May, 2011:

Linky – May 26, 2011

Redskins

Clinton Portis: It was time to vacate Washington – Rich Tandler’s Real Redskins

Great interview.

Beck’s an Eagle scout, served a Mormon mission, and might be the Redskins’ next starting QB

God bless you, Redskins fans.

Royster tastes reality after dream draft day – Mike Jones, WaPost

“Fullback Mike Sellers has served as positional coach, explaining the running backs’ tasks and responsibilities, and critiquing Royster and fellow rookie Roy Helu’s execution.”

Vinny and the Ochocinco trade that almost was – Parks Smith, Hogs Haven

This reminds me of that South Park baseball episode where each team is desperately trying to lose.

Colin Cowherd stands by his Sean Taylor critique – Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog

Colin Cowherd is an asshole.

(Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants news after the jump)…

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The Cowboys could move Tyron Smith to LT as a way to avoid paying Doug Free “LT money”

 

Blocking Trent Cole pays better than blocking Juqua Parker

Last season there were questions about whether Doug Free was ready to play at left tackle, after the Cowboys jettisoned long-time starter Flozell Adams.   He was ready, and then some.  The 27-year-old Free was among the few bright spots in an otherwise disastrous season.  For the non-Cowboy fan readers, Free isn’t going to drive many NFL defensive linemen off the ball and open up gaping holes in the run game, but he is very athletic, has extremely quick feet for a guy his size (6’6, 320), and excels in pass protection.

 

On the other side of the line, there was Marc Colombo, who unlike Free, was awful in 2010.  The Cowboys used the 9th overall pick in the draft to select Tyron Smith out of USC to replace Colombo.  Smith is seen as a kid with the potential to eventually be a top flight LT in the NFL, although he played RT in college.  I immediately assumed the Cowboys would slide Smith into Colombo’s spot at RT and continue to let Free play well at LT.  No fuss, no muss.

But then reports started to trickle in that Smith might start 2011 at LT, and Free move back over to RT, where he played in relief of an injured Colombo at the tail end of 2009.  I chalked it up to nonsense.  Why move an almost sure thing like Free out of perhaps the second most important position on the football field over to the other side of the line to make room for a completely untested rookie that didn’t even play LT last season in college?  At the very least, why not at least let Smith get his NFL sea legs under him at RT and see how he performs there before putting him in a larger role?  After all, Smith can’t even legally drink a beer until December – He’s going to be around for a long time (or at least that’s the plan, anyway).  Why rush him?

And then it hit me yesterday… Money.

(cont after the jump)…

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Top 10 (+1) underpaid players in the NFC East

You'll get paid nothing and like it, punk.

Yesterday, we looked at the Top 20 overpaid players in the NFC East.  Today we do the Top 10 (+1) underpaid players in the division.  Actually, I should rephrase that from “underpaid” to “best values salary-wise from today forward,” but that would just sound awkward in the title.  For example, Hakeem Nicks received a $6.5 million signing bonus in his rookie contract.  That would not make him “underpaid.”  However, the $575K, $750K, and $925K he’s set to make over the next three years make him an excellent value.   “Underpaid” is just easier.  Also, this list does not include players that are free agents, restricted or unrestricted.  OK, so are we all happy with those disclaimers?  Good?  Good.  Well let’s just get to it then…

(cont after the jump)…

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Linky – May 25, 2011

Since the Giants finished second in the division, they’re next to go on the front page…

Giants

Eager to get back – Michael Eisen, Giants Mothership

A charitable event allowed TC the chance to see some of his players.

Manning’s body of work overlooked by peers in Top 100 voting – Pat Kirwan, NFL.com

“He has a Super Bowl MVP, a 4-3 postseason record, a lifetime 64-46 record, has never missed a start and didn’t make the Top 100 Players of 2011. If that’s not enough to make you question a top 100 list that doesn’t include Eli Manning, there are other reasons.

Who threw more touchdowns in 2010 than Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman, Tony Romo and Donovan McNabb? Manning did, but he’s not on the list and those quarterbacks all made the top 100!”

Kirwan starts out good with that first paragraph, then blows up all his momentum with the second one.

Eli: Plax has served his time – Ohm, ESPN NY

“and then some.”

