NFC East: philadelphia eages

Woke to the sound of angry storm clouds here in the East. A portent of Fired-up Friday, you say? Well, it just might be. Today's going to be a good one. And if you're lucky, we might even see a return of the video mailbag.

First, however, we link:

Dallas Cowboys

Some interesting thoughts in here about why Jason Garrett might have a better chance to succeed as head coach than did some of his predecessors. Jean-Jacques Taylor says part of the reason is that he played for Jerry Jones and knows how he thinks. He also seems to think the draft-day additions of Tyron Smith and DeMarco Murray should help Garrett lean more on a physical run game than he has in recent years on the pass. Sensible points. It'll be interesting to see if the league ever plays again so we can find out if he's right.

And a good point in this Todd Archer analysis of a recent ranking of the league's top pass-rushers. Todd points out that, sure, DeMarcus Ware is in the top five along with Jared Allen, Dwight Freeney, James Harrison and Julius Peppers, but that three of those four other guys has a teammate who shows up elsewhere on the list (Ray Edwards, Robert Mathis, LaMarr Woodley). If Anthony Spencer could play the way he did in 2009, Todd reasons, it would only help Ware.

Oh, and nobody has to tell me content is tough to come by right now, but Blogging the Boys is really scraping the bottom of the barrel for interview subjects.

New York Giants

A year after he blew out his knee on the first practice on the Giants' new field, Domenik Hixon says he's ready to return. And while he may be blocked at WR, if he does make it back he has a pretty good chance to help out in the return game.

The one and only Ohm breaks down the potential fallout from Thursday's revelation that Osi Umenyiora has called Giants GM Jerry Reese a liar in a sworn affidavit. Ohm is of the belief that trading Osi would do the Giants more harm than good, since their advantage post-lockout will be the relatively small number of players unfamiliar with their system. We'll see. Umenyiora does have two years left on his deal. It's impossible to imagine him getting the new deal he wants, especially after all this, but what will he do if they tell him he's stuck? Sue? He's sort of already tried that!

Philadelphia Eagles

Apparently, Kevin Kolb has hired Trent Cole as his new agent. Nah, only kidding, but sheesh. Cole's comparing Kolb to Tom Brady makes you think he's thinking about a post-playing career as an agent, right?

Oh, and we touched on this a little bit in Thursday's item on Osi, but shortly after Adam Schefter's story on that broke, Eagles RB LeSean McCoy tweeted that Umenyiora was "overrated n soft 3rd best d-line on his team honestly." While the relative accuracy of McCoy's statement is debatable, it's unquestionably noteworthy that he made it at all in such a public forum. Should make things very interesting the next time the two play against each other -- and would make things very interesting if Osi were ever cut loose by the Giants and ended up on the Eagles.

Washington Redskins

Shemar Woods takes a quickie look at the Redskins' WR situation with the help of one of the receivers -- Anthony Armstrong, who makes it clear he thinks the young group needs a veteran in the mix. Armstrong is hopeful that Santana Moss will return, but he also said he wouldn't mind seeing Plaxico Burress sign with the team.

I wrote yesterday about how well the Redskins were doing with their player-organized workouts. Here's an item from earlier in the week that I missed. Apparently, would-be starting QB John Beck has begun videotaping the practices and reviewing film with Chris Cooley and some other players in the evenings after the practices are over.
Couple of housekeeping items ...

First, Ray from Philly wrote into the mailbag and told me I should stop apologizing so much. It's good advice, and I've decided to take it. This, plus all the stuff I wrote on the topic before receiving Ray's advice, will stand as my explanation of the DeMarcus Ware thing.

Second, I dig the new comment format, and I'm not just being a company man. I like that I can write back directly to you instead of having to refer to comments much further down the thread. I assume those of you who enjoy discussing/arguing amongst yourselves will enjoy it too, but we welcome feedback.

Third, and to the point, next week's edition of Power Rankings asks me and my seven fellow division bloggers to rank the top 10 offensive players in the league, with quarterbacks excluded. This is a fun and challenging exercise in the same way that our rankings of the top 10 defensive players was. The challenge of trying to rank running backs against receivers against tackles against tight ends against centers, etc. is similar to that of trying to decide whether a cornerback is better than a linebacker or a defensive lineman.

These lists are fun for me, though, and since I know you agree (and there's little else to do in this locked-out offseason), I'd like to hear your thoughts. I'll tell you, without giving away my list, that right now it does not include any players from the NFC East, and that I only thought one was close. (I do think you can make the case that the division has three top-10 quarterbacks, but this is a non-QB poll.) So that's a point of discussion on its own, and I'm curious to see if you can talk me into adding someone.

When the rankings come out next week, we'll do what we did yesterday and rank the best offensive players in the division. For now, I welcome your thoughts on that and on the league-wide rankings if you're up for it. Enjoy, and as always ... play nice!