The Washington Post

Rams’ defensive player to watch: Chris Long


How he beats you: The 6-foot-3, 270-pound Virginia product has three sacks on the season. He’s strong, physical and technically sound, with good hands and agility. Long has recorded a sack in each of his last five games. He isn’t the fastest pass-rusher, but he does a good job of mixing up his techniques to get into the backfield. Against the run, he has good recognition and again uses a strong, relentless effort to get off blocks and make a stop.

How to beat him: Long will find himself matched up against right tackle Jammal Brown, who holds a considerable size advantage. Brown will look to use that to help him fend off the defensive end. He will try to get into Long’s chest and stick with him to avoid a letdown on the second or third effort.

Bottom line: Long stands out and the Redskins know not to underestimate him. And they will have to give his fellow defenders the same level of respect, regardless of their stats, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan says. The St. Louis defense has struggled mightily through three games, ranking second-worst in the league in both yards allowed (426.3) and points allowed (32) per game. They aren’t bad against the pass, rank ing 14th, but are dead last against the run (174.3 yards per game). Said Shanahan, “They don’t have a whole lot of guys that jump off the screen, but they’re all solid, all give good effort and can give you problems.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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