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Washington had been practicing it since training camp, but didn’t break it out until Week 4.
"It made us tired on offense," Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon (88) said of the no-huddle attack. "But it was a good change of pace, and it got us going ."
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
ASHBURN — The Washington Redskins pulled out a secret weapon in Week 4 against Oakland, going to a no-huddle offense early in the second quarter.
It was unorthodox for Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, but didn’t shock fans who attended this year’s training camp.
“I think we got them a little bit by surprise,” Shanahan said of the Raiders. “We’ve been practicing that all the way through camp. You go back to Richmond, we practiced it from day one.”
The challenge now is to sustain the success even though defenses can plan for it.
Shanahan’s top preference likely would have been to bust out the scheme against the Cowboys Sunday in primetime, but after falling into an 0-3 hole, beating the Raiders became an urgent priority.
Receiver Santana Moss said the offense is based on the team’s two-minute drill, but modified to include more plays, particularly for the running backs.
“The mindset is always the same,” Moss said of the fast-paced attack. “You have a chance to really get the defense off-balance, and not have them sitting out there preying on something. It’s good to have in your arsenal.”
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said the Redskins ran about 19 plays in the no-huddle against the Raiders, with quarterback Robert Griffin III calling the shots.
Shanahan consulted with Griffin and Mike Shanahan before pulling the trigger on the package, though they had discussed the possibility all week.
“We were struggling a little bit at the beginning, not converting those third downs and staying on the field, so we thought it was a good time to try it,” Kyle Shanahan said. “We just hadn’t been getting in a rhythm, so we thought we’d change stuff up, help our players out a little bit, and we did.”
If the Redskins use the no-huddle package Sunday in Dallas, they’ll do so with a better understanding of what it takes to execute.
After they beat the Raiders, receiver Pierre Garcon joked that the defense wasn’t the only unit worn out.
“It made us tired on offense,” he said with a laugh. “But it was a good change of pace, and it got us going.”
The no-huddle puts conditioning at a premium, and if the Cowboys have an encore of last Sunday’s 51-48 shootout in a loss to Denver, Washington’s offense will spend plenty of time in motion.
“Even though the hurry-up is kind of tiring from an offensive standpoint, it also tires out the defense,” running back Alfred Morris said. “When both of you are tired, it comes down to who wants it more.”
The element of surprise has vanished, but given the success of the scheme, it’s likely the Redskins at least will keep the possibility of a no-huddle attack in their arsenal.
NFL to help with stadium upgrades
The NFL will contribute as much as $27 million to the Washington Redskins to help renovate FedEx Field over the next few years. Projects include Wi-Fi for attendees, new ribbon video boards, upgraded seating and an expansion of the team’s on-site Hall of Fame.
The money will not be in the form of a direct financial contribution. Instead, the league will exempt the Redskins from contributing some of their revenue-sharing money on premium seats.
The league requires teams to pool some revenues to share equally among the franchises. The Redskins will be exempt from doing so, with the condition that all money goes to the renovations.
“We appreciate the NFL teams approving our continued plan on improving the fan experience at FedEx Field,” Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said in a news release.
FedEx Field opened in 1997 during the beginning of a stadium boom that resulted in several teams getting new facilities. The Redskins signed a 30-year lease, and discussions could begin in the next three to five years on building a new stadium when that lease expires.
The Philadelphia Eagles recently finished an expansion of their in-stadium Wi-Fi, which gives Redskins fans an idea of what to expect. Eagles fans can watch the NFL RedZone channel from their mobile phones while attending a game at Lincoln Financial Field.
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