Austin in and Cofield out – Glenn Warciski, Ultimate NYG

There’s a team down I-95 that might love to get their hands on Cofield.

TC on Boomer and Carton

Audio

(cont after the jump with the Eagles, Cowboys and Redskins)

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Top 20 overpaid players in the NFC East

In case you hadn’t noticed, the salaries for every player in the NFC East can be found on this site in the menus on the right hand side just above my sweet high-tech logo.  Or… to make it easier on you, you can just click right here to see the Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, and Redskins.  Anyway, I thought it might be fun to list the Top 20 worst current contracts in the NFC East.  Feel feel to tell me what I got wrong: (cont after the jump)… (more…)

NFC East lockout-induced player-organized offseason workout power rankings. Take THAT, ESPN.

 

A few Redskins line up to play leapfrog. Duck-duck-goose begins at 11:30.

I had been working on my NFL helmet power rankings for like 3 or 4 months, carefully making sure I had it juuuuust right, draft after draft, night after night of painstaking work, when BAM… Out of nowhere, ESPN released theirs.  Well, you’re not beating me this time, Worldwide Leader.  Here’s my lockout-induced player-organized offseason workout power rankings:

 

1a. Redskins40+ players in attendance today including 10 rookies… actually pretty impressive.  Plus, DeMaurice Smith is there, not to mention… whenever you can sprinkle in a QB controversy into semi-organized workouts between a guy that hasn’t played since 2007 and another guy that technically isn’t even on the team, you win.

1b. Cowboys45 vets last week, but still no rooks.

3. EaglesJust 15 players at Michael Vick’s unofficial camp, but at least it was “upbeat.”

4. GiantsLOL.

The Redskins had a very Eagle-like draft

I know the draft is old news by now, but since I’m a little late to the party in my coverage of the “other” NFC East teams, I wanted to point out that I thought the Redskins had themselves a hell of a draft.  I’m not talking about the players, mind you.  I’m not an NFL scout, and try not to play one in my writing.  We’ll find out how good the actual players are soon enough, but for now, I’d like to point out the masterful work the Redskins did turning 8 picks into 12, and adding sorely needed depth and youth to their ancient roster.

As an Eagles fan, I’ve grown accustomed to watching the Eagles move up and down in the draft, more often than not winding up with a bounty of picks, the sum of which outweighed what they originally began with.  For example, last year, the Eagles parlayed their 2nd round pick (55th overall) into 6 players:

-          A three – Daniel Te’o-Nesheim

-          A four – Mike Kafka

-          A four – Clay Harbor

-          A five – Ricky Sapp

-          A five – Riley Cooper

-          A five in 2011 – Dion Lewis

Here’s how they did it.  That’s how you work a draft.

The Redskins draft this year reminded me a lot of what the Eagles have done in the past, and they were able to do it without a full complement of picks.  Let’s look at what they did:

(cont after the jump)…

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Linky – May 24, 2011

OK, so these links posts take up a lot of space on the front page, so from now on I’ll be putting one team’s links on the front page, and the rest after the jump.  Since the Eagles won the division last year, they go first.  Did I mention I’m an Eagles fan?

Eagles

Howard Mudd and the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line – Tommy Lawlor, SBN Philly

What does the Eagles OL look like for 2011?

Handicapping Kevin Kolb’s next team – Brian Solomon, McNabb or Kolb (or Vick)

I like the Browns at 7-1 and the Cards at 2-1.

PFF: DeSean Jackson led the NFL in drop % – Jason Brewer, BGN

I remember a few drops here and there, but worst in the league?

Eagles’ Graham faces challenges coming back from knee injury – Jonathan Tamari, philly.com

Brandon is rehabbing 5 days a week from the first serious injury in his career.

Would Burress fit with Eagles? – Sheil Kapadia, philly.com

Sheil isn’t buying in.

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The Cowboys need to cut bait with Roy Williams the second they have the opportunity

 

Roy Williams tells us how many catches he averages per game

I happened to catch an article on NBC DFW that noted that the Cowboys were unlikely to release Roy Williams, per dallascowboys.com, with the premise being that they’re on the hook for a boatload of money against the cap anyway, so why not just keep him?  The great Cowboys blog, Blogging the Boys, went into great detail explaining the remainder of Williams’ ridiculous 6 year, $54 million contract signed after the Cowboys dealt a 1, a 3, and a 6 to the Lions for Williams and a 7.  Go read it, and come right back.  Done?  OK, good.  So as you can see, the Cowboys are pretty much screwed whether they cut him or not.

