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Fox says Portis up; Defense down

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Old 07-10-2005, 09:21 AM   #1
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Fox says Portis up; Defense down

http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/story/3731968


Here is their opinion on the NFC EAST all of the NFC is on the site for anyone who cares.


NFL sleeps this month, but fantasy junkies do not. We search for scraps of newsworthy information, probably assigning too much importance to every press conference, MRI, and rumor. We adjust our rankings out of boredom. All that ends at the end of July.

There will be more fantasy-worthy news in the first week of training camp than the last two months combined. It's something to keep in mind while checking out our final recap of the winners and losers of mini-camp season. Summer heroes often fade away when the hitting starts. Injuries will shake up depth charts and cheat sheets. But after looking at the AFC last time around, let's look at the final summer movers of mini-camp season in the NFC.

NFC East
Dallas Cowboys

Moving Up: Marion Barber, III, RB Bill Parcells knows running backs. He believed in Ottis Anderson when no one else did. He turned the Patriots offense over to Curtis Martin when many doubted the third-round rookie's speed and durability. He traded down in the 2004 draft because he knew Julius Jones could handle the load. He believes he's found another gem in Marion Barber III.

Hardly a coach to heap praise on young players, Parcells has been giddy about Barber's potential this summer. He loves his skills in the passing game, and believes Barber can spell Julius Jones when necessary. Barber looks to have a defined role as a rookie, while veteran Anthony Thomas may have to contribute on special teams just to make the team. We'd take Barber in deep drafts over A-Train.

Moving Down: Quincy Morgan, WR Morgan injured his shoulder in June, ruining a strong off-season for the No. 3 receiver. It's uncertain whether he'll be ready for training camp. The longer Morgan stays out, the further he may fall behind upstarts like Terrance Copper and Patrick Crayton in Dallas.

New York Giants


Moving Up: Brandon Jacobs, RB We've pumped up Tiki Barber's new backup enough this off-season. But if anyone can handle the weight of expectations, it's a 265-pound running back. New York's only mandatory mini-camp ended a few weeks ago and Jacobs once again made a big impression on teammates. The Bettis-wannabe is one of the most interesting backup running back picks for fantasy leaguers.

Moving Down: Plaxico Burress, WR Forget about the new arrest warrants. Don't worry about the deafening silence around the NFL when Plax become a free agent. We're more concerned with the fact Burress skipped off-season workouts with the Giants all summer. It's hard enough for free agent wideouts to adjust to new offenses, especially with a second-year starter at quarterback. Skipping the chance to establish timing is questionable, but not surprising. Expect a slow start for Burress, and expect him to overrated in fantasy leagues.

Philadelphia Eagles


Moving Up: L.J. Smith, TE His back is finally healthy. Smith recently admitted he could barely move at times last season despite playing every game. It helps explain the promising tight end's disappearance for weeks in 2004. While not a great TE1, he should come cheaply this season and could score 8 touchdowns.

Moving Down: Brian Westbrook, RB FoxSports.com's overlooked source of fantasy nuggets, the weekly Off-season Blitz, had a great note about Westbrook this week. The utter lack of movement on a long-term deal for the shifty running back is a bad sign. There are reports that some within the organization still question his durability long-term. The drafting of Ryan Moats, a similar player, would support this claim. It's not a major concern in re-draft leagues, but keeper leaguers should fear Westbrook heading elsewhere. It's hard to imagine another team taking advantage of his unique skill-set.

Also Moving: Terrell Owens, WR The Eagles won't budge on T.O.'s holdout. That much is clear. It's also becoming more apparent that they'd entertain trade offers for him. While the Jerry Porter-for-T.O. rumors look baseless, don't be surprised to hear similar reports in the next month. While we think Owens will show up towards the end of the preseason, the uncertainty makes him a slightly risky pick right now.

Washington Redskins


Moving Up: Clinton Portis, RB Portis packed on ten pounds of muscle this season. He knows Joe Gibbs is going to run him into the ground. The offense has also changed their running attack this off-season to suit Portis's slashing style. They want to open up the field for him. He didn't have much patience in tight spots last season.

