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    • By Destino in ES Coverage
      Good afternoon Redskins nation!  I’m in beautiful Landover, MD with Spaceman Spiff who has been pulled away from Instagram models and tailgating and sent down to the field to do what he does best (roll around in the mud).
      Let’s get down to business...  Can we block them?  There are other story lines entering into this game but worrying about them feels largely academic.  The Texans have two terrifying pass rushers and the Redskins intend to block them with optimism and underdog stories.  Alex Smith isn’t a statue but he does take time in making decisions and getting the ball out.  This combination looks disastrous.  The sort of thing that has us all after the game consoling each other with things like “well, it was just a bad matchup" and “we caught them at the worst possible time.” 
      Or... we could walk away wondering just how the heck this team managed to pull off another improbable win.  Last week the gave up something like twelve thousand yards of offense to the Bucs, I’ll have to check those numbers to be sure, but only three points.  That’s not supposed to happen.  Maybe we can enjoy an outrageously unlikely result again.  Not probably, not likely, but you know... maybe.  I’m saying there’s a chance.   
      I’m here for that chance.  (and you know... the free food and climate controlled free seats) 

      1st Quarter Update
      Redskins are running their bend and break defense, and I’m not sure a little over three quarters is enough time for the Redskins offense to close a 10-point gap.  I’m having flash backs of week nine, but having human emotions is considered “disruptive behavior.”  I'm fine.  Everything is fine. 
      That Quinn celebration, whatever that was, was the highlight of the 1st quarter. 
      2nd Quarter Update
      Is there a better way to start a quarter than by scoring a touchdown?  There is, if you follow that TD drive with a forced turnover on defense.  Things are looking good! 

      So much for that.  A great start was quickly ended up canceled out by the Redskins offense.  With a chance to take a lead Alex Smith throws a pick six in the red zone and takes the air out of the stadium.  He followed that up by throwing another interception on the very next drive.  Alex Smith almost made me forget about Vernon Davis dropping that pass.  Almost. 
      Texans missed a field goal attempt and the lead remains frozen at 10. 
      This quarter feels like a giant blown opportunity.  
      Halftime Update. 
      I should have stopped at one hotdog.  I deserve this.
      3rd Quarter Update
      You know the feeling where you say and think all these bad things about a player and then he breaks his leg and you immediately feel bad about it?  I live there now.
      Colt McCoy has freed me from that place of sadness! 
      As much as I love this defense, they have to start forcing teams to punt at some point.  Is there a stat for defense tha thas forced the fewest punts?  We have to be near the top of that list.  Texans have punted just once today.  Holding them to three was good, though.   
      The lead is down to six and Colt McCoy has arrived to save us.  (Please let that be true.) 
      Personal Note:  Someone just stomped, loudly, out of the press area like a while muttering at his phone.  Laughter and comparisons to toddlers followed him.  The media's laugh is an evil laugh!  Good times. 
      4th Quarter Update
      Colt has brought us back.  Welcome to the first lead change of the season, Redskins fans.  You like that?!  (Yeesh, was that always so lame?)  I guess you could say Adrian Peterson contributed by actually scoring the touchdown.  I bet Colt told him to score though, so you have to factor leadership into things.
      Once again, the defense cannot force a punt, hard to feel great about holding a team to a field goal when that field goal gives them the lead in the 4th quarter 
      Remember that whole "can we block them" thing?  The answer was absolutely not on the Redskins 2nd drive of the 4th quarter.  Watt and Clowney each sacked our man Colt, and ended that drive before it really had a chance to begin. 
      Horrible, no good, very bad holding called on Norman gifting Houston a first down at the worst possible time for it.
      Colt chooses to throw deep at an inopportune moment resulting in a 60+ yard attempt for an injured kicker.  Heartbreaking end to a game that cost this team entirely too much (via injury) yet still seemed to be within reach several times. 
      I'm off to the post game press conference and locker room, check back later for updates.
      Final Thoughts
      I’ve always found it preferable to watch my favorite team simply get destroyed, than to feel that they were the better team and still managed to lose.  The Redskins gave this game away with mistakes in the 2nd quarter.  Fred Davis makes a routine catch and Alex Smith doesn’t throw a pick six, and the scoreboard shows at least 7 fewer points for the Texans.  Even if the Redskins had settled for field goals, that’s a 13 point swing in 2 point game.   
      Losing the game wasn’t even the worst part.  Losing Alex Smith, for at least the remainder of the season, is likely enough to push the Redskins past the point where they can continue toughing their way through key injuries. 
      We'll all feel better after a win against the Cowboys next week. 


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Five Principles of the West Coast Offense

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For those of you who don't know, I'm entering my fourth year as a high school football coach after an achilles injury ended my hopes of walking on at a D3 college to play outside linebacker/safety.

I'm currently an offensive coordinator at the modified level, but I've called the plays for varsity and jv in passing tournaments and I'm an offensive assistant on varsity.

I have been studying the West Coast Offense extensively. I want to use it in my playbook, I've always been a fan of it. By pure coincedence, the Redskins are too using a West Coast system now.

I've seen so many people that are very misinformed on the west coast offense.

There are Five MAJOR principles to the West Coast Offense.

Protecting the Quarterback:

The offensive line must know their assignments and be aware of the blitz. Oftentimes, the WCO utilizes a 5 receiver attack, meaning you'll only see five guys blocking plenty. If the defense sends more guys than you have available to block, the quarterback and receiver must both be able to hot route successfully.

Timing the Pass:

Route depth must time out with the drop of the quarterback. The WCO is a timing offense. If the receiver comes into his break too early, the defense is still probably in position to make a play. If the QB holds on to the ball too long or drops too slowly, he screws the timing up.

Using Multiple Receivers:

The WCO utilizes a primary and secondary receiver to flood an area and in the case of a zone, make the defender pick a receiver to cover, or in the case of man defense one receiver clears the other.

The backs are often used to distract the undercoverage (the backers or up safeties). If the backs catch enough passes, the backers will creep up on them and try to jump a route, freeing up your other options.

Reading the Coverage:

Quarterbacks reads are generally fairly simple. The West Coast Offense purposely keeps reads simpler in order to give the QB an advantage and stop them from being tentative when throwing the football. They have a variety of reads that I won't get in to for the sake of keeping things fairly simple :)

Practicing the Fundamentals:

It's all well and good if you know all the principles, but if you aren't practicing all of them and working on timing with your receivers, it means nothing. Practice, practice, practice.

I admit, although I have been studying, I don't know everything about the west coast offense, but I do know enough to know that alot of the stuff people here assume it to be is false. But that's okay, not everyone is a complete loser like myself :)

Hope this helps out a little with some of you. If you have something to add or want to discuss anything, feel free. :)

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