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Eagles' defense presents a challenge for Redskins

The Philadelphia Eagles are tied for third (with Pittsburgh) in the NFL in sacks and rank fourth in interceptions. That means that, obviously, pass protection and ball security will be two important keys Sunday when the Redskins face the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Redskins' offense, and its offensive line in particular, face another challenging situation.

"We definitely have to do our best to protect the football," quarterback Jason Campbell said. "But at the same time, we can't be afraid to make plays. We can't be afraid to have fun and play at a high level.

"With that being said, we understand that we are playing with a defense that moves around a lot and causes a lot of issues and problems. So everybody has to make sure that we are on the same page. If things get a little rough, we can't get frustrated. We have to continue to stay on course."

The Eagles are adept at stripping the ball, Campbell said.

"They do a good job of that," he said. "A lot of teams try to get to the running back, quarterback and the receiver and just try to make the tackle, but these guys try to get the ball out.

"One guy is making the tackle and the other one is trying to get the ball out. So we have to be very cautious of that and make sure we put two hands on the ball. When I'm in the pocket I have to make sure that there are no hands around me."

The view from Philly

There's a big difference in performance when LeSean McCoy knows the week before a game that he'll be the starter, Les Bowen writes. Four times this season, McCoy has prepared all week to start.

The Eagles are 3-1 in those games, in which McCoy has rushed for 319 yards, on 54 carries, 4.98 yards per carry. Some of the other six games, McCoy split duty with Brian Westbrook throughout. Others, Westbrook left early with injuries, making McCoy the main guy for at least part of the day. The bottom line on those games: The Eagles are 3-3, and McCoy has rushed 42 times, for just 133 yards. That's 3.17 yards per carry.

This will mark the first time McCoy is seeing a team for the second time in a season.

The last meeting with the Redskins, Oct. 26, was the night when [Brian] Westbrook suffered his first concussion, midway through the first quarter. McCoy ended up getting 19 touches - 14 carries, for 37 yards, and five catches for 30 - but he was not as productive as he has been when preparing as a starter.
"I know some of their tendencies, some of their blitzes and whatnot, and also some of their players - how they play. I think it helps me out a lot," McCoy said. "It's different, though. It's weird, to play a team twice in the same season."
McCoy said he remembers the Redskins as "an aggressive group," particularly No. 59, middle linebacker London Fletcher, the guy whose knee collided with Westbrook's head.
[Offensive coordinator Marty] Mornhinweg yesterday said Washington's defense, officially ranked fourth in the NFL, is "fast and physical."
"You could argue this is the best defense in the league," Mornhinweg said.

Speaking of the Redskins' defense, the Eagles are giving up a lot of sacks and that's something that concerns Mornhinweg, Jeff McLane writes. Mornhinweg was concerned enough that he spoke to Donovan McNabb about his tendency to take sacks.

By Jason Reid  |  November 27, 2009; 7:52 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Eagles defense thrives under McDermott

Comments

"The Eagles are 3-1 in those games, in which McCoy has rushed for 319 yards, on 54 carries, 4.98 yards per carry..."

A successful running game with a rookie running back and rebuilt offensive line?

Sounds like the redskin future to me.

That's the first thing I'll say today.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 27, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

toss in the dynamic quick strike passing attack and I'll take some that future Redskins attack

Posted by: coparker5 | November 27, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

slow today...

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 27, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Just saw an article on DT, 11th in the nation in school and is just getting a shot now. Come-on fire Zorn.

Posted by: SkinsFan37years | November 27, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Just saw an article on DT, 11th in the nation in school and is just getting a shot now. Come-on fire Zorn.

Posted by: SkinsFan37years | November 27, 2009 8:53 AM

Good thinking. Now that DT is getting a chance, let's fire Zorn.

The time to fire Zorn is at the end of the season when we can get a coach we want, not an interim coach.

Posted by: League-Source | November 27, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

CAN we get the coarch we want? I'm ok giving Bingo Lewis a try. Although I also think that move should have been made in the bye week...

I don't know if they have the scenario in place to attract a quality established coarch.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 27, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Fire Vinny the day after the season ends. Hire a new personel guy and let that guy be the one to fire Zorn.

