NFC East: Mike Williams

How you feeling? Eagles-Buccaneers

December, 9, 2012
As the Philadelphia Eagles try to stop their eight-game losing streak at 1 p.m. ET today against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, here's one reason for Eagles fans to feel good about their chances and one reason for concern.

Feeling good: The Buccaneers have the worst pass defense in the league, allowing an average of 309.4 passing yards per game. They have made 17 interceptions, which is the fourth-highest total in the league, but if they don't intercept your throw, it's likely to gain yards. The Bucs have just 18 quarterback sacks this season, more than only Oakland and Jacksonville, so rookie quarterback Nick Foles will have time to throw and should be able to find success downfield. If there's a game among these final four in which the Eagles can expect to see the best of their third-round rookie as they evaluate his worthiness for next season and beyond, today's game is the most likely candidate.

Cause for concern: Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman is having a fine season and thriving with Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams as downfield wide receiver targets. This is not good news for an Eagles defense that has been historically bad against the pass over the past six weeks. Each of the last six quarterbacks to face the Eagles have posted a passer rating over 120.0, and they've racked up 16 touchdown passes against no interceptions in that time. So, yeah, Foles may have a good game. But the odds appear to favor Freeman having one of the best games of his life.

Wrap-up: Redskins 24, Buccaneers 22

September, 30, 2012

A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' white-knuckle 24-22 victory over the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay on Sunday.

What it means: There's a pretty good reason the Redskins are OK with not having another first-round draft pick until 2015. Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III continues to impress as he helps lift the Redskins to 2-2. For the game, he completed 26-of-35 passes for 323 yards and no interceptions. He rushed for 43 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. He got the ball back on his own 20-yard line, down by a point with 1:42 left in the game and he marched the Redskins 56 yards into field-goal range, whence Billy Cundiff hit the game-winning 41-yarder. What you want from your quarterback is for him to give you the confidence he can bring you back and win a game late, and Griffin has the first fourth-quarter comeback victory of his young career.

Bentley rolls on: The Redskins' other star rookie on offense, sixth-round pick Alfred Morris, rolled up 113 yards on 21 carries, including a 39-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that built the Washington lead to 21-3. Morris has a lock on the starting running back job in Washington, as newly signed Ryan Grant wasn't even active and is clearly on the roster only for depth. Morris would have to get injured or see his play drop off dramatically for him to lose the job.

On defense: Ryan Kerrigan is a complete animal, and he led the high-pressure first-half assault on Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. When the Redskins were pressuring Freeman early, he couldn't find open receivers and the Redskins' coverage issues on the back end were masked. When the Bucs stepped up their protection in the second half and Freeman had time to throw, he was able to exploit mismatches in the secondary with wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams against the Redskins' defensive backs. It's pretty simple, really. The Redskins' defense requires pressure in order to succeed.

Redemption... barely: You have to wonder if Cundiff would have been back next week if the kick had hooked any farther left. He'd already missed from 41 and 31 yards (and 57, but whatever) in the game, and his misses left the door open for Tampa Bay to mount its comeback. The Redskins got Cundiff (and cut Graham Gano) because of his ability to deliver touchbacks on kickoffs. But as much as NFL coaches prize field position in the kicking game, they almost certainly assumed he'd at least be reliable on field goals. Could be one bad game, but if the trend continues, the Redskins may have to sacrifice something on the kickoffs and look elsewhere for a more reliable kicker. It appears they're going to be in a lot of close games.

What's next: The Redskins play host to the 4-0 Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in Landover, Md. Having allowed 326.3 passing yards per game so far this season, they will try and stop Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones and an Atlanta passing game that's one of the deadliest in the league. They'll also be looking to break a seven-game home losing streak.
Ah, Wednesday. Let's get these links out of the way so we can get to work on that All-NFC East team!

Philadelphia Eagles

Through two games, the Eagles' defense is doing the job. It's a unit that's clearly more confident in itself than it was a year ago. And whether that's because of DeMeco Ryans or the super-fast rookies or Todd Bowles or Juan Castillo being in his second year as coordinator or all of that put together, you can't argue with the results to this point.

Part of the Eagles' plan Sunday was not to be bullied by the Ravens' defense, which they believe had a plan to try to bully them. DeSean Jackson came dangerously close to being thrown out of the game, at one point throwing a punch at a Ravens defender, but he had a message afterwards for Ray Lewis.

