Redskins expect the unexpected from Eagles

Redskins expect the unexpected from Eagles
September 7, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Mike Shanahan on RG3 and Alfred Morris with Brian Mitchell

One of the biggest questions leading up to Monday night’s game at FedEx Field is how the Redskins’ defense will contend with an Eagles’ offense it’s never seen in a regular season game. 

But the same is true on the other side of the ball.

The Redskins' offense had plenty of success against the Eagles a year ago, amassing 58 points in a pair of victories. From that unit, Washington brings back all 11 starters.

But offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan acknowledged this week that facing a largely unknown and completely retooled Philly defense presents a major challenge.

“That’s always a hard thing because when you only have preseason film to go off, you’ve got to respect it …try to get a feel for their fronts and what they want to run,” Shanahan said. “But half the clips you’re looking at, guys aren’t on the team [anymore], so you don’t know what they’re trying to set you up for, what they’re actually trying to do.”

The Eagles boast a new defensive coordinator (Billy Davis), a new scheme (3-4) and five new starters (LB Connor Barwin, S Patrick Chung, NT Isaac Sopoaga and CBs Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams). All of those variables, plus a long week to prepare, actually gives the Redskins’ staff more time to overanalyze things, Shanahan said.

“You can really drive yourself crazy as a coach, which is kind of why it’s tough having a long week,” Shanahan added. “It just gives us more time to overthink every single situation.”

The key, Shanahan said, is to be prepared for the unexpected. And to be ready to make adjustments on the fly.

“With a game like this, you really have got to be ready to adjust to whatever they do because you really don’t know what they’re going to do,” he added. “You got to have the type of game plan that can go any type of direction. And it’s going to be really important for us to figure out what they’re doing and make sure we decide on the right direction to go.”