Posted by: Original_etrod | November 27, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"Landry is growing into role at free safety"

How long has he been at the position?


Re: DT11

Seriously, his lack of PT is squarely on his shoulders. The nincompoop spent a whole year trying to figure out where to line up, where to run, and how to not get offensive pass interference flags thrown on him.

He was raw coming out of college and it's been a slow learning process for him.

I'm all for criticizing JZ where it is due. DT11 not being able to play his way onto the field is not JZ's fault.

Posted by: p1funk | November 27, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

CAN we get the coarch we want?

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 27, 2009 9:57 AM

Maybe, maybe not. But one thing we know for sure is that any coach we can get this week is not one that we want next year.

Posted by: League-Source | November 27, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, his lack of PT is squarely on his shoulders.

Posted by: p1funk | November 27, 2009 10:05 AM

That's the way Zorn spins it. The more I see, though, the less inclined I am to trust Zorn.

Posted by: League-Source | November 27, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

So you're not down w/ Bingo, I take it.

I agree that now isn't the time to switch. I don't know how you felt about it at the break, but I thought that would have been the perfect time.

Know the whole season is an excercise in futility. At least we can hope the newbs get some field time.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 27, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Pleeeease, Danny, don't screw this up, too.
If you're going to fire Zorn at the end of the year, DON'T LET GRAY GET AWAY.
A guy that's respected by Joe Gibbs, a former all-pro, and a good coach SHOULD BE THE NEXT REDSKIN COACH.
Of course, the NEW GM should be making that call the way Bethard plucked Gibbs from practically nowhere, but hoping for Danny to have Jack Kent Cooke wisdom and faith in his people is truly a Christmas wish right now.

Posted by: pdfordiii | November 27, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't know how you felt about it at the break, but I thought that would have been the perfect time.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 27, 2009 10:22 AM

The only "perfect time" is when you can hire a coach you want for the future. We don't have one on our staff, and we couldn't hire one from outside at the break. Firing Zorn mid-season is self-defeating. No one can fix the problems he's made on-the-fly.

Posted by: League-Source | November 27, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

A guy that's respected by Joe Gibbs, a former all-pro, and a good coach SHOULD BE THE NEXT REDSKIN COACH.

Posted by: pdfordiii | November 27, 2009 10:29 AM

Let's take another assistant who's never even been a coordinator and make him head coach! That will work every time!

Posted by: League-Source | November 27, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Let's take another assistant who's never even been a coordinator and make him head coach! That will work every time!

Posted by: League-Source | November 27, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Gray was Buffalo's DC...not that I think he should be our HC, mind you, but he has been a Coordinator.

Posted by: Original_etrod | November 27, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Gray was Buffalo's DC...not that I think he should be our HC, mind you, but he has been a Coordinator.

Posted by: Original_etrod | November 27, 2009 10:42 AM

Thanks -- I misremembered that. Is today Thanksgiving? Looking forward to some turkey.

Posted by: League-Source | November 27, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't like a lot of the aspects of the Gray/Blache D scheme. I wouldn't want that perpetuated by anointing them HC.

And I disagree that mid-season switches are necessarily wrong. There are some reasons to justify it. Admittedly debateable.

I do agree that the interim tag is a waste, either go with the new coarch or not... and in that aspect they decided to let Zoron at least ride out the season... don't think it will help, but whatevs.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 27, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Re: DT11

Seriously, his lack of PT is squarely on his shoulders. The nincompoop spent a whole year trying to figure out where to line up, where to run, and how to not get offensive pass interference flags thrown on him.

Posted by: p1funk | November 27, 2009 10:05 AM |

I disagree to a certain extent. Granted it would have been nice if DT was a more polished WR, but the skins knew that when they drafted him. There were routes that DT ran in college that he excelled at, that I'm sure are in the redskins playbook that they could've gotten DT on the field. Look at Philly, by no means was Maclin a polished WR, but yet he's contributing for that team. The inexperience of JZ and his offensive coaching staff was the primmary reason a player like DT had little reps. JZ had to teach his assistants, and players his offense, so it was easier for him to keep the more experienced players on the field to implement his vision, rather than relying on rookies who were getting up to speed, and prone to make mistakes, to make plays for him.