Dallas Cowboys

Tim MacMahon writes that a 1-1 record after two games is no surprise, because the Cowboys have established themselves over the past decade-plus as one of the NFL's most average teams.

As for this week and trying to beat the Buccaneers, they're in trouble at safety. It doesn't look as though Gerald Sensabaugh will play, it looks as though Barry Church will have to play hurt, and Matt Johnson's not ready to play yet. A lot falls once again on those good cover corners they have to lock down Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, though the Bucs prefer to try to run the ball.

Washington Redskins

Mike Shanahan blames execution and focus -- not strategy -- for the Redskins having had two punts blocked so far this year. He believes the problem can be solved. I'd have to think so. It'd be a pretty big story if the Redskins had 16 punts blocked this year.

Cornerback Josh Wilson is playing very well, making him a standout in an otherwise poor performance by the Washington secondary Sunday. Rich Campbell's defensive game review discusses that and much more.

New York Giants

Cornerback Prince Amukamara says he's optimistic he'll play Thursday night against the Panthers. And while they won't rush him back, the Giants do need him. I know, Amukamara hasn't proven anything at the NFL level yet. But he's more talented and fundamentally sound than the guys they're using opposite Corey Webster right now, and they're getting lit up back there. Even just another body, proven or unproven, would be welcome.

Justin Tuck asserts that he would have refused to do what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defensive players did on the final play of Sunday's game, even if ordered by his coach to do so.

Thursday Morning Beastlines

November, 4, 2010
Let's look at some of the top stories around the division this morning:


Exclusive chat transcript

July, 20, 2010
In case you had the terrible misfortune of missing Tuesday's live chat experience, here's the unedited transcript. We covered all the main topics, including Tom Coughlin's job security and Albert Haynesworth's future in Washington. Please read the following excerpts at your leisure:

Rusty from Hesston: Of the Beast teams, which one has the best stadium environment?

Mosley: The Cowboys have one of the most impressive stadiums in the world. It's over-the-top, which you'd expect from Jerry Jones. I haven't been inside the new Meadowlands Stadium, so I can't speak to that environment. I'd definitely put the Linc in front of FedEx. Getting to a Skins game is a miserable experience unless you have access to a helicopter.

Jeff from Goodhue County: Matt, how has David Buehler looked as the Cowboys new kicker? Does he look like he can solidify the position and get the job done?

Mosley: Jeff, we'll find out in the preseason. Those games will tell the story. Let's see him nail some 45-yard field goals in live action. Then we'll know something. If he's shaky, the Cowboys will have to look for recourse.

Schmohawk from D.C.,: Why do I feel deflated about the loss of Mike Williams, even though he probably would not have started at RG anyway?

Mosley: You probably feel deflated because he has such a debilitating injury. I didn't think he was the answer at right guard either, but I really admired the transformation he went through to fight his way back into the league. I'm not really worried about his future in football. I'd just like for doctors to get a handle on those blood clots. Scary deal.

Brian from Fayetteville: Is Brandon Jacobs poor play exposing him as a gimmick at the RB spot? Will this make more coaches shy away from ever attempting to put a true linebacker at the RB spot?

Mosley: I've never thought of Jacobs as some sort of gimmick. He and Marion Barber were two of the best backs in the league in '07. It's not like they were tricking people. They lowered their heads and punished defenders. But that punishment takes its toll at some point. I think they've both had to learn when to give up on plays. But no, I don't think it's fair to refer to Jacobs as a gimmick. Opposing DC's don't think that.

Beastlines: Is Kolb ready to take over?

July, 17, 2010
Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Morning News asks, "Who is the bigger star: Tony Romo or Michael Jordan?"

New York Giants

Former linebacker Brian Kelley will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame Saturday.

Philadelphia Eagles

Yet another writer is asking if Kevin Kolb is ready to be the starting quarterback for the Eagles. While another argues that the Eagles should cut Michael Vick. reaches the top of its list of "Camp Classics," remembering when the Terrell Owens show came to town.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins offensive line is reeling after losing veteran Mike Williams.

ESPN's Len Pasquerelli calls the Raiders' acquisition of Redskins' quarterback Jason Campbell the "ultimate bargain" of the offseason.

