During the Redskins' division-winning season, offensive coordinator Sean McVay benefited greatly from the addition of veteran coaches to his staff.
When Shane Waldron, the Redskins' latest offensive quality control coach, introduces himself to his new team's group of coaches, he'll do so knowing his supervisor, offensive coordinator Sean McVay, was in the same exact shoes six years ago.
"When I got hired here in 2010, [head] coach [Mike] Shanahan and [President] Bruce Allen brought me on and that's the role that I was in and [I've] been very fortunate to kind of be right place, right time and some things have worked out to be here right now with you," McVay told Larry Michael last week on "Redskins Nation."
The primary responsibilities of an offensive quality control coach are to pour over game film from opponents and prepare the coaching staff with notes and tendencies in advance of the next week's games. McVay's experience with those responsibilities in his first year helped him climb the ladder with the Redskins, becoming the tight ends coach for three seasons before jumping to offensive coordinator.
In other words, he appreciates his start and knows how to use his assistants effectively.
"The main thing that those guys do is they help our assistants and myself kind of preparing game plans, breaking down opponents' film, drawing the pass game diagrams of the run game diagrams, the playbooks that you see the players studying, that's a very important role for us," McVay said. "And then those guys also have a very valuable input for kind of what we want to do game plan wise. You know, we lost Dave Ragone in that role last year who's going to be coaching the Chicago Bears quarterbacks, and he was very valuable to us on our staff last year."
McVay also praised the team's other recent hire joining the staff -- offensive line assistant coach Kevin Carberry, a coach who most recently spent time in the same position with the Dallas Cowboys.
"Kevin Carberry is a guy that has some history with [offensive line] coach [Bill] Callahan," McVay said. "Coach Callahan thinks very highly of him. He's a sharp young coach that'll be working with our offensive line and we feel very good and we're excited to have him as an addition to our staff."
As McVay reflected on the team's 9-7 season in 2015, he also described the influence of his staff, which included several new additions.
What seems apparent is McVay's appreciation of detail, something that's continued in his role as a play-caller. Having quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, who eased his responsibilities, and Callahan, a veteran coach with experience at all different levels and with all kinds of systems, around him helped tremendously in the Redskins' division-winning season.
"[Callahan's] credibility speaks for itself based on what he's done over the course of his coaching career," McVay said. "And then you can be around him and just his demeanor and his disposition, you can see he's got a way in which he carries himself that he kind of demands that respect, but he also has a really nice way of communicating with the players. You could see, starting from the offseason going all the way throughout, he really earned those players respect where they play and compete really hard for him. Nobody prepares as hard as he does where every single second is accounted for on that practice field, those offensive linemen are working, and they're working hard and I thought you really saw it pay off in their play throughout the year."
The respect trickled down from the top. McVay's confidence this year was buttressed by head coach Jay Gruden, whose intuitive approach to managing gave him and his assistants more freedom to implement their style.
"Jay's a great guy to work for," McVay said. "I think the one thing you really like about the way that he leads is that he trusts his coaches to do their job. He's always got a great beat on what's going on around the team whether its offense, defense, or special teams. But he's one of those guys who lets his coaches coach, if he feels like he needs to step in, he does that, and he's got a great way about relating to the players. He's really funny, but he also knows when the time is appropriate to be serious and I think he's a great head coach and I really enjoy working for him."