MOBILE, Ala. | Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has been hands-on with the quarterbacks on the South roster at Senior Bowl practice this week, just as he is every day in Ashburn.
“All three of them have done a good job,” Shanahan said of Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden, Arizona’s Nick Foles and San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley. “They all, from a skill standpoint, have the talent. They’re big, strong-armed quarterbacks. They’ve got the size. They’ve got the arm.”
Weeden has been the steadiest of the three, but Foles has rebounded well from an erratic start to the week, one evaluator said.
Shanahan isn’t just coaching the quarterbacks. He’s evaluating them as part of the Redskins’ pre-draft process.
“Working with them all week has been real good for us to see what they can learn and how quick they can pick it up,” he said. “After Monday’s practice, guys struggled to take a handoff under center. They don’t do that too much, so you’re asking them to do stuff that they’re not totally used to – doing the full dropbacks, calling a new offense, new formations, new routes. Each day you want to see how they progress, and all three of them have done a real good job. They’re taking it real seriously. They’ve been professionals about it, and we look forward to seeing them on Saturday.”
Shanahan will call plays for the South in Saturday’s Senior Bowl, just as he does for the Redskins on Sundays. His job is made easier because defenses are limited in what they can do.
However, as we’re used to seeing at the start of training camp each summer, the defenses are picking up their responsibilities faster than the offenses because of the complicated nature of offense.
“Defense is only allowed to play Cover-3 and Cover-1,” Shanahan said. “The middle-third safety isn’t changing. The outside corners just need to know whether they’re in zone or man – and that’s it. Our guys need to know formations, they need to learn protections, they need to learn routes, run plays. They’ve got a bunch of different stuff. We don’t have as much as usual because we’re only going against two coverages, but there’s a little more on offense to defense.”
Shanahan said the Redskins’ staff hasn’t installed much of their regular-season playbook.
“It would be stupid of us to put a ton in because we know what we’re going against,” he said. “They’re not allowed to blitz. They’re not allowed to bump until we get inside the 5-yard line. It’s all single-safety coverage, so we don’t need many Cover-2 beaters or anything like that. It’s all simple Football 101 plays, give these guys a chance to make some plays when they get out there.”
So, with the defense being straightforward, can we expect him to put up 50 or 60 points?
“Depends on the weather,” he cracked.