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"D-NYING" : Eagles concerned about Defense and CP

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D-NYING

By LES BOWEN

bowenl@phillynews.com

THE WORST thing that can happen to a defense is a physical whipping.

Getting dominated at the line of scrimmage can just plain take away your heart. That would seem to be reason for concern, as the Eagles prepare for star running back Clinton Portis and the Washington Redskins, 2 weeks after being pushed around Lincoln Financial Field to the tune of 209 rushing yards surrendered to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But as embarrassed as the Eagles were about not being able to get off the field against the Jaguars, they say they don't feel they were pushed around, and they say they believe they can stop the run just fine if they stay disciplined and don't overpursue.

Middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter was asked yesterday about the common perception that he and his teammates were punked by the Jags.

"It doesn't bother me,'' Trotter said. "We're the ones in the film room, we're the ones on the field. The film don't lie; if you were physically dominated, it would show up on tape. After watching the tape, we were very physical... just missed assignments and missed tackles, that's what it came down to, guys not being in the right gap. Maybe a play here or there that we didn't see that they may have taken advantage of.''

Trotter knows as well as anyone that he plays behind a small line that was built to rush the passer. The Birds can get the job done - their rank of 18th in the league against the rush isn't great, but it isn't horrific. They can't afford to be lured out of position or to miss tackles, though.

"The bigger, stronger guys, a lot of times even if they get double-teamed, they can come off and make plays,'' Trotter said. "Our guys can do it too, but when you have smaller guys, those guys have to be very cognizant about not getting driven back into the linebacker... This week, we're focusing on everyone doing their job, playing sound defense, not trying to do more than that, and everything'll come together.''

Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said days like the Jacksonville debacle "happen sometimes when you're trying to make plays and you're not playing a little bit disciplined.''

"I would say we never got knocked off the ball,'' Johnson said. "Now, I'm going to say this: We didn't tackle well. They broke some tackles, and that was probably one of our worst-tackling games, but it was more gap control than anything else. I never felt at the time that they were knocking us off the ball. There were a lot of cutback runs and stuff like that.''

Defensive end Jerome McDougle said that when an entire defense, and not one or two players, gets gashed the way the Eagles did at the hands of Jacksonville, the answer is rarely as simple as a physical mismatch.

"In the NFL, everybody is pretty much close to the same level. Nobody's ever going to just out-physical somebody - it does happen, but not to everyone. It's not going to happen to the entire team,'' McDougle said. "I just feel like we were out of our gaps and we didn't play assignment football, and it hurt us.''

The Redskins bring with them the NFL's eighth-best rushing attack, led by Portis (498 yards on 121 carries) and Ladell Betts (283 yards on 62 carries).

Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson said Portis isn't much like Fred Taylor, who led the Jaguars' onslaught with 103 yards on just 15 carries. Taylor did much of his damage cutting back against the grain.

"They're two different backs,'' Patterson said. "Portis sees everything, and he's going to take it; he's not an easy guy to take down. He's a strong and hard runner.''

Eagles free safety Brian Dawkins noted this week that when the Redskins were struggling, they often underused Portis (14 carries in a loss to Tennessee, a dozen in losing to the Colts). But he got 23 carries (for 84 yards and a touchdown) on Sunday in their miracle win over the Cowboys.

"I think that's what [Redskins coach Joe] Gibbs is going to try and get back to, running the ball and doing what he likes to do,'' Dawkins said. "That sets up those playmakers they have at receiver.''

Read more here : D-NYING

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Sunday in their miracle win over the Cowboys.

miracle?

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

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Yeah, Portis was pretty okay in that "miracle" win Sunday. Hopefully we can miraculously run up and down the field on the Iggles a little better than we attempted to on the Pukes. CP gets 25+ carries against the Iggles and we'll gash um'.

