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Beasts of the NFC East

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Old 07-18-2005, 11:56 PM   #1
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Beasts of the NFC East

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/8655799

Dallas: Signing Drew Bledsoe gives Bill Parcells a starting quarterback he knows and trusts from their days together in New England. Bledsoe has a strong arm and can make every throw an NFL passer needs to make, but his lack of mobility isn't any less of a problem than it was when he was being sacked 86 times in the last two seasons with Buffalo. Here's another reason for concern about Bledsoe's contribution: He has a 5-34 career record against teams with 10 or more victories.


Nose tackle Jason Ferguson, formerly of the New York Jets, provides the critical anchor to the Cowboys' new 3-4 scheme. He plugs the run as well as any defensive lineman in the league and consistently commands double-team blocking. First-round draft picks DeMarcus Ware (linebacker, Troy) and Marcus Spears (defensive end, LSU), and second-rounder Kevin Burnett (linebacker, Tennessee) are high-impact additions to the front seven, and should go a long way toward giving Parcells the kind of defensive dominance that is the signature of every team he has coached. Anthony Henry, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, brings a reliable starter to cornerback.

New York Giants: As general manager Ernie Accorsi recently pointed out, acquiring right offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie, formerly of the Jets, was the Giants' "most critical signing" because it helps solidify the entire line. The Giants were able to move David Diehl from right tackle back to his more natural left guard spot, and, perhaps even more importantly, keep Luke Petitgout at left tackle.

After getting a mere two touchdowns from their wide receivers in 2004, the Giants took a big step towards improving that production by picking up Plaxico Burress, whose red-zone skills weren't utilized to their fullest on a Pittsburgh team that relies more heavily on power running near the goal line. Now Eli Manning has three towering targets to look for inside the opponents' 10-yard line in Burress, fellow receiver Amani Toomer and tight end Jeremy Shockey.

Plaxico Burress joining the New York Giants appears to be a win-win situation. The addition of middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, formerly of the Washington Redskins, should make a significant positive impact on the run defense. His knack for avoiding blockers gives him terrific playmaking range.

Philadelphia: First-round draft pick Mike Patterson, a defensive tackle from USC, was impressive in offseason workouts. Even if he doesn't immediately step into a starting role, Patterson likely will see significant playing time because the Eagles like to rotate their linemen, especially the tackles.

Washington: The Redskins have the offense and the quarterback, in big-armed Patrick Ramsey, to take full advantage of the tremendous speed they've gained by adding Santana Moss from the Jets. Moss and David Patten, formerly of the New England Patriots, provide plenty of game-breaking talent, although both are small and Moss has stayed healthy enough to play only one full season since his rookie year in 2001.

In the long run, the Redskins should feel confident that they have sufficiently replaced cornerback Fred Smoot, who bolted to Minnesota in free agency, by adding veteran Shawn Springs and making Carlos Rogers their first-round pick. However, Rogers, who is expected to compete for the No. 1 nickelback spot, is likely to miss the start of training camp because of a foot injury he suffered while working out in the offseason.

KEY POSITION BATTLES

Dallas: Perhaps no team in the league has a more wide-open spot than the Cowboys do at free safety. The options include Keith Davis, although the Cowboys are uneasy about how much that would hurt his significant contribution on special teams; Lynn Scott, although he is more of a physical-style player whose more natural position is strong safety; and sixth-round draft pick Justin Beriault, although he has plenty of work to do on his coverage skills.

New York Giants: Barrett Green is the starter at weakside linebacker, but his recovery from knee surgery could cause him to be unseated by Nick Greisen.

Philadelphia: Keith Adams vs. Mark Simoneau at weakside linebacker. Adams enters camp No. 1 on the depth chart and Simoneau is still recovering from offseason knee surgery. But the scrappy Simoneau, a former middle linebacker, is a favorite of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson and will receive an honest chance to compete with Adams.

Washington: Lemar Marshall has the inside track to replace Pierce at middle linebacker, but at 229 pounds, Marshall is still built more like the defensive back he was in college and does not shed blockers particularly well. If Micheal Barrow can make a full recovery from the knee injury that caused him to miss the '04 season, he figures to make a run at taking the middle linebacker spot.

THE EARLY READ

There is no reason to believe the Eagles will fall from their seemingly permanent perch atop the division. They have done a superb job of keeping together a talented team that should make another run for the Super Bowl. Terrell Owens' contract complaints shouldn't amount to much beyond the extended summer vacation that he might take as a holdout. That's because the Eagles won't give in to his demands for a pay raise and Owens isn't going to forfeit the salary he starts to collect in the regular season.

