Saturday, July 30, 2011
NFC East Saturday: How was your day?
By Dan Graziano
Bit of a slow day on the free-agent front. Unless you're the Eagles, that is. But all of our teams are practicing now, and there are things happening. So we ask, as we have at the end of each night this week: How was your day ...
"Patient." No, the fans aren't patient, but the Cowboys are. They still need those two safeties. But they began the day with the news that they were bringing in Kenyon Coleman for the defensive line, and they haven't reacted to the Eagles' spree by doing anything rash. No one could reasonably look back over this week and claim it's been a very good one for the Cowboys. And Saturday saw a bunch of lousy things happen that had nothing to do with the Eagles and all of their good fortune. They've got injuries all over the place, from running back (DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice) to punter (Mat McBriar) to linebacker (Keith Brooking) to wide receivers coach (Jimmy Robinson, who was knocked unconscious during a special teams drill and briefly hospitalized). Their salary cap issues have forced them to go slower than they'd prefer to go in free agency. But Jerry Jones spoke Saturday about the mistakes of offseasons past, and listening to that, maybe it's not a bad idea to be a little bit patient for a change.
New York Giants?
"Refreshing." The Giants got back to work on the practice field Saturday, holding their first practice of training camp. The Giants are having evening practices only this year. Tom Coughlin likes evening practices, so when they told him he couldn't have two-a-days anymore as a result of the new labor deal, he scrapped the morning practices and kept the evening ones. Said he wanted to use the daytime for meetings and film, since they were so far behind on installations due to the lockout. Coughlin likes to work, and getting the players on the field with the coaches at long last could help distract the Giants from the apparent fact that Plaxico Burress was only using them to drum up interest from other teams and that they still haven't come to agreements with Ahmad Bradshaw, Kevin Boss and Steve Smith, let alone the free-agent linebacker they need. They picked up veteran guard Chris White to add to their offensive line depth. And they did score a victory in their ongoing dispute with Osi Umenyiora over his contract, as Umenyiora decided to show up. Seems as though he'll keep expressing his displeasure, but that he's not going to actually do anything about it because he really can't. So that's a little victory, even if what was happening with the team down I-95 was a little bit more spectacular.
"Celebratory." The Eagles were already the talk of the league Saturday in the wake of their surprise Nnamdi Asomugha signing, and they surprised again with the announcement that they'd signed free-agent defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins. They traded Brodrick Bunkley to the Browns for a fifth-round pick and to save about $2 million in salary cap space so they could keep hunting for linebacker help, offensive line help, maybe Burress and possibly look into new deals for DeSean Jackson and/or Michael Vick. So in the past three days they've added Asomugha, Jason Babin, Jenkins, Vince Young, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a second-round pick, a fifth-round pick and a little bit of helpful cap room. No wonder the fans of the other three teams are jealous.
"Quiet, again." Nothing, really, out of Ashburn for the second day in a row. The Redskins were having the busiest week of any team in the division until Friday, and now they have fallen silent. Nothing new on the hunt for a right guard. Some whispers that they're after Braylon Edwards, but nothing solid on that yet. (Though I do think it'd be a nice signing.) Just some calm, quiet practices where everybody's passed their conditioning tests and they're working on putting together a decent defense. The Redskins will make some news again this off-season, but remember -- they're rebuilding for the future, and are maybe the one team one this list for whom patience shouldn't be a frustrating attribute right now.
Me, my day was all right. Slept a little bit later than I had been, went for a nice five-mile run, lunch with the family, watched a little baseball. Busy, but not as all-hours, wall-to-wall busy as the week had been. More to come tomorrow, I'm sure, and then Monday I'll be on location from Redskins camp as I begin my training camp tour. So it was nice to get an hour here and an hour there to relax a bit Saturday.
How about you. How was your day?