- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 19, 2015

ASHBURN — St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher was quick to point out that his aggressive defensive front consists of more than just Chris Long, Robert Quinn, Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers.

“I wouldn’t just limit it to just four, we’ve got eight and we keep them fresh,” Fisher said on Wednesday on a conference call.

“I think that’s a huge difference in the production and the effort because you keep them fresh. We’ve got depth there. We keep them fresh. Despite the fact that Aaron doesn’t like to come out, we make him come out just to catch his breath. I’d rather them catch their breath standing on the sideline next to me rather than on the field.”

For the second consecutive week, the Washington Redskins’ offensive line will face a stiff test on Sunday, but it is different than what they saw against the Miami Dolphins.

Fisher and the Rams believe in power in numbers and they will spin the dial against the Redskins’ protection.

When Donald or Brockers need a break, they rely on Nick Fairley and Ethan Westbrooks. On the ends, William Hayes and Eugene Sims spare Quinn and Long.

In a 34-31 overtime victory against the Seattle Seahawks last week, the Rams sacked quarterback Russell Wilson six times — including two sacks each for Donald and Quinn.

Donald was on the field for 72 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, while Quinn and Long were both present for 65 percent. Brockers played 53 percent of the defensive snaps.

No other defensive lineman played less than 27 percent of the team’s defensive snaps as the Rams mixed and matched against the Seahawks offensive line.

To compare that with what the Redskins saw against Miami, nose tackles Ndamukong Suh and Earl Mitchell both played 85 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. Defensive end Cameron Wake played 73 percent, while Olivier Vernon played just 38 percent. However, Olivier was injured in the first quarter and returned later in the game.

The Redskins’ offensive line drew praise last week — particularly the young right side consisting of rookie guard Brandon Scherff and second-year tackle Morgan Moses drew praise for their play against Suh and Wake.

It will be more difficult this week against the Rams’ different looks.

“It’s not like after you play the Dolphins you can take a sigh of relief,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said on Wednesday.

“They’re faster and they pose a little bit different threat. The [offensive line] can’t ever relax, man. Every week is going to be a challenge for them and we have to stay after them and keep pushing them.”

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