Saturday, September 25, 2010
What's in Mosley's Mailbag?
By Dan Graziano
NEW YORK -- I've spent the morning catching up on your mailbag questions/threats. Let's hit on all four teams:
Andy from Manhattan Beach, Calif., came up with a remarkable nugget: Hey, Matt, was writing a blog post the other day. Thought you might want to know this tidbit. The Redskins are currently ranked 14th in the ESPN.com Power Rankings and are the the top-rated NFC East team. The last time the NFC East had no team 14th or better was Week 3, 2003.
Mosley: Andy, please continue sending me this type of helpful information. The Eagles started 2-0 in 2003 in '03 and finished 12-4. The Cowboys went 10-6 under first-year coach Bill Parcells that season. The Giants and Redskins both tanked under the leadership of Jim Fassel and Steve Spurrier.
Doug in Princeton, N.J., has a question about Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett: Hi Matt, I'm a diehard Cowboys fan (born and raised right outside of Philly, been fighting for them my whole life!) and read your column religiously. I know the NFC Beast (once upon a time) readers think you're a Cowboys homer but that being true or not -- I think you provide some great insight and commentary on the Boys. You've mentioned a couple of times recently that you can think of three coaches on the Cowboys' staff better suited for the offensive coordinator role than Garrett. Who are they? I'm a big believer in Garrett's offensive genius being mostly because T.O. was a stud. I'd love to hear who could be a possible replacement.
Mosley: Doug, many readers have claimed that reading the Beast is a "religious" experience, so you're in good company, sir. Regarding Garrett, I'm not sure why folks think he's still the heir apparent to Phillips. He has weapons that coaches and scouts drool over -- I heard our own Herm Edwards doing that Friday on ESPN 1050 -- but he seems to make it tougher than it needs to be. We know he's highly intelligent because he spent time in your neck of the woods at Princeton, but he hasn't had one of those breakout seasons since '07, when Tony Sparano was still roaming the sidelines for the Cowboys. I think secondary coach Dave Campo, special teams coach Joe DeCamillis and defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni would be considered for a potential interim head-coaching position before Garrett. I'd also list wide receivers coach Ray Sherman in front of Garrett. I'm sure there are Cowboys fans still on the Garrett bandwagon. Good seats available if you call now.
Jordan from Williamsburg, Va., has a DeAngelo Hall question: I agree that DeAngelo Hall's comments following last Sunday's game were certainly unnecessary, but they were not unwarranted. If you'd watched the game closely for his performance, which as a Virginia Tech fan I do with all Hokies, there was only one ball caught with Hall as the closest defender. I think this is especially impressive considering the 38 completions for the Texans. Both receivers caught plenty of balls, but not in front of Hall. I think his play has finally caught up with his mouth.
Mosley: Jordan, I'm not willing to go that far with Hall, but he's certainly playing with a lot of confidence. I haven't watched every play from last Sunday's game, but it didn't look like Matt Schaub was picking on him like he was some of the other defensive backs. Hall's capable of making big plays like the one against Dallas at the end of the first half, but let's not act like he's some type of shutdown corner. By going on that rant after the game, he was calling out his coaches and his fellow defensive backs. In some ways, you have to admire his confidence. But for him to act like he's Deion Sanders is a little over the top.
Jason from Bryn Mawr has a question about my recent column regarding the Cowboys' identity crisis on offense: Matt, the "Cowboys offense has an identity crisis" article is your best blog of the new season, but do you really believe that Gurode, Davis, Free, Colombo and Kosier have regressed since late last season? Seems highly unlikely to me. Granted, there have been some changes (Free moving to left tackle) and injuries to overcome, but I don't believe that in the 6-7 months since this line punished the D-lines of New Orleans, Philadelphia, etc late last season that they have become a "finesse" line. The erratic play calling (not running on first down, only running on second down) and numerous penalties seem more likely responsible for the struggles.
Mosley: This offensive line had its moments last season, but it was far from dominant. Despite his Pro Bowl pedigree, Leonard Davis did not have a strong season. He and Andre Gurode were capable of mauling defenders at one point, but now it looks like they're not moving their feet. It will be up to offensive line coach Hudson Houck to get these guys headed in the right direction. Right now, I don't think this line seems capable of taking over a game on the ground. But I'd like to see Jason Garrett at least give it a try at some point.
Ray in Brooklyn has an interesting question: Andy Reid makes a knee-jerk decision? Why didn't Matt Mosley write this article about Tom Cable in Oakland or Jeff Fisher in Tennessee? They both benched quarterbacks this week, too. And neither of those left the game with a concussion. You people never cease to amaze.
Mosley: Ray, I'm only allowed to cover the quarterback demotions in the NFC East.
Rich in Seoul has a Giants question: Looking at the Giants schedule, assuming injuries do not impact the team, I think the Giants will go 12-4 with the four losses coming from Indy, Tennessee, Minnesota and the Cowboys. How do you see them ending?
Mosley: Rich, I'm not as optimistic as you at this point. I've analyzed the schedule based on how other teams have played the first couple weeks and 10 wins seems like the best-case scenario to me. Having to play three of your last four games on the road against the Vikings, Packers and Redskins is no easy task. I think a 10-6 record wins the NFC East and there's a chance 9-7 could do the trick.
Thanks for all the feedback last week. You guys were on fire about the Andy Reid decision. Keep it coming. I'll try to hit the mailbag at least once a week. Thanks for your time.