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Polk pounding for short yardage

Eagles were 3-for-3 in the red zone against Dallas.

IT DIDN'T get much notice, given that it happened in the course of a soul-crushing defeat, but the Eagles went three-for-three in the red zone last Sunday night against Dallas.

The Birds have struggled with the short field all season, especially in the running game, but handing the ball to Chris Polk produced touchdowns of 1 and 5 yards. Darren Sproles also added a 1-yard run.

LeSean McCoy? Just before the Sproles TD, McCoy got the ball on a run to the left from the Dallas 4, and he seemed about to score, but safety Barry Church did an excellent job of stopping him just short.

McCoy has just four rushing touchdowns this season, after scoring nine a year ago.

"Some of the short-yardage stuff, Polk's obviously the more powerful back," McCoy said this week, as the Eagles prepared for tomorrow's visit with the Redskins.

Is this OK with McCoy?

"He's not getting all of them," McCoy said. "If that helps the team, that's what I'm going to do. There's just some plays where I've seen, third-and-1 type of situation, where if I was in, I probably wouldn't have got it, where I see kind of hit a guy, drag a guy and get in there."

McCoy stressed that he can pick up tough yardage, but Polk, also 5-11 but about 15 pounds heavier than McCoy's listed 208, is better at it.

"I just take what the defense gives me," Polk said. "I'm just one cut, get upfield, especially in those situations, just take what you can get."

When the Eagles last played the Redskins, Josh Huff was still working back from a preseason shoulder injury and Polk was the kick returner. Polk brought one back 102 yards for a touchdown, but when Huff was healthy, Huff took over the role. Huff also has a TD return.

Polk said he would love to do more, but he understands he's on a talented team. The coaches, he said "know more than I do."

Peters preparing his successor

Jason Peters said this week he thinks he's playing at his usual six-time Pro Bowl level, but Peters turns 33 next month, and is near the end of his 11th NFL season.

"Going out to practice, working hard, showing the young guys how to work," Peters said. "Just trying to stay healthy. I try to tell those guys, staying healthy's not easy. You get banged up, you just gotta work through it."

Peters said he works a lot with right tackle Lane Johnson, the fourth overall selection in the 2013 draft.

"Eventually, I'm going to hand the torch over to him and he's going to have to play left," Peters said. "I've been working with him, showing him stuff that he can do on the right side that's going to help him in the future. He's been playing good, too."

What does Peters look at, as he takes his stance?

"I'm looking at safeties. I'm looking at nickels, if they're pressed up. Safety over the top. How the 'backer's pushed over. There's a bunch of stuff to look at. When you're on the road, it's a little bit harder, because you have to look at the center's head and get your keys before the cadence starts."

Peters said he makes sure his stance looks the same, run or pass, so he doesn't tip off the defense. He said pass rushers' stances tell him what they might do.

"If his inside foot's back, he can slant across my face. Outside foot back, he's got to take a couple steps up the field, he's jet-rushing. If he's tighter to me, he can slant, 'pirate' [run a stunt with the d-tackle]."

Peters said he hasn't thought much about his legacy yet. He said he doesn't measure himself against his peers, he looks at the guys he grew up emulating, like Hall of Famers Anthony Munoz and Walter Jones. Peters wears No. 71 in honor of Jones.

"I feel better than ever. Just taking it a game at a time," Peters said. "Trying to get to the postseason."


Looks like Redskins left tackle Trent Williams might try to play with the shoulder injury he suffered in Sunday's loss to the Giants. Defensive end Jason Hatcher (knee) seems unlikely to play, and safety Brandon Meriwether seems very iffy after trying to practice with a toe injury and suffering a setback . . . LeSean McCoy was asked what the Eagles' offense would be like if it had both DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. "Just a lot of big plays, a lot of space, a lot of yards. That's what I would think," McCoy said. "But you never know" . . .

Jordan Matthews, held catchless for the first time this season against Dallas, caught eight passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns the last time the Eagles played the Redskins. "My route-running and my focus have gone up each week," said Matthews, who has 56 catches for 709 yards and seven TDs . . . Yesterday's Eagles injury report had everyone probable except for DE Trent Cole (hand) and QB Nick Foles (collarbone), who are out.