- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins knew defenses would adjust to what they ran last season. The hard part was making their own adjustments, at least to the extent they might have preferred.
But now that Robert Griffin III has played six games, the offense could start to evolve a little more. It’s among the aspects affected by Griffin missing the offseason after his January knee surgery.
“That’s been one of the problems this year,” ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski said. “The fact that Robert wasn’t available through the offseason to really expand the offense and the preseason, the offense is the same as it was last year … and with the injury, the offense is pretty much the same. Offenses go through maturation. There are things every year that you augment in the offseason. So in a certain degree it stagnated because of the injury. The offense is built around his ability to move.”
With Griffin moving much more the past two games, the offense is starting to have more success. Injuries and red-zone failures hurt them at Dallas, but last week the Redskins scored a season-high 38 points on offense and gained 499 yards, their highest total in four seasons under coach Mike Shanahan. Also, in the lat two weeks they've averaged 5.6 yards per carry while rushing for 425 yards, most in the NFL in that time.
“Any time you don’t have an offseason, there’s going to be some growth in that area,” Shanahan said, “especially when somebody’s coming off of an ACL. You get a chance to see what they can do as time goes on. I think we talked about early – you guys have been asking about the running game – I said, ‘Just be patient and kind of judge us as the year goes on.’ I think the last couple games we’ve had a couple hundred yards each game, and that’s not easily done. So hopefully we can build on that and be a very effective offense.”