Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via conference call. This week it was Washington Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan. I also scanned the Washington media websites and the Redskins website to see what else Redskins players and coaches are saying about this week’s matchup with the Lions.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. Bill Callahan’s son, Brian Callahan, is the current offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. Brian was formerly the quarterbacks coach for the Lions. That means he knows both Lions quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Jeff Driskel pretty well. Driskel was in Cincinnati last year and through this entire offseason and preseason before being cut right before the start of the season. It seems likely Bill would have made a phone call to his son this week to try and get the skinny on the Lions QBs.
Meet this week's opponents, the Washington Redskins.
2. Watching tape of last week’s Lions game, Callahan said running back Bo Scarbrough jumped out to him. He talked about Scarbrough being a nice fit for Detroit’s zone-read runs, along with the counters and gap schemes they featured with him. Callahan called Scarbrough “impressive,” and said he was a back who finished runs all over the film.
3. The Redskins are going through the growing pains that come with playing young players, but they have a nice trio in quarterback Dwayne Haskins, running back Derrius Guice and wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Haskins told redskins.com that he’s gaining more and more confidence every week playing alongside Guice and McLaurin. Those three will only continue to get better the more they develop. All three made some big plays in the loss to the Jets last week.
4. Washington definitely has to prepare for Driskel differently than they would if Stafford was playing. The zone read is more on the call sheet with Driskel, and Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will even call some designed runs for the athletic Driskel, who rushed for 51 yards last week.
“I just think he’s a guy we have to contain and do a good job of in the pocket,” Callahan said. “Not only from the read-zone game and the option game that they run, but also just his ability to move and escape the pocket.”
5. The Lions will have to deal with old NFC North foe Adrian Peterson this week. Peterson leads Washington in rushing (516 yards) and is averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He and Guice are expected to split carries on Sunday, like they did last week against the Jets, but Peterson is still very much a force to be reckoned with in year 14. Callahan said Peterson’s been a great example to the young players on the team on what it means to be a professional and how to take care of their bodies.