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Schlereth Offers Sneak Peek At Shanahan's Offense

As a 6-3, 287-pound offensive guard, Mark Schlereth won Super Bowl championships with both the Redskins and Denver Broncos in his 12-year career.

In Denver, Schlereth played for Mike Shanahan, who was named Redskins executive vice president/head coach last week.

Certainly, Schlereth is well-versed in Shanahan as a coach and an offensive innovator. His offenses have been among the most dynamic in the history of the National Football League.

Schlereth, now an ESPN analyst, was asked about Shanahan during "Mike & Mike In the Morning" on ESPN Radio on Thursday. The show was broadcast on ESPN 980 in Washington, D.C.

Schlereth said that Shanahan would install his version of the West Coast offense in Washington. His scheme is unique in that it focuses on a strong ground game, Schlereth said.

"One thing we know for sure with Mike Shanahan is that this offense will be a run-it-first offense," he said. "They're going to run that west coast system but it's going to be a west coast system predicated on running the ball first. That takes pressure off the quarterback."

The Redskins' quarterback for now is Jason Campbell.

Schlereth said he expected Shanahan to conduct a thorough evaluation of Campbell this ofseason.

"He'll review every snap," Schlereth said.

What is he looking for?

Said Schlereth: "I know this about Mike and what he feels you have to have as an NFL quarterback to run his system: you have to be able to run and move in the pocket. You have to have a strong arm. You have to be able to sling it, you have to be able to hit the slants. You have to be able to throw the deep ball. So to me, it comes down to understanding the offense and making great decisions."

Schlereth also offered a peek in how Shanahan's offense worked in Denver.

He suggested that Shanahan would take advantage of Campbell's mobility.

"You're going to get a lot of [pass plays] where you're on the edge with Jason Campbell with a route combination that's very linear," Schlereth said. "You're going to have a fullback slide in the flat, you're going to have a tight end drag across the middle and you're going to have a deep comeback. So your progression is 1-2-3 and it's right there in front of you.

"Those are very easy things to read out. If nothing is there, you take the ball and run."

Schlereth also discussed the Redskins' new front office setup with Bruce Allen taking over as executive vice president/general manager alongside Shanahan.

"A lot of people talk about Mike as a general manager and the reason he's not the head coach in Denver anymore is because the personnel decisions were lacking," Schlereth said. "Mike is an intelligent guy. He knows better than anybody why he's not in Denver anymore. He won't have a problem working in conjunction with Bruce Allen to bring the best players they can possibly bring.

"He's a Hall of Fame caliber football coach, just from a pure coaching standpoint, and I do believe he'll have autonomy in that."

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