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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams-Redskins: 5 Things To Watch

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/03/2005

    Blitzing Fitz

    By unofficial count, Houston blitzed rookie QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 20 times last week. Seventeen of those blitzes came on pass plays, with Fitzpatrick completing six of 12 for 68 yards with an interception. He was sacked four times on blitzes and scrambled once for a 1-yard gain. Keep in mind, Houston is not known as a blitzing team.

    Washington is. The Redskins haven't been too successful blitzing lately, because opposing offenses have countered with maximum protection blocking schemes. But rest assured, they will get after Fitzpatrick early and often. The Rams have allowed 39 sacks this season, the third-highest total in the league, and will be blocking Sunday with a banged-up Orlando Pace at left tackle and Rex Tucker making just his second start of the season in place of the injured Alex Barron at right tackle.

    Rookie left guard Claude Terrell has shown a tendency to be late switching off to pick up looping - or stunting - pass rushers. That led to two sacks by the Texans and got Terrell benched in favor of Larry Turner for the final nine plays of regulation. Pass-blocking by running backs continues to be a problem lately, too. LB Morlon Greenwood steamrolled Steven Jackson to sack Jamie Martin in the first quarter in Houston. Later in the quarter, LB Dashon Polk beat Marshall Faulk to drop Martin again. Rest assured, none of these trends have gone unnoticed in Washington.

    Frequently in passing situations, Washington switches from its base four-man front to a 3-4 look. The Redksins will bring safeties and linebackers, drop defensive linemen in zone coverage, and have defenders walk up to the line just before the snap. "They want you to start messing with, 'OK, who's got who?' " Rams OG Adam Timmerman said. "And trying to confuse you with what's going on. So that's where we have to be sharp. In those situations, where it's like second-and-long, especially third-and-long, you better have your mental game going. Because they do a lot of weird stuff."

    Secondary concerns

    If Fitzpatrick gets time, there should be opportunities for St. Louis' top-ranked passing game against a Washington secondary that is solid, but not spectacular. Before joining the Redskins in 2004, CB Shawn Springs spent his previous seven seasons in Seattle. So he's used to defending the Rams, particularly Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. The other starting corner, Walt Harris, is a 10-year vet who gives a lot of cushion and may be replaced Sunday by the younger, faster Carlos Rogers. The heart of the Washington secondary is at safety, where SS Ryan Clark and FS Sean Taylor are big hitters.

    "Sean Taylor is a physical presence," Holt said. "He's an intimidating guy back there. . . . So you really have to be aware of where he is, especially in the passing game, so you won't take those big blows that he likes to deliver."

    The new Hogs

    The days of Jim Lachey, Mark Schlereth, Russ Grimm and Joe Jacoby are long gone, but Washington still loves to pound the football behind its offensive line. Only nine teams have run the ball more often this season than Washington, which is averaging 30 carries a game.

    "These guys are big, and they don't hide what they're doing," Rams DT Ryan Pickett said. "They just run right at you. . . . They're real old school. They have three tight ends, a running back in there, and they just try to knock you off the ball, man. I've never seen a team like this."

    Chasing Portis

    Washington RB Clinton Portis ranks eighth in the NFL in rushing with 943 yards, and is closing in on his fourth straight 1,000-yard season. He has faced the Rams only once, gaining 34 yards on five carries in his first NFL game in 2002 - for Denver. Rams LB Trev Faulk was in camp with Portis that preseason.

    "He's a speed, speed, speed (back)," Faulk said. "He has unbelievable speed. He's not the biggest guy, but he runs tough. He's strong. Runs hard. Gets the hard yards."

    The other Moss

    Acquired in a trade with the New York Jets in March, WR Santana Moss has had an immediate impact for Washington, with 1,053 receiving yards - good for third in the NFL.


  2. #2
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: Rams-Redskins: 5 Things To Watch

    Blitzing Fitz

    By unofficial count, Houston blitzed rookie QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 20 times last week. Seventeen of those blitzes came on pass plays, with Fitzpatrick completing six of 12 for 68 yards with an interception. He was sacked four times on blitzes and scrambled once for a 1-yard gain. Keep in mind, Houston is not known as a blitzing team.

    Washington is. The Redskins haven't been too successful blitzing lately, because opposing offenses have countered with maximum protection blocking schemes
    Blitzing, what a great concept. Look it works. Houston got 4 sacks and an interception.

    I wish the Rams would try blitzing a whole lot more. I feel pretty silly having the name UtterBlitz when the Rams don't seem to understand the concept.

    The days of Jim Lachey, Mark Schlereth, Russ Grimm and Joe Jacoby are long gone, but Washington still loves to pound the football behind its offensive line. Only nine teams have run the ball more often this season than Washington, which is averaging 30 carries a game.

    "These guys are big, and they don't hide what they're doing," Rams DT Ryan Pickett said. "They just run right at you. . . . They're real old school. They have three tight ends, a running back in there, and they just try to knock you off the ball, man. I've never seen a team like this."
    I hope the Rams are ready to stop the run because Gibbs loves to put the ball in his running back's hands.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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