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

Saturday, January 28, 2012
A couple of Saturday links

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

The New England Patriots play a 3-4 defense. Except when they play a 4-3. Vince Wilfork is a nose tackle. Except when he's playing defensive end. The Patriots' defense is an amoeba, and designed to be deceptive and confusing to opposing offenses. Ashley Fox took a look at what the New York Giants can expect to see from "that mad scientist in New England" in the Super Bowl a week from Sunday, and the ways in which the Giants are preparing for it.

Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora says he's only ever had two fights on the football field, and they've both been with Patriots tackle Matt Light. Umenyiora said he expects to "rekindle" things in the Super Bowl with Light, who "really gets under his skin." According to Mike Garafolo, Umenyiora joked that Light is more important to the Patriots than Umenyiora is to the Giants, "so if we both fight, we'll both get kicked out and JPP and Tuck will have a field day out there." Strategy!

Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was asked on the radio about the idea of bringing Peyton Manning to the Redskins. Since Manning plays for another team, Shanahan's not really supposed to talk about whether the Redskins would pursue him. But he spoke in general terms about the idea of whether Manning would be appealing if he were to become available (which he almost certainly will). Kyle didn't exactly throw cold water on the idea, saying the only question he'd have would be health, and that "if the doctors say he's healthy, and he says he's healthy, then that's enough for me."

Paul Domowitch spoke to Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner about the upcoming free-agent class. I'm sure the words "Eagles" and "free agency" are still sending chills down the spines of the fans who remember how exciting last year's Eagles free-agent period went.

How about the Dallas Cowboys for Manning, huh? Apparently, this has been raised on the radio in Dallas, where I guess NBA basketball isn't enough to keep them busy this time of year and they have to think up crazy ideas like trading their best offensive player because the defense collapsed and gave away the season. Anyway, Todd Archer shoots it down, as he should.