A Kansas City judge ripped running back Larry Johnson for his poor effort while serving his community service sentence.

Beastlines: Ex-Cowboy sues over collapse

July, 13, 2010
Dallas Cowboys

In the seventh of his 10-part series on Cowboys "who have a lot to prove in training camp,"'s Tim McMahon looks at tight end Martellus Bennett.

The Dallas Morning News' Kevin Sherrington thinks the Cowboys are going to end the season in the Super Bowl.

Sure, there might be a few red flags, but Dez Bryant has "freaky talent," writes the DMN's Brad Sham.

Ex-Cowboy Jamar Hunt has become the first player to sue over the facility collapse incident that occurred during last year's rookie camp.

New York Giants

Giants linebacker Gerris Wilkinson is looking at his life after football.

Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole thinks the Giants have the third worst group of linebackers in the league (He ranks the Cowboys second best.) "Outside linebacker Michael Boley was pretty good last year when he was healthy, but the rest of the group is a collective question mark with the likes of Clint Sintim, Jonathan Goff and Chase Blackburn," writes Cole.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are not worried about Michael Vick's travel restrictions affecting the team, a source told's Jason LaCanfora.

National Football Post's Matt Bowen wonders, if the Eagles cut Vick, who will replace him?

The Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel suggests Troy Smith.

The Shutdown Corner blog asks the question: Is Kevin Kolb really ready to take over?

Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims loves pit bulls so much, he hosted a parade in their honor. Of teammate Vick, Sims said: "I really want to get on the same page with him and assure the pit bull community that he really is trying to help our breed and what he did is in the past."

As part of their "Camp Classics" series, looks at a "The Vet turf fiasco" from 2001.

Washington Redskins

In a video, The Washington Post's Jason Reid looks at who might replace Mike Williams on the offensive line.

One of Tim Twentyman's 10 offseason questions is, "Is Donovan McNabb really the answer in D.C.?"

Redskins linebacker Chris Draft is spending his Tuesday reading to kids.

Beastlines: Mike Williams may miss season

July, 10, 2010
Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones will make a guest appearance Sunday night on an episode of HBO's "Entourage."

Former linebacker Eugene Lockhart was jailed Friday after failing a drug test that violated the terms of his bail. Lockhart is awaiting trial in a mortgage fraud case.

Philadelphia Eagles

Rookie defensive end Brandon Graham said he'll be at training camp even if hasn't signed with the team. The first-round draft pick has been training hard in case a possible holdout keeps him off the field at the end of July.

Washington Redskins

Offensive lineman Mike Williams may miss the entire 2010 season because of blood clots near his heart. Washington's right guard was recently released from the hospital because of the condition.

Receiver Terrell Owens says he's open to reuniting with Donovan McNabb.

What can Brown do for Skins?

June, 20, 2010
It wasn't long ago that Jammal Brown was a borderline elite left tackle in this league. But when he missed '09 with hip and sports hernia injuries, the Saints didn't appear to miss him on their way to a Super Bowl title.

Now, the Washington Redskins will provide Brown an opportunity to re-set his once-promising career via Saturday's trade, which was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brown wanted a long-term deal with the Saints, but that wasn't going to happen because of his injuries and the club's excellent depth at offensive tackle. Washington doesn't have that luxury, so it should be a tremendous opportunity for Brown.

[+] EnlargeJammal Brown
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesBy acquiring Jammal Brown, the Redskins showed they are serious about winning now.
If first-round pick Trent Williams looks ready at left tackle during training camp, Brown will likely start on the right side. That's not Brown's preference because he'll have a harder time justifying a lucrative contract extension at right tackle. But I guess it's better than backing up Jermon Bushrod in New Orleans.
"I just think coming here, playing for Coach [Mike] Shanahan -- I watched him in Denver -- I like the scheme of offense that he runs. The zones, things like that," Brown told the Post on Saturday. "I'm gonna come in; they want me to play right tackle.I still think I'm a left tackle, but I'm going to do what they want me to do. I know they got my college teammate Trent [Williams] on the left side. We'll see how that all plays out. But I'm going to play wherever they want me to play. I'm just excited to be here and to be a part of a first-class program."

