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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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Learning the West Coast Offense: Part 2

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So, I created a thread on this previously. Thanks to some of this forums posters (Lombardi's Kid Brother, Oldskool, Major Harris, BigRedskinDaddy and Oldfan) that thread took off into an incredible discussion. However, we only scratched the surface of the base West Coast Offense.

First, it should be noted that this is not the exact offense Coach Zorn runs, but it's the basic premise of it. Remember, this offense is generally used as a ball control offense. The pass is used to set up the pass AND the run. The Redskin power running game ADDS to the effectiveness of the WCO, in my opinion. However, it hasn't quite taken hold yet.

For the protection scheme, there are two basic calls. King and Queen.

The King call is for the strong side of the line of scrimmage. So, in a basic Pro Formation where there is a Left Tackle, Left Guard, Center, Right Guard, Right Tackle and a Tight End to the right side, your strong side would be the right (to the offense, opposite strength call if you were looking at the offense from a defense's perspective, but keep your POV from the offensive side :))

The King call free releases the back to the strong side to run immediately into his route. In an I Form, the coach can release whatever back he pleases free. In our offense, if I were Coach Zorn and I had Portis in the backfield, I know I could free release him into a route or leave him in to check blitz first due to his blocking ability.

The backside back checks release. Meaning he looks for blitz first, then delay releases into a route. Remember, the WCO is designed to have guys running short, intermediate and deep routes, as well as utilizing delay routes. You want to flood the undercoverage, so in theory (but not always in reality) the delayed back should be open.

The Queen call is pretty much the same, with the difference being that the backside back releases straight into his route, and the strongside back checks blitz before releasing.

To help imagine the concept, imagine the backs in a split back formation rather than the I, it will help you visualize it much better.

The call names are different for each Coach.

Alot of WCO like to outformation teams, meaning they use a wide array of formations to keep defenses off balance. To name a few, but not all, you have:

Split Right (Split backs, Y and Z go to call side, X to backside)

Split Left

I Right (I formation, Y and Z go to call side, X backside)

I Left

Near Right (Fullback offsets NEAR the Y (TE), so in Near Right, he offsets behind the Right Guard)

Near Left (Offsets behind Left Guard)

Far Right(Fullback offsets FAR from the Y, so he offsets backside, soi Far Right, he's offset behind the LEFT Guard.)

Far Left (Offsets behind Right Guard)

Strong Right (HB lines up to the Strong side NEXT to the FB)

Strong Left

Weak Right (HB lines up to the Weak side NEXT to the FB)

Then you have your Trey formations and Trips formations.

Trips Right is three receivers lined up to the LEFT side. The Y goes strong side.

Trips Left is the opposite.

Trey Right is 2 receivers to the CALL side (so the right) and the Y also goes call side.

Trey Left is the opposite.

There are also different alignment calls which really make for many different formations. Flex means the receivers are further out, Close means the receivers are closer to the offense line.

Then there are your basic Twins formations. Twins Right means the TE goes to the right, Twin receivers to the left. In my offenses, when I call Twins Rt, that's the side the receivers line up on. In most WCO, whichever side is called is generally where the TE (Y) lines up. I do it the opposite. Neither is right or wrong, it's based on preference. The same can be said with the Trips and Trey formations, different people run them differently. Some people's Trip formations have no TEs and instead feature 4 receivers on the field.

If you have any questions, I'll see what I can do. I wanted to get a little bit more in depth this time, so some of the language may be... uhm... difficult. If someone that knew alot about medical conditions started talking to me in medical jargon I'd be lost, same with Law, or computers, or anything not related to football. So feel free to ask, I'll do the best I can. :)

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