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Five Minutes..Five Questions..on Redskins


Q: Tom Coughlin has brought up Washington's red zone defense a few times this week. Overall, they're ranked 10th in yards allowed, but what makes the Redskins particularly tough down there?Traina: I think they're effective because they have different personnel that they trot out. It's very hard to establish a trend with them. The different personnel is very quick. They're very athletic down there. They do a good job of disguising. The Giants just have to take what they get in order to be effective. In other words, no trying to force things down there. Don't try to be ultra-creative, too creative – just take what the defense gives them and be patient above all. Don't call for plays that are going to take a lot of time to develop. Try and beat speed with speed.

Q: The Redskins landed Barry Cofield this season. How has he impacted that team since leaving the Giants?Traina: Barry has a good motor. From his time here, he's always been a plugger. I've always thought he was an underrated player when he was here. I'm sure he's going to be extra pumped to play the role of a spoiler against his former teammates. He's very stout against the run. He's very athletic, and I think he's evolved into a leader on that defense. You can see that he's developed a comfort level from the first week of the season to where he is now.

Q: Quarterback Rex Grossman had his best game of the season against the Giants in a Week One win. Since then, he lost the starting role but re-gained it. Which Rex will show up on Sunday, and what can the Giants do to make sure he doesn't have the same results as last time?Traina: Well, for the Giants' sake, hopefully bad Rex. But no, it's really hard to tell. I think if they get into a rhythm, they're going to be fine. The Giants defense is going to need to come after him, need to disrupt him, need to make sure that they don't allow him to get into a comfort level. Because when Rex gets rattled, he's prone to make mistakes and things that hurt his team. So I think that's the key – come after him. Play a patient game, but at the same time, don't be too risky where it's obvious you're bringing the house on every play and every snap.

Q: The Giants' rushing game is starting to see results with consecutive 100-yard games. Who will win that battle this week against the stout Redskins defense?Traina: I would say the Giants. I think the Giants are clicking right now. They're in a rhythm. Everybody is a lot more comfortable with their roles. It's interesting, I was talking to guys about this for a story I'm doing -- guys know what they're doing. They have a comfort level with each other. They have faith in the game plan, and also more importantly, they know what's at stake. They know that they have to win one of these next two games and, of course, one against Dallas. So given the fact that they're being driven by having their eye on the prize, that's going to work in their favor. So I would give the edge to the Giants.

Q: On the flipside, rookie running back Roy Helu has lifted a Redskins offense with three straight 100-yard games since assuming the full-time load in Week 12. How has he had so much success on a unit that still ranks 31st in rushing yards?Traina: I always like to say initially when a new player comes in and has that kind of success, it takes a while for the league to catch up with him. With that said, not to take away from Helu and his talents, he's very quick. He hits the hole very well. He has good vision and he can cut back. So, again, I think if the defensive front seven play their gaps, if they're in position and they don't over-pursue, they're going to be able to stop him or minimize the damage that he can inflict on a defense.

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