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Hustle, discipline keys to stopping Eagles attack

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Hustle, discipline keys to stopping Eagles attack

The Redskins’ defense doesn’t quite know what it will be facing on Monday night when Chip Kelly unveils the NFL version of his Oregon offense. But it seems to be a pretty good guess that it will be fast paced and there will be option elements to it.

Being in top football shape is the key to dealing with the fast pace of play. “When you talk about the conditioning aspect, we've worked on that throughout the summer,” said safety Reed Doughty. End Stephen Bowen added that the coaches have been “killing” them with an ultra-high pace during practice.

You also have to get substitutions on and off the field quickly and make sure that everybody is on the same page. Doughty has noticed that teams have had an issue with communication in these situations.

“What you see is they aren't getting the play in, they aren't getting the call out, they're not getting lined up and then they get a touchdown,” he said. “It's about us effectively communicating quickly.”

Communication and conditioning go hand in hand. If you can’t catch your breath you can’t hear the signals.

“The more anxious you get about it, the worse you are in the sense that you need to control your breath, listen to the call and just go play football,” said Kedric Golston.

Once the ball is snapped, one of the keys is to stay disciplined, according to Bowen.

“It's all assignment. Everybody has an assignment,” he said. “You can't think, oh I thought I saw this so I went there. Carry out your assignment.”

“If you've got the dive, play the dive. If you've got the quarterback play the quarterback. If you've got the pitch, stick to the pitch. That will be key for us on Monday.”

Doughty agreed that executing your assignment is important but that getting to the ball quickly is crucial. “I think more so than discipline it's hustle. You've got to be in condition, you've got to get 11 people to the ball. You have to play your assignment but after that you've got to rally to the football. You can't take plays off.”

Flying to the ball while maintaining assignments may seem to be contradictory but when Jim Haslett was asked how a defender is supposed to balance the two he said they can’t.

“I think it’s a combination. I don’t think there is a balance,” he said. “It’s both. You’ve got to be disciplined, they make you be disciplined in what they’re doing. You’ve got to be able to tackle well and then everybody’s got to be in the right spot and everybody’s got to run to the ball. So they make you do it.”

“That’s the kind of offense. They spread you out, they use 11 guys – the quarterbacks, the running back. They use everybody, and we’ve got to use everybody.”

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Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

All signs point to the Redskins starting Arie Kouandjio at left guard this weekend against the Eagles, and the coaching staff knows it's a big chance for the second-year man.

Incumbent starter Shawn Lauvao injured his groin last week against the Cardinals, and has not practiced all week. Assuming he doesn't play, this would mark Kouandjio's second start this season. He also got the start against the Browns in Week 4.

Washington coach Jay Gruden did not speak glowingly of Kouandjio's play against Cleveland, but it wasn't a negative review, either.

"He’s played one game, he played OK," the coach said. "He has another great opportunity for him. He’s waited his turn, done what’s asked of him. Practiced hard, played hard, and it’s a great opportunity.”

With center Spencer Long currently in concussion protocol and backup John Sullivan started to go in the middle of the Redskins offensive line, the group will have a number of new faces against the Eagles. The right side of the line, with guard Brandon Scherff and tackle Morgan Moses, will be the same as its been all year, though both of those players are nursing ankle injuries. 

"We have confidence in the guys that if some of those guys that are backups need to step up and be ready to roll," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!