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Need to Know: Will the Redskins turn up the pass rush heat?

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Need to Know: Will the Redskins turn up the pass rush heat?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 15, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Nickel coverage

Here from the podium at Redskins Park are five notes and quotes from the head coach and coordinators.

1. When the Redskins were 3-6 last year, Jim Haslett unleashed a variety of blitzes on opposing quarterbacks. As one might suspect, he was not very revealing in his answer. “We’ll try to do whatever we can do if the opportunity arises, but obviously there’s things you can do based on who you’re playing, personnel, all that stuff,” he said. “But we’re always looking to do something to help us win the game.”

2. Mike Vick is unlikely to be playing but that doesn’t mean the Redskins can sleep on the possibility of the quarterback run. Nick Foles can gain some yardage on the ground. “It hasn’t changed at all,” said Haslett when asked about the Eagles’ QB running with Foles in the lineup. “Now they’ll still run the zone read, they still run option, they don’t do anything different than they’ve done before. It’s just instead of maybe a 10-yard gain it’s a six-yard gain. Nick’s got 20 rushing attempts for 80 yards this year.

3. Kyle Shanahan was asked about the notion of running “your” system regardless of how it fits the talent of the players on your roster. He gave a very blunt answer. “It’s pretty stupid. I personally don’t think anybody really does that,” he said. “Guys have systems they believe in but usually a system is language and they have plays that they like, but coaches aren’t just going to keep running plays that their players aren’t good at unless they want to get fired and suck at everything they do.”

4. Last year when the Redskins stood at 3-6 at the bye, Mike Shanahan had a presentation prepared that showed them the path to the playoffs to show that it could be done. The Redskins were three games out of the division lead at the time and they needed to be shown that the playoffs were still a possibility. Now they are a game and a half out so Shanahan took a different tack when meeting with the team this week. “What we did do is we went back through and looked at last year where we were at after nine games and went through the stats on both offense, defense and special teams,” said Shanahan. “Kind of gave them an idea on what we needed to improve on, on both sides of the ball as well as special teams. So you talk about that collectively – what we have to do over the last seven games.”

5. Robert Griffin III has been playing better as the season has gone on and Kyle was asked if that was due in part to some chemistry brewing between the quarterback and play caller. “The more time you get with somebody – I think I’ve got a pretty good feel on what he does best. You know what he does best and you’re always trying to push him to do more and that’s the goal working with him.”

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Stat of the day

—Robert Griffin III has lost three fumbles this season. He lost two all of last year.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 2; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 10; Giants @ Redskins 16

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan news conference and player availability after practice (approx. 1:30)

In case you missed it

Shanahan says special teams “much improved”

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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

For Redskins fans, it's probably a tough pill to swallow that the Eagles are in the Super Bowl. Making matters worse, Philadelphia got to the championship game without their star quarterback Carson Wentz.

Beyond the feelings that fandom incites, which are real and severe, what does the Eagles' breakthrough season mean for Washington? Let's take a look. 

Perhaps the most incredible part of the Eagles' success is that wunderkind QB Wentz is not at the helm. The second-year player was an MVP candidate all season but got injured late in the year. Nick Foles, the Philly backup, took over and played well in both Eagles' playoff wins. 

Does that mean much, if anything, for the Redskins? 

Some will argue it means Washington should not look to invest top dollar in QB Kirk Cousins. Foles is not considered a top-flight quarterback and still was able to maneuver his squad to the Super Bowl.

Whether or not that argument makes sense, Redskins fans should prepare to hear a lot of it over the next two weeks. 

There is also a theory that the Redskins should eschew spending at QB in favor of spending on defense. 

That may very well be the right move, but don't look to the Eagles to support the theory. 

Philadelphia spent $47 million on the defensive side of the ball in 2017. On offense, they spent $56 million.

What is definitely true?

The Eagles played terrific football in the postseason, and catapulted through the NFC by playing the underdog role.

Redskins fans might hate it, but the Eagles absolutely earned their Super Bowl appearance. 

That doesn't mean Redskins fans have to like it. 

Philadelphia has never won a Super Bowl. 

Now, standing in the way of their first Lombardi Trophy: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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When is Super Bowl 2018? Date, time, location, odds, TV channel, halftime performer

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When is Super Bowl 2018? Date, time, location, odds, TV channel, halftime performer

Super Bowl LII (52) will feature the New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC Champion) against the Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles (NFC Champion) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4, 2018.

If they go on to advance, the Vikings would become the first team to ever ‘host’ the Super Bowl in their home stadium. They are the third to play the game in their home state. Minnesota will be looking for their first Super Bowl title in five tries, the most appearances by any team without a championship.

Philadelphia is looking for their first title ever as well, and doing it with a back-up quarterback Nick Foles. They have been the underdog in every game this postseason; it would be no different in the Super Bowl.

New England is looking for their third Super Bowl over the past four years and their sixth championship since 2001. However, their path in the AFC Playoffs is arguably the easiest in their history. A win by the Patriots would tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history with six.

The new kids one the block, the Jaguars are one win away from their first Super Bowl appearance in what is already the best year ever for the franchise. If Jacksonville were to pull it off, they would be the tenth team in NFL history to win in their first Super Bowl appearance.

Super Bowl LII Information:

When is Super Bowl 52?

6:15 pm ET, February 4, 2018

Who is playing in Super Bowl 52?

New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles

Where is Super Bowl 52?

U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota

How can I watch Super Bowl 52 on TV?

NBC

Where can I stream Super Bowl 52?

The Super Bowl can be streamed for free on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Online with no cable TV: fubtoTV (Try for free)

Who are the announcers for Super Bowl 52?

Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya, Heather Cox

Who is performing the Super Bowl 52 halftime show?

Justin Timberlake is the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime performer. It is his third Super Bowl performance, previously performing in Super Bowl XXV and more famously in XXVIII with Janet Jackson.

What are the odds for Super Bowl 52?

New England Patriots: 6/5
Minnesota Vikings: 7/4
Philadelphia Eagles: 7/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 8/1