JP Finlay - Redskins Insider - Lindsay

Quick Links

Bill Callahan might be an old-school running coach, but he knows he needs to adapt against 49ers

Bill Callahan might be an old-school running coach, but he knows he needs to adapt against 49ers

From the moment Bill Callahan took over as the Redskins interim head coach, he talked almost exclusively about establishing the run game in the offense. 

Last week in Miami his team did just that, running the ball 33 times for 145 yards. It was Washington's biggest output from the ground game this season, and by a wide margin. 

This week, however, the Redskins face a much stiffer challenge against San Francisco. The 49ers boast the second-best defense in the league, trailing only the Patriots, and Kyle Shanahan's team is giving up fewer than 90 rush yards-per0game. That's nearly 100 yards less than the Dolphins were giving up prior to last week's game against the Redskins. 

Last week, it made sense for Callahan to preach running the football. Miami was awful at defending it. This week, things look much different, and Redskins fans might be surprised to know Callahan looks willing to change his offensive scheme. 

"Every game is different," Callahan said in an interview with NBC Sports Washington.

"This game coming up may be different than last week. We may take certain shots on certain downs and distances, and change our tendencies as we go forward. That's always fluid."

Against the 0-4 Dolphins, the Redskins played a conservative offense that saw Case Keenum complete just 13 passes. He was able to connect with rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin for two scores, but there were plenty of pass yards left on the field in Miami. The truth was Washington didn't need to do that much offensively to beat the awful Dolphins.

Against 5-0 San Francisco, the opposite is true. The Niners' offense ranks fifth in the league in yards-per-game and third in points-per-game. Shanahan's team plays great football on both sides, and the former Redskins offensive coordinator will very much want to show off his new squad on Sunday. 

Callahan seems quite aware of the circumstances for this game, and that could mean a much more aggressive Redskins offense. 

"I think that you are gameplan specific based on your opponent," the coach said. "Obviously, you want to take advantage of the things you can do. We will certainly focus in on that as we delve into the 49ers."

The Niners have won four out of five games by double digits, and two wins came by more than 20 points. This team is clicking on all cylinders right now. 

The Redskins have a serious task in front of them, and oddsmakers installed Washington as double-digit underdogs. The good news, even if minor, is Callahan looks like he understands the nature of his opponent and that he must adapt his team to best attack San Francisco. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Trent Williams rumor emerges from Cleveland but Redskins sources say nothing imminent

Trent Williams rumor emerges from Cleveland but Redskins sources say nothing imminent

A report emerged that Washington left tackle Trent Williams could land on the Browns roster in the coming days, but sources close to the Redskins front office told NBC Sports Washington that no move was imminent, though a trade with Cleveland was not ruled out.

Williams has not reported to the Redskins this year, holding out for both contract issues and personal issues. At least three teams contacted the Redskins about a possible Williams trade during training camp, sources told NBC Sports Washington, but the team did not engage in trade talks then.

Many with the Washington organization believed Williams would show up once regular season games started. He didn’t and based on his Instagram feed doesn’t appear to be anywhere close to coming back to the Redskins.

At 1-5, it makes total sense for Washington to move on from Williams. The team should get as much as they possibly can rather than continue with the sideshow of his holdout.

Redskins President Bruce Allen has said repeatedly he doesn’t plan on trading Williams, but things can always change. After a coaching change last week, perhaps the organization has changed its stance, too.

The deadline to complete trades in the NFL comes at 4 p.m. on October 29th. Sometime between now and then it seems possible Williams might be on a new team.

There was chatter, however, that other teams were scared off about Williams wanting a new contract. His current deal has two years remaining at more than $12 million per season, though barely any of that cash is guaranteed.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

NFL trade deadline is 2 weeks away and the Redskins should absolutely be selling

NFL trade deadline is 2 weeks away and the Redskins should absolutely be selling

With the NFL trade deadline coming up in two weeks the Redskins front office needs to plant a for sale sign in front of their Ashburn facility. The problem is they might not attract many buyers.

Just about any player not named Terry McLaurin should be available on offense, and while the defense has a few more performing assets, Washington team president Bruce Allen should be taking any and all calls about possible trades. In fact, Allen should be making calls, trying to move players for future draft picks. 

One thing Allen absolutely should not do is give up future assets. At 1-5 and playoff prospects nearly dead, the Redskins are in no position to deal away draft picks. 

The reality at Redskins Park might not be realized yet, but this is a team that needs a major rebuild. The Burgundy and Gold got their first win of the season on Sunday in Miami, and while there were some encouraging signs, don't confuse the victory with accomplishment. Miami was giving up 40 points-per-game and the Redskins scored just 17. Had Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a pass on a two-point conversion attempt in the final seconds of the game, the great Redskins meltdown of 2019 would be in full swing. Instead, the ball fell to the turf, and the Redskins squeaked out a win. 

Squeaking out wins over a hapless Dolphins team means very little when it comes to overall roster organization. And the harsh truth is Washington needs more talent or chances to get more talent in a bad way. 

The problem with trying to sell at the trade deadline, however, is having players that other teams want. Outside of young players like Terry McLaurin and Daron Payne, the Redskins don't have many marketable pieces. Could Adrian Peterson maybe help a team making a playoff push? Sure, but what would that squad give up for Peterson, considering he was unsigned for months of the 2018 offseason. What about Ryan Kerrigan? Good teams can never have enough pass rushers, but it seems unlikely Washington would even consider moving him.

There is one big piece that Washington can dangle in trade conversations: Trent Williams. 

The seven-time Pro Bowler hasn't shown up in 2019 and it's painfully obvious to all parties that he's not coming back. 106.7 the Fan's Craig Hoffman reported that the Redskins won't move Williams this year, which seems crazy but believable given the absurdity of Williams' lengthy holdout and the Redskins insistence on thinking it will end.  

The time to trade Williams was months ago, and it's just grandstanding to continue bashing the team for something that is so obvious. Still, trade Williams now. Get draft pick compensation or player compensation, whatever works, but get it done.

There are internet rumors that Tampa might be looking to move young tight end O.J. Howard and Washington could be interested. If it's a straight player swap, that is worth considering. Howard has up to two years remaining on his rookie deal, and the Redskins options at tight end are in bad shape. Jordan Reed is on the injured reserve list and there are real questions about him never playing again. Vernon Davis is 35 and in the last year of his contract. Howard would be a talent upgrade and he's an Alabama alum. The Redskins love 'Bama guys. 

The Williams/Howard rumor could be pure nonsense too. Allen has been very clear he has no plans to trade Williams, repeatedly, and so far has stuck to his word. Allen even said last week that there has been "no dialogue" with any other team. 

Last season the Redskins bought at the trade deadline, bringing in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for what the organization thought would be a late-season playoff run. Washington sent Green Bay a fourth-round pick for Clinton-Dix, and the price ended up being too high. Clinton-Dix was barely, if at all, an upgrade over Montae Nicholson and for most of his time in Washington he seemed focused on his pending free agency. 

What that trade did prove was Allen is willing to wheel and deal at the trade deadline. He should do the same this year but in the opposite direction.

Sell. Don't buy. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: