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Riddick: Redskins' passing game is simple

ASHBURN, Va. -- If Louis Riddick was an advance scout, he knows what he would tell his coaches about the Washington Redskins' offense: Get them to third down.

"Take away the play-action game from them and we have them right where we want them," said Riddick, who was a scout and also the director of pro personnel with both the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. "You know you can rush against that offensive line and [Robert Griffin III's] ability as a passer in a traditional sense has not reached a level where you're that worried about it."

Riddick said as long as the Redskins' ground game is working and they can use play-action, then they have a chance to go on a run to end the season.

But he also termed their offense simple.

Here's why: "Most of their big plays come off max protect on first down, usually play-action two-man routes. You see the fake zone read, stand up and throw down the field to the deep cross or a deep post on the outside. That's where a lot of their big plays are coming from. When they get to third down, they become a more conventional passing team, not relying on play-action and not relying on pulling the ball off in the zone read. RG III is very much a half-field read, one-to-two-I'm-out-of-here type passer. He's not a dynamic full-field reading passer that is making the decisions the way you see Philip Rivers or the way you see Aaron Rodgers do. He's not that type of passer. He's just not. Compounding it is the fact that their line is not built to be a dropback pass-protect line. They need the benefit of play-action, where the defensive line must play the run first and convert to the pass rush. When a defensive line can tee off and rush the passer, they have one guy who can pass protect and that's Trent [Williams]. They're simple in the fact that you know what's coming on first down with play-action and what the route combinations will be."

Riddick said he took what Griffin did against Minnesota -- 281 passing yards, three touchdowns -- with a grain of salt because of the Vikings' banged-up secondary.

"But the only thing I'll say is that in the division it's not like Dallas and Philadelphia [have great secondaries]," Riddick said. "Philadelphia's secondary, for as much as people say they're playing better, can be had at corner. They can be had. And the Giants, who knows what you'll get from one week to the next. The [Redskins] have a chance because of the division they compete in."