Whisper Room

The Redskins have sparked the interest of many around the NFL, including scouts who followed them throughout the preseason, trying to determine how they would stop Washington's offense. And deal with the Redskins' defense. Here's one AFC scout's take on the Redskins' offense, whom he saw play three times this summer. His team will play Washington later this season. Tomorrow, in a bonus Whisper Room, we'll share his take on Washington's defense.

''What I saw on offense is very creative and they do it with a lot of people who have limited speed. Teams that play a lot of Cover 2 and zone . . . the Redskins will do well against them because they have a lot of different options. But teams that can play like Pittsburgh and New England, they'll dictate the game to the Redskins. They lack speed at receiver and against better defenses and good man cover teams, that will give them a lot of trouble. If they get time to throw, it doesn't matter who's throwing it. The offense is all rhythm and timing. When you throw that off it won't look as good. Defenses will take more away than they did at Florida.

''They'll see a lot of different middle blitzes and a lot of run-through blitzers and bracket coverages. They'll play zone on one side and man up on the others to throw off the rhythm. Chris Doering is a nice kid, but he's not fast. There's a reason he's so effective when he hits his second move--the ball is already out. For Rod Gardner, he's a bigger guy without great speed so it takes him more time to develop his routes. Guys who are bigger and stronger and who don't go down the field as far, that's who they'll look for. The protection is the whole key.

''Zeron is not as much a playmaker as Robert Royal or Leonard Stephens. Flemister is a better blocker than a receiver and he was probably out of the mix until the injuries hit.

''They will run the ball well. Stephen Davis could be an All-Pro for the next four years. But you can't come from behind by running the ball. If they don't run it early in the game, it might be too late. I'm not worried that they couldn't run it in the preseason. They've been saving Stephen. They had to get a look at all their passes. But when you have Chris Samuels and Jon Jansen, you know they'll be able to run. When they match up against teams that are sound defensively, or who can score like the Rams offense, then they'll really have to be creative.

''I would play seven-man fronts against them, not eight. I would force them to run on first down and then force them to run again on second down. Then you can blitz them and it will be more effective. If teams blitz the middle and play man, then they'll be forced to throw lots of six- to eight-yard passes instead of 15-20 yards. Their quarterbacks don't have a lot of big-game experience, nor do we know what they'll do if Stephen Davis is not effective. Steve also doesn't have any big-game experience in the NFL. But he'll find a way and next year they should be better.''

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