his team plays the Buffalo Bills’ during their first pre-season game at FedEx Field in Washington on August 13, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Say what you want about Mike Shanahan’s ego, but the man knows how to install a good running game.

Just two years into his tenure as head coach of the Redskins, Shanahan has the team’s ground attack heading in the right direction. Two weeks after racking up 140 yards versus the Steelers and one week after torching the Colts’ defense for 215 yards, the Redskins were at it again on Thursday night, compiling 103 rushing yards against a stingy Baltimore front seven.

Granted, 103 yards isn’t overly impressive but don’t forget that the Skins were playing against a very good Baltimore defense and Week 3 of the preseason is when teams play their starters well into the second half. It appears as though Washington’s offensive line has taken to Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme and is starting to gel. Cohesion is crucial to Shanahan’s system and the Redskins’ front five has apparently found it, allowing Tim Hightower to gain 56 yards on nine careers (6.2 YPC) with one touchdown last night.

Shanahan has taken a lot of heat over the past two years for the way he’s run things in D.C., specifically in his handling of free agent bust Albert Haynesworth and quarterback Donovan McNabb. And seeing as how this Rex Grossman/John Beck situation seems destined to blow up in his face, there may be more criticism of Shanahan to come.

That said, he didn’t just fall into his 152-108 career coaching record and let’s not forget that the man has won two Super Bowls. He’s quirky yes, but it’s not that big of a stretch to think that he’s starting to turn things around in Washington. We’ll know more once the regular season starts, but I don’t think the Redskins’ success on the ground this preseason is a fluke. Take notice, NFC East.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts

One response to “Shanahan’s running game is starting to take shape in Washington”

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>