Breakfast links: Camp claustrophobia

August, 16, 2011
8/16/11
8:00
AM ET
Up and at 'em, folks. It's a Tuesday, which means a chat and a variety of other fun stuff here in the NFC East. We begin, of course, with the links.

Dallas Cowboys

Newly signed defensive end Kenyon Coleman got first-team reps in practice Monday. Everybody says don't read anything into it, but what's the fun in that? Coleman played for Rob Ryan in Cleveland the past two years and is therefore one of those players, like Abe Elam on the back end, who can help other players understand what the new defensive coordinator is talking about. And this development, along with the encouraging early performance of Jason Hatcher, doesn't make things look real good for Igor Olshansky and his chances to remain a starting defensive end for long. Coaches are saying it's a rotation with those three and Marcus Spears, and that may be. For now, we'll try not to read too much into it.

Speaking of Hatcher, he got stuck in an elevator at some point Monday. Why is this significant? Only because Hatcher is listed at 6-foot-6 and 305 pounds, which means he barely fit in the elevator to begin with. If you're a normal-sized person, imagine being stuck in a really tiny elevator. There. Now you know how scared Hatcher must have been.

New York Giants

Dave D'Alessandro writes that Osi Umenyiora could still muck things up for the Giants because he hates his contract so much. I don't agree with Dave. I think Umenyiora's pushed this thing as far as it'll go this particular season and we won't hear about this again until next offseason. But Dave has a quote from Cornel West in there, and nothing else I'll link to this morning can make that claim.

Domenik Hixon was thrilled to be on the field again Saturday night, a year after wrecking his knee in a Giants practice. They're bringing him along slowly, but if he shows he's healthy, I make Hixon the favorite for that No. 3 receiver spot and to regain his place, as he says he intends to, on special teams.

Philadelphia Eagles

In this notebook, Tim McManus reports that DeSean Jackson will play Thursday night against the Steelers. I, for one, have my popcorn ready. Perhaps even more significantly, it sounds as though we will have news on Jeremy Maclin at some point today.

Paul Domowitch takes a look at the way the Eagles are employing a "wide nine" alignment of their defensive ends under new defensive line coach Jim Washburn. Click and learn about the "truth line."

Washington Redskins

Tight ends Fred Davis and Logan Paulsen earned high marks for their blocking efforts in Friday's preseason opener with Chris Cooley sidelined by injury, Rich Campbell writes. Tight end is one position on the roster at which the Redskins look very strong, and that has led some to wonder if they're planning to deploy multiple-tight end sets to take advantage of the receiving skills of both Cooley and Davis. But everything I've heard and read (including this) indicates that they plan to use their tight ends to block. Consider that free advice if you haven't had your fantasy draft yet.

Another position at which the Redskins are strong is safety, assuming starters LaRon Landry and O.J. Atogwe get healthy. Which it appears they are.

As I mentioned, we will chat at noon ET, as we do every Tuesday. So be there. Meanwhile, lots more to come today, including the Maclin stuff, some thoughts on Eli Manning interceptions and everything you ever wanted to know about John Beck and just what the Redskins coaches see in him.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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