Expectations often get outsized as things relate to the Redskins, but the hype surrounding the arrival of new offensive line coach Bill Callahan seems particularly notable. Perhaps it stems from Callahan's arrival after being poached from the Dallas Cowboys, and in a strange way, there is no fanbase that loves great offensive line play quite like Washington. The 'Skins line has much room for improvement, and Callahan already seems to be striking new chords with the men.
Last week, center Kory Lichtensteiger said that Callahan is putting the line group through more intense and thorough practices. Nothing but good news there. More interesting though were Lichtensteiger's comments about Callahan's impact to the run scheme.
There appears to be some notion that Callahan will drastically alter the Redskins run game, transitioning to more of a power scheme. But the Redskins center said that seems unlikely, and really, the 'Skins don't need to overhaul their run game. In 2014, the first under head coach Jay Gruden, Washington ranked No. 19 in the NFL in the run game. Not great, but not bad.
If anything needs an overhaul as it relates to the Redskins run game would be a reinforced commitment to running the ball. It's hard to look just at the numbers from 2014, because the offense seemed largely inept, but the 'Skins offense works best when running the ball early and often. Does Callahan's arrival mean more running attempts?
In three years with the Cowboys from 2012 to 2014, Bill Callahan called the plays only in 2013. That season, Dallas ranked 31st out of 32 teams in rushing attempts. The Cowboys ran the ball just 336 times for 1,504 yards. Last season, Scott Linehan took over the play-calling duties for Dallas, and the team ran the ball 508 times for 2,354 yards. The increased run game boosted Dallas' offense near the top of the league, and gave the Cowboys their best season in some time.
While Callahan deserves credit for the Cowboys strong offensive line throughout his Dallas tenure, the difference in the numbers is stark. It's important to note that the Cowboys forced the run much more in 2014 to keep QB Tony Romo healthy, not to mention the team had arguably the most talented line in the NFL.
But for many, the reality of Callahan's Cowboys tenure is different from the numbers. Will that be the same in D.C.? It would certainly make sense for Washington to go run heavy, both to feature an overhauled offensive line and to attempt and keep Robert Griffin III healthy. Will Callahan's influence in the coaches meetings lead to more runs? What will Callahan's impact be?
Let us know in the comments.