NFC East: Ryan Grigson

Breakfast links: Tynes and toughness

January, 12, 2012
Looks as though they're getting their snow early in Green Bay. A bunch will be on the ground when we arrive this weekend, but the forecast for Sunday remains clear and for a relatively balmy 24 degrees. Given what the calendar says and where they're going, the Giants will sign for that. There's a difference between Tom Coughlin's face being red and Tom Coughlin's face being dear-god-get-that-man-to-a-hospital red. Anyway, links.

New York Giants

Ian O'Connor looked back at the Lawrence Tynes kick that delivered the Giants' last playoff victory in Green Bay four years ago and talked with members of Tynes' family about the tough times they've all endured and the toughness that lives in the Giants' kicker as a result. It's a real good story. Apropos of nothing, though, did you know this Sunday's will be the first playoff game at Lambeau Field since that one? Not just for the Giants, but for the Packers too. They were a wild-card team last year. Played 'em all on the road.

More trivia: Gary Myers writes that this will be the first-ever playoff game featuring two quarterbacks who have previously won a Super Bowl MVP award. Gary takes a look at the matchup between Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles lost their player personnel director Wednesday, as Ryan Grigson went off to run the Colts. So they'll need to restructure some things in their personnel department. Once they do, they have decisions to make on their own potential free agents, and Geoff Mosher runs through the list.

Those who assume the Eagles are sure to sign Steve Spagnuolo as their defensive coordinator simply because he used to work there have consistently ignored the obvious fact that the Eagles will have competition for the man's services. The Atlanta Falcons, who actually have an opening at defensive coordinator, have emerged as a strong suitor.

Dallas Cowboys

Remember when Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was a hot name for potential head coaching jobs? Calvin Watkins writes that the way the Dallas defense played down the stretch may have taken Ryan off some of those lists -- for this year, at least.

Todd Archer believes, as I do, that there's a real good chance the Cowboys take an offensive linemen in the first round of the draft. But if they're going to put that high a value on their interior line needs, Todd writes, might they spend what it takes in free agency to sign someone like Saints guard Carl Nicks? Intriguing.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins are hiring former Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris to coach their defensive backs, according to Mike Jones. Lots of good connections here. Morris has worked on the same staff as Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and under GM Bruce Allen before. He's 35 years old and likely still a hot coaching prospect, regardless of what happened this year in Tampa Bay. I'll be interesting to see which defensive backs stick around for Morris to coach. Safeties coach Steve Jackson and wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell won't be back, Jason Reid writes. Jackson was in Washington for eight years.

Redskins kicker Graham Gano broke two bones in his back making a tackle in the season finale. Gano is a free agent and, as he rehabs his back, he wonders what his own future holds in Washington.

Could Grigson take Marty Mornhinweg?

January, 11, 2012
The Indianapolis Colts have hired Ryan Grigson, who had been the Philadelphia Eagles' director of player personnel, as their new general manager. The Colts announced Wednesday morning that Grigson would replace Bill Polian, who was fired last week.

Not fired last week was Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, though it's entirely possible that (a) Colts ownership wanted the new GM to decide on a head coach and (b) Grigson will want to bring in his own coach. Albert Breer of the NFL Network speculated on Twitter that the Grigson hire could open up an opportunity for Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to get another shot at head coaching, and that makes a lot of sense.

In spite of his flop as Lions head coach, Mornhinweg is extremely well respected in NFL circles. Many people believe he wasn't ready for the Detroit opportunity, and that Lions management didn't provide him with a chance to succeed in the role. As a result, he's on a lot of short lists of head-coaching candidates around the league.

Furthermore, Mornhinweg is well known for his ability to develop quarterbacks. And with the Colts apparently set to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in April's draft, they're likely looking for a coach with such a reputation.

No idea, of course, what Grigson is planning. And as mentioned, the head coach job in Indy is not, currently, open. But this is one possible consequence of the Colts snatching away an Eagles personnel guy to run their front office, and it's worth keeping an eye on.
The Friday links, as you should know by now, require no introduction.

New York Giants

Mathias Kiwanuka says the Giants are "definitely a Super Bowl team." Major, major shift in confidence and attitude around this Giants team since the loss to Washington a few weeks back. It comes from the way the defense is playing. If they maintain it, Kiwanuka could be proven right. They're just going to have to maintain it against some of the best offenses in the league.

Fascinating story by Johnette Howard about how defensive backs, who always preach that "you have to have short memories," actually do, in general, have shorter memories -- and lower Wonderlic scores -- than other players on the team. And how defensive backs are the only position group that performs better as Wonderlic scores drop. The point here is that the Giants' DBs, whatever their Wonderlic scores, have been working to forget the failures of earlier in the season.

Philadelphia Eagles

Geoff Mosher has 10 moves the Eagles need to make this offseason, and it may surprise you that he starts with "re-sign DeSean Jackson." I predict there will be two very vocal sides to this debate -- perhaps even within the Eagles' front office -- and I have no idea how it will turn out.

In this notebook, we learn that Jamaal Jackson's agent expects the Eagles to release their one-time starting center, that Jackson's replacement (Jason Kelce) will not need surgery on his foot as originally thought, and that Eagles player personnel director Ryan Grigson is a candidate for GM jobs in Indianapolis and St. Louis.

Dallas Cowboys

Todd Archer writes that the Cowboys ranked fifth in the league in penalties, and he breaks it down by player. DeMarcus Ware and Doug Free had the most, with 10 apiece.

With former Cowboy Sam Hurd having been indicted Wednesday on federal drug charges, Jean-Jacques Taylor hits the Cowboys for putting their head in the sand about the situation and failing to prepare their current players to deal with the questions that would inevitably arise.

Washington Redskins

Mike Jones has five offensive-related questions for the Redskins as they head into this offseason, starting right where you'd think he'd start and also wondering about Fred Davis, the offensive line, the running backs and kicker.

Brian Burke breaks down the stats and determines that the Redskins' biggest needs are ... right where you'd expect them to be -- quarterback, wide receiver and offensive line. I think it's interesting to see how the EPA grades came out on defense, too.

Eagles hire Savage as consultant

February, 4, 2010
New Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has been busy overhauling the club's scouting department this week. On Thursday, Philadelphia hired former Browns general manager Phil Savage as a player personnel consultant. And apparently Savage has already been on the job.

"I’ve always admired the work Phil Savage has done,” Roseman said in a statement. “And after spending time with him this past year, I realized how well we could work together. Phil is an excellent talent evaluator and having an extra set of eyes for us to utilize will definitely help our scouting staff as we prepare for the draft. He’s spent time working on the 2010 draft class already, so [player personnel director] Ryan [Grigson] and I thought it is was a slam dunk when the opportunity was there for us to add him to our staff.”

Added Savage: "This is a great opportunity for me to get back in the NFL. I’m really excited about the role the Eagles have afforded me and I’m ready to help Howie and the rest of their scouting staff in the best way I possibly can."

Savage, 44, spent nine seasons with the Ravens before joining the Browns. He was the toast of the town in Cleveland after landing quarterback Brady Quinn via a draft-day trade, but things soured in a hurry. He'll bring some much-needed experience to a scouting staff that is now led by the 34-year-old Roseman.