This is going to strain the imagination some, but Jack Pardee said it with a straight face. It was in response to the question: Why were the Redskins able to stoop a formation yesterday that had been so troublesome two weeks ago in Philadelphia?
"We turned our backs on it," he said.
"We had the guys line up so he (the Eagle blocker) would have to clip him to move him."
So that was part of the reason for all those closed practices last week at Redskin Park? So Washington could counter that Eagle wingback formation by having the linebacker turn his back on it?
"That's all you have to do," said Pardee, relighting a cigar and the sliest of smiles. "Dallas has been doing that for years."
If the antidote to having either Harold Carmichael or the second Eagle tight end line up with such a juicy blocking angle is so simple, why not use it during the Philly folly two games ago?
"Weren't smart enough, I guess," Pardee said.
It did seem odd that right linebacker Pete Wysocki frequuently appeared to be lining up with his right hip pointed toward the line of scrimmage. Was this a man asking to be clipped?
"The Polish way to play football," he said. "I deflect people with my fanny. An innovative technique." He added, his voice serious but his face still aglow: "They can't hit you from behind outside the tackles on the line of scrimmage. It's that simple.
"I never gave them the front of me to hit. I just turned my back and hoped they knew the rules as well as we did."
Wysocki's invitations were more clearly engraved than those of the other linebacker, Brad Dusek. Was he into that sort of trickery, too?
"Not as much," Wysocki said. "I think he was embarrassed."
If this was the most interesting and intriguing change by the Redskins in their remarkable turnaround against the Eagles, it clearly was not the most important. Or at least some numbers suggest heroes in addition to the outside linebackers, who between them were credited with two tackles and two assists.
In football lingo, the difference between embarrassment in Philadelphia and ecstasy in Washington two games later was simple: The Eagles kicked Butz there and had their butts kicked here.
Dave Butz saw it that way.
"Diron (Talbert) took half the blame for that game," Butz said of his fellow defensive tackle. "And the other part was my fault.
"I didn't play defense the way it was supposed to be played. I don't want to use this as an excuse, but I had a terrible migraine not long before the game. And I was too high too soon.
"I was played out Wednesday. I was up for 'em so much that I lost a lot of sleep, mentally tired before the game even began. This time was a mental crescendo that hit its peak at just the right time."
It clearly ended with a bang. In Philadelphia, the Eagles ran where they wanted and when -- especially on first down. In RFK Stadium, they gained more than two yards on first down just four times before being reduced to passing nearly every down the fourth quarter.
"If you execute right on first down, you can create blow-out situations," Butz explained. "Then the stunts (on pass rushes) work. Perry (or Talbert) and I grab one or two guys in the middle and the ends coming in behind us have a good route to the quarterback.
"Philadelphia also uses its backs as receivers, and (their flaring out of the backfield) makes it even easier for our end to nail him (quarterback Ron Jaworski). It's just proper execution, no big change in defenses."
"yet seemed like we were playing with only nine men on defense," Dusek said. "And it wasn't the same two out of it on each play. This time we had 11 guys on each play. When they don't, it's ours."
"It's doing what we can do just a little bit better," Talbert added.
There were three defensive lineup changes from two weeks ago, with Neal Oldewicz at middle linebacker the only one not somewhat injury-related. Olkewicz has played spendidly during his two games since replacing Don Hover.
"He's got a knack, an instinct for the ball," Dusek said. "You find somebody like that now and then. Buoniconti of the Dolphins was like that. He (Olkewicz) caused at least two fumbles."
"He's solidified the middle," strong safety Ken Houston said.
"When Butz, Talbert and Olkewicz play well," said Pardee, "when those guys play hard they'll make us good coaches every week."