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What's in Mosley's Mailbag?

12/11/2010

I've spent most of the afternoon monitoring the New York Giants' travel situation, but let's go ahead and do a quick mailbag. In case you missed it, the Giants' flight to Minneapolis has been diverted to Kansas City because of a blizzard. The Giants will stay the night in Kansas City and fly out in the morning. OK, let's see what's in the holiday bag:

Philip from Charlotte. N.C., wants to discuss the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line: I agree with your comment that the Eagles have an average offensive line. However, I think Jason Peters and Todd Herremans are the solid foundation to the line. Obviously Mike McGlynn has filled in for the injured Jamaal Jackson, but what about the possibility of drafting a right tackle in the first round because of Michael Vick being a lefty?

Mosley: Philip, let's at least see how this season turns out before we discuss the Eagles taking a right tackle in the first round. And by the way, I think Winston Justice has done a decent job over there. He's certainly an athletic player, although he's susceptible to power at times. But I wouldn't be worried about drafting his replacement. The Eagles have done a nice job with their reserves. King Dunlap continues to improve at offensive tackle and Nick Cole is a versatile player who always ends up in a starting role. I think a lot of teams would envy the Eagles' depth along the offensive line. Like for instance, the team they're playing Sunday night.


Matthew from Woodbridge, Va., has an Albert Haynesworth question: Matt, I enjoy your columns and the Beast in general. I'm a Redskins fan, but since I like to root for teams that make it to the playoffs, the Bears are my second favorite this year. I was thinking that if Haynesworth goes to Chicago next season, their line would be one of the best in the NFL. Lovie Smith's Cover 2 defense with a line that could potentially yield 15 sacks would generate even more turnovers. Thoughts?

Mosley: First of all, you're lucky I'm not printing your last name with that type of admission. I don't imagine Skins fans appreciate your ability to root for other teams, but I suppose the Bears are a better option than the Cowboys. I think Haynesworth has to play for a coach who's willing to meet him halfway on some things, and obviously that wasn't Mike Shanahan. He flourished under Jim Schwartz when he was defensive coordinator of the Titans, so I think Detroit is Haynesworth's most likely destination. If the Bears keep this thing rolling and have some momentum heading into next season, I think Haynesworth's the last guy you want in the locker room. Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher are the stars of that defense. Not enough room for Haynesworth's ego.


Cameron from Lebanon, Va., wants me to join a family debate on Eagles-Cowboys: Hey Matt, there is blood in the water. Half my family roots for the Cowboys, the other half are Eagles fans so you can see why this Sunday night game is of the utmost importance. So, aside from Vick, what have the Eagles changed enough to beat these Cowboys on the line of scrimmage and especially in the secondary? You have seemed to hint you are picking the Eagles, but would your pick change if these teams records were both 0-0?

Mosley: Cameron, I had the Cowboys winning the division at the start of the season, so the "0-0" thing doesn't really make sense. I'm picking the Eagles to win Sunday night because I think they have more firepower on offense and more to play for in terms of the playoffs. Michael Vick's the key difference heading into this game, but the Eagles also made some important changes at linebacker and safety. Personally, I don't think they did enough at cornerback, but that hasn't undermined their season -- yet. Having Stewart Bradley back from an injury makes a big difference and rookie safety Nate Allen was an immediate upgrade. I think Ernie Sims is also a better option at linebacker than what the Eagles had last season. Now in his second season, linebacker Moise Fokou has improved this team at strong side linebacker and I love what Antonio Dixon's done at defensive tackle. With Dixon and Trevor Laws both making big jumps this season, it has really helped the Eagles against the run. Having Juqua Parker back in the lineup Sunday night will help this pass-rush because rookie Brandon Graham has sort of hit a wall. So I think the Eagles are built to win this game. But it's going to be close. It's one of the most exciting games involving a 4-8 team you'll see this season. In fact, I think the Cowboys may be the most popular 4-8 team we've seen in years, as evidenced by the decision NBC made not to flex out of this matchup. It's rumored that the Cowboys produce some decent ratings for these networks.


Merritt from Milford, Conn., has something to say about Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas: Hey Matt, first off I would like to say how much I love reading your work. I am a Giants fan and almost always agree with what you have to say about them (both negative and positive) along with the rest of the NFC East. How come Terrell Thomas is not getting the credit that he is due? I feel like he is hardly ever talked about as a top cornerback. Every game I have watched, I swear he makes a big play in some sort of way. Any thoughts?

Mosley: Merritt, thanks for the kind words. I agree with you that Thomas doesn't receive enough credit, and maybe I can work on that a little bit. He's had an excellent season and he's emerged as one of the top cornerbacks in the division. I think Thomas had the misfortune of becoming a full-time starter last season when the secondary was awful. It was a guilt by association type deal for him. But if he keeps this up, the recognition will come. It wouldn't surprise me if Thomas gets voted into the Pro Bowl. That would clear the way for some more notoriety. Thanks for bringing up a good topic. And regarding your Giants, they'll try to take the first flight out Sunday morning and play that game at noon local time in Minneapolis. I think the league should go ahead and move that game to 3:15 p.m. local time, but that's just me. I'm sure there are some TV concerns involved.