Eye On the Enemy: NFC East Roundup

Eli Manning

For the next several Sundays, we’ll take a spin around the NFC East to check in on what’s going on with some of the Eagles’ division rivals.

DALLAS COWBOYS




Anthony Spencer expects to return to the field this year, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

He said he could open training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Active/PUP would allow him to return to practice anytime before final cuts. Reserve/PUP would force him to miss the first six games.

One of Dallas' most impressive players in OTAs, Terrell McClain, hasn't started an NFL game in three years, writes David Moore of the Dallas Morning News:

“He’s not the typical zero nose tackle in a 3-4 defense where he just sits over the center and two-gaps,’’ Garrett said. “That hasn’t been his mode since he’s been playing. He’s always been a guy who has been on an edge, being able to play up field a little bit.

NEW YORK GIANTS

After Jon Beason hurt his foot this week, Jordan Raanan of NJ.com suggested five replacements for him:

Not having Beason will hurt. How important is the team's signal-caller to the team?

"Very. Very important because of the nature of the player, the man, his attitude, what he brings to the table, his leadership skills," coach Tom Coughlin said. "Very important."

Last season backs up Coughlin's claim. With Beason, he had a Top 10 defense. Without Beason, he had a bottom-half-of-the-league defense.

Eli Manning is rejuvenated by the Giants' new offense, Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com says:

Manning also sounds rejuvenated by the process of learning a new offense under new coordinator Ben McAdoo.

"It is tough, it's not easy, but it has definitely re-energized me and brought an urgency to this time of year," Manning said Tuesday, on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

The two-time Super Bowl MVP is coming off arguably the poorest season of his career, if you toss out the nine games he played in his rookie season. Manning threw for just 18 touchdowns, with a league-high 27 interceptions, and a quarterback rating of just 69.4 in 2013.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Jason Reid of the Washington Post on Washington's secondary woes:

For years, the Redskins have been unsettled at safety. The group is proof that lack of talent and poor decision-making is an awful combination. The fact that safety Brandon Meriweather still is on the roster, let alone expected to start again, best illustrates why the Redskins must lean on the front seven even more heavily than usual.

The Redskins are searching for their offensive identity, Rick Snider of the Washington Post notes:

Choosing an offensive identity isn’t going to be a quick decision for the Redskins. They’ve spent offseason camps trying to decide if they’re a passing team or a running team … or both.

“Coach says we’re going to huddle up and try to play smashmouth football and going to no-huddle and play smashmouth football,” quarterback Robert Griffin III said. “We’ll be multiple and see what we do best.”

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  • MediaMike

    Eli Manning sucks, is an overrated piece of garbage, and has two rings by virtue of a lucky helmet catch, a bad drop by Wes Welker, and a HORRIBLE misread of a rainbow pass by idiot Patrick Chung.

    The Giants “improvements” to the O line didn’t do a thing to make any actual skill improvements and they’re still playing with OTs who aren’t very good. Justine Puke has short arms and isn’t very athletic or strong. Whatever junk they roll out there at LT is a career ending injury for their QB waiting to happen. Their new “weapon” ODB was routinely evaluated by folks who cared to look deeply as inferior to Brandon Cooks and is already injury plagued. Oh, and their RBs are all trash and their TEs are putrid as well.

    The Giants D is a joke with little or no talent. They have players who flat out can’t play, can’t stay on the field, or can’t have their level of play live up to their level of rep.
    I look forward to seeing the Giants completely implode this season into a 4-12 football team.

    • phD

      Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel

      • MediaMike

        Ha ha ha ha. Nothing raises my ire like New York teams and their arrogant (and not very good at fighting) fans. I wish them nothing but the worst.

    • Richard Colton

      Giant will be on Mariotta watch by week 6. I wonder who their head coach will be next year. Lazor?

      • AngelinaRidleyctk

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      • reasonableeaglefan

        Lazor and Mariotta could be a dangerous combo. I’ll be watching Miami close to see how that offense progresses. Any team drafting early may want to give Lazor a long look.

        • anon

          What makes you think Mariotta is actually good? He has #bust all over him – especially if he’s outside the CK system.

          • paul from nc

            I’m praying we have a shot at him next year. If he’s there or we trade up and take him, it will mean Kelly believes he’s the guy.
            And I’ve seen over and over “In Chip we trust”

          • George

            or, you know, foles could be the guy. i guess not though, he’s not mobile enough for chip’s system

          • paul from nc

            true that. But if Chip takes him, are you going to disagree?

          • Reasonableeaglefan

            Well if he was drafted by a Lazor coached team he would be in probably the most CK similar system in the NFL besides the birds. What screams bust? He’s a tall athletic QB, with a decent arm and accuracy. Anymore it is hard to know how a guy survives the pre draft process. He could come out like Bortles or Bridgewater, but right now he looks like the first QB off the board. So what screams bust? You think he can’t translate to a pro system? Maybe, but I’d bet a team disagrees enough to take him pretty high next spring.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        rob ryan. the brothers take over NY NJ

        he’s also forced to change his nickname from The Real Big Easy to The Big Candied Apple

      • paul from nc

        While none of the teams are very good, I think the Giants will be our biggest threat to the Division this year. Thoughts?

