Redskins OC Kevin O’Connell brings play calling common sense, potential
By Ian Cummings
A commitment to maximization
The aforementioned trend embodies the kind of inefficiency that wastes plays, drives, games, and ultimately seasons. And that’s the kind of inefficiency that Kevin O’Connell appears to want to fix. In a recent press conference, available via Redskins.com, O’Connell expressed the desire to implement more explosive pass plays on first and second down, and he also mentioned the importance of play action, and its fruitful implementation, in the modern NFL.
Establishing the run on first down is no longer an effective way to run an NFL offense. The passing game offers more inherent maximization potential; in 2018, passing plays generated 8.2 yards per attempt, while rushing plays generated just 4.79 yards per attempt. In the right context, running the ball can be effective, but it’s not the building block on which to set an offensive game script.
Play action, conversely, unveils more possibilities to an offense; NFL-wide, teams experienced an average of an extra 1.13 yards per play on play action passes, as opposed to other play types. Washington, meanwhile, used play action less than the mean, even when they averaged 6.7 yards per play action pass, and 5.8 yards per play on everything else.
It’s a good sign to see Washington’s new young offensive coordinator quickly catering to the modern way. His acceptance and desired implementation of modern concepts, supported by analytics, is reminiscent of former Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay, and while we have yet to see O’Connell put his words to work, we know where his football mind is at. It’s a good place to be. O’Connell brings a desire to attack, and to maximize every play. Nothing less will do in today’s NFL.