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Giants prep for Shanahan's offense


This may only be Mike Shanahan's third season at the helm in Washington, but his well goes down another 16 years as an NFL head coach.

A 17-year vet himself, Tom Coughlin has been in the league for all of them. So he knows what his fellow two-time Super Bowl champion can scheme up, especially on offense.

Before the Redskins, Shanahan had the Broncos leading the NFL for 14 years in total yards, rushing yards and first downs, and ranked third in points scored.

Now add Robert Griffin III.

"You always have to anticipate," Coughlin said. "They've always been a gadget team; they'll have something that they've utilized. They've done so in the past. You look at the Pittsburgh game, then the very next week there's RGIII running down the sideline with a ball thrown to him out of the backfield.

"Mike's always done that. A couple years ago, they had the tight end formations with a big drag route down the sideline with the tight end that was very, very effective. They will always do that. They have a diversified offense, diversified system now that incorporates various forms of options. It's a very interesting preparation."

It's good that it's interesting because the Giants get to do it again this week. They're the first of the division rivals to get a second crack at the Griffin-led Redskins.

It worked out the first time in Week 7 as the Giants walked away with a 27-23 victory, despite giving up 258 yards on the ground. That's where Chris Canty and the defensive line hope to improve. From the fast tempo to an effective play-action, it begins up front.

"It's definitely very unique," said Canty, whose first game this season was against the Redskins after spending six weeks on the Physically Unable to Perform list. "But I'm not sure that it's different in concept than what coach Shanahan ran when he was with the Broncos. It's some of the same concepts. It's just when you have a dynamic athlete like RGIII at the quarterback position, it opens up a lot and different wrinkles off of it. It's a tough offense to prepare for, no question."

On the backend, it's all about focus against the option offense. Because when a secondary starts to creep down against the run, Griffin can sling it as accurately as anyone. He has thrown just four interceptions this year with a completion percentage of 67.4, good for fourth in the NFL.

"He's able to get people thinking one way and he's able to come back and get the ball, throw it the other way and get a lot of one-on-one matchups," said safety Stevie Brown, who is tied for second in the NFL with five interceptions. "And he's accurate. He can put it where only his receiver can get it."


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