NFC East Roundup: Training Camp Preview
Here is a roundup of major storylines as the rest of the division’s training camps get underway.
Cowboys offensive lineman Travis Frederick thinks it won’t be too difficult to replace DeMarco Murray’s production:
It seems pretty easy to me, the way we are looking at it and what we’re going to do. Not necessarily in replacing DeMarco, but just moving forward in what we have. We have such a great group of guys especially in the running game, if we’re talking running game in the perimeter, with what we’re doing in the passing game and running game that make it work for people. The talent that I’ve seen out of the guys that are playing with us right now; it’s been really exciting seeing Darren [McFadden] doing what he’s done in a limited sense. And Joseph [Randle] is a guy where you see those flashes. You can see what he really can do. I’m excited to see him get those touches. Lance Dunbar is a guy who’s real exciting. When he gets the ball in his hands, you never really know what’s going to happen. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens. It’s going to flush out here in camp and it’s going to be fun.
Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas reports on Dez Bryant’s mentality after signing his new contract:
A little more than two weeks ago, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant signed a $70 million contract that will change his life but not much else.
“It’s no pressure, man,” Bryant said after the Cowboys finished their first day of training camp practice. “It’s no pressure. That deal don’t make me. It don’t make me. I play this game because I love this game. I don’t give a damn about none of that. It’s not going to change the way I play. It’s not going to change the way I act. I’m here. Like, thank you, I can go buy me a home and now I’m able to take care of my family. Yeah, I love that, but as far as me performing on the field, like, I take full pride in that.”
Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is still recovering from his knee injury, writes James Kratch:
“The return was definitely on my mind,” Cruz said. “When [Michael] Jordan came back wearing the four-five, he wasn’t playing with people, so that is kind of the symbolism. … I have been counting down this time 10 months ago and I’m excited to get back out there.”
Cruz, a former Paterson Catholic standout, said his knee is at “93 percent” strength when asked.
“Hopefully, I am at 100 percent by [the Giants’ opener at the Cowboys on Sept. 13]. That is the goal. But I am at 93 right now,” Cruz said. “I feel good. The conditioning test went well. I am actually still sweating from the conditioning test, but I feel good.”
Giants owner John Mara is not too pleased with Jason Pierre-Paul at the moment:
“I’m disappointed that he’s not here,” Mara said. “I think this would be the best place for him to be for a number of different reasons. He’d have the opportunity to learn the new defense, but more importantly we have the best training staff in the league here and we have access to some of the best doctors in the world. And I think it’d be in his own best interests to be here for those reasons.”
It would be in JPP’s best interests. It would be in the Giants’ best interests, too. And so they sit, wait and hope, which at least beats the alternative − not having anything to hope for at all.
Mike Jones of The Washington Post reports from the first day of practice at Washington camp:
The Washington Redskins had their first practice of training camp Thursday afternoon, and the body of work looked basically like that of a group of players that hasn’t done anything in a group setting in about six weeks.
Quarterbacks struggled with accuracy, wide receivers dropped balls and defensive players appeared a bit hesitant.
But you’ve got to start somewhere, and the Redskins hope that the next 17 days feature steady improvement in all facets of the game.
Jerry Brewer of The Washington Post takes the team to task for signing Junior Galette:
“The last thing I want to do is try to embarrass this organization, bringing in these so-called bad guys,” McCloughan said in April, three months after the Washington Redskins hired him as their general manager. “I won’t do that. If there is any kind of question mark that he might be a bad guy, we’re not going to do it.”
And now the addendum: Unless the so-called bad guy can produce double-digit sacks while playing on a league-minimum contract.