NFC East: Winston Moss

Breakfast links: Giant turnaround

January, 18, 2012
Morning, all. Figure I'll head over to East Rutherford today to see what's going on. I imagine I won't be the only one with this idea. Will keep you posted. Meantime, links.

New York Giants

On the morning of Dec. 24, the Giants were 7-7 and coming off a tough loss to the Redskins. The Jets were 8-6 and hoping to win their final two games against what appeared to be a couple of weak opponents and get into the playoffs. Ohm Youngmisuk writes that what happened that day at MetLife Stadium changed the fortunes of both teams as dramatically as anyone could have imagined.

Filip Bondy points out that no team has ever won the Super Bowl after posting a regular-season record as poor as the Giants' 9-7 mark. And before anyone gets upset, Filip is merely pointing out a statistical oddity, not saying the Giants don't belong here. As he says, there was no 10-6 or 9-7 team in another division that missed the playoffs because the Giants won the East. They had one of the six best records in the conference and earned their way in. To me, his column simply points up the fact that this is a team currently playing like a Super Bowl champ after not playing like one for much of its regular season.

Philadelphia Eagles

Everybody in the league seems to believe the Raiders will hire a Packers assistant -- likely Winston Moss -- to be their new head coach. But Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is going for an interview. Mornhinweg has also come up as a possible candidate to coach the Colts, who fired head coach Jim Caldwell on Tuesday. So while fans are wondering if and when Steve Spagnuolo would be hired as defensive coordinator (a job that's not currently open in Philadelphia), it's possible they'll need to replace their offensive coordinator first.

Amid all of this, as Martin Frank writes, Eagles head coach Andy Reid has remained silent for the past two weeks, and no one knows when he'll show his face to answer any questions about the season just past or his plans for the next one.

Dallas Cowboys

Todd Archer writes that, if Laurent Robinson is serious about Dallas being the right "fit" for him, the Cowboys have a good chance to re-sign their breakout wide receiver. If Robinson just wants to cash in on the success he had in Dallas via free agency (which is, of course, his perfect right), then Todd is less optimistic about the team's chances to bring him back.

And speaking of Cowboys wide receivers, the latest Dez Bryant off-field incident -- and the fact that it's happened so soon into an offseason in which Bryant knows his every step is going to be watched and scrutinized -- has Calvin Watkins wondering if the guy is ever going to learn.

Washington Redskins

John Keim takes a look at what the Redskins need to do this offseason at defensive back. He says they need to decide what to do about LaRon Landry, need to sign a third cornerback (he throws out the name of the Giants' Terrell Thomas as a possibility) and need to add speed at free safety. The idea of using that No. 6 overall pick on a defensive player, such as LSU Morris Claiborne, hasn't really been raised much around these parts, since we all seem to agree that this year's Redskins offseason needs to be about offense. But a lot's going to depend on what they decide to do in free agency, and what needs are left when the draft rolls around. Cornerback may just be one of them.

Jason Reid is looking at the quarterbacks remaining in the playoffs and what lessons the Redskins might learn from them. The two guys left in the NFC were both picked No. 1 overall in the draft, of course, and Jason believes it's time for the Redskins to do what they can to move up to one of the top two spots and get a franchise QB this time around.

Lots of Eagles talk at Media Day

February, 1, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas -- I expected Packers and Steelers assistants to play it pretty close to the vest regarding the defensive coordinator vacancy with the Philadelphia Eagles. And I was wrong.

I had a 20-minute visit with Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton, a former Cowboys safety. He wouldn't say whether the Eagles had contacted his representative, but it's pretty clear the prospect of switching to a 4-3 defense with the Eagles doesn't bother him at all. In fact, he played on a Cowboys Super Bowl team (XXVII) that used the 4-3. Horton's not a fan of the NFL's policy that assistant coaches from the Super Bowl teams have to wait until after the game to interview for vacancies.

"It punishes you for having more success," he told me. "The system actually rewards the coaches who don't make the playoffs or get knocked out early."

Horton hopes one of the three teams that haven't hired a defensive coordinator gives him a shot. He has a great deal of admiration for the late Jim Johnson, and he talked at length about how coaches around the league still use a lot of Johnson's concepts.

I also talked to Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac about the Eagles' opening. He'd been quoted saying he planned to return to the Packers next season, but he told me that he wanted to leave the door open to a coordinator position. Trgovac said he'd promised his high school-aged daughter that he would remain with the Packers for at least three years if possible, so that's something that's also on his mind.

The Inquirer's Jeff McLane spent a lot of time talking to Packers inside linebackers/assistant head coach Winston Moss on Tuesday. Moss wasn't shy about his admiration for the Eagles.

"The Eagles have some established talent there right now," Moss said. "It would be fun to work with that group. They work extremely hard. They play on a fanatical level. They have some playmakers on that defense. In carefully looking at them and then competing against them twice [this season], that would be a fantastic opportunity."

He said he likes the mindset of the Eagles organization.

"It's a very tough culture there," he said. "It's a very aggressive culture there. It's a very fearless culture. You can tell how Andy Reid attacks people from his offensive scheme that that's what he wants. And I believe that I have that same passion. I have that same relentless, fearless desire to get a defense to want to be able to compete at that same level."

And we haven't even mentioned Darren Perry.