Here's what NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas thought about the trade. I don't think Saints fans are broken up about losing the 29-year-old Brown. But the tackle could be an excellent fit in Mike Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme. If he's 100 percent healthy (as he claims), Brown immediately makes this a better offensive line. I don't think Donovan McNabb was thrilled about having an inexperienced player in Williams matched with a journeyman in Hicks as his bookends. Now, Hicks can compete for the starting job at right guard, where the enormous Mike Williams currently resides. As I've said before, I don't think Mike is a good fit for the Skins' new blocking scheme because of his lack of athleticism at this point in his career.

Shanahan's shown that he's not worried about acquiring players who've been labeled as "disgruntled" while with other organizations. Veteran running back Larry Johnson certainly comes to mind. Shanahan also values veteran players who've started a lot of games -- and Brown fits that description.

This is further proof that general manager Bruce Allen and Shanahan don't have any interest in a three-year plan. They're trading and signing for players who will contribute immediately. And if Brown's truly interested in salvaging his career, he couldn't have found a better destination.

I'm sure his ego's bruised by the fact the Saints achieved so much without him (think Jeremy Shockey with the Giants in '07), and he's anxious to show that he's still a talented player. Asked by the Post if he feels like folks have forgotten about him, Brown said, "If they have, I can easily remind them this upcoming year. They won't forget about me for long."

And in an unrelated note, Happy Father's Day!

On the radar: Skins' O-line

June, 10, 2010
NFC On the Radar: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

In some precincts, the Redskins' stunning trade for Donovan McNabb automatically put them in the playoffs. My colleague John Clayton has said he sees the Cowboys and Redskins as the teams to beat in the rugged NFC East. But for some reason, I haven't been converted to the Skins-in-the-playoffs theory, and I'll tell you why.

[+] EnlargeTrent Williams
Rafael Suanes/US PresswireWashington's Trent Williams has to work on his blocking, one of the many issues on the Redskins' O-line.
I don't trust that offensive line one bit.

It's nothing personal. Watching Mike Williams return to football after eating himself out of the league has been heartening. And 32-year-old Casey Rabach does a decent job at center. But in the end, I don't think McNabb can hold up behind this offensive line as currently constructed. It's not like Mike Shanahan can take a beast like Williams and turn him into a cut blocker who opens up lanes for Clinton Portis. And Portis was a much younger man when he was darting through cutback lanes with the Broncos last decade.

The other Williams on the line, Trent, has the tools to be a special player. But he still has to learn the nuances of the NFL game while trying to block DeMarcus Ware, Justin Tuck and Trent Cole. As Bill Parcells liked to say, "this will not go smoothly." It's almost like everyone forgot about the beatings that Jason Campbell took on a weekly basis.

This isn't the McNabb who used to race around and extend plays by 10 seconds or so against the Cowboys on "Monday Night Football." He can slide around the pocket, but it's not like he speeds away from defenders on a regular basis. I'll point to his last two games against Dallas as Exhibits A and B. With center Jamaal Jackson out, the Eagles had to slide players around in the middle. The results against the Cowboys were disastrous.

For now, the Redskins have Artis Hicks lining up as the starting right tackle. To me, that means that Shanahan and his son, Kyle, aren't sold on Stephon Heyer. Most of us expected him to hold down that position. And the Mike Williams vs. Chad Rinehart battle at right guard isn't riveting stuff. Neither player would start for the three other teams in the division.

I certainly agree with the pundits who say the Redskins are better off with McNabb. He'll make Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly better receivers. And the combination of Fred Davis and Chris Cooley should be the best tandem in the Beast. But I don't like the thought of putting aging running backs behind a suspect offensive line.

At this point, the Redskins have the worst offensive line in the division and I don't see the Shanahan boys' zone-blocking scheme changing that right away. Could I be wrong about this?

There's always that slight chance.

Washington Redskins' weakness: O-line

May, 20, 2010
NFC East Weaknesses: Cowboys (5/17) | Giants (5/18) | Eagles (5/19) | Redskins (5/20)

Many seem to think that Washington, a 4-12 team in 2009 that failed to win a game in the NFC East, is vastly improved and no longer is overwhelmed with weak spots on its roster. I tend to disagree. They still look like the NFC East’s bottom feeders to me.

