- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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You already knew today was Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Heck, since this is the NFC East blog you may also have known it was Robert Griffin III's birthday. But did you know it was Charles Darwin's? Or for that matter, DeMarco Murray's? That's right. You get the good stuff here. And links.
The Redskins' new special teams coordinator is 40-year-old Keith Burns, who used to play linebacker for Mike Shanahan when both were with the Denver Broncos.
I've been trying not to harp on the Redskins' name debate, since I've made it clear how I feel and it seems as though things are gradually moving in the correct and sensible direction (i.e, toward overdue change). But this became a thing Monday, this thing the Redskins did with their website, and I had something to say about it. The professional team with worldwide fame and recognition should be setting the example for the high school teams. The high school teams aren't the justification for inaction by the professional team with worldwide fame and recognition. Make the right decision, set the right example, and others will follow your lead.
New York Giants
Would Terrell Thomas move to safety if that's where the Giants decided he fit best for them in 2013 and after a third ACL reconstruction? Thomas says he'd be the kicker if that's what it took to get him back on the football field. So I guess that's a yes.
Ohm's latest installment in offseason positional analysis concludes that the Giants' defensive line "has to be more dominant" in 2013. This is something to watch as the offseason unfolds. While to us the needs may appear greater at linebacker, cornerback and safety, the Giants prioritize that pass-rushing line above all else on the defensive side of the ball. They will work to shore it up, even if it leaves them short elsewhere.
Calvin Watkins writes that the 10 highest-paid players on the Cowboys' roster currently project to cost a combined $89.6 million against the 2013 salary cap (which is estimated to be around $121 million). This explains the restructures to come, and the likely Tony Romo extension. Incidentally, I was completely, 180-degrees wrong in what I wrote about Brandon Carr's contract Monday. It will be an easy, automatic restructure. I thank Calvin and Todd Archer for setting me straight on that, and I have no idea whose contract or which team I was thinking of when I wrote the opposite.
If you consider the offseason changes to the Cowboys' offensive coaching staff major, Jason Garrett kind of begs to differ. He's calling them "tweaks" that he says can continue the current program while improving it at the same time. Still seems unclear whether the whole idea of him giving up playcalling also falls into the "tweak" category.
Sheil Kapadia has some smart thoughts on the ways in which Michael Vick might (or might not) fit what Chip Kelly's looking for in a quarterback. Pay particular attention to the bit about knowing when to throw the ball away. Can this be taught to Vick at 33?
And Phil Sheridan had the same thought I had about Vick -- that Kelly would do well not to fall too deeply in love. It doesn't sound as though Kelly has. It sounds as though this is a reasoned and low-risk decision about the player versus the other available options. The key is making sure to keep the head level with regard to Vick. Long way to go.