Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Breakfast links: Should Philly sign McNabb?
By Dan Graziano
Tuesday morning in the East, which means we look ahead to a day of chatting, Stock-Watching and Power-Ranking. But it always starts with the links.
Jason Garrett said he wouldn't do anything differently about the end of Sunday's game if he had it to do again. My guess is that this is false, and meant as a way of expressing confidence in rookie kicker Dan Bailey. But if it's actually true, it's worth keeping an eye on just how stubborn a young coach Garrett intends to be. Anyway, Tim MacMahon thinks it would help Garrett if the team brought in someone else to call offensive plays.
Good news on the injury front for the Cowboys. In addition to perpetually injured wide receiver Miles Austin, it appears as though fullback Tony Fiammetta is recovered from whatever illness was keeping him out of action and should return for Sunday's critical division game against the Giants. The run game hasn't worked as well without Fiammetta as it did when he was in there blocking for DeMarco Murray, and Fiammetta's return should make the Cowboys an especially formidable run team against the Giants' below-average run defense.
New York Giants
That Giants' run defense will suffer from the absence of injured safety Kenny Phillips, who appears as though he'll miss the game with a sprained knee ligament. While the Giants have some depth in the secondary and can cover the Phillips injury from a manpower standpoint, he's been a consistent bright spot on their defense and one of the best safeties in the league this year -- especially helpful in run support with the Giants' relative weaknesses at linebacker.
On the offensive side, however, the Giants have more reason than they've had all year to feel good about their own run game. The return of Ahmad Bradshaw seemed to spark everyone from Brandon Jacobs to the patchwork offensive line, which had one of its best run-blocking games of the season in Sunday's loss to the Packers.
Bob Ford thinks the Eagles should release Vince Young and sign Donovan McNabb to be their backup quarterback for the final four games of this season. I understand that McNabb is well remembered in Philadelphia, but the fact is Young -- interceptions and all -- has shown a great deal more effectiveness as a quarterback over the past two years than has McNabb, who appears finished and went unclaimed when put on waivers last week by the Vikings. I'd agree with Bob if this were the McNabb of even two years ago. But it's not.
Meantime, Andy Reid appears to be playing the "youth" card, as he pointed out on a radio appearance that he has the youngest team in the league and building a winner takes time. Fans will hate this, of course, but he's saying it either because he wants the front office and ownership to understand it or because he and the front office already have discussed it and it's to become the going-forward narrative about what went wrong in Philly this year.
Rich Campbell brings you the bright side of the Trent Williams and Fred Davis suspensions, which is potential playing-time opportunities for guys like Willie Smith and Sean Locklear at tackle and Logan Paulsen at tight end. No offense to any of those guys -- or to Rich for his silver-lining hunt -- but the upshot of all of this is that the Redskins are going to find it very difficult to score any points over the final four games.
One of the guys who will find the going tougher as a result of the behavior of those two knuckleheads is rookie running back Roy Helu, who willingly acknowledges that he still has plenty to work on. Helu says he knows he has to become a better pass-blocker, for instance, and had a great quote for Mike Jones about where he is in his development: "Complacency is one of my enemies."