Moving Down: Redskins defense Antonio Pierce is gone and his replacement is Lemar Marshall? Fred Smoot is gone and his replacement is Walt Harris? No. 9 pick Carlos Rogers has a stress fracture in his foot and won't be ready for camp. LaVar Arrington has a bum knee and can't stay out of trouble. The no-name defensive line got no help this season. It will take magic for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to maintain his powerful defense.
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:24 AM   #2
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

Well i guess we can start calling GW the Magician.
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Old 07-10-2005, 10:57 AM   #3
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSKINBauer
http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/story/3731968
Washington Redskins


Moving Up: Clinton Portis, RB Portis packed on ten pounds of muscle this season. He knows Joe Gibbs is going to run him into the ground. The offense has also changed their running attack this off-season to suit Portis's slashing style. They want to open up the field for him. He didn't have much patience in tight spots last season.

Moving Down: Redskins defense Antonio Pierce is gone and his replacement is Lemar Marshall? Fred Smoot is gone and his replacement is Walt Harris? No. 9 pick Carlos Rogers has a stress fracture in his foot and won't be ready for camp. LaVar Arrington has a bum knee and can't stay out of trouble. The no-name defensive line got no help this season. It will take magic for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to maintain his powerful defense.
Arrington can't stay out of trouble? Did Sean Taylor and Arrington morph into one person? With the exception of that, at this point I have to agree on paper with the overall assessment. I'm glad at least that someone nationally has acknowledged that Gibbs has revamped the offense to suit Portis and it won't be the same plunge, dive, counter offense that it was last year.
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:38 AM   #4
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

Not to knock Pierce because he did a great job but I'm sure a lot of people last year were wondering how could Pierce possibly replace Barrow, and yet AP surprised everyone. Plus Marshall did a pretty decent job playing OLB last year and now he's moving to his natural MLB position so I'm not all that worried about that really
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:49 AM   #5
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

last year they could have said ALOT worse and see what we became?
we had no MLB at all, we replaced THE CHAMP with little ol' springs, we didn't have a great DT, we had Marcus Washington for trotter, and Barrow hurt wow we were gonna suck
the season started we lose arrington and bowen with 2 weeks and daniels also

IF you were to think of the people comming in from injuries as newly acquired players we would be gitty for the season.
I agree TAFKAS about pierce
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:56 AM   #6
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSKINBauer
Well i guess we can start calling GW the Magician.
My thoughts exactly.

I thought it was funny how they made a big deal about the Redskins trying to replace Antonio Pierce with Lemar Marshall-- like Pierce was some household name. I guarantee you, whoever wrote up this report had no idea who Antonio Pierce was before last season, and apparently, he didn't happen to notice how good of a job Lemar Marshall did filling in for LaVar Arrington. Of course, Marshall's success manning the outside LB spot might not necessarily translate into success in the middle, but if you pay attention to what "The Magician" has been saying all offseason about his defensive philosophy, ALL of the linebackers must learn ALL of the linebacking roles in his defense-- and be prepared to step into any of those roles should the need arise. So that means that Marshall has spent the past year learning the middle linebacker position, as well as the other spots.

The writer also forgot to mention the other entries in the middle linebacker competition: Brian Allen and Warrick Holdman, as well as the outside possibility that Mike Barrow (whose recovery from knee tendinitis is still questionable) will be available. Not surprisingly, he also overlooked rookie Robert McCune, who will probably spend most of the early part of the season playing strictly on special teams, but will likely see more and more opportunities in the regular defensive rotation as the season wears on. Williams simply won't be able to keep an athlete of that caliber on the bench for very long-- particularly in his linebacker-centric schemes. So to make it appear that Lemar Marshall is the lone hope at middle linebacker (especially when this writer makes him sound like such a significant drop-off from Pierce) is way off-base.

To a lesser degree, I disagree with him on the Smoot-to-Harris transition at cornerback. Harris isn't the athlete that Smoot was for the Redskins, but he's a seasoned veteran whose experience and tenacity will more than likely make up for any disparity in pure athleticism. And it's not like Harris didn't see plenty of action last season (seeing extensive action in 16 games, starting two), despite recovering from offseason knee surgery, nor can I recall Harris getting burned by a receiver, or making any glaring mental errors. Harris will likely be in better physical condition this season, and he brings a physical presence-- particularly on corner blitzes-- that Williams prefers and Smoot simply lacked.

The Rogers injury is definitely a concern, but this writer apparently missed the memo that the stress fracture is not the issue for Rogers (that's an old injury that reportedly has healed), but rather an ankle sprain/bone bruise, and it's expected to only keep him limited-- not necessarily out-- for the early portion of camp. Assuming the Redskins take the cautious route and bring him along slowly, the injury will probably be less of an issue than the mental reps Rogers will presumably be missing early on in camp. However, once healthy, Rogers should be a huge plus for the Redskins' secondary, and combined with the addition of veteran Artrell Hawkins and the year of maturation for youngsters Garnell Wilds, Rufus Brown and Ade Jimoh in Williams's school of defense, the cornerback spot may not require as much magic as one would think.