[+] EnlargeTrent Williams
Rafael Suanes/US PresswireThe Redskins used the No. 4 overall pick on Trent Williams, but the offensive tackle doesn't have much experience on the left side.
I am not fond of the Redskins’ wide receivers, but do recognize that there is upside with younger wideouts such as Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas. Depth here is a worry as there isn’t anyone resembling a No. 1 receiver in the group.

The situation at running back is worse. Mike Shanahan has a great reputation of getting excellent production from ordinary running backs in his scheme, but I contend that Clinton Portis, Willie Parker and Larry Johnson are all over the hill and used up.

While these two positions are problematic, they might be even more glaring if the line is not vastly improved. Once again, I have my doubts. Using the fourth pick in the draft on a very talented left tackle, Trent Williams from Oklahoma, certainly made a lot of sense. But the rookie is far from a sure thing and, despite his immense talents, doesn’t have a lot of college experience on the left side. And there is no getting around that he is a rookie. This is just a hunch, but I am betting that DeMarcus Ware, Trent Cole and the Giants’ slew of defensive ends are not losing sleep knowing that they have to face Williams twice during the 2010 season.

Last year, the Redskins' pass blocking was poor while the run blocking was atrocious. At left guard and center respectively, it looks pretty certain that Derrick Dockery and Casey Rabach will return as starters. Dockery is a good pass-blocker and the left side of the line certainly does have potential, but Dockery needs work in the running game. Plus, he isn’t exactly the small, quick lineman that we have become so accustomed to seeing in Shanahan’s scheme. Rabach is about as ordinary as they come at the pivot, but isn’t a young player, so a decline might be imminent.

At the two spots on the right side, there will be competition for the starting roles and a combination of Stephon Heyer, Mike Williams, Artis Hicks and Chad Rinehart will get the nod. Heyer was among the worst starting offensive linemen in the league last season. Williams isn’t much better and doesn’t move well enough to recover in protection. Rinehart remains somewhat of an unknown and might be primed to come into his own, but banking on that doesn’t seem prudent considering what he has shown to this point. Hicks is versatile and was a solid signing considering the situation up front for Washington, but he has proved to be more of an ideal sixth lineman as opposed to starting material.

By the way, Donovan McNabb isn’t the most durable quarterback around and as noted above, there are some serious pass-rushers in the NFC East. If the Redskins don't get the line tightened up, McNabb could be in for a long season.

Handicapping the Beast -- in April

April, 8, 2010

US PresswireWill Tony Romo, Kevin Kolb or Eli Manning be leading the NFC East's top team in 2010? Matt Mosley takes an early look.
One of the most important things to do when overreacting to a blockbuster trade within a division is to suggest one of the teams will leapfrog pretty much everyone in the league. And although I'm wired to have knee-jerk reactions in most phases of life, I've so far resisted the urge to elevate the Redskins to playoff contender status. Do they have a much better chance? Absolutely.

But in the spirit of wild, reactionary behavior, let's now handicap the most compelling division in football heading into this month's draft. I have analyzed all the free-agency moves and have looked at several of Mike Sando's NFL databases in my attempt to determine the early bird power rankings in the Beast. Now, here are the fruits of my labor:

My NFC East post-Easter, pre-draft power rankings:

1. Dallas Cowboys: The releases of left tackle Flozell Adams and Ken Hamlin, which may have been predicted in this space, caused shockwaves in the division -- until the move was trumped by Sunday evening's events. It's rare to see a legitimate Super Bowl contender release a perennial Pro Bowl left tackle and a veteran starter at safety. Jerry Jones looked me in the eye recently (for an awkwardly long time) and insisted that Doug Free was capable of starting at left tackle in this league. I took this to mean that Jones would release Adams, but it happened sooner than most of us thought.

I don't think Friday's moves did serious damage to the Cowboys' hopes of winning another division title, but it puts enormous pressure on Free and whomever replaces Hamlin at safety. Right now, the candidates are Alan Ball, Michael Hamlin and a player to be drafted later. The Cowboys are still the most stable team in the division heading into the draft, but I'm a bit concerned wide receiver Miles Austin has chosen to work out in Los Angeles rather than Valley Ranch. Hey, I realize the recent trip to Hugh Hefner's mansion had to be an eye-opening experience, but Austin should come on home at some point.

