For Marty Morhinweg and the Eagles, rebounding from the disappointing 13-9 loss in Oakland against the Redskins on Monday night is paramount if the Eagles are to declare themselves as a playoff-worthy team. After not finding the end zone against the Raiders, Mornhinweg will face an even tougher test this week against the fifth-ranked Redskins' defense.
"I think the Redskins' (defense) is a little better," Mornhinweg said, when asked to compare the Redskins to the Raiders. "The Redskins are really consistent, high level on a consistent basis. They've got talent. They have a good scheme. They play hard. They play fast. They're well-coached. They're smart. They play situational football at a high level."
If the Eagles are to unlock the Redskins' defense, the answer might lie in the Redskins' splits between pass defense and rush defense. Washington is currently third in the league in defending the pass and 22nd in defending the run. That will make running back Brian Westbrook an important factor in front of the nationally-televised ESPN audience.
"Oh, yeah. No question about it," Mornhinweg said, when asked if Westbrook should have gotten more touches last week against Oakland. "I know he wants the ball every play, that's a good thing.
"I like guys coming up to me (and saying), 'Give me the ball.' I like players like that. You can do a lot of good things that way with that mentality. Brian always wants the ball, that's a good thing. I really like Brian and his attitude and his mentality."
The other main area of focus for the Eagles' offense will be the offensive line. After giving up six sacks last Sunday, the line will welcome back Todd Herremans at left guard and Jason Peters, who missed three quarters of the Raiders' game, at left tackle.
"We are beat up just a little bit there, and so, we'll see," Mornhinweg said. "I do think (Herremans) is ready to play. He's a tough guy. I would think it would us just a little bit at the minimum."
"I would expect (Herremans) to play the whole game, and from there, we'll see ... He's kept himself in tip-top, high, physical condition, so I think the odds are that he may very well be able to do that. Like we talked about the offensive line previously, there are a lot of things going on there right now. So, we have to get the work done, get everybody their reps with all the different possibilities and then we'll make some decisions here pretty quick."
Another player who may make more of an impact going forward is wide receiver Reggie Brown. With Kevin Curtis currently on the shelf with a knee injury and Brandon Gibson departed to St. Louis, Brown figured to see a lot more of the field.
"I don't want to predict anything but Reggie has been practicing lights out," Mornhinweg said. "He's playing well, practicing well. He's earned an opportunity and it just hasn't happened yet and I suspect it will."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 5:18 p.m., October 23