- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Good morning. Precisely seven weeks from tonight, the Giants and Cowboys will play a game that counts. I dunno. To me, that still feels like too long. But training camps start next week, so real news is just around the corner. Right? Links.
New York Giants
Ohm's looking at linebackers as his camp preview series rolls along, and I guess one of the big questions is whether Keith Rivers can force his way into a starting spot. Chase Blackburn is the most vulnerable of the current projected Giants starting linebackers, but he plays the middle and Rivers really hasn't, so it's a big "we'll see" at this point. Regardless, as we've discussed multiple times, the Giants look much better at linebacker than they have in a while.
Marvin Austin discusses his recovery from the injury that cost him his rookie season and the music he's been making since he got kicked off the North Carolina football team in 2010. Austin, who hasn't played a real football game in more than two years, is someone to watch on the Giants' defense this fall -- a potential difference-maker but still a major question mark.
Marcus Hayes writes that the Eagles' "Wide 9" defensive line formation should work just fine as long as Trent Cole is a healthy and productive member of it. Cole may have gotten a bit lost amid the monster sack season Jason Babin had, but he's still the best player on the Eagles' defense.
There are some position battles to watch in Eagles training camp, including the one for the starting weakside linebacker spot between Brian Rolle and Jamar Chaney. Les Bowen's breakdown discusses that and more, including which rookie running backs and wide receivers have a chance to stick.
I continue to have no doubt that Robert Griffin III will sign his contract before training camp starts, and I continue to believe this is a non-issue, as none of the top eight picks in the draft has signed yet. But many of you guys are concerned, and wondering what the holdup is, so here's Mark Maske to explain it to you. And yeah, if you or I were in the same situation, we'd want our agents working to make sure we get the best deal possible, down to the penny, so there's absolutely nothing wrong with what Griffin, Andrew Luck and the rest of these guys are doing. It'll all be fine.
Wide receiver is a critical position for the Redskins as they get set to open camp, and they have a jumble there. John Keim takes a look at what looks good and what doesn't. Much of how this all shakes out will depend on the health of Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan.
Michael Irvin has some strong and heartfelt thoughts on the Dez Bryant situation, and they seem to be focused the correct way -- on the idea that Bryant is a young man who needs help getting control of his life before things get even worse. The facts of the case, and the extent to which the 23-year-old Bryant should be punished for his Monday arrest for allegedly assaulting his 37-year-old mother, depend on the credibility of his mother as a witness. And there's plenty of reason that credibility could potentially be called into question. But regardless of the details, the fact remains that Bryant cannot continue to find himself in these situations and must take responsibility for avoiding them and/or acting differently when they do occur. And it's obvious he needs more help with that than he's received to this point in his life.
And because I know Cowboys fans don't want (or deserve) everything to be about Bryant's mess right now, here's our man Aaron Schatz on Victor Butler's chances of being a breakout guy for Dallas this year at outside linebacker.