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What happens to Redskins offense if Sean McVay leaves?

What happens to Redskins offense if Sean McVay leaves?

For months rumors swirled that Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay would draw interest for head coaching opportunities.

Those rumors came true this offseason, as McVay has already interviewed with the Rams for their vacant head coach position and will talk Monday with the 49ers about their top job.

It appears the talks with Los Angeles went well and the team is digging deep into the 30-year-old's background for more information.

Of course, McVay has lived a football life. He began his coaching career with Tampa in 2008 at just 22 years old, landed with the Redskins in 2010, and took over at offensive coordinator in 2014. Redskins players have said they have 'no doubt' about McVay's ability to coach a team, and it seems the question is more when than if he gets a head job.

And while that's all great news for McVay, what does it mean for the Redskins?

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Washington's offense is the strength of the team, and one of the more effective units in the NFL. The team ranked 3rd in the NFL in yards gained and quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for more than 4,900 yards, both significant improvements from 2015.

Chris Thompson, a fourth-year running back that took advantage of his opportunities in the Redskins system, said that losing McVay would be tough but should not cause major changes as the offensive design comes from head coach Jay Gruden.

"As far as the offense goes if anybody’s worried, it’s Sean and Coach Gruden incorporating their ideas together. It would be big just because it might put a little bit more on Coach Gruden. He may be in a situation where he might have to go back to play calling again," Thompson said. "It’s something that Coach Gruden is used to."

Play calling will be one area that McVay's absence could have a big impact. In 2014, Gruden called the Redskins plays despite being a rookie head coach. That task, along with running the whole team, proved to be somewhat of a burden and in 2015 Gruden shared play calling duties with McVay and offensive line coach Bill Callahan. 

This past season, though Gruden, Callahan and QB Coach Matt Cavanugh had input, play calling was exclusively the domain of McVay. The young coordinator got the credit when things went well, and took the heat when the Redskins offense bogged down. At times last year, the Redskins had a bad habit of getting away from the running attack, and McVay owned that when the criticism inevitably came.

After a December loss to the Cardinals in Arizona that saw the Redskins run less than 20 times despite averaging more than 4-yards-per-carry, McVay took the blame.

"I definitely feel like I could’ve been more patient on some of those early down and distances where you get a little bit pass-heavy. And that’s something that as a decision-maker and as a coordinator, I have to do a better job," he said.

It's that level of honesty and accountability that likely appeals to NFL owners when they look at McVay as a head coaching candidate.

For the Redskins, McVay is undeniably an asset, but his departure should not set the offense back with Gruden still running the ship.

'It’s pretty much his offense, so he’ll be comfortable with it I’m sure," Thompson said. 

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Amari Cooper calls Week 2 score against Redskins the 'easiest TD I've ever had'

Amari Cooper calls Week 2 score against Redskins the 'easiest TD I've ever had'

The Redskins defense performed poorly against the Cowboys, but the plan wasn't to give up the easiest touchdown of Amari Cooper's career. 

Still, according to Cooper, that's what happened.

Early in the third quarter of Washington's 31-21 loss to Dallas last Sunday, Cooper grabbed a 10-yard touchdown pass from QB Dak Prescott. The play capped off a nine-play, 75-yard drive for Dallas, and while the catch didn't look hard and Cooper only needed to make one man miss before he scored, it didn't seem quite as easy as the former Alabama star described it either. 

"Boy, that was the the easiest touchdown I've ever had," Cooper said. "I had space. [Defender] wasn't over there."

"I'll take it."

Cooper's comments came from a Cowboys produced video on Twitter with players and coaches mic'd up. You can watch the full video below; Cooper's comments come at about the 3:10 mark.

Whether it was Cooper's easiest score ever or not is debatable, but it does underline an issue for the Redskins secondary through two games: blown coverages. 

The players and coaches have talked about communication issues to open the season, and fans tend to focus on deep pass plays as the prime examples in those situations. 

On Cooper's TD, it seems miscommunication struck the Redskins secondary yet again. 

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Cole Holcomb and Mitchell Trubisky were college roommates. On Monday, they'll be NFL opponents

Cole Holcomb and Mitchell Trubisky were college roommates. On Monday, they'll be NFL opponents

Stopping Mitchell Trubisky on Monday night will be very key for the Redskins in Week 3. Luckily for them, they've got one defender who knows the Bears quarterback quite well.

Rookie linebacker Cole Holcomb, who seized a starting job in the season opener and who's been a major contributor so far, was college roommates with Trubisky at North Carolina for two years. In an interview with the Redskins Talk podcast, Holcomb explained what he learned about the signal caller during that time.

"He's a competitor," Holcomb told JP Finlay. "He hates losing. He's one of those perfectionist people. Maybe if we can rattle him up a little bit, get him nervous back there, we'll be able to make some things happen with him."

Holcomb caught the attention of Redskins coaches early in training camp thanks to his devoted studying habits, so it sounds like he's a perfectionist, too. Even so, the two have made room in their schedules to chirp at one another.

"Yeah, we've been texting all week," Holcomb said. "We've got a group chat with a bunch of the teammates. They're all like, 'Oh, it's Mitch vs. Cole this week. It's Mitch vs. Cole this week. What's going to happen?'"

Hopefully for Washington, what's going to happen is that the Burgundy and Gold will "rattle" Chicago's starter like Holcomb wants to. Through two contests, the Redskins have the second-to-worst pressure rate of any defense in the NFL.

If they can fix that starting Monday, that bodes well for them notching their first win of 2019. If not, on the other hand, then the heat will be turned up even more (if that's even possible) on Holcomb's boss, Greg Manusky, and Manusky's entire unit.

Perhaps Holcomb can have a mid-game reunion with Trubisky in the Bears' backfield and help that cause. Pregame, though, they'll likely catch up, and in that catch-up, Holcomb will probably refer to Trubisky as "Mitch."

But according to Holcomb, shortening his friend's name doesn't work everywhere. It turns out Holcomb picked up something about his ex-roommate's mom as well back at UNC.

"I call him Mitch when it's just me and him," he said. "I don't say it around his mom, though. You say it around his mom, you might get punched."

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