The Redskins will deploy a unique strategy this fall when both head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay will team up to call plays. On Wednesday after OTAs, Gruden mentioned the team might add to the play-calling chorus, specifically offensive line coach Bill Callahan.
"Coach Callahan will be the guy that will devise the running game, pretty much game plan-wise, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s calling the majority of the runs on game day," Gruden said.
Callahan comes to the Redskins after a few seasons in Dallas, where he both did and did not call plays. Last season Callahan was stripped of play-calling duties, and the Cowboys offense flourished, thought that may be to narrow an angle to analyze his impact. Each day after practice, Callahan stays late to work with the offensive line, and even during practice, the line drills run by Callahan seem to be happening at a faster, crisper pace than other drills around the practice field.
"They practice hard, you can see them. Pre-practice, their routine is pretty strenuous, so I just think the work that is involved with being a player for Coach Callahan is a demanding thing," Gruden said. "He’s going to get the best results out of you because he’s going to demand the most of you."
Between Callahan's coaching and an investment of first-round pick Brandon Scherff, the Redskins offensive line should be improved. But does that mean Callahan should call plays on Sundays?
"He’s called the running game where he’s been in the past and he will have a major impact, influence on the running game, the play calls that we do call," Gruden said.
Sometimes the words of NFL coaches can be over-parsed, and perhaps this is one of those occasions. Gruden was asked about what Callahan and answered, and the coach wanted to give credit to this new line coach. Callahan should have a "major impact" on the run game, after all he is an experienced football man where McVay isn't even 30 years old and Gruden is in just his second year as a head coach.
But should Callahan really call plays on Sundays? Do the Redskins need three voices calling plays on game days? Callahan's input, even on gamedays, makes sense. More than that? Let us know what you think in the comments.