The 2020 season is here, and we have you covered as the Washington Football Team progresses through its inaugural campaign under head coach Ron Rivera.
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Scott Turner wants his offense to be "as unpredictable as possible," and motion helps accomplish that by forcing defenses to recalibrate either before or at the snap.
Few teams utilized motion as much as the Washington Football Team in Week 1.
According to ESPN Sports Analytics Writer Seth Walder, Washington used motion before the snap 62.9% of the time and during the snap 26.9% of the time, both of which were the third-highest rates in the NFL.
"I think anytime you can make a defense adjust, it's good," Turner said. "It's not always going to be like that every game, but just to try to give them different looks and not always be set. I think you affect the defense in that way. It's just something that you look at. Anything that we can do to try to score points, get first downs, we're going to do that."
Turner also mentioned historical data supporting the effectiveness of motion. According to an ESPN story from Nov. 27, 2019, pass plays with a player in motion earned 0.08 expected points added per play (EPA/P) more than those without motion. For context, that was roughly the difference between the offenses of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders for the first three months of last season. On run plays during this stretch, the EPA/P was 0.11.
For the entire regular season, the 49ers, Ravens, Patriots, Titans, and Chiefs used motion the most. Three of these teams made their respective conference championship games, while the Ravens and Patriots finished the regular season with at least 12 wins.
The benefits of using motion carried over into Week 1 of 2020. In fact, the top 12 teams in terms of motion percentage at the snap all picked up victories.
"It's not like we're doing it just to do it," Turner said. "We see adjustments and we see things. It's not like we just run a motion and the play's going to automatically work. You can do different things that way. You can make people adjust and sometimes it can work out to your favor -- hopefully more times than not."
-- "Excellence is sustained success": Jonathan Allen learned this lesson from Alabama head coach Nick Saban, and he relayed it to reporters Thursday when asked about the defensive line's dominance against the Eagles. "Anyone can be great for one game," Allen said. "And we weren't even great for one game; we were great for two-and-a-half quarters."
To validate the hype surrounding the defensive line, Allen said the unit must string together multiple performances like the one it put forth in Week 1. The group's next test comes Sunday in Arizona.
-- Love taking "quality reps" in practice: Running backs coach Randy Jordan said Bryce Love has been "working extremely hard" and "taking quality reps" in practice. After missing his entire rookie season recovering from a knee injury, Love began the 2020 campaign fourth on the depth chart. He was inactive against the Eagles.
"He's on track I feel like. The thing that I love about him is he's humble and hard-working. If you're humble and hard-working and you continue to improve daily, it's a fact that he's a guy that's going to eventually help us down the line."
-- Rivera lays out Week 2 expectations for Haskins: A slow start gave way to a productive afternoon for Dwayne Haskins Jr., who competed 14 of his final 19 passes for a touchdown in Washington's 27-17 win over the Eagles. Head coach Ron Rivera wants to see that type of performance from the onset in Arizona.
"I'd like to see him start fast and be consistent from that point more so than anything else. He's done such a good job with the things I've asked of him, the intrinsic things that really aren't measured in terms of leadership, controlling certain situations, that type of stuff. That's what I like to see."
Check out the injury report for Washington's game against Arizona, HERE
The Washington Football team held practice at Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Virginia, on Sep. 17, 2020. (Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team)
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