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#HailMail: Redskins Take On The Eagles

1003_hailmail_615x255.jpg's Andrew Walker answers YOUR questions submitted on Facebook and Twitter about Sunday's Redskins-Eagles matchup at FedExField.*

Jesse Morley on Facebook asks: "Is the defense going to be able to contain the eagles run game while still be able to put pressure on the qb with that quick chip kelly offensive scheme?"

All week, the members of the Redskins' defense have said that their No. 1 goal on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles is to stop the run first. The Eagles, of course, feature three very talented running backs in DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, each of whom bring their own flavor to the offense – and challenges for the defense – so while the tempo will certainly be a factor to consider, the Washington defense wants to stop the run to get the Eagles in uncomfortable situations on 3rd down.

"First thing is we've got take the run away, the only way we going to make some, we do that, we have to stop DeMarco, we've got to stop Ryan, and we've got to stop Sproles," Redskins defensive end Ricky Jean Francois said. "We got to stop the three-headed monster, Chip Kelly knows how to use all three in the back in every type of position every type of way. … You already know [Kelly's] got a plan for each one of them," Jean Francois said. "The biggest thing is we've just got to beat the man in front of you. Beat the man in front of you, you get 3rd-and-8, 3rd-and-7, [places] they're not real comfortable with."

When it comes to pressuring the quarterback, Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry said he's been satisfied with the effort in this area so far, but it just hasn't parlayed into the stat sheet just yet.

"I'd tell you, our whole D-line room would tell you, 'They're greedy. We're greedy," Barry said this week. "We want to sack the quarterback. We want to get after the quarterback.' We've got to affect the quarterback. Ultimately affecting the quarterback is by sacking him, but if we can pressure him, if we can hit him, if we can get him off his spot, if we can make him uncomfortable, that's all I care about."

Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford has been sacked just two times all season through three games, so the Redskins' defensive front certainly has quite the challenge on Sunday.

James Jsmooth Spruill on Facebook asks: "When are we gonna see more of Rashard Ross, he looks to be a dynamic playmaker?"

You're right – Rashad Ross *is *a dynamic playmaker.

He led all NFL receivers in yards, receptions and touchdowns during the preseason, and then last week against the New York Giants, he took a late kickoff back 101 yards for a touchdown.

To this point of the regular season, however, Ross' contributions on the offensive side of the ball have been limited, as his two receptions for 27 yards against the Giants were his first two catches of the season.

Many believed Ross would fill right in for wide receiver DeSean Jackson when he went down with a hamstring injury in the first quarter of the Redskins' Week 1 game against the Miami Dolphins, but that just hasn't happened yet.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said last week that Ross simply has other players ahead of him at the wide receiver position to this point.

"We've had Andre [Roberts], Ryan Grant, obviously, in front of him, [Jamison] Crowder," Gruden said. "He [Ross] is kind of our – as far as working into the lineup – he's our fifth guy right now."

Gruden said when Jackson returns to the lineup, the team will continue to try to find ways to keep Ross in the lineup, but I wouldn't be surprised if Ross gets a few deep pass attempts his way the next couple weeks – maybe starting next Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

And maybe quarterback Kirk Cousins will even try to throw in a surprise or two on Sunday against the Eagles, throwing deep to Ross under forecasted rainy conditions.


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