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Coach's Corner: Al Saunders

Every week, chats with a Redskins coach about a hot topic. This week: associate head coach-offense Al Saunders discusses veteran quarterback Mark Brunell and the Redskins' new offense:

"I see Mark in a Rich Gannon or a Trent Green category. When I say that, having worked with both of them, both those players had degrees of success early in their careers. Mark has been to the Pro Bowl and has had tremendous success. He is thriving in what we're doing.

"He has the experience that Rich and Trent had when they were in this offense [in Kansas City]. You can't give Mark enough that he can't handle. It was the same with Kurt Warner when I worked with him in St. Louis. He could handle all of the terminology and all of the protections and all of the responsibilities.

"Mark has the ability to adjust to the quick passing game. He has the ability to get the ball out of his hands quickly. From what I've seen, he's a more accurate thrower than what I expected him to be. Part of that is what we do--it's timing and throwing to spots. It's a lot different from waiting for a receiver to come out of his break. He has adjusted to the offense quicker than what I expected.

"For anyone in this offense, trust is a big deal. The quarterback has to trust the wide receivers and the wide receivers have to trust the quarterback.

"For example, there are certain routes where the receiver has to run across the defender's face, rather than going over the top of him. The quarterback will have to trust that the receiver will prevent a bad throw if the defender reacts in a different way.

"The quarterback has to trust the protection. The offensive line has to trust that he's going to drop so many yards and that the ball is going to be out of his hands.

"We tell the receivers that they need to be where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there. We tell the receivers to never fool the quarterback.

"Trust is important. Every day, in some fashion, we use the word trust. It's a big part of what we do."

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