This may be a ploy to get Jones' attention since Austin's a restricted free agent set to make roughly $3.6 million while fellow starter Roy Williams will collect somewhere in the neighborhood of $13 million this season. And honestly, Austin and his agent, David Dunn, who showed nice separation skills from reporters at the recent owners meetings, have a pretty good point. But ultimately, I don't think staying away from Tony Romo and his other teammates will improve Austin's standing.

With that said, the NFC East title still goes through Dallas. Just ask Keith Brooking if you don't believe me.

Cowboys win prediction in April: 12

2. New York Giants: Our old friends from the New Jersey swamps have managed to fly under the radar this offseason -- other than that coin flip. General manager Jerry Reese has told me on three separate occasions this offseason the play at safety last season was unacceptable -- and I'm sure Giants fans would agree with that assessment. He's responded by signing former Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle to an enormous contract and then bringing in journeyman Deon Grant, who's a definite upgrade over C.C. Brown.

With Rolle, Kenny Phillips, Michael Johnson and Grant, the Giants have some much-needed depth at the position. But don't be shocked to see them draft another safety in two weeks. It's hard to say how much of the Giants' failures on defense had to do with all the injuries and how much of it hinged on poor play. I'd lean toward the former, but Tom Coughlin and Reese aren't going to sit around and find out. They need to replace Antonio Pierce at middle linebacker. And you can't simply hope that Jonathan Goff or Gerris Wilkinson will get the job done. If the Giants land Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain at No. 15, they'll have an immediate starter and one of the most intelligent players in this draft.

It's just hard for me to imagine the Giants going through another awful stretch, as they did last season. Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is poised to become an electric player and Steve Smith proved that he can be a front-line receiver. Mix in Mario Manningham and Ramses Barden and you have the makings of an elite receiving corps. Right now, you'd have to say the Eagles and Giants are neck in neck at that position.

I also think the arrival of fiery defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will solve some issues. He'll be more aggressive with the pass rush and he'll attempt to use Osi Umenyiora's unease to his advantage. I also think you'll see a much healthier Justin Tuck. He was limited for most of last season after being tripped by Flozell Adams in the Week 2 game at Cowboys Stadium. I think Tuck's poised to have a huge bounce-back season. That's a big reason why the Giants will return to the playoffs.

Giants win prediction in April: 10

3. Philadelphia Eagles: First of all, I think Kevin Kolb is going to win a lot of games with the Eagles. But there will be bumps along the way. No one really knows how he'll look as the full-time starter, but he's shown signs he can get the job done. I think he'll immediately be a more accurate passer than McNabb, but I also know that opposing defensive coordinators will go to great lengths to confuse him in coverage.

Kolb will reach out to fellow Texan Drew Brees this offseason for advice on dealing with all the adversity he's sure to face. I think that's an excellent move. The Eagles will surround Kolb with some potent weapons at receiver and tight end. But what Andy Reid truly needs to do is commit to the running game. That will help an inexperienced quarterback more than anything. Will Reid do that? I have my doubts.

The Eagles need to add more depth in the secondary during the draft. You can't depend on Marlin Jackson, owner of two surgically repaired knees, to be the answer. I think the Eagles have to draft a safety and a cornerback in the early rounds. Of course, that No. 37 pick should really help. If someone like South Florida safety Nate Allen begins to slip a little bit, the Eagles should be ready to take him. I think defensive coordinator Sean McDermott will be much more comfortable in his second season. But with the Redskins becoming more of a force and the Giants likely bouncing back, finding 10 wins will be tough. Kolb will one day lead this team on a deep playoff run. But that won't happen in 2010.

Eagles win prediction in April: 9

4. Washington Redskins: No, it didn't slip my mind that Washington landed an elite-level quarterback. But count me among the skeptics who think playing behind an offensive line that could feature Mike Williams and Stephon Heyer isn't a recipe for a huge turnaround. When the Dolphins had a remarkable turnaround two seasons ago, they benefited from the rest of the division wilting down the stretch. I don't think the Redskins can count on any help from their division rivals this season.

McNabb will make the Redskins better, but he'll need to make them at least six wins better to have a shot at the playoffs. He's still an excellent quarterback and leader, but I don't see him making a six-win difference. Brett Favre inherited a 10-win team and the best running back in the game last season. McNabb inherits a four-win team and a collection of fading stars at running back.

