Breakfast links: More good signs for Beck

August, 18, 2011
8/18/11
8:00
AM ET
DALLAS -- Flight was good, thanks for asking. Would have fired up a blog post or two when I got in, but I got sidetracked by the Blue Goose Cantina. Figured there'd be plenty with which to fill up the blog today. And there is! Starting, of course, with the links.

Dallas Cowboys

Miles Austin has a hamstring injury and looks as though he'll miss Thursday's scrimmage (and possibly Sunday's game) against the Chargers. While it does not sound as if the injury is serious enough to threaten Austin's availability for the season, his absence should offer plenty of opportunities for people like Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris, Raymond Radway and the like to show what they can do as the Cowboys continue to hunt for a No. 3 receiver. They'd like to find that on their roster rather than have to go out on the market to get one.

Charean Williams raises the possibility of the Cowboys trading Igor Olshansky -- maybe to Houston, where Wade Phillips is the defensive coordinator -- if they're not going to use him. Olshansky, she says (yeah, try saying that 10 times fast), has slipped behind Kenyon Coleman in the rotation at defensive end. And while Olshansky is saying all the right things about learning the new defense from Coleman, who played for Rob Ryan in Cleveland, Charean think he may be a better fit with Phillips than with Ryan.

New York Giants

Mike Tanier takes a detailed look at the Giants' running-back tandem of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Most interesting part for me was the Football Outsiders numbers that show that Bradshaw has a higher per-carry rushing average (by a full yard) when running between the tackles than he does when running to the outside and that Jacobs last year had one of the best per-carry averages in the league when running to the outside. Yeah, you'd think it'd be the opposite, given Jacobs' size. Point is, they're both really good and should be relied on heavily in a number of different ways this year.

Giants safety Antrel Rolle was one of the few University of Miami alumni now in the NFL who spoke Wednesday about the damning Yahoo! Sports report that exposed a massive extra-benefits scandal at the school. Rolle was defiant, sidestepped questions about his own involvement and seemed interested in doing what he could to impugn Nevin Shapiro, the jailed former booster whose information is behind the report. Those Miami guys think of themselves as an exclusive kind of club. They'll close ranks on this thing. Rolle won't be the last one you read saying this same stuff.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles' training staff says it believes Jeremy Maclin will be ready for the season opener Sept. 11 in St. Louis, now that his tests have come back clean and all that remains is his recovery from the surgery he had last week to remove lymph nodes so they could be checked for cancer. The plan is for Maclin to start rehabbing this weekend, following the Eagles' game tonight in Pittsburgh, and to begin practicing within a week to 10 days. It's not as though he has to learn a new offense or get used to a new quarterback, so at this point it's all about making sure Maclin is at full strength.

Somewhat short, super-fast former CFL star Phillip Hunt is trying to earn a spot on the roster amid the crowd of quality defensive linemen the Eagles have. He thinks his speed and quickness give him a chance in Jim Washburn's scheme, which emphasizes an ability to get into the backfield in a hurry.

Washington Redskins

Mike Shanahan said he doesn't think Rex Grossman's experience running the Redskins' offense gives him a significant edge over John Beck in the starting quarterback competition. Just remember who was giving you the straight dope on this stuff even while Grossman was getting everybody all fired up last Friday night. Just remember who's looking out for you. Beck would have to get injured or look completely incompetent over the next three weeks to not be the starter Sept. 11 against the Giants.

Tim Hightower was impressed by the Redskins offensive line he ran behind last week. "I didn't know those guys could move like that," he told Rich Campbell. The Redskins' zone-blocking scheme emphasizes quickness, movement and athleticism by the offensive linemen and, when Shanahan used it in Denver, made stars out of running backs. Hightower liked the way they moved Friday, which is good, because the back has to be able to work in relation to that movement. I personally was impressed by the lack of penalties for which the line got called in that game.

So yeah, it's off to Valley Ranch to see the Cowboys (and, apparently, the Chargers) this morning. Will keep you posted best I can. Not sure how much of the scrimmage we'll get to see. And of course, I'll be watching the Eagles game this evening and tweeting like a madman. In between? Who knows what awaits us on another day in the NFC East? It's only 85 degrees here now, but it's only 7 am. They say it's going to get a little warmer...

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Insider