Posted by: TWISI | November 27, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"EAGLES DEFENSE PRESENTS PROBLEMS FOR REDSKINS!"

Brilliant. The way our O plays, pretty much every defense presents a problem.

Posted by: edvar | November 27, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

lol @ edvar

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 27, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The only "perfect time" is when you can hire a coach you want for the future.

I used to think that, but having seen the results of the Sherm interregnum [triple word score], I believe that halftime of the Detroit game would have been perfect.
Right after Sherm strolled by Blache and Cerrato and asked "what the heck is that boy doing?"
Cerrato: "I'm told it's the west coast offense."
Blache:"The man's coaching smells like the north end of a southbound skunk."
Cerrato: "But he says the receivers don't run perfect routes."
Sherm: "And the QB doesn't throw perfect passes. So what? Don't you want to win games? Against perpetual doormats?"
Cerrato: "I think so..."
Blache: [Rolls his eyes]
Sherm: "Well, you're not going to with this guy in charge."

Posted by: daggar | November 27, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure this is Blache's last season here so we'll be looking for a new DC next year as well. I'm going on the record as saying it will be Kirk Olivadotti, our current LB coach. Would've said Gray before this week but Oli has been here for like 5 or 6 years now and I think, for continuity's sake, he'll be the guy.

Posted by: Original_etrod | November 27, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Lmao daggar

Posted by: RomoShortball | November 27, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure this is Blache's last season here so we'll be looking for a new DC next year as well. I'm going on the record as saying it will be Kirk Olivadotti, our current LB coach. Would've said Gray before this week but Oli has been here for like 5 or 6 years now and I think, for continuity's sake, he'll be the guy.

Posted by: Original_etrod | November 27, 2009 11:43 AM

I don't know. There are potentially going to be some good D coordinators out there, Dick Juaron, Wade Phillips, Lovie Smith. Whomever they hire as the new HC will give us an idea of the new DC.

Posted by: TWISI | November 27, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Whomever they hire as the new HC will give us an idea of the new DC.

Posted by: TWISI | November 27, 2009 11:52 AM

So you think they might hire the HC before they hire the coordinators this time? I wonder if that approach might work?

Posted by: League-Source | November 27, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

From Wednesday's chat:
...staff (Zorn, Bugel, Gray, Sherman Lewis) will be back next year?

Jason Reid: Again, this is just a guess at this point, but I would think Greg Blache and Sherman Lewis. Owner Daniel Snyder really likes Blache and he has been praising Lewis behind the scenes, from what I've been told.

Hard to figure out what Blache is thinking right now, but I took his defense of Snyder during blackheartgate at face value. There's enough talent on D to keep the job interesting and fun.

Posted by: daggar | November 27, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

From Wednesday's chat:
...staff (Zorn, Bugel, Gray, Sherman Lewis) will be back next year?

Jason Reid: Again, this is just a guess at this point, but I would think Greg Blache and Sherman Lewis. Owner Daniel Snyder really likes Blache and he has been praising Lewis behind the scenes, from what I've been told.

Hard to figure out what Blache is thinking right now, but I took his defense of Snyder during blackheartgate at face value. There's enough talent on D to keep the job interesting and fun.

Posted by: daggar | November 27, 2009 11:55 AM |

Interesting. Would have to think that GRay would've been the next man up for the DC position. Maybe his departure signals Blache remaining with the team. I would have to think that any new HC would like to keep this defense together.

Posted by: TWISI | November 27, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with those blaming DT for his lack of production and playing time. Just thought I'd make a case for DT's defense.

Now in his defense...
1. It's tough to excel in Zorn's scheme
2. JC will go a full Qtr without looking his way.
3. This coaching staff rarely plays to a players strength.
4. He was on most boards as the #1 WR in the draft. Raw w/ the most upside.
5. Vinny/Danny were looking for Taller WR's and he and MK fit the bill.
6. There is Zero leadership on the offensive side. Superstars like Portis laugh @ practice and the preseason which is contagious for young players.
7. He was a one year wonder @ MSU and the majority (80%) of his catches were bubble screens.
8. Have you ever seen him run a 9 route. He needs to be taught a straight line.
9. Well into his 2nd year he still can't run a route.
10. Vinny passed on Jackson and Royal.

