Time and again last year, Renaldo Wynn would stare across the line and see the imposing Brandon Jacobs standing there, waiting to carry the ball.
That's not a sight any defensive lineman wants to see. And this was only practice.
Wynn, of course, played for the New York Giants last year. Now he is on the other side of the ball. He has emphasized to his teammates the importance of tackling the 6-4, 264-pound Jacobs.
Jacobs has rushed for 1,000 yards each of the last two seasons and averaged more than 5 yards per carry.
"He's such a big guy, when we tried to tackle him we would always say we're definitely not going to tackle you up top," Wynn said. "Especially if you're a secondary guy--you want to tackle him low and take his wheels off him."
Slowing the freight train that is Jacobs is the Redskins' focus heading into Sunday's season opener against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands.
Last offseason, the Redskins added 6-6, 350-pound Pro Bowl defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to help with this very matchup.
Since Jacobs is a classic downhill runner, it's hoped that Haynesworth can provide a strong push into the backfield and slow Jacobs before he gets going.
Asked about tackling Jacobs, Haynesworth seemed indifferent.
"They all fall the same, so it doesn't really matter," Haynesworth said. "What is he, 250 [pounds]? I weighed 250 when I was in the 10th grade."
The remark reportedly made it to Jacobs in North Jersey. Let the barbs begin.
"He's a human being, he walks on two feet, he bleeds," Jacobs told reporters this week. "He's a great football player, don't get me wrong, but there's no reason to go in there and only think about him."
Greg Blache has emphasized team defense against Jacobs, because he knows that trying to tackle him one on one is a tough task.
"His size and his speed and the way he runs and as hard as he runs, it creates a problem for anyone that has to face him," Blache said. "We have to play good physical defense. If he gets to our guys one on one, we could have some issues. We have to get a lot of hats to the football."
Added Kedric Golston: "You hit him hard and you hope that your buddies come and help you out."
As for the Haynesworth-Jacobs matchup, Blache wants no part of it.
"The big thing is the alignment and that the defensive linemen are where they're supposed to be," Blache said. "If [Haynesworth] runs into Brandon, that'll be great and fine. I don't want him chasing Brandon around when he's supposed to be in a three -technique on the back side, or whatever."
LaRon Landry knows firsthand what it's like to try to tackle Jacobs one on one.
Last year, Jacobs bowled him over on a run downfield. He was able to slow him down just enough for H.B. Blades to tackle him.
It's still a sore subject with Landry.
On Wednesday, a reporter asked Landry if he owed Jacobs one.
Landry shook his head and smiled.
"Here we go with this," he said. "I'm going out there to play football. If I catch him, I catch him."