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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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Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 

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Redskins 53-man roster projection, ver. 2.0

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Redskins 53-man roster projection, ver. 2.0

<< Click here to see Redskins 53-man roster projection ver. 2.0 >>

The Redskins are halfway through the preseason and the first two games may have done more to muddy the waters when it comes to who will make the 53-man roster than they did to clarify things. 

Here is my second training camp prediction of who will make the final cut for the Redskins. See where players are safe and where the hot spots are for competition. 

Among the big battles taking shape:

—An injury and one player’s impressive preseason have juggled the wide receiver depth chart. 

—With Orlando Scandrick cut, the cornerback position looks set but the rookies had better not do anything to shake the coaches’ confidence in them. 

—There are seven safeties who may be worthy of roster spots, but only four are likely to make it. 

—Despite the Hogan-led rally last night, it still looks like the roster will have only two QBs. 

<< Click here to see Redskins 53-man roster projection ver. 2.0 >>

Redskins 2018 news:

-Redskins vs Jets: Must-see photos from the game
-Analysis: Five Redskins-Jets observations

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler