<
>

Breakfast links: Cruz returns to Philly

9/27/2012

As we found out 14 months ago at the end of a different lockout, it's amazing how quickly things can happen once the side doing the locking-out decides it actually wants to negotiate. Good job, NFL owners, for finally making the quality of your product at least one of your priorities. The officials' lockout is over, and now fans can rest assured once again that bad calls are the result not of incompetence but of the refs' deep-seated bias against their favorite teams. Links.

Dallas Cowboys

Right tackle Doug Free says he hasn't done a good enough job so far this year. This puts Free in agreement with everyone who's watched him play this year, and it's good that he realizes he needs to improve.

Sean Lee is impressing everyone in the NFL with the style, intensity and quality of his play. As Todd Archer writes, he's also impressing all-time Cowboys greats like Lee Roy Jordan, to whom Todd suggests Lee compares favorably.

Philadelphia Eagles

Whether Michael Vick can correct his problems remains to be seen, but it's possible. More alarming may be the problems the Eagles are having on the offensive line, which is down two starters and struggling to protect Vick. The Eagles' line is a better run-blocking group than it is a pass-blocking one, which is yet another reason they should be running the ball more with LeSean McCoy.

Andy Reid was in damage-control mode Wednesday, insisting he never meant to suggest Monday that he was wavering in his support of Vick as his starter. Reid said he spoke with Vick about the comments to make sure he didn't take them the wrong way, and Vick says he didn't. Still have to think three turnovers a game is a pace that will get this situation looked at if the Eagles start to lose games.

New York Giants

Everybody's all fired up about the early-season play of tight end Martellus Bennett, who's been a surprisingly big part of the Giants' passing game and a big hit in New York. Bennett, however, says he's not impressed with his own performance and expects to get better.

The big Victor Cruz breakout game last year, and the debut of the post-touchdown salsa dance, came in the Giants' early-season victory in Philadelphia. He's excited about returning to the scene of where it all began.

Washington Redskins

Left tackle Trent Williams did not practice Wednesday, and his status for Sunday's game remains in doubt. Wide receiever Pierre Garcon and safety Brandon Meriweather were limited participants in practice, and it remains to be seen whether they'll play. The Redskins need Williams, who's their best offensive lineman, and I have to believe the offense (which is already leading the league in points scored) would function differently with a healthy Garcon in there. Meriweather... well, I think he'll help the run defense and the blitz packages, but the Redskins' big problem right now is in coverage, and that's not Meriweather's strong suit.

Speaking of which, the Redskins' defensive backs know it's on them to fix the problems the defense is having.