Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Breakfast links: Giants turn to Ross
By Dan Graziano
Two weeks of preseason football in the books, and some made it through better than others. We take a look at where things stand in the links.
Running backs DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice will return from their injuries and practice Tuesday. Perhaps they'd been watching Felix Jones and figure they need to get back soon or else they won't get any carries. Perhaps, in Choice's case, he's been watching Phil Tanner and Lonyae Miller and figures he needs to get back soon or else he might not make the team.
Carlos Mendez has a somewhat detailed look at the communication issues the Cowboys are still trying to work out as they attempt to master Rob Ryan's defense in time for the start of the season.
New York Giants
Terrell Thomas' season-ending ACL injury was the one and only important story of Monday night for the Giants, who beat the Bears handily but in a game that didn't count and cost them one of their starting cornerbacks. They did get some good news when X-rays on left tackle Will Beatty's foot came back negative. It would have been tough to weather two major injuries to starters in one preseason game. One's certainly bad enough.
The player most directly affected by Thomas' injury is cornerback Aaron Ross, who will have to play a lot more than originally anticipated and probably a lot better. The game he played Monday night was very encouraging.
Position battles continue to rage in Philly, and it looks as if free-agent signee Jarrad Page has become a threat to Nate Allen at the free safety spot. The main reason for this is that Allen does not appear to be completely back from his knee injury. As Nick Fierro writes here, Kurt Coleman is also playing a bigger role in the safety mix, which appears to be unsettled at the moment.
DeSean Jackson has a very sober and reasonable take on the Larry Fitzgerald deal and how it affects him: "The things he's done, he's been in the league, of course, longer than me, this is his third deal . . . There's really no comparison of the type of receivers we are." This is all true, but again, Fitzgerald's deal pushed the top end of the market higher, and while Jackson can't expect to get the same type of deal, the Fitzgerald deal can only help him make more. The question is still how much more the Eagles want to pay, and if the figures don't jive, it's possible the Fitzgerald deal could even portend Jackson's departure from Philly next offseason.
Kyle Shanahan explains some of the specific things the team is evaluating while deciding between John Beck and Rex Grossman for the starting quarterback job. We still don't know who's starting Thursday against Baltimore, let alone Sept. 11 against the Giants. But you know where my money is if you ever read this blog.
Chris Cooley says he "can't imagine" not being ready for that Sept. 11 opener, which is good news for whoever the quarterback turns out to be.