Wednesday, August 3, 2011
NFC East Wednesday: How was your day?
By Dan Graziano
Back home in New Jersey after a long day on the road home from Redskins camp, combing through the day's p.m. news items and ready now to ask our favorite question: How was your day...
"Painful." Say what you want about Terence Newman, but if his groin injury turned out to be serious, the Cowboys would have a problem. Remember, they weren't out hunting for cornerbacks. They were in the Nnamdi Asomugha market because of how good Asomugha is -- not because of what they think of Newman and Mike Jenkins. They'd have cut Newman to make room for Asomugha, but their plan after Asomugha signed with the Eagles was to keep Newman and spend on safety. Now, Newman's hurt, and if it's the kind of thing that could linger into the season, the Cowboys and their already-stretched budget could need to find an answer at corner when they still haven't answered safety all the way. Abram Elam remains the strongest possibility for the other starting safety spot opposite Gerald Sensabaugh, especially with Brodney Pool returning to the Jets, but he isn't signed yet.
New York Giants?
"Unsettled." Kevin Boss is reportedly in Oakland, meeting with the Raiders, who lost tight end Zach Miller to the Seahawks on Tuesday and are surely legitimately interested in Boss. This is good news for Boss, as it will help him get more money, either from the Giants or the Raiders. But it's bad news for the Giants, who are also up against the cap and would have limited options to replace him if he were to go. If they have to spend more to keep him, it's hard to believe they'll also be able to sign Steve Smith, and losing Smith would seriously hurt them at wide receiver. And if they lose Boss, they could sign Smith more easily, but they may not want to up their offer to Smith because of concerns over his knee. So the Giants have reason to be nervous about the state of Eli Manning's passing targets at this point. The Osi Umenyiora situation also remains unsettled, after an odd day on which Umenyiora's options for getting satisfaction about his contract appear to be dwindling or dried up.
"Scary." The day began with defensive lineman Mike Patterson collapsing at practice and leaving the field in an ambulance. We learned later in the day that Patterson was dehydrated and was doing fine at the hospital, where he was being kept for further tests to make 100 percent sure before they let him go back out and practice football in the heat. First-round pick Danny Watkins, who's a firefighter and presumably has EMT training, was apparently instrumental in taking charge and making sure Patterson got the aid he needed. An unforeseen benefit of drafting Watkins, to be sure. As for signings, the Eagles added a couple of guys, including defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove, most recently of the Saints, to beef up the interior of Jim Washburn's defensive line. Jeremy Maclin was in camp but didn't practice or talk to reporters as he continues to recover from the illness that kept him from attending the camp's first five days. And DeSean Jackson continues to hold out, with no end in sight there.
"Productive." Rain in the morning in Ashburn cooled things off, and the Redskins extended practice by about a half-hour to let John Beck run 11-on-11 drills with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan calling plays for him through the speaker in his helmet. I don't know what to tell you on Beck. You watch from the sidelines and you see the ball wobble and the receivers reach behind them to catch it and you just don't come away very impressed. Then you talk to Kyle and Mike Shanahan about him and they rave about how great he looked. I'm completely ready to admit those guys know 800 times as much about evaluating quarterbacks as I do, but man. I didn't think the ball was supposed to wobble that much. I guess we'll see. Sounds like they're really serious about giving Beck at least a real good shot at winning the starting job.
My day? Well, thanks for asking. Very nice day. Good, enjoyable, informative interviews with both Shanahans, Beck, London Fletcher, O.J. Atogwe and others as I wrapped up my last day at Redskins camp. I will be sharing it with you in the coming days, even as I'm visiting other camps. And the Redskins edition of our "Camp Confidential" series is scheduled to run Saturday, so look for that. Now, though, I am tired and looking forward to taking tomorrow off. I will be chatting with you all again Friday from Lehigh.
But before I go, I really must ask: How was your day?