Friday, July 26, 2013
Breakfast links: Giant expectations
By Dan Graziano
RICHMOND, Va. -- That's right, folks. I'm back and ready to roll out a little NFC East training camp trip. Two days here at Redskins camp, followed by two days in Philadelphia for Eagles camp, then back home to New Jersey, where I'm sure I'll stop in and see the Giants for at least two days if not more since they're doing me the courtesy of having camp 20 minutes from my house this year. Sadly, no trip to lovely Southern California for Cowboys camp this year, but as you can see the ESPNDallas.com guys have that well covered. Let's see what else we've got for our Friday links.
It's been 13 years since the Cowboys had a 1,200-yard rusher, and Jean-Jacques Taylor writes that keeping running back DeMarco Murray healthy for 16 games is one of the keys to ending the playoff drought in Dallas. I agree, but I just don't see how it's possible. The way Murray runs lends itself to injury risk. The young man loves contact.
It took a lot longer than he wanted it to take, but Jerry Jones has sold the naming rights to Cowboys Stadium, which now will be called AT&T Stadium.
New York Giants
John Mara says this year's Giants could be just as good as the 2011 Giants, which sounds like high praise because that team won the Super Bowl. But realistically, what does it mean? The 2011 Giants went 9-7 in the regular season -- same as the 2012 Giants and one game worse than the 2010 Giants. It just so happened that 9-7 was good enough to win the division that year for the first and only time in NFC East history. So if this year's Giants are good enough to go 9-7 in the regular season and then 4-0 in the playoffs, that's great, but they may not get in, is all. The Giants seem to be pretty much the same every year. If they reach the playoffs, their coach/quarterback combination makes them a threat to win it all. But they've only reached the playoffs once in the last four years. Good with the bad, and all that.
It looks as though free-agent fullback Vonta Leach will disappoint the Giants, the Dolphins and other teams that had been interested in his services and re-sign with the Ravens. The Giants have been pursuing Leach as a hedge against the health of fullback Henry Hynoski.
Todd Herremans and Trent Cole are longtime Eagles who signed contract extensions last offseason under the old coaching regime and are hoping to extend their time in Philadelphia by impressing the new one. Obviously, Herremans' versatility and willingness to move from tackle to guard to accommodate first-round pick Lane Johnson work in his favor. Cole is going to have to show he can be a dominant pass-rusher from a 3-4 outside linebacker position.
The talk about it has dominated the Eagles' offseason. Now it's time for the quarterbacks competing for the starting job in Philadelphia to actually start competing.
The free safety position in Washington is wide open right now, and rookie Bacarri Rambo was running with the first team in practice Thursday. That doesn't mean he's the only one that will play there in camp, but it does mean a big opportunity for Rambo to show he can start right away.
Jason Reid thinks the Redskins are set up for a run of sustained excellence due to what should be an elite offense behind Robert Griffin III.