Redskins Are Last Remaining Team Concerned About Eagles Wide-9

Redskins Are Last Remaining Team Concerned About Eagles Wide-9

The Birds are headed down to D.C. on Sunday for an NFC East
showdown with Robert Griffin III and the Redskins, an encounter with
far-reaching implications for both sides – the losers will fall into sole
possession of last place. Exciting!

At this point, there really isn’t much reason to believe the
2012 Eagles could beat anybody, only the Skins are pretty awful, too. Hell,
Mike Shanahan’s coaching staff is actually worried about the infamous Wide-9. Seriously.

Redskins insider Mike Jones writes in his Washington Post
blog that the Wide-9 could actually pose a problem, specifically in the running
game. Washington’s offense uses a lot of off-tackle runs, which of course is
where the Eagles’ defensive ends are rushing from in Jim Washburn’s scheme.

No, these are not just the insane ramblings of a
sportswriter. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan offered his take:

“It’s a huge challenge,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan
said. “They really crash the pocket; they crash the O-line every single play,
whether it’s a run or a pass. It really turns people. It’s hard to get outside
on it. It muddies everything up and pushes everything from the middle. It can
be a tough defense to run on, and it can be a real tough defense to drop back
and throw on.”

I presume he’s watched a lot of film on the Eagles, enough
to know their defensive line hasn’t “crashed” much of anything lately. Philadelphia
is allowing 129.6 yards per game on the ground since Week 5, and only two clubs
have fewer than their 14 sacks.

It’s been the only true mystery on this miserable Eagles squad.
Last year, the defensive line had 46 sacks alone. Teams have countered in a
variety of manners – max protection, shorter drops – but the reality is they
simply aren’t getting the job done.

It’s even more confusing because a Washburn unit has never
failed so spectacularly. While he worked in Tennessee for 12 years, the Titans routinely
featured one of the best lines in football, yet somehow Pro Bowlers Jason
Babin, Trent Cole, and Cullen Jenkins have seemingly disappeared.

But dammit, the Redskins are still concerned. Well, not
quite all of them, I guess. Running back Alfred Morris, who figures to be
seeing the bulk of the carries against the Birds, believes he’ll be fine.

“It poses a threat, but if we set it up, and run like we
normally do, we’ll be fine. And I think even with the Wide-9, we’ll still be
able to get outside of them with the athletic tackles that we have. I still
think we can get around those edges even though that defense is designed to
take those edges away.”

Why not? Nobody else is having much trouble these days.

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Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

On Wednesday, the Sixers traded Ersan Ilyasova to the Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second-round pick, as well as the option to swap 2017 second-round selections (see story).

"I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court," president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture."

The Sixers took to Instagram to express their appreciation for Ilyasova’s leadership. Ilyasova quickly embraced the role of a veteran go-to when he was traded to the Sixers in early November. Both posts below exemplify his team-first mentality.

✊🏼 A true Pro @ersanilyasova7

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Thanks for being a great teammate @ersanilyasova7. Wishing you the best in ATL

A post shared by Rob Covington (@atf_33) on

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time (see full recap).

Rare goal from Russell lifts Oilers over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell's goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers' five-game winning streak.

Russell's goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.

Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell's goal.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.

Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida -- last losing on the Panthers' ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip (see full recap).