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Lichtensteiger: 'Now It's Crunch Time'

Posted Nov 15, 2012

Redskins players like LG Kory Lichtensteiger would argue that the bye week came at the perfect time for the Redskins.

The release of every team’s schedule in April usually inspires debate about the timing of the bye week.  Last year, the Redskins had the bye in Week 5 and struggled with injuries down the stretch of the season.

In 2012, players like left guard Kory Lichtensteiger would argue that the bye week came at the perfect time for the Redskins.

 “It was very timely for me.  It’s a long season and it’s been a grind,” Lichtensteiger said.  “Get the good grind in to begin with, and at this point it’s kind of on the way down.

“I think no matter when the bye week comes it’s always a good time to step away from it for a little bit and regroup.”

Lichtensteiger took time away from football to celebrate the birth of his fourth child and rest a knee that has seen two surgeries in the last year. 

It was not until Sunday when he tuned back in to football, watching the Eagles-Cowboys game on television and studying the wide-nine defense, named for the wide-set defensive ends.

“They’re good across their whole front at stopping the run and pass [rush],” Lichtensteiger explained.  “Hopefully we can keep this the kind of game that’s beneficial for us where the run game is going and we don’t have to get into a drop back battle for a whole game because that’s where they excel.”

Protecting quarterback Robert Griffin III is key to success against the Eagles defensive front.  Griffin III’s ability to keep plays alive and run the football can put him in situations where he might get hit.  However, Lichtensteiger believes Griffin III’s fearless attitude to the game provides a benefit as well.

“You don’t want to see your quarterback put himself at risk like that, but I think it also sends a message that he’s not going to give up and he’s going to fight,” he said. “I think it all starts at the top so seeing that is pretty cool.”

Although the Redskins currently are tied for third place in the NFC East, they are not far from being atop the division.  They are tied with the Eagles and are only one game behind the Cowboys.

“It’s nice that when you do have a letdown in the middle of the season and kind of on a losing streak, that you’re not out of it all together,” Lichtensteiger said.  “If we can string together some wins we’re going to be right back in this thing.”

The team still has five games against NFC East opponents before the regular season concludes. Starting with the Eagles this weekend they will play three straight games against NFC East teams, two of which will be in primetime games on Thanksgiving Day and Monday Night Football.

“I wish we would have had them earlier,” Lichtensteiger said.  “I think we should play better against divisional opponents than anyone else because that’s who we’re used to playing. 

“Now it’s crunch time.”