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Saunders: Rhythm In Run Game Is Lacking

Every week, chats with a Redskins coach about a hot topic. This week: Saunders on the Redskins' running game.

"We haven't gotten into a rhythm with the run game that we'd like to yet, obviously. We want to be more productive and we're working at it. Keep in mind that we've played some pretty good defenses.

"What we have to do is settle on the style of running team that we want to be. At the end of last year, we were a wide zone and tight zone blocking scheme, and that's what we do best. We just haven't got into a stride and we haven't had any big runs like we had last year.

"Some of it has to do with the fact that we haven't had as many plays in the last few games. We had 53 plays against New England and 47 plays against Arizona. So we need more plays.

"We need to convert more first downs. With that, we'll get more opportunities in the run game. And with those opportunities, we have to be more consistent.

"We've been integrating new people on the offense--and that always sounds like an excuse, but it shouldn't be because we have good players on the offensive line. We just have to be more consistent in what we do and we have to run the ball in the hole better. We have to break some arm tackles and we just have to do a better job.

"On our offensive staff, we have some experienced and very well respected coaches. Our collective thoughts and our collective philosophies mesh together to make the Redskins offense.

"Joe Gibbs's success is very well-documented and he has a very strong idea of what he wants this football team to be--offensively, defensively and special teams. We want to run the football, and we want to take shots up the field. That's our identity of Redskins football and that's what we're attempting to do. We all contribute to try and do that in that fashion.

"When you're coming off a loss like we had against New England, you want to move on to the next game as fast as you can. It's like getting stood up on a date. You put that one behind you and you go on to the next one. When you get beat like that, it's not a good feeling for anybody.

"We all sit back and reflect on what we could do better and how we can make a better contribution to the outcome of the game. But the fact remains, that game was last week and I think if you dwell on it and let it affect you, it doesn't work out for you very well. It's been more of a cleansing process.

"Does that mean we're happy? No. We're mad, we're angry, we're disappointed. As a competitive athlete and as a competitive coach, you take the next step: What do you do to get better? That's what we're doing this week."

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