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Redskins aim to ground Eagles' McCoy

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Redskins aim to ground Eagles' McCoy

In each of the Eagles’ three victories this season, there’s been one constant: running back LeSean McCoy received 20 or more carries.

Conversely, they’re 0-6 when McCoy gets fewer than 20.

Only Andy Reid can tell you why McCoy doesn’t play a prominent role in the Eagles’ offense on a more consistent basis. Or, for that matter, how many times the NFL’s most elusive tailback will carry the ball Sunday at FedEx Field.

Regardless, the Redskins are preparing as though McCoy’s number will be called early and often, particularly since the Eagles will have a first-time starter at quarterback in rookie Nick Foles.

“Considering that he’s not getting too many touches per game, it makes [his numbers] that much more impressive,” linebacker Rob Jackson said of McCoy. 

Through nine games, McCoy has rushed for 705 yards (11th in the NFL) and two touchdowns, one season after he amassed 1,307 yards and 17 touchdowns in 15 games. The drop off n production has led to pointed questions in Philadelphia about McCoy’s role and, specifically, why the 24-year-old is averaging only 18 carries per game. 

That, however, is not the Redskins’ worry. Stopping the shifty 5 foot 11, 208 pound tailback is their only concern.

McCoy uses a rare combination of agility, vision and anticipation to make defenders miss. He also utilizes his world-class acceleration to outrun opponents, a number underscored by his seven carries of 20 or more yards (third most in the NFL). 

“You really can’t contain him,” Jackson added. “You just have to limit him. Every time he gets the ball, he makes at least one guy miss. He’s elusive.”

McCoy played in only one of the NFC East rivals’ two meetings last season, racking up 126 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 28 carries in the Eagles’ 20-13 victory at FedEx Field in October. (McCoy missed the second meeting with a sprained ankle.)

“Do your job," Jackson added, asked how to limit McCoy. "Don’t try to do nobody else’s job. That’s when he’ll hurt you. The second you leave your gap, he’ll pop out and then pop back right where you were supposed to be.” 

A similar sentiment was echoed throughout the Redskins’ locker room this week: discipline, sound positioning and textbook tackling form will be the key to slowing Philadelphia's best player.

“He reminds me of…” linebacker Perry Riley said, pausing for a moment to think. “I don’t know if there are too many like him. He’s one of a kind. I don’t know if he’s quite Barry Sanders, but he’s the closest thing to him. When you have him one-on-one in the open field, you have to tackle him. If he breaks a tackle and gets out into space, he can cause problems for us.”

Lineman Kedric Golston added: “As far as I’m concerned, he’s probably the most elusive back I’ve played against. I didn’t get to play against Barry Sanders, but McCoy is full speed in two steps and can cut on a dime.”

 

 

 

 

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Redskins' Josh Norman elected alternate NFLPA rep weeks after criticizing union

Redskins' Josh Norman elected alternate NFLPA rep weeks after criticizing union

NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith made a visit to Redskins Park today, and the team elected their union representatives.

Kedric Golston will serve another year as the team's liason to the union. Three alternates were elected as well: Kirk Cousins (an alternate last season), Will Compton and, surprisingly, Josh Norman. 

Norman was critical of Smith and the union in an ESPN piece in August. "[The NFL] is a dictatorship, and [NFLPA director] DeMaurice [Smith] is in cahoots with those guys," he claimed. 

The cornerback's election today marks what would appear to be a turn of events. 

"We always love to have veteran leadership as player representatives, and this team is no different with Kirk and Kedric returning," Smith told CSN Mid-Atlantic. "As for Josh, we love players who are both smart and passionate, and he, as well as the other players, fit that bill."

MORE REDSKINS: Cravens declared NFL Clutch Performer of the Week

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Josh Norman fined for rough play against Giants

Josh Norman fined for rough play against Giants

Nearly a week after the Redskins win over the Giants, news broke that Washington CB Josh Norman has been fined for roughness in the New York victory.

UPDATE: Per ProFootballTalk, the fine was for a fourth quarter hit on Sterling Shepard and being a repeat offender.

For much of the Redskins-Giants game, Norman covered Odell Beckham almost exclusively. Not many moments stand out for being particularly physical save for a play early in the game when Beckham jumped in the end zone. The motion took him above Norman, but rather than letting Beckham come down to the ground, the corner grabbed and carried the receiver for a few yards.

Norman was flagged for roughness on a hit against Giants receiver Sterling Shepard. It's likely that hit triggered the fine. It's also worth pointing out that referees gave Norman a specific warning before the game about rough play, so it's possible being flagged for roughness despite the warning made an impact in the league offices as well. 

There is one other physical moment that stands out from the Giants/Redskins matchup - when Beckham violently swung his helmet at the Giants' kicking net. Beckham got the worst of the altercation though as the net flew back at him and socked him in the face.

Expect many questions about the fine to come.