Finally, this writer seems to have overlooked one of Williams's biggest accomplishments last season (with much credit, obviously, to defensive coordinator/D-line coach Greg Blache): taking a presumably under-talented defensive line, and transforming it into one of the league's finest units. There's a reason the Redskins passed on upgrading the line in the offseason, and it's not because they didn't know that talented D-linemen such as Chike Okeafor, Jason Ferguson, Reggie Hayward, Marques Douglas and Bryce Fisher were available on the free agent market. They simply felt there wasn't enough of a need to spend big free agent money on defensive linemen, when they were pretty damn comfortable with the guys they have. With smart, feisty vets like Cornelius Griffin, Joe Salave'a and Renaldo Wynn returning as starters, and the talented Philip Daniels recovered from last season's injuries and ready to step into the defensive end spot, the Skins' defensive line may actually prove to be as good if not better than last year's "no-name" unit, which helped produce league-best limits of 3.1 yards per rushing attempt and only 67 rushing first downs, as well as NFC-leading limits of 81.5 rushing yards per game (second only to Pittsburgh's league-best 81.2 yards per game), and only 7 rushing touchdowns.

Let the "magic" begin! :headbange
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Last edited by joecrisp; 07-10-2005 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 07-10-2005, 12:02 PM   #7
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

Whoever thinks the D is going to go down the tubes obviously didn't pay much attention to the outstanding job Williams did last year with being able to seemingly plug in anyone to any spot and get that player to produce at a high level.

The D is the least of my concerns for this season.
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Old 07-10-2005, 12:24 PM   #8
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

Mark my words our defense barring injury will be better this year. First of all were adding Lavar Arrington which in due time will be huge. Second Carlos Rogers is a baller, he'll be good. Third Mike Barrow will be back. My sources tell me they finally found the problem with his knee and he's going to be okay. Third its everyone's second year in the system, and that is gonna be big. Time will tell.
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Old 07-10-2005, 02:41 PM   #9
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

The D won't be as potent as it was last year. It will still be good, but we won't be going for the # 1, 2, or 3 spot.
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Old 07-10-2005, 03:36 PM   #10
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

If our offense is really better, I think that the yardage our defense gives up will be worse. If teams are trying to catch up, they are going to have to play more aggressive. That won't mean the defense isn't as good. The good news is that if this senario happens, there will be many more opportunities for the defense to create turnovers and score points.

I see a more solid overall defense looking statistically worse on paper. I'll be happy to live with that!
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Old 07-10-2005, 03:45 PM   #11
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

I think we'll have a top 5 D again, I don't see Smoot and Pierce as being guys that are irreplaceable.
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Old 07-10-2005, 06:28 PM   #12
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

Little do they know, keep downplaying the 'Skins and see what happens
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Old 07-10-2005, 06:29 PM   #13
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattyk72
I think we'll have a top 5 D again, I don't see Smoot and Pierce as being guys that are irreplaceable.
Exactly. Pierce was a one year phenom, not to diminish his accomplishments but there's a reason that he was a reserve going into last year.. Smoot is an excellent CB but he's aruguably not in the top 10 in the league as far as CB go. Harris/Rogers should be sufficient in replacing him.
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Old 07-10-2005, 06:52 PM   #14
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

champ bailey was 10 times better than smoot and his loss did'nt have a negative effect on the d, so i don't see the loss of smoot as a reason to say the skins d will not be as good as last year, nor do i see the loss of pierce as reason for concern.
both players were good for us but both players will be replaced by very capable players.
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Old 07-10-2005, 08:02 PM   #15
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Re: Fox says Portis up; Defense down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamaican'Skin
Little do they know, keep downplaying the 'Skins and see what happens
I'm with you Jamaica'Skin.

And good post, Crisp. I especially agree with your point about the D-line. To my mind, if Daniels can return to form, he IS an upgrade there. But the main point is that Williams and Blache have a cohesive unit that knows how to stop the run and occupy blockers to free up the LBs and the blitzers.

And isn't this the first year we have the SAME coordinator as the year before?

Williams isn't a magician--he's a kick ass coach who creates top 10 Ds wherever he goes, with whatever talent is there. It's not magic--it's hard work and skill.
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