Under Kyle Shanahan, the Washington Redskins offense was ranked in the top ten of the NFL for the past two seasons. However, Shanahan was still heavily criticized for his play calling and claims of nepotism as his boss was his father Mike Shanahan. Kyle Shanahan has been replaced by Sean McVay, who’s served as the Redskins tight ends coach since 2011.
Current and former Redskins players have good things to say about Sean McVay, and his knowledge and approach to coaching have earned him such praise even though he’s still very young at age 28. McVay has a history with Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, as he served on the Tampa Buccaneers coaching staff with him, and worked under with the UFL’s Florida Tuskers.McVay has had tangible success in coaching the Redskins tight ends, as former Redskins tight end Fred Davis had his best season under McVay in 2011, and in 2013 we saw rookie tight end Jordan Reed burst onto the scene with a great performance. So clearly Sean McVay can coach. But how can he make the Redskins offense improve over what Shanahan did?
He won’t be calling plays for the Redskins as Jay Gruden has stated he be undertaking that task. However, McVay will serve as quarterback coach for the Redskins in addition to offensive coordinator. So his work with Robert Griffin III will be crucial in terms of helping him improve as a passer, and also developing a much better relationship with RGIII than the Shanahans had.
But where McVay may make the biggest impact is in communicating to the players Jay Gruden’s philosophy. If that new philosophy can translate into better game planning, and improved utilization of the Redskins talent on offense, then Sean McVay just might end being able to improve on what Kyle Shanahan did, and make the Redskins offense much more unpredictable and diverse.