HTTR

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All I have to say is that I think it will be TOUGH to run on them at first. Their defense has slumped in recent weeks but I remember them shutting down Tiki cold in week 2. Not many teams can do that. They will be pumped and ready from the bye week for Clinton Portis. We have to be patient and open up their defense, but not give up on the ground game if we are only getting 2 yards a carry at the beginning.

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miracle?

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

You don't think so? Dallas waslining up for a chip-shot with 6 seconds left...

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All I have to say is that I think it will be TOUGH to run on them at first. Their defense has slumped in recent weeks but I remember them shutting down Tiki cold in week 2. Not many teams can do that. They will be pumped and ready from the bye week for Clinton Portis. We have to be patient and open up their defense, but not give up on the ground game if we are only getting 2 yards a carry at the beginning.

They will be looking for Clinton to run the ball. Don't be surprized if Al Saunders comes out and tries to open the running game by passing the ball.

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You don't think so? Dallas waslining up for a chip-shot with 6 seconds left...

If he'd just plain missed it, you'd have an argument; the kick was BLOCKED.

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You don't think so? Dallas waslining up for a chip-shot with 6 seconds left...

Which was blocked. That's not a miracle. They could have just as easily blocked our kick, as well.

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miracle?

You don't think so? Dallas waslining up for a chip-shot with 6 seconds left...
Which was blocked. That's not a miracle. They could have just as easily blocked our kick, as well.

Exactly. And it's not like it was from 63 yards or anything, which should have made it much easier to block.

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It seems every time a sports writer can get in a jab on our team, it is done. I really try not to be a biased fan, but it seems to me that the media just loves to put the screws to the Skins.

I mean as you all have said it was BLOCKED...they could have blocked ours...

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Besides obviously passing the ball down field, we should definetly smash the eagles in the face with a tuff running game. Not just Clinton, but give it to Sellers and Duckett also. They WILL NOT beat us. Trust me.

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It was a miracle win against the cowboys, I don't see how anyone could possibly think otherwise. We should not have won that game, and the football gods did numerous things to help us: TO's dropped TD, Safety, Blocked FG, huge block return, 15 yd facemask, and a fg that was on the verge of missing until Zeus guided it back onto trajectory... Anyone that is insulted by anyone calling our win a miracle is up their own ass.

As to the poor run blocking of the eagles, we can only pray that this team tries to take advantage of that... I have no confidence in joe gibbs and the offensive coaches to gameplan properly or make the necessary adjustments. I do believe,however, that gregg williams will make the philly offense work for anything they get.

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They will be looking for Clinton to run the ball. Don't be surprized if Al Saunders comes out and tries to open the running game by passing the ball.

Thats what I was thinking, use the pass to set up the run. Then give CP the rock and run down the field. :eaglesuck

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It's going to be a good one. As a Cowboy fan, it's basically a Win-Win situation for us. We win, it helps us out. Either Philly falls back to 4-5, or the Skins fall out to 3-6.

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It was a miracle win against the cowboys, I don't see how anyone could possibly think otherwise. We should not have won that game, and the football gods did numerous things to help us: TO's dropped TD, Safety, Blocked FG, huge block return, 15 yd facemask, and a fg that was on the verge of missing until Zeus guided it back onto trajectory... Anyone that is insulted by anyone calling our win a miracle is up their own ass.

You seem to have your head up your ass. It was not a miracle win for the reason you specified: the KICK WAS BLOCKED. Had the snap been bad or Vanderjagdt pushed a chip shot wide, you'd have a case. As has been pointed out and well proven, the facemask was only the correct enforcement of a rule. By the way, Philly won a game last year in almost the same way and few called it a miracle.

What about the failure of the refs to at least be consistent? Had they, after Dallas' TD to begin the second half, we'd have been 1-10 inside the Dallas red-zone.

TO drops a sure TD? Okay, we dropped a couple of big ones ourselves. It always happens, somebody drops a sure catch or two.

The safety, safeties are NOT miracle plays.

In any case, had Dallas won, would people be calling it a 'miracle'? If not, then the Redskin win was DEFINITELY NOT.

