While the Redskins return a majority of their offensive players from a season ago, Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay believes the additions mixed in will help the unit rise in 2015.
With a rebuilt offensive line, several new weapons for the quarterbacks to work with and veteran coaches now in the room as well, Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay can't wait until the games start counting.
In January, the Washington Redskins announced that tight ends coach Sean McVay had been promoted to offensive coordinator for the upcoming season. Here's a look back at his Redskins career so far.
The former Miami University wide receiver – who is in his second season as the team's offensive coordinator after three seasons working with the tight ends – said he's loving the team's approach this year and that starts at the top with Jay Gruden.
"He's an energetic coach," McVay said. "He's always been real to his personality and I think it rubs off on the players and his coaching staff, so he's a joy to work with every day."
Behind Gruden and McVay is first-year Redskins quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.
A longtime NFL player and coach, Cavanaugh's presence is already being felt between fellow coaches and players alike.
"Having Matt Cavanaugh here with the experience he has as a player and a coach has been a great resource for myself and the quarterbacks," McVay said. "He's done a great job implementing some of the fundamental techniques and things that we want to emphasize on a daily basis. From a work standpoint, just being able to kind of bounce around and have eyes on all position groups, it has been extremely valuable."
As the three work together to get the most out of Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, McVay's noticed that they're all understanding where each other is coming from.
"I think the great thing is we're all on the same page communicating the same message to those quarterbacks," he said. "And again, like I was saying earlier, Coach Cavanaugh is a great resource with his experience as a player and a coach, where he might offer some different things and ideas and approaches that I think has been very helpful so far for our quarterbacks."
For Griffin III, the staff is exploring ways to get him active as both a pocket passer and as a lethal rushing threat.
"I think one of the things you like about a running quarterback is that he does regulate the defenses," McVay said. "Robert was able to make some plays, and the one that comes to mind is against Minnesota — they bring a man-pressure against us, and he ends up sticking his foot in the ground and runs for a 70-yard touchdown. So, when you do have a quarterback with some athleticism and the ability to break contain and make plays with his legs, it definitely does regulate some of those defensive looks where guys are scared of him breaking contain and doing things with his legs."
Rookie Wide Receivers Impressing EarlyWhile the Redskins already had quite a lot of depth at wide receiver before the draft, the team elected to bolster the group with the additions of Jamison Crowder and Evan Spencer in the fourth and sixth rounds, respectively.
Crowder's game is defined by speed and agility while Crowder's more of a physical, all-around player.
Both, though, appear to be catching on quickly.
"I think Jamison is a guy that immediately when he came in the rookie minicamp, you could feel some of the quickness, his ability to separate, the natural hands, all those things that you like when you draft him," McVay said. "Same thing with Evan. He had a little tweak in his hamstring where he missed a little bit of time early on, but he's been able to practice this last week and we're seeing some encouraging things from him as well."
Morris And Jones Could Make Quite The One-Two PunchYes, Alfred Morris has done a great job carrying the brunt of the load in the ground game over the last three seasons, but the team drafted Florida's Matt Jones in the third round this year for a reason.
While it remains to be seen how the Redskins use the two running backs, McVay sees positives in both.
For Morris – a player with almost 4,000 rushing yards in his first three seasons – McVay believes the Florida Atlantic product will benefit from offensive line coach's Bill Callahan's presence.
"Obviously Alfred's production over the last few years speaks for itself," McVay said. "I think implementing a couple of the newer schemes that Coach Callahan has will help Alfred, where we'll be a little bit more multiple and balanced in the way that we attack defenses. And Alfred's showed a great ability to be able to pick up some of those new schemes that we are implementing, whether it be the wide zone, some tight zone or those gap-type plays that we've been utilizing in OTAs."
While McVay admitted it's "a little bit harder" to evaluate how the running backs look without any tackling this time of year, he's seen those flashes out of Jones that make the coaches excited to have him in burgundy and gold.
"His ability to pick things up mentally and protections and then being disciplined with his courses as far as his running game, we've been very pleased with him," McVay said. "He's a guy that we're looking forward to see compete when we can play live ball."