PALM BEACH, Fla. | Mike Shanahan was one of several Redskins coaches who lamented the team’s dearth of playmakers at the end of last season.
Now Shanahan is eager to use his new weapons, free agent receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan.
“That’s one thing great about offense: you can dictate who’s on the football field,” Shanahan said Wednesday during his first public comments since the signings. “You want playmakers, and we think we’ve added a couple playmakers to our football team, in addition to hopefully a guy like [second-year wideout Leonard] Hankerson, who can stay healthy. Maybe three tight ends, maybe four wide receivers – it depends on who’s healthy and what kind of matchups you’re looking for.
The Redskins aggressively pursued Garcon (five years, $42.5 million contract, and Morgan (two years, $12 million) “knowing we might have to overpay,” Shanahan said.
“His ability to run after the catch,” Shanahan said. “His ability to come out of a break at full speed. He’s one of the few guys I’ve been around that can explode on the field, come out of a break with speed. Once he catches the ball, his ability to go to the distance.”
Garcon averaged 5.2 yards after the catch last season, 22nd among the the 85 receivers with at least 30 receptions. He’s expected to start at ‘X’ receiver (split end), while Morgan will compete with Hankerson for the starting ‘Z’ (flanker) spot.
“Josh Morgan is a complete football player,” Shanahan continued. “He can block. He can run. He can catch. He’s one of the most underrated guys that I thought was out there when I talk about a complete football player.”