Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Breakfast links: Three weeks to go
By Dan Graziano
Yeah, that's right. Three weeks from this very night, the Cowboys will be playing the Giants in the NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium. That's starting to seem pretty close. I don't know how to handle this except with links.
Andy Reid said at the close of the Lehigh portion of the Eagles' training camp that he was hoping the team would carry the energy from the final four games of last season into this one, and that he's pleased with the way it has done that.
There's no question that second-year safety Jaiquawn Jarrett is struggling. But veteran safety O.J. Atogwe thinks he's very talented and has some thoughts on what Jarrett needs to do to work through his problems.
Speaking of safeties, Madieu Williams is determined to put a disappointing 2011 season behind him and be one of the starting safeties for the Redskins this season. Tanard Jackson is his primary competition in camp and is the more talented player, but he comes with character concerns that Williams does not.
The heat got to be too much, quite literally, for receivers Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan on Tuesday at Redskins practice. They should both be fine, and it sounds as though running back Tim Hightower is closer to returning to the field and further complicating the competition at starting running back.
One of the things the Cowboys are working on after their first preseason game is improving the fits on their run defense. I do think it'll be better once Jay Ratliff, Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer are on the field, but they do need to stop the run better than they did when the Raiders' first-team offense was on the field.
Marcus Spears was a bright spot in that Monday night game, and while he knows he may be the odd man out when the final cuts come in, he's taking the healthy attitude that there's nothing he can do about that but play hard and impress people.
New York Giants
The Giants suffered some injury hits on the defensive line this week, and it looks as if surprise camp star Shaun Rogers is out for the year with a blood clot in his leg. One of the potential beneficiaries of this is Dwayne Hendricks, who's in line for more snaps now.
Evidently, the theory among the players at Giants camp is that the rash of back injuries has to do with the mattresses on which they're sleeping in the dorms at SUNY Albany. The Giants provide the mattresses, but NFL players in twin beds ... that's not ideal. My thing is, a lot of teams train at colleges and live in dorms, so this must happen elsewhere, too, right?