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Breaking Down Some Of Mike Shanahan's Offensive Staples

Last year, the Washington Redskins offense was ... well, let's spare the feelings of all those involved and just say it was ineffective. But the truth is, if the Redskins want to improve on last season's 4-12 campaign, they will have to take a substantial step forward on the offensive side of the ball.

Enter Mike Shanahan.

The new redskins coach brings with him from Denver one of the most diversified and efficient offensive playbooks in the NFL. His teams consistently rank among the leagues' most effective, particularly on the ground. The playbook itself might be enough to improve the Redskins offensively, but to the football layman (myself included), it's hard to watch a football game and identify why some plays work and others just lead to second and long.

Thankfully, The Washington Post has taken four plays that were a staple of Shanahan's playbook in Denver and broken them down step by step from every angle. The breakdowns show not only what happens throughout the play, but more importantly, why it works.

Now you'll know what to look for when the Redskins line up in these formations. It won't make you an expert, but it should help you sound smart around the water cooler.