I know McNabb took a jab at the Eagles when he said the Redskins will run the ball, but it's not like a young Brian Westbrook's walking through that door. Mike Shanahan won Super Bowls with a young Terrell Davis. He then put up huge numbers with backs such as Mike Anderson, who was the offensive rookie of the year in 2000. But most of the running backs who put up big numbers for Shanahan were young and hungry. Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker are just holding on to their careers for another two or three seasons. McNabb needs to win nine games (or go to the Pro Bowl) in order for the Eagles to receive a third-round pick in the 2011 draft. I don't see it happening at this point. This team will be much improved, but it''ll need more than that in the rugged NFC East.

Redskins win prediction in April: 8

Editor's note: Mosley reserves the right to completely change his mind following the draft.

Skins interested in Flozell Adams

April, 7, 2010
As if the NFC East landscape hasn't changed enough, Redskins general manager Bruce Allen told Sirius on Monday that he's made contact with former Cowboys left tackle Flozell Adams' agent, Jordan Woy.

"We have had a conversation with his agent," said Allen.

Unfortunately, there wasn't a follow-up question to press Allen on his interest level. Calvin Watkins of called Woy to see what was going on with Adams. Woy said it was "too early to tell" where his client would land. But you'd think there would be a decent market for a Pro Bowl left tackle who could probably start for another two seasons.

If the Redskins signed Adams, they might not feel the pressure to take Oklahoma State's Russell Okung at No. 4 overall. And they'd also have another player on the roster who'd be dying to prove that his former team made a big mistake. Donovan McNabb should be in Allen's office right now campaigning for Adams.

He knows what it's like to play behind veteran offensive tackles. Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan kept him on his feet for a lot of years in Philly. As it stands now, McNabb could end up operating behind a rookie left tackle and Stephon Heyer on the right side. And who's going to play right guard? Mike Williams?

Right now, the offensive line is the only reason I'm not ready to call the Skins a playoff contender. But signing Adams might make me rethink that position. Let's ponder that thought in the "comments" section.

Monday Beastlines: Lots of Shanahan talk

March, 29, 2010
Let's take a quick look at the top storylines from around the division this afternoon:


  • People who don't trust Deion Sanders don't trust themselves. Clarence E. Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the rest of that story.
  • Roger Staubach will throw out the first pitch on Opening Day for the Rangers. And if Rich Harden doesn't figure it out soon, Staubach may be called upon again.



Report: Skins sign Hicks, Parker to visit

March, 6, 2010
The Washington Redskins eased into the free-agency waters by agreeing to a three-year contract with Vikings guard Artis Hicks on Saturday evening, according to's John Clayton. The Skins have re-signed some of their own players but Hicks, an unrestricted free agent, is the first player signed off another team.



Hicks, 31, has been with the Vikings since '06 after beginning his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. He started 27 games for the Vikings and he was a valuable backup on a team that reached the NFC title game this past season. The Washington Post is reporting that Hicks received $3 million in guaranteed money and the opportunity to make as much as $9 million over the course of the deal. He'll likely challenge Mike Williams for the starting spot at right guard.

In other Redskins news, ESPN insider Adam Schefter is reporting that unrestricted free-agent running back Willie Parker will visit with Washington on Monday. Parker, 29, lost his job to Rashard Mendenhall in '09 and only rushed for 389 yards on 98 carries.

Parker has been banged up the past couple seasons, but he was a prolific runner for the Steelers earlier in his career. He and Redskins starter Clinton Portis are at about the same stages in their careers, but Parker has more speed and quickness. If the Skins determine that Parker's healthy, signing him would make sense. Keep in mind that Shanahan also loves LaDainian Tomlinson, who remains on the street after being released by the Chargers.

Signing Parker wouldn't preclude the Redskins from selecting a running back in next month's draft, but it may allow them to wait until the later rounds.

The Post is also reporting that Ma'ake Kemoeatu will visit Redskins Park on Tuesday. Kemoeatu is recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon, so I don't think teams will be in a huge hurry to sign him. After years of spending wildly in free agency, the Redskins are now being lauded for their patient approach this weekend. Signing guys like Hicks and possibly Parker won't turn the franchise around overnight, but they seem like sound moves at this point.