Quick Links

Hustle, discipline keys to stopping Eagles attack

reed-doughty-coverage.png

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.”

Quick Links

The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 7 worst play of 2016

Giants at Redskins, Week 17

4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10

Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: It looked like the Redskins were on the verge of saving their season. They were down 10-0 in the third quarter but they battled back to tie it up in the late going. But after lulling the Redskins defense to sleep with running plays and short passes, Manning launched one deep down the left sideline. King, who had one reception for six yards on the season coming into the game, had a step on cornerback Greg Toler and he hauled in the pass for 44 yards. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants the lead.

More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?

Finlay: In a terrible game that led to many more questions than answers for the Redskins, this play was just a huge, huge disappointment. Washington fought back to tie up a game that they had largely been outplayed in, particulrly in the first half. Remember, the Giants had nothing to play for while for the 'Skins, a win would put them in the playoffs. The New York offense was laregly nonexistent in the second half of this game, as it became obvious Eli Manning did not want to get hit. And still, the embattled Redskins defense gave up a long pass play to a dude that had contrbuted basically nothing all season. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN 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!

Quick Links

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Mike Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins, both as a person and as a quarterback. The former Redskins coach has made no secret about that. Luckilly for the 'Skins, especially with Cousins staring at free agency, Mike Shanahan is no longer coaching in the NFL.

His son Kyle, however, seems highly likely to take over as San Francisco 49ers head coach. And soon.

Kyle Shanahan currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, and once their playoff run ends, most expect Shanahan to be named Niners head coach. 

Why should Washington fans care? Allow ESPN's Adam Schefter to explain:

Kyle Shanahan is set to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach after Atlanta's season ends. San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan.

Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. And if Washington doesn't want to deal now, it could have issues later.

This news should not be a shock to Skins fans, but it should be taken seriously. Remember, Kyle Shanahan was part of the Washington organization when Cousins was drafted and the duo worked together in 2012 and 2013. Most quarterbacks would love to run Shanahan's No. 1 ranked offense from Atlanta, and the guess here says Cousins would probably jump at the opportunity. 

Still, much must be worked out.

While some in the Washington front office might have questions about what the long-term value should be in a Cousins contract, the team still has some control. They can place the franchise tag on Cousins this season, like they did last season, and work until mid-summer on a multi-year deal. Or Cousins can again play on a franchise tag in 2017, like he did in 2016 and passed for nearly 5,000 yards.

MORE REDSKINS: Kevin O'Connell to be hired as QB coach

What makes Schefter's report the most interesting is the mention of the No. 2 overall pick. Observing the Redskins in 2016, it became obvious the team needs more impact players on defense, and with the second overall pick combined with their own 17th pick and eight more after that, that could deliver an immediate boost. 

Whatever boost a package of draft picks might bring in will be hard pressed to match the production of Cousins. Finding a starting quarterback in the NFL is exceptionally hard, and while Cousins has shown flashes of a special player, he has certainly confirmed he is a capable player in two seasons at the helm of Jay Gruden's offense.

Scot McCloughan and the Redskins brain trust have a few more weeks before free agency, and with it, the deadline to again place the franchise tag on Cousins. It's nearly impossible to see a scenario where Cousins hits the open market this season, but if the No. 2 overall pick comes into play, other scenarios start to seem more possible. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!