- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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On Tuesday, we held our weekly NFC East chat. This is a link to the full transcript. These are some of the questions and some of the answers. Enjoy.
Gary (New York City): Dan, the one thing the Giants will REALLY miss about Ahmad Bradshaw was his ability to pass block. David Wilson and Andre Brown are both sorely lacking in that department. Do you think that convinces Jerry Reese to make the OL more of a priority high in the draft?
Dan Graziano: Possible, but I think the more likely scenario is that they bring running backs to camp who can pick up the blitz, and running back playing time is in large part determined by the backs' relative ability to do so. David Wilson is a lot of fun to watch run, but if the Giants think giving Wilson the bulk of the snaps is going to get Manning killed, they're not going to do it.
Weech (SoCal): You're of mindset that Doug Free falls under the addition by subtraction, which I agree with. I would argue that with the change to a 4-3, the DL goes ahead of the OL as need #1. Looking at it purely from a football x's and o's standpoint, do you think Ratliff gets out of "addition by subtraction" umbrella? It seems like Dallas needs him more than vice versa.
DG: I hear what you're saying, and if they can't keep Anthony Spencer you are probably right about the change in priorities. To me, though, the really tricky part happens if they lose Spencer AND cut Jay Ratliff. Because if they keep Ratliff, they can play Jason Hatcher at end and look for a tackle. And if they keep Spencer, they can play Hatcher at tackle and look for an end. But if they end up losing both, they have too many holes. So I think Ratliff becomes more important to keep if Spencer leaves.
Jason (Philadelphia, PA): Dan, hate to be the bearer of bad news (or reality), but the NFL has proven throughout its history that "innovative" coaches (college or NFL) fail without great players - the Eagles currently lack great players on defense, so "hoping for the best" aint going to cut it.
DG: Well, I think they lack defensive backs, but I think there's some pretty major talent in the front seven. Cole, Graham, Kendricks, Ryans, Cox. Jenkins if they keep him. There's a lot to work with on defense, in my opinion. They just need to figure out how to fit it all together, and build a secondary behind it.
GM (Miami): Dan, you have expressed the opinion that northern superbowls are bad ideas because it isn't just about the superbowl but about the week of events before the superbowl. Does New York turn into a ghost town in the winter? People still are out and about during the week, they just need heavier clothes. The only useful thing about having the superbowl in warm climates is that it renders teams that can play well in the snow and cold at a disadvantage - we might as well move all the teams to the south so that every single NFL operation is conducted in nice weather.
DG: My point is this, and it's actually pretty simple: Super Bowl week is the NFL's biggest week of the year. People come from all over the world, literally, and many of them are people the NFL wants/needs to impress or spoil. Yes, you can get around here in the winter, but the possibility also exists for a weekend like the one we just had, when you really could not. Why would the NFL want to increase the possibility of such a problem with its most important week? To me, not worth the risk.
Ryan (VA): The Skins spent a lot of money on the offense last year to get RGIII some help. Even though the defense played better as the year when on, which players do you see them targeting? The really need some help @ safety.
DG: I think they will target safeties in free agency and the draft, but Brandon Meriweather is definitely part of their plan at strong safety. They will hope for a healthy return from him, since they believe he can do many things in the defensive scheme they want to run. They'll still need someone at free safety, and I wonder if this George Wilson who just got released from Buffalo works as a veteran leader type. Though they tried the vet-leader direction last year with Madieu Williams and he kind of couldn't play.
As always, I enjoyed it. See you next week.