Behind Enemy Lines - Part 4

WarNest.com's Chris Steuber asked Warpath.com's John Kelm five final questions about the Redskins. Behind Enemy Lines concludes with Part 4, and Kelm discusses the future of Jon Jansen, the Redskins secondary, and the 'Skins three keys to victory.

Chris Steuber: What does Jon Jansen’s injury [broken ankle] mean to the Redskins offense, and is this a career ending injury for Jansen?

John Keim: No. Jansen has been told his ankle should be fine once he fully rehabs and there should be no further issues. However, makes me wonder what his future is in Washington. Jansen was considered a good leader along the line and a sturdy performer. However, he'd been having some issues in protection and some around the league wondered how effective he still was. Todd Wade replaced him for one game last year, against the Saints, and played well. He's physical, but is not as fluid as Jansen. Still, he's started 86 games there so they should be OK. What we don't know is how healthy he is (dislocated shoulder this summer; says he's OK).

CS: The Eagles defense played very well against the Packers. What will the Redskins try to do offensively to have success against a tough Philly defense?

JK: They will try to run the ball, which is what they want to do against everybody. They did well against Miami by going to counters and runs designed to start up the middle and then cut wide. It worked and they also wore down a good D. They pride themselves on being physical.

CS: The Eagles special teams are a big concern. How do you see the Redskins taking advantage of a vulnerable unit in coverage and during return situations?

JK: Randle El is dangerous as a punt returner, though he dances way too much for my liking. It often gets him nowhere. But if he gets through that first wave, he'll go far. Rock Cartwright is a rather mediocre kick returner, but he did take one back against Dallas last year so he's capable, too.

CS: How good is the Redskins secondary, a secondary that features safeties LaRon Landry and Sean Taylor, and cornerbacks Carlos Rogers, Fred Smoot and Shawn Springs?

JK: It could be very good, though Smoot and Rogers struggled in man and quarters coverage Sunday. They gave too much respect to the Dolphin receivers and therefore allowed too much cushion. Smoot in particular was picked on and I would expect that to be the case again. Springs served as a nickelback the other day and played only about 12 snaps. Skins say it's because of health concerns. We'll see. He's still their best corner. The safeties should be fine. Taylor goes for the big hit and misses as often he makes them. Landry plays in the box an awful lot, leaving the Skins in many cover-3s. But he played a decent amount in cover-2 as well. Has the speed to do a lot. And he's physical enough to sometimes line up as a linebacker on early downs.

CS: For the Redskins to defeat the Eagles on Monday night, what are the three keys to victory?

JK: They have to run the ball well. They can't put the game in Jason's hands in a hostile road environment. Jason is capable of big games, but their go-to guys are the running backs. So they have to run the ball well, first and foremost. The defense has to pressure Donovan. Trent never felt comfortable in the pocket, but some of that stemmed not from the rush but from his skittishness. And they have to create a couple turnovers. They had only 12 last year, but did force one Sunday.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber is the Editor in Chief of WarNest.com and an NFL Analyst for Scout.com. Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. If you have any questions for Chris, email him at csteuber@scout.com.


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