The Redskins and Cowboys figure to be the closest challengers to Philadelphia. The deciding factor between these teams is which gets the better production from its quarterback. Ramsey still has plenty to prove and must be more consistent in his performance, particularly when it comes to getting rid of the ball quickly. Bledsoe must demonstrate that his struggles in Buffalo the past two and a half seasons were not a sign of a career in deep decline, and that all he needs is some ultra-tough love from Parcells to return to the impressive form he showed upon first arriving in Buffalo in 2002.
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Old 07-19-2005, 12:21 AM   #2
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

That was actually a pretty objective review. I think our season will rely alot on Patrick Ramsey and his ability to make some big plays, and not give up plays to the other team (ala Philly last year). I'm confident that Portis will put up some good numbers, and that our defense will put us in the position to win week in and out. I think if Ramsey has a good, dosent have to be spectacular, but a good, solid season, we can be a good football team.
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Old 07-19-2005, 02:08 AM   #3
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

I like Bledsoe's 5-34 W-L career stat against teams with 10 or more wins.
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:17 AM   #4
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

lol let's hope we get 10 or more wins this season. i liked that article.
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:34 AM   #5
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

I also agree. Very good article. It's nice to see someone be objective for a change.
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Old 07-19-2005, 10:56 AM   #6
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

I was also really excited about picking Shawn Springs up this year from NFL Europe or wherever he was previously. That's really gonna help solidify the starting secondary. Finally, someone in the media gets it.
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Old 07-19-2005, 11:41 AM   #7
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

I keep hearing that Moss is injury prone. I look at his record and it looks as he has only missed one game a season. I could live with that. We have quality back ups that can handel the job for a game or two.
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Old 07-19-2005, 11:47 AM   #8
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

Quote:
Originally Posted by firstdown
I keep hearing that Moss is injury prone. I look at his record and it looks as he has only missed one game a season. I could live with that. We have quality back ups that can handel the job for a game or two.
i hear that all the time too. "people" say he is scared to get tackled and runs right out of bounds if he is challenged. He was given the nickname sideline santana i believe. They might take him playing smart instead of being flip 4 ft into the air as a sign of being "injury prone"'

DJ we have had shawn sinse last year
I can't wait to see our team again, 3 and a half hours a week 14 hours a month, 56 hours a year, those are the greatest times.

carlos can do it, when he gets healthy he will be a BEAST. I am not worried about anything but QB, and that isn't gonna change. I would have like some dline this year but that is ok, we have griffin and daniels and that is huge. Renaldo is average along with salave'a, So in my opinion we have a good line. Our o-line is set, our blockers are set, our recievers are fast and set. Our offense is gonna turn it up this year and rank in the top half, we have all the pieces. It all hindges on patrick and i have full faith in him, if he can't preform we aren't going anywhere. I don't think it was his fault last year and he had the skill then and we will see it to the maximum this season.

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Old 07-19-2005, 12:08 PM   #9
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

Quote:
Originally Posted by firstdown
I keep hearing that Moss is injury prone. I look at his record and it looks as he has only missed one game a season. I could live with that. We have quality back ups that can handel the job for a game or two.
I see alot of Jets games up here in NY and he may not miss alot of starts, but trust me he's definitely had his share of nagging injuries, specifically to his hamstrings.

So he may not miss games, but he's definitely not as effective when he's banged up.
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Old 07-19-2005, 12:16 PM   #10
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

Moss averaged 18.6 YPC last year on those dodgy hamstrings, can't wait for him to get healthy.
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Old 07-19-2005, 12:23 PM   #11
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

Quote:
Originally Posted by davy
Moss averaged 18.6 YPC last year on those dodgy hamstrings, can't wait for him to get healthy.
I believe patten was at 18.2 but i am not sure, but i know that patten had 44 catches and 37 of those were first downs.

I can't wait to get the chains movin.
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Old 07-19-2005, 01:08 PM   #12
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

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Originally Posted by djnemo65
I was also really excited about picking Shawn Springs up this year from NFL Europe or wherever he was previously. That's really gonna help solidify the starting secondary. Finally, someone in the media gets it.
LOL, he was actually bagging the groceries at my local supermarket when the dude mopping the floor, I think his name might have been Cornelius Griffith (or was it Griffin) one day said "Hey Shawn, we should play some football. Let's see if the Redskins are looking for anyone"
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Old 07-19-2005, 02:05 PM   #13
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

Whoooa... and the last horse crosses the finish line.
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Old 07-19-2005, 02:33 PM   #14
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

our defense was set last year, this year its special teams, and our running game should be much better (scheme/blocking improvements)... we've shuffled the WR/QB setup a lot from the first game last year, i think for the better (its a run support passing attack) but i cant be sure till i see them in games.
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Old 07-19-2005, 02:46 PM   #15
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Re: Beasts of the NFC East

What I gleaned from Cooley's answers to our questions was that they were having a spread field. I love that idea because it gives Portis more running lanes and more space for our receivers.
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