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Thursday, August 25, 2011
Breakfast links: The Redskins' new nose

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Between an earthquake and a hurricane, the links endure.

Dallas Cowboys

Orlando Scandrick is the Cowboys' nickel cornerback, but in the wake of the five-year, $27 million contract he signed Wednesday, he says he's expecting to be a starter in the future. "Honestly, I think me and Mike Jenkins are going to be here for a long time together and hopefully we become a great tandem," Scandrick said, according to the Dallas Morning News. Jeez. Been a real fun month to be Terence Newman, hasn't it?

On a related note, Jenkins returned to practice for the first time since Aug. 1. He did team drills but has yet to be cleared for contact, which is kind of okay since they're not allowed to have much contact in practice anymore anyway. Newman is out for the whole preseason, at least, but if the Cowboys can get Jenkins back into the practice mix here soon, it could help speed the development of the defense under new coordinator Rob Ryan.

New York Giants

Sam Borden has a great look at new Giants defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy, who's coming home to play near his boyhood home of Yonkers and truthfully isn't altogether thrilled about that aspect of it. Kennedy had a rough childhood, you see, which prompts the money quote in Sam's story from Kennedy's high school coach: "He's not a bust. He's a miracle."

And Plaxico Burress admits he never really considered the Giants as an option when deciding where to play this year.  But you already knew that if you were reading this blog during that time.

Philadelphia Eagles

Paul Domowitch thinks Mike Kafka may be more likely to serve as the Eagles' quarterback than Vince Young in the event of an injury to Michael Vick. Paul has a point. Young has looked like a guy working on learning a new offense, and while he has a lot to offer as a potential starter the Eagles might be more comfortable with someone who knows their system. It's a relatively moot point, though, because if Vick misses a lot of time, the Eagles are toast no matter who replaces him. The whole season rides on Vick.

Meanwhile, Jeff McLane looks at Vick's continued struggles with blitz pickup, which seemed to be getting better in the first preseason game but not so much in the second.

Washington Redskins

Perhaps the most enjoyable thing, for the Redskins, about Barry Cofield is how excited he is about playing the nose tackle position in the 3-4 defense. You may remember that the last guy they tried this with wasn't into it. Cofield is fired up. I think this turns out to be a significant signing -- maybe the most significant non-Eagles offseason move in the division.

There has been some talk lately in Washington about the Redskins needing to improve their red zone production on offense this preseason. And some sense here that they could see a difference tonight against Baltimore, since they're actually going to game plan this one. But this concern is silly and greedy. Who cares if you convert red zone opportunities into scores in the preseason? Heck, it may be more important to build Graham Gano's confidence. So many good things have happened for the Redskins in these games, I guarantee you they're not sitting there one-tenth as upset as the fans are about struggles in the red zone. I think they'd settle for continuing to operate with so few turnovers and penalties, to be honest.

Anyway, much more as the day rolls along. I gotta go to Bristol for this meeting, but I'll take care of you guys nonetheless. And we'll be watching some games together tonight, right?