Zorn and this coaching staff are guilty for a lot these last two years, I'm just not going to add DT to that long list.

DT is DT's biggest problem.

Posted by: Diesel44 | November 27, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

from PFT:

Cowher says he won't talk to teams with "current head coach"

Posted by Mike Florio on November 27, 2009 10:04 AM ET

I wasn't able to watch The NFL Today on Thursday, due to a unfortunate turkey-and-stuffing (and schnapps) induced stupor. So I'm now rolling the DVR, and at the top of the CBS pregame show former Steelers coach Bill Cowher addressed his current job status.

"I've spoken to no teams and I don't intend to do so while there's a current head coach," Cowher said. "Listen, this is a pivotal time of the year, and these coaches deserve to have the full support of their organizations. So I'm telling you I've talked to nobody."

So once Black Monday comes and goes, let the bidding for Bill Cowher begin.


Cowher knows the market -- bidding will be highest when there are the most bidders, the day after the season ends.

Posted by: League-Source | November 27, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Please no more talk of anyone on this coaching staff being retained...

1. Hire a GM
2. GM hires a HC
3. GM and HC then hire OC/DC and assistants

If the new GM and HC would like to INTERVIEW any of the current coaches, that would be fine.

The only input that Snyder should have is when he hires a GM. He should then be exiled to his office during the week and to his box on game day.

Who cares if Snyder bought Blatche a shotgun and that Blatche only speaks to the media and the fans is when Danny is criticized.

Posted by: Diesel44 | November 27, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, his lack of PT is squarely on his shoulders.

Posted by: p1funk | November 27, 2009 10:05 AM

That's the way Zorn spins it. The more I see, though, the less inclined I am to trust Zorn.


Posted by: League-Source | November 27, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse


Right. It was spin. Zorn was out to get Devin Thomas.

Even though Devin could have helped his offense look good and succeed, Zorn is just a playa-hater and wanted to hold back Devin.

That's a far more likely scenario.

Posted by: p1funk | November 27, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

J Reid: "Redskins say locker room remains united".

Hey, no reason to have dissent, disruption or disharmony. No one hassles you about not having a disciplined, focused attitude. Everyone is "free to be me", to find their inner self and come to love and cherish it for what it is and allow others to do likewise. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Posted by: ElDrano | November 27, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The inexperience of JZ and his offensive coaching staff was the primmary reason a player like DT had little reps.

Posted by: TWISI | November 27, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse


The "primary" reason, eh?

Would you care to point to one single solitary piece of evidence outside of your own speculation that would indicate this?

A quote from a coach? A comment by a player? An article from someone who had some kind of inside access?

We've been hashing DT for over a year, and while there's much to be desired frm Zorn and his staff, all indications from all sorts of sources (even DT's own father) was that DT simply had a very very slow start and a tough time getting up to speed with the playbook.

Posted by: p1funk | November 27, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

As Blanche DuBois might say, "Marty Mornhinweg says we may have the loveliest defense in the league, and it's so nice to hear a kind word thrown our way. Mr. Mornhinweg certainly talks like a gentleman, and we have always depended on the kindness of the other team's coordinators. But does he design to have his way with us on Sunday? And if he does, will he still respect us on Monday morning?"

Posted by: boothintexas | November 27, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

p1funk JZ has admitted that last year he not only had to teach his players on offense how to execute his plays, he had to do the same with his coaches. An inexperienced HC, with inexperienced assistants, putting in a playbook late in the offseason. Add to that JZ had to learn his players, and the injuries suffered by DT and Kelly and you get what we've gotten. But itis my opinion, I have not secret insight that you're asking for.

Anyway, I hope that the new HC will have a more experienced staff in place.

Posted by: TWISI | November 27, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: TWISI | November 27, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"I'm ok giving Bingo Lewis a try. "

You may be, but the it wouldn't matter if the Redskins have Jerry Lewis as coach. Until Danny changes attitude and hires football professionals, this is just re-arranging the deck chairs.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | November 27, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Mornhinweg yesterday said Washington's defense, officially ranked fourth in the NFL, is "fast and physical."

"You could argue this is the best defense in the league."

*****

you could argue it ... you'd lose the argument, but you could argue it.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 27, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

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