Kyle Shanahan: Systems are overrated

December, 26, 2013
12/26/13
5:45
PM ET
ASHBURN, Va. -- Kyle Shanahan isn’t ready to give up his job just yet. But he knows that if the Washington Redskins have another offensive coordinator next season, they’ll survive.

And that includes quarterback Robert Griffin III. It’s never easy for a young quarterback to have to learn a second offense in his first three NFL seasons. But Shanahan said it’s not that big a deal.

“Robert’s a smart guy,” Shanahan said. “Robert’s going to be able to learn any system that someone gives him. Systems are a little bit overrated. This isn’t physics or anything. It’s football, and it can be tough if you don’t work at it, but Robert works at it. He’ll give it his full effort and if you do that you’re going to pick stuff up.

“So I don’t think it matters from that standpoint. It’s just about improving yourself from technique standpoints, seeing the game, reps, and just getting more comfortable with whatever it is that’s asked of him.”

Of course, if it’s a coach he’s already familiar with, such as Baylor’s Art Briles, the transition wouldn’t be hard at all.

Shanahan also said the Redskins have the makings of a top-five offense next season. They’re ranked ninth this season after finishing fifth in total yards in 2012. Shanahan pointed out, too, that they turned over the entire starting lineup by their third year in Washington. And, of course, there was the salary-cap penalty, which he said forced them to go younger.

Shanahan mentioned all this after being asked how having another consistent threat opposite receiver Pierre Garcon would help the offense.

“A lot of these guys are young players who haven’t cost a lot of money, who make the future very bright for this organization,” Shanahan said. “You’ve got a guy like Jordan Reed who comes back and has a chance to be one of the better tight ends in the league. [Leonard] Hankerson is a big deal. That’s just the people we already have. When you have those people already, if they can stay healthy, you’ve already got a top-five offense and then hopefully there’s money next year to be spent, you add a couple more players … It makes all the difference in the world.”

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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