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Can You Dig It? (AKA, Lions, Come Out To Play)

A few things got cut from my story today - lot going in the sports world this weekend and only so much space to go around - including what I thought was one of the more important sentences in the whole piece.

So I'll paste it here:

"The Redskins ignored their maligned defensive line this offseason - a potent four-man pass rush is mandated this month - explaining that an improved secondary will create more time for the linemen to attack. That thesis will be tested against the next four opponents."

We shall see how that gamble pays off against all of these pass-happy offenses with their explosive personnel. How much of an upgrade are guys like Macklin and Smoot? Is Carlos ready for prime time? And even if they manage to keep these offenses somewhat in check - which is all you can ask - will that still be enough to get more hits on the QB? Can this D Line get it done even against teams with limited protection who spread the field?

We'll certainly know by the end of this month.

Also, a lot of the DBs told me to watch for a particular route today, which was stressed ahead of this game, particularly against huge WRs like Calvin Johnson (should he play) and Roy Williams.

"The defensive backs were also alerted to the prevalence of certain routes against a spread offense, specifically the "dig route" (also called a 4 route). In these routes a receiver sprints straight ahead - usually 10-12 yards, then pivots parallel to the line of scrimmage. It can be difficult to defend, but can also leave the receiver vulnerable to a big hit underneath, another point of emphasis, players said. The need to punish these big receivers while elevating for the ball came up frequently as well."

(Fair to say the Redskins are looking to be Dig-Dugs today?)

I'll post the inactives when we get them. Enjoy the pre-game festivities.


By Jason La Canfora  |  October 7, 2007; 10:09 AM ET
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Next: Inactives - Moss Out

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