Yesterday, Fred Robbins spoke on his blog for the first time in 3 weeks. If you read #98's comments this season, he has been open about plenty of stuff... not the usual Eli Manning platitudes.
Why is Fred Robbins so important? If you have to ask that, (1) welcome to the blog world, where we explain stuff like that (2) you probably have not been following the gmen that closely.
Robbins is one of the keys to the game on Sunday. Since he is good on run defense, and since the Eagles can't run the ball well, we know and expect the Eagles to be passing a lot. It is imperative to get the push up the middle on McNabb so that he (a) cannot step into the pocket on his throws (b) cannot step up to avoid the pass rush AND (c) cannot buy time for his dumpoff/checkdown/flare to the RB/TE. "Critical," says Wonder. Agreed.
Now let's listen to what Robbins had to say:
We can’t make mistakes against a team like Philly. They’re hot and they’ve really been claiming the line of scrimmage, so it’s going to be a typical Giants-Philly game and could come down to who has the ball last.
A lot of people have been saying that we could be rusty after a couple weeks off, but I don’t think so. We got in a lot of good work this week and last week. We haven’t relaxed, or taken the foot off the gas pedal. It’s playoff time! There’s no tomorrow and no get ’em next week. Each play really counts, and if you lose you have to wait a whole year to play again.
We’ve worked too hard for this to be the end of our season. We’re still hungry.
I didn’t take the day off against Minnesota even though I’ve been banged up because it could have been tough to get back in the groove going into the playoffs after not playing for 3 or 4 weeks. I wanted to sharpen my technique.
My shoulder is feeling healthy, about 95 percent. I’m finally able to do the things I was able to do at the start of the season, and I’m ready to pick up where I left off before I hurt my hands and my shoulder.
When we played Philly last time I had missed the week before with the shoulder injury and I think I rushed back too soon. My shoulder was not healthy enough for me to have been out there playing. I didn’t want to miss that game, but I wasn’t able to perform up to my capabilities.
If this guy is healthy and playing to "where I left off before I hurt my hands and my shoulder," it is lights out, my friends. Robbins had 5.5 sacks in his first 6 games before he got hurt, and enabled Kiwi and Tuck to do what they do best. Watch Freddie on Sunday, because if he is getting the push, he doesn't even need the sacks (although of course they are the bonus). He just needs to push up the middle so that McNabb is disrupted with hurries/knockdowns/Tuck.