<
>

Breakfast links: Redskins name a starter

Good morning, and welcome to another fun offseason week on the NFC East blog. As I promised, I did not stay up to catch Eli Manning on "Saturday Night Live." It's on the DVR, and I will get to it. I understand he held his own. It's all any of us can hope to do during these slower parts of the NFL offseason, after all. Links.

Dallas Cowboys

Rob Ryan says just because Anthony Spencer doesn't get a lot of sacks doesn't mean he's not a great football player. Ryan says he thinks Spencer is a great player, and went out of his way to defend him against accusations to the contrary. We get it. We've heard it all before. And it may all be true. But this is 2012. If you're playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and the guy on the other side of the field is double-teamed on every play and you only come up with six sacks in a season, people have every right to criticize.

The Cowboys are trying to put Dez Bryant through a very structured offseason in the hopes that he doesn't wander off into shopping malls and get into trouble on his own. They believe it's working so far.

New York Giants

Osi Umenyiora has opened a Twitter account, and given the current state of his relationship with the Giants, his dissatisfaction over his contract and the strong possibility of him skipping offseason workouts and/or holding out of part of training camp in protest, it looks like a must-follow.

Ohm's got a review of Eli's performance on "Saturday Night Live," in case you've been missing "Rapid Reaction" since early February and need a fix.

Philadelphia Eagles

Geoff Mosher caught up with Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham, who believes this year will offer him an opportunity to cash in on the promise that led the Eagles to use a first-round pick on him in 2010. Graham says he's healthy, and if he is, he could be a valuable part of the defensive line rotation -- a high-energy addition to a unit that tied for the league lead in sacks in 2011.

And Bleeding Green Nation has a nice interview with Evan Mathis, who was a Twitter phenomenon long before Osi got on there. Mathis talks about his rise from little-noticed free-agent signing to indispensable starting left guard, and apologizes to Eagles fans for calling them "idiots" last year for wanting Andy Reid fired. (To clarify: He's not saying they were right, just apologizing for his word choice.)

Washington Redskins

First-round draft pick Robert Griffin III showed enough in rookie minicamp to win the starting quarterback job for the 2012 season, according to Mike Shanahan. Consider this your latest reminder that the Redskins' 2011 quarterback situation was in need of an upgrade. Truthfully, Griffin won the Redskins' starting quarterback job the instant the Indianapolis Colts selected Andrew Luck with the first pick in the draft.

Rich Campbell writes that the next step for Shanahan is to design an offense tailored to the unique skill set Griffin brings -- something Shanahan says he's already begun the process of doing, now that he's had him on a practice field for a few days.