​We know that players learn from their coaches. But for Redskins passing game coordinator Kevin O'Connell, he is learning from ​new quarterback Alex Smith. The team ​brought in Smith to replace Kirk Cousins and help the team improve from their 7-9 record. He also brings a winning pedigree to Washington, being a former member of the 49ers NFC-winning team and having played in three Pro Bowls.

For O'Connell, he believes that it is important to rely on Smith's past experiences with other offenses that made the teams he played on successful.


"When I was in Cleveland I coached Josh McCown and the one thing I learned real quick was you're wasting a lot of knowledge if you don't rely on those guys," O'Connell said. "And Alex has reps in a lot of different systems. ... There's a lot of times we call a play, we execute it, we go in and watch the tape and he can call back to a play they either had in Kansas City or San Francisco and say, 'Hey we might've read it like this or this is how we attacked this coverage.'"

With Smith's ability to attack certain formations his own way, the Redskins coaches also will have to look at their playbook differently. This led to O'Connell making small tweaks to the team's offense to make the transition easier for Smith so he can get off to a quick start in September. 


By having a competent and intelligent quarterback like Smith, ​the Redskins offense will definitely improve this season, potentially making them legit playoff contenders.