ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins have mapped out a strategy of dealing with the potential fast pace of the Philadelphia Eagles. It apparently does not include having players take dives to stop the clock.
"Yeah it's a way [to help]," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said in general about the strategy. "But it's not ethical."
Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher confirmed this week what many have long expected: Players take dives to slow opposing offenses. The Bears did it. The Giants were accused of it two years ago.
And, with more NFL teams going up-tempo, it's another way to buy time to change personnel. The NFL sent out memos to all 32 teams Thursday, reminding them that this tactic is wrong. Disciplinary action, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, could result. It's not a new strategy.
"That's how people used to do it," Shanahan said. "I played a team one time, and in the last five minutes they were 14 points down. A player went down every play. Things like that have happened in the past."
Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield said he's never been part of a team that employed that strategy (he was with Washington when the Giants were accused of doing it in 2011).
"But I've heard of guys faking injuries," he said. "I don't think I've played against a team that would need to do it against a team I played for. I don't have much experience with it."
Then there was linebacker Brian Orakpo.
"We don't believe in that, but I wouldn't tell you anyway," he said. "Obviously stuff like that probably does happen in the league. I wouldn't know -- and if I did know I wouldn't give you that much information about it."
Now that Urlacher is out of the game, and serving as an analyst for Fox Sports 1, he can be more honest about what takes place in games.
"It's a part of the game,'' Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune. "I used to love it when we used to do the dive. I'd be like, 'Hell yes, we get a break.' You got these high-powered offenses just running a ton of plays. You have to do something to slow them down.''