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You guys are focusing on the wrong thing. The "miracle" characterization of the win is an overstatement, but to deny that there was a lot of luck involved with our win at the end of a hotly contested game is not being realistic.

Instead, focus upon the fact that what the Eagles fear the most is what we've largely failed to do but what we're apparently returning to: running the ball. A lot. That's the one way we have to dominate the Eagles. We certainly can't dominate them passing.

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You seem to have your head up your ass. It was not a miracle win for the reason you specified: the KICK WAS BLOCKED. Had the snap been bad or Vanderjagdt pushed a chip shot wide, you'd have a case. As has been pointed out and well proven, the facemask was only the correct enforcement of a rule. By the way, Philly won a game last year in almost the same way and few called it a miracle.

What about the failure of the refs to at least be consistent? Had they, after Dallas' TD to begin the second half, we'd have been 1-10 inside the Dallas red-zone.

TO drops a sure TD? Okay, we dropped a couple of big ones ourselves. It always happens, somebody drops a sure catch or two.

The safety, safeties are NOT miracle plays.

In any case, had Dallas won, would people be calling it a 'miracle'? If not, then the Redskin win was DEFINITELY NOT.

Sorry, but any blocked kick, especially so close to the uprights, is in and of itself a miracle. Dallas had numerous opportunities to win the game and despite the odds botched it up. Even Novak's game winning kick was a bit of a miracle. We didn't deserve to win the game on numerous fronts, but miniscule odds played in our favor on numerous occasions. I'd call that a miracle.

We played as well as we could, we didn't drop any passes of significance (if any at all), we got numerous PI calls in our favor, and we still should have lost. When the opposing team drops a sure TD and you block a field goal to win the game, that's a miracle win. The series of events that played out in the last 6 seconds of the game have most probably never occurred in the history of the NFL, and may never again. I don't care who is playing or what the circumstances are... that game was a miracle plain and simple.

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Numerous calls in our favor?

How about numerous uncalled penalties on Dallas, including one on a TD play? We punch it in from the one and it's not even the same game. We left just as much on the table as Dallas, so blocked kick is not a miracle, it's taking advantage of the opportunities as they present themselves and we did a better job of that than Dallas.

There's no such thing as miracles or luck in sports. Things happen as they happen and the team that does a better job of taking advantage is the one that wins.

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Sorry, but any blocked kick, especially so close to the uprights, is in and of itself a miracle.

Sorry, a blocked kick is NEVER a miracle. The proximate cause of such an event was the team that blocked the kick and the proximate cause is what determines if the event is a 'miracle' or not.

Dallas had numerous opportunities to win the game and despite the odds botched it up.

No more than us and maybe fewer.

Even Novak's game winning kick was a bit of a miracle.

So, again, you show you have no argument.

We played as well as we could, we didn't drop any passes of significance (if any at all)

Cooley dropped 2, including a 35 yarder.

we got numerous PI calls in our favor

No PIs that were NOT PIs and two of those PIs kept us from scoring TDs on those plays.

should have lost

Less likely than Dallas.

We didn't deserve to win the game on numerous fronts

Neither did Dallas.

I'd call that a miracle.

Well, if called you an idiot, does that make it so? Again, the proximate cause of the win was the Redskins play.

I don't care who is playing or what the circumstances are... that game was a miracle plain and simple.

Again, a BLOCKED kick is NOT a miracle. The proper call is NOT a miracle (or at least shouldn't be).

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All I have to say is that I think it will be TOUGH to run on them at first. Their defense has slumped in recent weeks but I remember them shutting down Tiki cold in week 2. Not many teams can do that. They will be pumped and ready from the bye week for Clinton Portis. We have to be patient and open up their defense, but not give up on the ground game if we are only getting 2 yards a carry at the beginning.

EXACTLY.

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miracle?

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Getting the correct call from an official in any Skins/Dallas game to kick a game winning FG is definitely a friggin miracle!...:)

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