- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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ASHBURN, Va. -- Yo. Welcome to another week on the NFC East blog, which is on location at Washington Redskins training camp for the next two days. But you already knew that, because I saw you (as well as everyone else in the entire world) on I-95 in Maryland on Sunday night. Seriously, where the heck was everybody going? Anyway, I was coming here, and bringing links.
Jean-Jacques Taylor has some ideas for how the Cowboys can help Dez Bryant get control of his life, and some of them are kind of extreme, but the point is that the more the Cowboys can see Bryant, the better off he'll be.
A couple of people have asked why the Cowboys are reporting to training camp later than other teams, and the reason is that training camp starts are tied to the dates of the teams' first preseason games. Stephen Jones says he thinks that the start dates should be tied to the first regular-season games, and especially since the Giants and Cowboys start the regular season four days before everyone else does this year, I agree with him. Who on earth cares about preseason games? The point is to get ready for the regular season, not the preseason.
Hakeem Nicks says he's had no setbacks in his recovery from foot surgery, and that the original mid-August timetable for his return remains in effect. That would put Nicks back well in time for that Sept. 5 season opener against the Cowboys, and that's really all that matters. It's not as though Nicks needs to learn the offense or develop a rapport with Eli Manning. The most important thing is for his foot to heal.
I love the Mark Herzlich story. I remember him being a thrilling and dominant player at Boston College before he got sick. I hate cancer. And as a result of all of this, while I have nothing whatsoever against Chase Blackburn, part of me roots for Herzlich to end up winning that middle linebacker spot with the Giants. Ohm Youngmisuk has the latest on Herzlich's comeback story.
He currently projects as a second-stringer, behind starters Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman and possibly even behind recently signed veteran O.J. Atogwe. But 2011 second-round pick Jaiquawn Jarrett was opening eyes in practice Sunday, and I think it'd be foolish to rule him out of the mix at safety for the Eagles just yet.
It turns out that quarterback Michael Vick and Jason Kelce will share responsibilities for calling protections at the line of scrimmage this year. Vick had that responsibility last year, when Kelce was a rookie, but they both have it this year, and Tim McManus details how that will work.
Rex Grossman is helping two rookie quarterbacks learn the Redskins' offense. One of those rookies has already taken his old job, and the other is trying to take his current one. So no matter what you ever want to say about Grossman, it's worth considering this: He's trying to do what he can to help the Redskins win games, whether that means he's playing or not.
Barry Cofield has to assume a leadership role on the Redskins' defensive line, but that was a difficult thing last year when he was in his first NFL season as a nose tackle (as opposed to the 4-3 defensive tackle spot he played in New York). This year, as he's further along that learning curve, he should be in a better position to be that leader.