Monday, July 28, 2008
Ripped from the NFC East headlines
By Dan Graziano
OXNARD, Calif. -- Even though I'm attending Camp Marshmallow with Wade Phillips and the Cowboys, that doesn't mean I've forgotten about the other three teams in the division. Let's take a virtual trip to the Northeast to catch up with the Eagles, Giants and Redskins:
- "Longtime" Hashmarks reader Clark Judge checks in from Bethlehem, where he bumped into veteran safety Brian Dawkins. Clark thinks the Eagles' best hope of a playoff run is to improve on defense.
- There's been a Jerome McDougle sighting at Eagles camp. Nick Fierro of the Gloucester County Times says the former first-round pick is clawing at a final roster spot.
- Phil Anastasia of the Inquirer says the Eagles' young linebackers have the ability to make plays, but it's time to take the next step.
- Les Bowen takes a break from Eagletariat duties to discuss two backup defensive ends who need to break through this season. And I love it when Les writes about unicorns.
- The Giants have somehow managed to retain the chip on their collective shoulder. Donnie Banks stopped by camp in Albany and talked to several players who aren't feeling the love. It's exactly what center Shaun O'Hara told me in the offseason. He heard ESPN analysts ranking the Cowboys ahead of the Giants, and was baffled by it. Haven't we been down this path before?
- Tom Coughlin thinks Plaxico Burress' ankle injury is legit. Wouldn't you like to know what he really thinks? It just seems so unbelievably convenient to be nursing an ankle injury during a contract dispute.
- George Vecsey talks about how Coughlin made some important changes last offseason that paid huge dividends. I'm still shocked that Coughlin actually asked local media members what their perception of him was. Do you think Tuna would've ever done that? But whatever he did worked.
- Starting defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery suffered a broken bone in his right hand during a scrimmage Saturday. He's expected to be out for 10 days. In practices, you hear coaches screaming for players to stay on their feet. When you see a big pileup, it's easy for someone to have their hand stepped on. You have a lot of awkward falls when you mix veterans with a lot of young players. There's a rhythm that occurs when an offensive line and a defensive line have practiced against each other for a while. That rhythm is usually absent early in training camp.