Saturday, July 16, 2011
Weekend mailbag: Redskins O-line issues
By Dan Graziano
I'm calling it. You heard it here. This is the last mailbag of the lockout. Next time we do this, I expect A LOT more questions to sift through. You're on the clock, NFC East blog readers. I'm looking at you.
Evan from Washington, D.C. thinks the offensive line ranks among the Redskins' biggest problems and most important to solve. He likes Davin Joseph, the potential free-agent guard from Tampa Bay, and wants to know what the chances are of Washington signing him to shore things up.
Dan Graziano: Evan, right tackle would seem to be the more pressing concern, especially if they can't re-sign Jammal Brown and they have to go out on the open market and spend more to fill that position. The Redskins liked a lot of what they saw out of Will Montgomery and Kory Lichtensteiger at guard last season, and while there's a chance one of them moves to center to replace Casey Rabach, I find it hard to see them spending big to get a guard and a tackle and do all the work they need to do on the defensive line and get a cornerback. They're going to have to prioritize, and if they go get Joseph, they might end up skimping at bit at right tackle.
Bobby from Hershey, Pa. thinks the Eagles have enough depth on the roster at defensive line that they shouldn't need to go out on the market and sign a Jason Babin/Ray Edwards/Charles Johnson type of pass rusher.
DG: Ah, Bobby, but the defensive line is under new management in Philadelphia, and I'm sure they didn't bring in as accomplished and respected a line coach as Jim Washburn without planning to give him some say in his personnel. There's a thought in Philadelphia that the new defense will be more reliant on pressure from the front four, and if Washburn doesn't think the current group is good enough to generate the kind of pressure he feels they'll need to make it all work behind them, you'll see the Eagles going after a defensive lineman or two that fits what he's trying to accomplish. So I think that's why you're hearing that kind of talk -- a new coach tends to want to bring in his own guys, if possible.
Mark from Morristown, N.J. tells me I "forgot" to mention Jason Pierre-Paul when I was listing names on the "Dream Team of Tomorrow" ballot, and points out that Pierre-Paul is doing very well in the fan voting (fourth as of Saturday morning) at defensive end.
DG: Yeah. I "forgot." Or else I just didn't really have time/space to list the name of every single player from the division who's on the ballots. It's one of those two things. Which is more likely? On Pierre-Paul, he has all the talent in the world to be a dominant force from the defensive end position, perhaps as soon as this season. But even the Giants admit he's still a prospect from whom we haven't yet seen consistent, reliable production. We're speculating on Pierre-Paul because of his athletic ability, and there's lots of reasons to hope he'll be great. But there are people on the ballot who had already offered more evidence that they'll have future success than Pierre-Paul has. Now, go ahead. Write that I hate the Giants because of this.
Dave from Wayne asks, if the Hall of Fame Game is canceled, won't they have to cancel one preseason game for every team?
DG: No, Dave. The Hall of Fame Game is an extra preseason game. The teams that participate in it play five preseason games to everyone else's four. So if they cancel it, everybody just plays four.
John Murray from El Paso, Texas says he'd love to see a trade of Tony Romo for Carson Palmer. Says both guys "would benefit from a change of venue" and such a deal would "shake up the league."
DG: Wow, is it time for the lockout to end. If you think 2011 Carson Palmer is fair value for 2011 Tony Romo, John, then there are 31 NFL GMs who wish you were running the Cowboys. Romo doesn't need a change of venue. He needs to stay healthy and play the way he played in late 2009 and early 2010. As I've written many, many times, he's the least of the Cowboys' problems.
Good weekend to all. See you on the other side.