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Can Bill Callahan Keep Redskins From Sliding into Crisis Mode

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Bill Callahan is a great coach. Everyone in the NFL respects him and for good reason, but did he bite off more than he can chew when he came to Washington? The Redskins are just one game into the season, and already appear to be heading in the wrong direction. This isn’t the time to worry about NFL Week 2 Picks. After managing just 240 total yards and posting four painful turnovers against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins have a lot to work on offensively.

Offensive line coach Bill Callahan gets a lot of money. There are few assistant coaches in the NFL that take home as big a cheque as Callahan. So Callahan has a lot to prove. And unfortunately for him, the challenge is nothing to scoff at.

Washington’s offensive problems began with the offensive line. They were terrible in the preseason. And had just as tough a time in the first game of the regular season. Their run blocking was poor – something they had apparently been working on.

Unfortunately, the team also struggled in pass protection. Shawn Lauvao looked more like a liability than an asset. Maybe it’s just time to stop trying to put that round peg in a square hole.

Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff are top picks and boast expensive contracts, but did they play to that level on Sunday? The strength and stability they are expected to inject into the offense just wasn’t there. Williams got nicked, but he wasn’t his usual stalwart self even before that.

Morgan Moses had a very rough day. He got beat regularly. He has an ankle injury and Head Coach Jay Gruden doesn’t expect to keep him in play for much longer. If he can take a seat, the Redskins might benefit from injecting Ty Nsekhe into the equation.

Scherff is a whole other matter and he is largely Callahan’s problem at the moment. Callahan was able to snag such a lucrative and comfortable deal with Washington because he did a great job at Dallas. Getting the young guard to up his game would really help stabilize the right side of the line. With Moses struggling, they can’t afford to have a swinging gate on half their line.

But it’s early days and the modern collective bargaining agreement DOES lend itself to teams taking longer to develop cohesiveness at the beginning of the season. While it’s the same for all teams, different coaches and organizations have different philosophies over starting strong versus finishing strong. Callahan has time to whip the line into better shape. Just not a lot.

Considering what he did with Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, he has no excuse for failing with Scherff. There is no better athlete for the coach to mold. And at this point, maybe he cannot afford to fail.

Everyone is expecting him to find the answers that will keep the Redskins from sliding into a crisis. It might seem unfair to saddle one person with so much responsibility; but given the woes of the offense and the offensive line in the first game, it will be paramount to the Redskins having any success in 2017.

More By Mark Solway

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