Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC East [Print without images]

Friday, October 21, 2011
Breakfast links: Skins won't change plays

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Friday links. Come and get 'em.

New York Giants

Ohm Youngmisuk brings it, as always, with a look-ahead to the post-bye portion of the Giants' schedule, including items on how important it is for them to stop the run better than they have and a game-by-game look at the final nine games of their schedule -- all against teams that currently have a combined 30-16 record.

Giants owner John Mara has been appointed chairman of the NFL Management Council, which makes it official that he's one of the most powerful and influential owners in the league. In his quiet way, Mara was already (especially through the recent labor situation) one of the most important owners in the league.

Washington Redskins

Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said the playcalling won't change much as a result of the switch from Rex Grossman to John Beck at quarterback. Remember, the Shanahans believe in their system and are looking for quarterbacks who can run it. They're not interested in tailoring the system to the quarterback. My guess is the biggest difference you'll see is Beck's ability to run for yards when plays break down.

The injuries on the Redskins' offensive line are likely to mean Erik Cook is the new starter at center and Will Montgomery, who's been outstanding at center all year, moves to left guard. Change is not good on the offensive line, especially when the offensive line has been such a critical element of the team's success.

Dallas Cowboys

In case you forgot about Tony Romo's fractured ribs, he's still wearing a protective vest and taking painkilling shots as they continue to heal. He's hopeful he'll only have to do those things for a few more weeks.

Tim MacMahon understands that the reason the Cowboys don't want to use Dez Bryant on punt returns is the risk of injury. But he correctly points out that they should harbor the same concerns about Terence Newman, and that Bryant's remarkable ability on punt returns justifies the injury risk, whereas Newman isn't the same level of threat.

Philadelphia Eagles

If you're wondering what happened to tight end Brent Celek as a pass-catching part of the Eagles' offense, Sheil Kapadia points out that the Eagles are keeping him in to help with pass blocking more than ever. Which makes sense, given how many weapons they have at receiver and the issues they've been having with pass blocking.

The Jerome Harrison story is chilling. The reason the trade that would have brought him back to Philadelphia for Ronnie Brown was voided was because Harrison was diagnosed with a brain tumor during his Eagles physical on which the trade was contingent. Without the trade, he wouldn't have had the physical. And while the prognosis now is that he'll be fine since they've discovered it, the fact is the trade and the physical that resulted may have saved his life.