NFC East Roundup: How Good Are the Receivers?
Let’s take a spin around the NFC East to see what’s going on with the rest of the division:
Former Washington quarterback and current personnel executive Doug Williams thinks the current group of wide receivers could be better than “The Posse,” writes Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post.
“Oh, there’s no doubt about it,” Williams told Al Galdi on ESPN 980. “I mean, I’m not biased at all. I’m a real realistic individual. You’re talking about instant offense in DeSean Jackson. You’re talking about one of the toughest guys in Pierre Garcon. You’re talking about Jamie Crowder, who came in and had a heck of a year. And [Josh] Doctson is a rookie coming in here that can do some things. And then I didn’t even mention Jordan Reed, and then you’ve got Vernon Davis who is double jeopardy at tight end. Oh, ain’t no doubt about it.”
Golly. Art Monk is in the Hall of Fame, and leads the Redskins in all-time receiving yards and catches. Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders are both in the top seven in both categories, with Clark having three of the nine highest single-season Redskins yardage totals. The Posse has been considered one of the 10 best receiving groups in the history of the NFL, and helped spark Washington to two Super Bowl wins. In those two games, the trio combined for 28 catches, 556 yards and four touchdowns.
I mean, golly. Those aren’t small accomplishments to live up to.
Backup quarterback Colt McCoy is trying to help starter Kirk Cousins as much as he can, writes Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Washington.
“You don’t want to give him too much information because you know he’s prepared, and he’ll always be prepared,” McCoy said. “But you also want to be an extra set of eyes for him during the game and during the week.”
McCoy added: “On the flip side of that, you get no [first team practice] reps, so all that study and all that preparation goes into getting you get prepared to play [if called upon]. It’s a unique situation, but I do feel like our room is doing really well right now.”
A seventh-year pro who turns 30 a week before the opener, McCoy signed a three-year, $9 million contract extension in March. He appeared in five games in 2014, including four starts, but saw limited action in only two games last season as Cousins seized the No. 1 job in August and never relinquished it.
Former Eagle Cedric Thornton explains to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News why he decided to sign with the Cowboys in the offseason.
On the difference between an offseason with the Eagles and one with the Cowboys:
“A lot more aggressive, a lot more impact in our walkthroughs, and [they] expect us to be in better condition than we were in Philadelphia. Coach Garrett, Coach Marinelli, all the coaches around here, have very high expectations for us right now going into the OTAs and into the minicamp. So are the training camp expectations. It’s definitely different in that aspect as far as Philadelphia. But I like it. I love it.”
On if the pace at OTAs and minicamp surprised him:
“I wouldn’t say the pace surprised me, just as far as being in top conditioning. I’m usually not coming in conditioning in OTAs and minicamps. And you got to be in condition here in order to run to the ball. They expect you to do that every down.”
Machota also writes about Byron Jones getting comfortable at safety by trash-talking at Jason Witten.
Jones says he’s not a trash-talker, but quickly added, “if Witten says something, I’ll say something back, because it’s Witten. You have to with Witten.”
Jones acknowledged that Witten is indeed a trash-talker.
“Oh yeah, he talks,” Jones said. “He’s going to talk now. But he can back it up. I’m working on that. Most of the time I just keep my mouth shut, but when Witten goes, I got to go.”
Jones spent time playing all of the defensive back positions as a rookie. Entering this season, the former first-round pick is focusing on playing the deep safety spot in Rod Marinelli‘s defense.
In the Big Apple, Giants Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor says that he did Joe Theismann a favor by ending his career, writes Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.
“I did him a favor,” Taylor reportedly said jokingly while speaking at the Bronko Nagurski luncheon in Charlotte, N.C., last week. “That man was on his way out of football a long time before that. Listen, that was going to be his last year. He wasn’t playing very well. I did him a favor.”
Theismann, reached by USA TODAY Sports last Friday, responded tongue-in-cheek: “It’s just a shame that that’s the only thing he’s famous for, is breaking my leg.”
Both NFL legends said they were joking. Theismann even felt it reflected well on him that Taylor was one to take him down.
“You know, if you’re going to leave the game, you may as well be taken out by the greatest outside linebacker that ever played,” he said. “That’s what happened to me.”
Being an NFL mom is a job all by itself, writes Howie Kussoy of the New York Post.
Annie Apple, the mother of Giants first-round pick Eli Apple — a former teammate of Darron’s — became a social media star following the NFL Draft. She received so much attention following several interviews and TV appearances that she was unexpectedly hired by ESPN to become a contributor on “Sunday NFL Countdown,” where she will provide player profiles, among other stories.
“A woman’s and a mother’s perspective is extremely important,’’ Annie Apple told The Post’s Kirsten Fleming. “The day you can give birth to a lineman or a cornerback, you can have an opinion. That’s what makes me excited. Every day, millions of moms are on the sidelines of their kids’ games for hours, and we have a voice. I’m looking forward to repping all of the sports moms with pride.’’