NFL Nation: Andre' Woodson

NFC East: Backup QB breakdown

September, 1, 2009
9/01/09
12:05
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley



Dallas
: If Tony Romo is unavailable, the Cowboys would still have a chance at winning games. Jon Kitna's moving into his late 30s, but he still has plenty of arm strength and he's a huge improvement over Brad Johnson. Kitna doesn't have the mobility of Romo and he took a lot of sacks in Detroit. But he can make all the throws and he could succeed for an extended amount of time. The only thing that worries me about Kitna is that he's had a lot of trouble getting the snap from center in training camp and in preseason games. Not sure what the problem is there.

Roy Williams had the best year of his NFL career playing with Kitna. Romo's the unquestioned starter, but Kitna's presence makes the Cowboys feel a lot more comfortable heading into '09.


New York
: If Eli Manning's unavailable, the Giants are in trouble. David Carr looked a lot better against the Jets, but he had really been struggling before that. He's still sort of shell-shocked from his time with the Texans. He might be fine to get you through a game or two, but the Giants would struggle if Carr has to play four or five games. I don't think he gets the ball out quickly enough at this point. Even his own quarterbacks coach, Chris Palmer, called him out recently. With the arrival of Michael Vick in Philly, the Giants might have the weakest backup situation in the division. Right now, it looks like Andre Woodson has the edge on Rhett Bomar to be the third quarterback.


Philadelphia
: If Donovan McNabb's unavailable, it will be Michael Vick time for the Eagles. Obviously, he won't become the No. 2 quarterback until he's fully reinstated by Roger Goodell, but that will likely happen fairly early in the season. Vick automatically becomes the best backup in the division based on his previous work. He'll be a huge threat in the Wildcat formation and I think he'd function well as the starter if something happens to McNabb. Michael Vick's too young and talented to have the mindset of a backup -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing for the Eagles. If McNabb gets injured, they want Vick to feel plenty of confidence as his replacement.


Washington
: If Jason Campbell is unavailable, Todd Collins will take over. Collins doesn't do anything flashy but he can do a good job of managing the team. He replaced an injured Jason Campbell in the second half of the '07 season and led the Redskins on a remarkable playoff run. Collins doesn't have the arm strength to light it up in the vertical passing game, but he does a good job of checking down passes and not turning the ball over. Coach Jim Zorn thought that Colt Brennan might be ready to challenge Collins, but that never happened.

There's a good chance that former Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel will beat out Brennan for the No. 3 spot. He's outplayed him in the preseason. Daniel's nowhere close to being a starter in this league, but he's played with a lot of poise in the preseason. Let's see how he does in the Skins' final preseason game.

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

I've seen the Giants practicing against each other in person. I was eager to see how they would look against another team -- and a pretty good one at that. Are you ready for some "Monday Night Football" preseason observations? I thought so.

  • I was watching defensive end Osi Umenyiora pretty closely on the Giants' first defensive series against Carolina. No matter what he says, I'm sure it will be a relief to have this first game under his belt after coming back from the knee injury. On third down, the Giants tried a stunt, but Umenyiora got stoned on the inside. The Panthers had the deep ball open, but Jake Delhomme threw an awful pass. One other thing that caught my attention early in the game: Safety Michael Johnson looked fast on a blitz that led a Delhomme incompletion.
  • Tom Coughlin had to be thrilled to see Marion Manningham go 21 yards on that first punt return. He reversed field and the Panthers broke outside containment. Manningham has had a solid camp and that play certainly won't hurt his chances of making the team. Manningham followed that up with a nifty 13-yard catch on a route that required great timing between him and Eli Manning. Unfortunately, the play was wiped out on an illegal motion penalty.
  • Umenyiora doesn't look like he's lost a step at all. Early in the game he beat Jordan Gross on a speed rush and knocked the ball out of Jake Delhomme's hand. In other news, Terrell Thomas is going to have to do a better job against the run. He had a shot at DeAngelo Williams in the backfield early in the game and let him get away. Defensive tackle Jay Alford also got off to a quick start. He's the one who made Umenyiora's play on Delhomme possible. The Panthers' offensive line couldn't give Delhomme anything resembling a clean pocket.
  • On Brandon Jacobs' 22-yard rumble in the first quarter, left tackle David Diehl had an excellent kickout block. Also some good blocking downfield by starting wide receiver Domenik Hixon. Jacobs looks faster to me than at any point in his career. The quick screen to Hixon on the second drive was a thing of beauty. Panthers played right into the Giants' hands with the blitz.
  • Ahmad Bradshaw followed an excellent block by Tutan Reyes on his 19-yard touchdown run. Bradshaw made the Panthers' first-team defense look helpless when he froze a linebacker with one move before running over a safety. Not much wrong with that scoring drive at all. I think Bradshaw's up to the challenge of holding off Danny Ware for the backup running back spot. He's elusive and he has more power than we give him credit for.
  • Not sure Tom Coughlin wants David Carr going airborne to get a first down in the second quarter of the first preseason game. But Jon Gruden loved the play. Carr looks pretty comfortable running the offense.
  • Not a good sign that Lawrence Tynes misses a 43-yard field goal, but he did have plenty of distance and just missed it to the right. I think Coughlin has a close eye on Tynes after watching him miss most of the '08 season with an injury.
  • Tom Coughlin has to be frustrated with the blocked punt before halftime. How in the world did the Giants let a guy come free from the left side. Bryan Kehl picked up the player next to him. Heads up play by Jeff Feagles to knock that ball out of the back of the end zone.

(Read full post)

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger is reporting that the following Giants have been released today:

QB Anthony Wright
QB Andre' Woodson
FB Robert Douglas
WR Marcus Monk
WR Brandon London
TE Eric Butler
TE Jerome Collins
OL Kurt Quarterman
OL Na'Shan Goddard
OL Andrew Bain
OL Digger Bujnoch
DE Wallace Gilberry
DE Alex Morrow
DT Jeremy Clark
DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo
LB Tank Daniels
LB James Terry
CB Geoffrey Pope
S Stuart Schweigert
OL Cliff Louis
CB Darren Barnett

Once the list is official, I'll provide some analysis. I assume the Giants will try to add Woodson to their practice squad, but another team looking to develop a young quarterback (the Cowboys) might swoop him up. The biggest surprise I see is defensive end Wallace Gilberry. Defensive end Justin Tuck was raving about Gilberry when I talked to him in Albany two weeks ago. I thought he made a pretty big impression on the Giants' coaches. Now, the Giants will try to sneak him onto the practice squad.

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