News: FoxSports: NFC East Breakdown

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Hostile, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    NFC East glance
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    Brian DeLucia / Special to
    Posted: 10 hours ago

    This week scouting insider Brian DeLucia provides a rundown of the key moves made by each team during the off-season and how each team has fared in carrying out its off-season blueprint.

    Dallas Cowboys

    Off-season Objective: Choose carefully

    Favorite Move: Trading for WR Keyshawn Johnson
    Least Favorite Move: None

    Bill Parcells was very selective in terms of his moves. He avoided trying to go after the quick fix and is sticking with a long range plan. The biggest need of the off-season was finding an effective running back. Parcells stayed away from the veteran crop of free agents and didn't bite on the marquee names on draft day. The Cowboys are taking a gamble by pinning their tail to rookie Julius Jones , but he could be an effective back. Plus they made a very bold move by trading for Drew Henson . Henson was too good of an opportunity to pass up and provides the Cowboys with more options at the quarterback position for the long-term. These are gambles you sometimes have to take.

    Keyshawn Johnson will be a strong immediate fit in the passing game. Adding Johnson complements Terry Glenn and Antonio Bryant well. Rookie Jacob Rogers should be an early starter at right tackle. He's very polished coming out of college, but durability could be a question mark.

    On defense, former Charger Marcellus Wiley is going to be a solid fit coming off the perimeter. Mike Zimmer will give him every opportunity to get after the quarterback.

    New York Giants

    Off-season Objective: Not Rebuilding, but Reloading

    Favorite Move: Trading for QB Eli Manning
    Least Favorite Move: Signing DT Fred Robbins

    The Giants ' off-season is defined by the trade for Eli Manning . Quarterbacks are a major gamble and the team gave up a lot for a rookie (three draft picks plus lost starter Kerry Collins), but you have to do whatever you can to snag a potential franchise quarterback. Manning will give the Giants a new identity.

    The majority of the off-season was spent adding numbers across both front lines. They didn't land any stars, but depth is certainly stabilized. Look for rookie guard Chris Snee to become a nasty run blocker. At defensive tackle, Norman Hand , Fred Robbins and Martin Chase will be hit or miss. If they miss, the Giants will again struggle against the run.

    The G-Men also have a new look at linebacker with former Eagle Carlos Emmons and former Lion Barrett Green . The Eagles' defensive MVP in 2003, Emmons was a solid addition if healthy. Green should be a solid contributor in Tim Lewis' defense. Cornerback Terry Cousin was a solid veteran upgrade in the nickel.

    Philadelphia Eagles

    Off-season Objective: Choosing Carefully

    Favorite Move: Trading for WR Terrell Owens
    Least Favorite Move: Losing CB Troy Vincent

    Andy Reid made some very bold moves. At this stage of the game is when you take the gamble to push your team over the top. Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse will either lift the Eagles into the Super Bowl or sink the franchise into further frustration. And the biggest question from the ashes of this off-season is how the defense will respond without the stability of veteran anchors Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor in the secondary. But leaders pass on in the NFL and both corners missed considered time last season with injuries.

    Owens is exactly the type of difference maker that's been missing from the Eagles ' passing game. Owens will create several favorable matchups with his size and speed. The rest of the skill players can now fit the complementary roles they're better suited in. It's hard to imagine Owens becoming a distraction with the Eagles .

    The larger risk was Kearse following a couple injury-plagued seasons in Tennessee. The Eagles are banking on Kearse returning to form this season. Kearse is a very intriguing fit in Jim Johnson's defense and could make the pass rush feared by opponents again. That's much needed to protect a young secondary.

    Former Giant Dhani Jones is a step down from Carlos Emmons , but he'll fit better here than most observers project. Jones was miscast as a space player on the weakside with the Giants , but the question is whether he can do an adequate job matching up against tight ends.

    Among the rookie crop, Dexter Wynn and J.R. Reed could make immediate impacts on the return teams. Both bring a lot of potential here. First-round pick Shawn Andrews brings enormous size and potential to the offensive line, but will likely fight through some rookie struggles. Safety Matt Ware could need development time before he fills a big role in the secondary. Don't be surprised if FB Thomas Tapeh is a sleeper in the backfield.

    Washington Redskins

    Off-season Objective: Win Now or Else/Free Agent Players

    Favorite Move: Trading for QB Mark Brunell
    Least Favorite Move: Signing DT Cornelius Griffin

    Another massive turnover marks the Redskins ' off-season with mixed reviews. Of course, the greatest addition is the return of Joe Gibbs as head coach. That brings stability back to the field.

    The most intriguing move by Gibbs was going with a veteran warrior at quarterback in Mark Brunell . I like Patrick Ramsey , but I believe Ramsey needs a year to settle himself following the mess he was forced into by Steve Spurrier. Clinton Portis will make a major impact on the ground to take pressure off the passing game. Watch for H-back Mike Sellers to be a sleeper in this offense.

    There are mixed feelings about their defensive acquisitions. The pass rush remains a concern even following the additions of Phillip Daniels and Cornelius Griffin . None will make the impact the Redskins need here. Much of the pass rush burden will be on free agent Marcus Washington and LaVar Arrington . Michael Barrow will provide more consistency from the middle linebacker position.

    Trading Champ Bailey was a gutsy move. Shawn Springs provides similar tools, but has been a washout with Seattle in recent years. The Redskins are counting on a change of scenery to boost Springs. Rookie Sean Taylor will become the cornerstone of the secondary very quickly. Gregg Williams will have the ability to design a lot of coverages around Taylor.

    While the Redskins did make some questionable moves, they should be a better football team this season due to the environment that Joe Gibbs is creating here. Gibbs will galvanize this football team.

    Brian DeLucia is a respected college and pro personnel consultant around the NFL. Formerly a consultant with and, Brian is entering his fourth season with providing commentary around the NFL and NFL Draft.
  2. Smith22

    Smith22 Well-Known Member

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    I see the Skins playing a very aggressive Defense, kind of how we played last year, but they will blitz more often with their LB'ers. This will put some serious pressure on their secondary and should leave them vulnerable to big pass plays, which should in turn open up the running game.

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