Redskins running backs coach Randy Jordan doesn't argue much with Adrian Peterson. He coaches the 34-year-old running back like he would any other player, but he likes to "sit back and watch the show" as Peterson works his magic on the field.
There is one thing the two disagree upon, though: is it called a wheel route or a swing route?
For the entire decade Peterson was with the Minnesota Vikings, he referred to the route where the running back runs to the sideline before turning upfield as a "swing." And even though the Redskins refer to the same route as a "wheel," Peterson still prefers the older terminology.
Now that Scott Turner, who worked with Peterson in Minnesota, is the Redskins' offensive coordinator, the route is back to being called a swing. It's one of many changes Jordan expects Turner will bring to the offense.
"He was like, 'Coach, I told you that damn route was a swing,'" Jordan said on Wednesday's episode of "The Rundown." "So now it's a swing. We joked about that when he found out I had been retained."
Jordan is only one of two assistant coaches from the old coaching staff that was retained by new head coach Ron Rivera, as the majority of his new staff comes from his days with the Carolina Panthers. For the first time in the six years since Jordan joined the team, the building is full of new faces.
It didn't take long for Jordan to appreciate how much football knowledge each new assistant coach brought with them.
"I think that's the biggest thing I see so far in terms of all our meetings," Jordan said. "The imagination [of] opening up the field and getting guys in space."
Turner, who acted as the Panthers' offensive coordinator for the last four games of the 2019 season, brings the Air Coryell offense back to Washington for the first time since the final year of Joe Gibbs' second stint with the team in 2007. Also known as the "vertical offense," the Coryell offense uses deep-to-mid-range passing and power running to make defenses defend the entire field.
The offense also tends to use presnap motions to put receivers, tight ends and running backs in better position to make plays. The desire to accomplish that is a common trend that sticks out to Jordan when it comes to the new offensive coaches.
"They are diverse in terms of being able to put people in places so they can be successful," Jordan said. "The key to a great coach, in my opinion, is putting guys in position so they can be effective and they can be productive."
To Jordan, that means players like Terry McLaurin and Steven Sims will be used in a variety of ways next year. McLaurin, who was top three among rookie receivers in several categories, had one of the best rookie campaigns in franchise history, while Sims went from being an undrafted rookie to being a speedy and reliable second option for quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
"We're excited to see what those guys can do in this offense," Jordan said.
It will also likely mean the same for the young running backs in his position group, including third-year running back Derrius Guice. Last year, Turner and the rest of the offensive coaches worked with Christian McCaffrey, who is well-known for his ability to make plays at any spot on the field. In 2019, he became just the third player in NFL history to finish a season with 1,000 rushing and receiving yards.
Although Guice has been injured for most of the past two seasons, Jordan believes Guice has shown enough to prove "he's got every tool in the toolbox."
"He's got all the things you look for," Jordan said. "It's a matter of staying on the football field. He's a guy that brings instant juice."
The main question is how the offense will affect Haskins, who will be going into his second offensive system in as many years. Jordan says Turner's offense will be "quarterback friendly," while Turner has said that the offense will have versatility to fit players' strengths.
"[We're] just really trying to figure out the pieces that we have on offense and then fit our scheme to our personnel and what they do well and not ask them to do stuff they don't do well," Turner said in his opening phone conference. "Now obviously we're going to push and develop them to improve the things that they don't do well, but we really want to develop our scheme around the strength of our players."
Jordan is still learning the playbook, which is exciting for him because he gets to learn a new system and talk with coaches like Pete Hoener who are familiar with it. It's a constant process, but Jordan likes how the new offense could look this season.
And whether the route is called a wheel or a dig, he's all in on what Turner brings to the team.
"Scotty's doing a great job right now just putting everything in line so that when those guys come back in the offseason, we're ready to hit the ground rolling."