    • paul from nc

      I also hate the Giants, but , in all honesty, you can’t take away the rings by saying lucky. If we had even one, we’d be happy no matter how we won it.
      Eli is very erratic and can look horrible at times, but 2 Super Bowl MVP’s and rings is impressive, no matter who he plays for.

    • Piatz1019

      Don’t underestimate Rashad Jennings. He is there best RB since Tiki. I know there is limited exposure and he’s not gonna be nearly as great as Barber, but he can hurt a team and take pressure off Manning. Mediocre or not, anyone can throw well when the running game is the focus

  • MediaMike

    Did anybody else catch Jay Gruden already saying that they’re taking that read-option trash out of their system? Gruden has zero connection to RGKnee (RG3-10, RG3&out) and in all likelihood is going to outlast him in DC.

    • Dominik

      But, but he’s Snyders bff.

      • MediaMike

        We’ll see how long that lasts.

    • anon

      Yeah doubtful. It’s really too bad — Shanny’s offense was good for RGIII i think. RGIII killed that unfortunately by being a straight diva. We’ll see if this year is different, but snyder loves him.

  • MediaMike

    I truly hope Dallas, once again, is the team that finishes 2nd to the Eagles in the division. It’ll keep Jerry doubling down on bad salary decisions that will continue to help the Eagles.

    • cliff henny

      yeah, was thinking that maybe they turned the corner on being in ‘sal cap heck’, but probably not. they bit the bullet and ate 28.5m in dead (that’s crazy, think about the fact Eagles pay starting O-Line that much) and who knows what’s going on with Orton, he’s trying to force pay raise because of Romo’s back or get shipped out, that’s another 3.5m. ‘Allas only has 10m and 1.5m available in ’14 and ’15, DL is garbage, have no MLB, and are paying Dez, SMith and Murray little over 5m combined. yeah, no, try 25m at least. SMith is young, could blow out both knees tomorrow and some team will hand him 5yrs 60+m, and Dez maybe a headache, but look at WASH/Jax, Bryant is getting paid. Murray will get 2 or 3yrs at 5m/per from someone. cant mismanage for 5-7 straight years and think it’s a 1 yr fix.

      • MediaMike

        Jerry, with good reason, loves himself some Dez Bryant. I’m sure he’ll write him some huge signing bonus / huge back end cap hit / dead money potential contract that spans 10 years.

        • cliff henny

          yup, Dez and SMith can do that with since they are young, but still both will be 10m cap hits, cant make 12-14m annual salaries into 5m cap hits for terribly long, all that’s doing is kicking the can down the road. if they’d just write normal non-exploding contracts, in 2 or 3 yrs they’d might actually have space. actually think it’s even worse, they will franchise and transition tag both, string them along, because they dont have cap space to pay them huge bonuses. so they’ll get the player, but not have the security of knowing they’ll be around. so all JJ is doing is delaying the cap crippling hits. tell ya what, ‘Allas’ efense would be jonesing for a bunch of Howie’s batting average signings right about now
          .
          know i joke about Howie Wowie and cap, and probably place too much importance on it. obviously winning the spring SalCap Cup doesnt guarantee a superbowl, but coming in last place for 15 straight years almost does guarantee having no F’N shot

      • Maggie

        You’re fortunate cliff h. Last time I made a comment about dead money at least 3 other commenters went to great lengths to lecture about how dead money doesn’t really matter.

  • dislikedisqus

    Eli sounds like some old guy at a retirement home who has just started piano lessons to keep his mind sharp.

    RG3’s quote is hilarious: DJax and Pierre Garcon, smashmouth ballers! Nothing typifies the dysfunction of the WAS footbzll team better than that quote. Coaching strategy: try everything and see what works – how many millions are they paying for that leadership?

    • jmkrav

      If they had actuall football coaching, they would run a balanced offense with a lot of 3WR sets. Run the ball when the opponent puts ther nickel in, throw the ball when the opponent stays in base. You know. Logic. Like… Some other team that wears midnight green.

      WAS has two WR who can beat man coverage. They have two very good RB a solid TE and a mobile QB. If Chippa were their head coach they would have a top 10 offense. Maybe top 5.

      Now I am getting worried that Lazor or Shurmer will be their next HC and bring Bicknell or Duce to be OC.

      Hey Lurie!! Time to start paying our assistant coaches as much as HC make so they keep our secrets!!

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        I have faith Duce will not leave us for a division foe. Maybe an AFC team at worst.

        Bicknell? heard Lurie is tiring of his Atlantic City weekend escapades, and is ready to cut ties with one more drug arrest

        • Mr.Budz

          I can’t find any articles about Bob Bicknell being arrested for drugs. Care to share or did the sarcasm of the comment pass right over my head?

