- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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As part of Best of the NFL Week on ESPN.com, here are five bests for the NFC East:
Best QB arm, Michael Vick: The thing people underestimated when they predicted how a post-prison Vick would do was how much his throwing arm had been under-utilized in Atlanta's West Coast scheme. His ability to throw the deep ball has meshed well in Philly with speedy receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, adding an element to his game that was always there but wasn't being used early in his career. Because there's so much focus on his running and overall athleticism, we sometimes forget what a powerful arm Vick has.
Best leader, London Fletcher: He's long been known for his leadership abilities on the field, where he's the brains and the heart of the Redskins' defense. But Fletcher has stepped up his game during the lockout. Along with Lorenzo Alexander, he has taken charge of organizing the player workouts the Redskins have had for the past couple of months. He's made sure attendance was high. He's kept people involved, even calling out plays from a piece of paper he's carrying around in his pocket to help defensive teammates continue to learn the 3-4 scheme that was installed last year. It's unclear how much these workouts will help Washington, but it is clear that Fletcher's teammates respect him as a leader, and that they should.
Best hands, Mario Manningham: He started last season No. 3 in the Giants' excellent wide receiving corps, but injuries to others meant Manningham was counted on more than New York expected. He emerged as a dependable and often electric wideout whose deep-play ability gets the attention. But Manningham's hands rank among the most reliable in the league. A Pro Football Focus study ranked him seventh in the league in lowest percentage of drops, and if you're wondering how he trains himself to be in that conversation this link here offers an example or two.
Best sack dance, Barry Cofield: I do not pretend to know why Cofield decided to pretend to use a taser on himself after sacking a quarterback. I do not pretend to be able to imagine how many hours of work in front of a mirror it took for him to become this good at it. I don't know for sure if it's the kind of thing I feel comfortable trying to explain to my kids. I don't, really, get it at all. I do, however, think it's hilarious and a lot of fun to watch, and since we've seen a million sack dances through the years but had never seen this one until Cofield brought it out, he's the winner.
Best intimidator, DeMarcus Ware: My first thought was to go with Brian Orakpo here, because I don't know if anyone in the division makes a more fearsome overall impression. But I'm going with Ware because he intimidates everybody, from opposing linemen and quarterbacks to offensive coordinators, and he does it all week long. Ware's stellar numbers, as it is often pointed out, are achieved against near-constant double-teams. The Dallas defense is not without other good or intimidating players, and yet when offensive coordinators game-plan for it, it's Ware that they decide needs the extra attention. For intimidating Monday through Sunday, Ware gets the nod in this category.
As part of Best of the NFL Week on ESPN.com, here are five bests for the NFC East:Best QB arm, Michael Vick: The thing people underestimated when they predicted how a post-prison Vick would do was how much his throwing arm had been under-utilized in Atlanta's West Coast scheme.