    • Malone

      Great thought! I hope they implode in so many ways.

  • NickS1

    Pretty interesting that NY was a top 10 unit with Beason and blew w/o him. Don’t hope for prolonged, nagging effects from any injury, but I’m also not going to be upset if this foot keeps Beason from returning to form until the ’15 season.

  • Scott J

    Now that Eli is re-energized, he should get his QB rating above 70.

    • MediaMike

      Or below 60!

    • Charliefoxtrot

      Yeah, maybe he should endeavor to throw less INT than Foles does TD’s!

    • knighn

      Nah. He’ll still suck. He’ll just suck with more vigor!

  • Andy124

    Happy Father’s Day fellow Eagle dads.

    Nothing like starting off Father’s Day with a reminder of what a mess our main rivals are. Thanks Josh.

  • Joe L

    Being “multiple” is a term that’s getting pretty old.

    • Scott J

      For the Redskins multiple is like dumb and dumber.

    • JofreyRice

      So is “moveable chess piece”. Unless i’ve been playing wrong, you are allowed to move any of your own pieces.

  • Bert’s Bells

    How is a DL the standout player in the Cowboy’s non-contact camp? Surprised they haven’t any serious injuries that way. Oh, wait…

    • Dominik

      Had the same thought, didn’t see your comment in the first place. Cliff Henry once wrote here: even if something is good for Dallas, it’s bad. That seems to be the case here. :)

      To be fair: their Receiving corp is fine and vets tend to take it easy at OTAs. But still.

  • Andy124

    Ok, we all had a lot of fun joking about DJ and the cc instead of ck think in Jaccpot records. What I didn’t know is that he apparently does that all the time, not just for his record label. Am I the only one that didn’t know?

    #JaccpotTeamWinnin #DMV #alreadyhomehttp://t.co/wKnKUQf0eE— Desean Jackson (@DeSeanJackson11) June 15, 2014

    • Joe L

      I think it was pointed out ad nauseum when the gang stuff came out.

    • OregonDucksFan
    • George

      they say it bc “ck” implies “crip killer”, so they use cc instead. more evidence that hes a crip

    • anon

      It’s like when British people spell color – colour.

      • Maggie

        No it is not. The British (and others) have been spelling colour, neighbour, honour, etc. for a very long time. Changing the use of the English language is largely specific to Americans. In fact, one 13-year-old idiot once insisted online that Americans don’t speak English at all! Since the Revolutionary War! Of course, that’s as stupid as the closed-minded persons who insist that the American version of English is the only language anybody is allowed to speak. Or write.

      • UKEagle99

        That’s the exact opposite. We spell colour as it is listed in our Oxford English dictionary. Dj’s spelling is his and his alone, the only thing we have in common is that we spell words differently to you. Do me a favour and pick another example. Oh and by the way Kelce plays centre on offence :P

  • Engwrite

    Thanks Josh. This series is an excellent idea. You can go into a bit more depth in the future and please, don’t hesitate to quote the positives written about the other NFC East teams. When all is said and done, we were ‘only’ 4-2 in the division and barely won the last game against a crappy Dallas team missing its starting qb. Know your enemy.

    • Maggie

      This year:
      Substitute Matthews or Celek or Hart for the guy in black.

  • Dominik

    One of Dallas’ most impressive players in OTAs, Terrell McClain, hasn’t started an NFL game in three years

    http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/500x/51060828.jpg

  • Maggie

    NEWARK, Del. (AP) — A major sector of the United Church of Christ is calling for a boycott of the Washington Redskins until the team changes its name.
    The Central Atlantic Conference passed a resolution Saturday to become the latest organization to denounce a name that has frequently been condemned as a racial slur.
    The conference said it will urge its 40,000 members in D.C., New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and parts of Virginia and West Virginia to boycott the team’s games and merchandise.
    Hmm. If even half of those 40,000 fans stop buying merchandise or tickets it should come to Snyder’s attention, shouldn’t it?

    • knighn

      Can’t wait for Snyder to have to make this change. He’ll to spin it as a positive PR move… But we’ll all know… we’ll celebrate because it’s the right thing to do, and also celebrate with laughter because it happened to Snyder. Hope their new name is something ridiculous.

      • travis papa

        Snyder recently just doubled down on not changing the name he hired a lobbyist to promote his side in Washington and he said he wouldn’t change the name “over his dead body”. It’s going to take an act of Godell to do it

        • knighn

          I love that Snyder started a lobby for this. Talk about digging your own grave. Eventually this will happen. I hope that Snyder is alive and kicking (and screaming) when it happens. Manners 101: don’t use racial slurs. Manners 102: if your team is named after a racial slur, regardless of the race, change the damn name.

    • raoool

      If they’re so offended by the name, why would they have been buying merchandise and going to games in the first place?