So let’s take a look at the number of snaps Roy Williams played in 2010, as well as his numbers, broken down by Jason Garrett’s time as the offensive coordinator and as the head coach (data aggregated from Pro Football Focus).

Garrett Opponent Roy on the field Total plays % Rec Yards TD
OC Redskins 56 78 71.8 3 21 0
OC Bears 48 75 64 4 53 0
OC Texans 40 62 64.5 5 117 2
OC Titans 59 80 73.8 6 87 1
OC Vikings 47 64 73.4 3 28 2
OC Giants 50 61 82 0 0 0
OC Jaguars 58 77 75.3 1 21 0
OC Packers 37 48 77.1 1 6 0
Totals 395 545 72.5 23 333 5
HC Giants 22 54 40.7 2 33 0
HC Lions 39 65 60.9 2 20 0
HC Saints 50 77 64.9 5 83 0
HC Colts 47 77 61 2 32 0
HC Eagles 46 65 70.8 2 23 0
HC Redskins DNP
HC Cardinals 53 81 65.4 0 0 0
HC Eagles 38 66 57.6 1 6 0
Totals 295 485 60.8 14 197 0

Williams started off 2010 in very promising fashion, catching 21 balls for 306 yards and 5 TD’s in the first 5 games.  It appeared as if he was on track to be what the Cowboys thought they traded for back in ’08.  And then it just got ugly.  Really ugly.  He was on the field for 50 snaps against the Giants – goose egg.  58 snaps vs the Jags – 1 catch.  37 snaps against the Packers – 1 catch for 6 yards.  That’s when Wade Phillips got fired and Jason Garrett took over, and the crappy play continued.  The one game in which he had decent numbers (vs the Saints), he lost a fumble with 3:03 left in the 4th quarter, up by 4.  Drew Brees then led a game-winning drive for an insult-to-injury type loss.

After those first 5 first promising games, Williams accounted for 16 catches, 224 yards, and no TD’s.  That’s 10 games worth of production.  He doesn’t stink because of the package the Cowboys gave up to get him, or the absurd money they paid him – he just flat stinks, period.  And it’s really no different than the rest of his career in Dallas, noted here:

(cont after the jump)

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The Giants had the most forced fumbles in one season since the 2006 Dolphins

In 2010, the Giants had a whopping 34 forced fumbles, led by Osi Umenyiora (10 FF), Justin Tuck (6 FF), and Terrell Thomas (an impressive 4 FF from the corner position). It was the most in one season since the Dolphins forced 35 fumbles in 2006.  The next closest team in 2010 was the Saints, with 25.  To put those numbers in perspective, the Browns as a team had 9.  The Jaguars only had 8.

Umenyiora’s 10 forced fumbles is a new NFL record, by the way.  Somehow he has become a bit of an underrated player, and by that I mean it’s utterly ridiculous that he didn’t make the Pro Bowl this season.  Julius Peppers and John Abraham are unquestionably great defensive ends, but when you’re forcing 0.63 fumbles per game like Umenyiora did in 2010, it’s kind of absurd to leave him off.

By contrast, the Eagles and Cowboys were not good in that department.  The Eagles only manged 11 forced fumbles on the season, just one more than Umenyiora by himself.  The Cowboys only managed 14, or 2 less than the amount tallied by Umenyiora and Tuck combined.  Neither team had a player with more than 2.  That’s simply not good enough.  Both the Eagles and Cowboys have new defensive coordinators this season in Juan Castillo and Rob Ryan, respectively.  I’d be surprised if stripping the football wasn’t a major focus of each of those two coaches if/when we ever get to training camp.

I’m not sure if these gaudy forced fumble numbers are good news or bad news for Giants fans, by the way.  On the one hand, Giants fans have to be happy that Osi Umenyiora seems to be back to form after missing the entire 2008 season and having somewhat of a down year in 2009.  On the other hand, it will be extremely difficult for Umenyiora, Tuck , and the Giants’ defense as a whole to match those numbers in 2011.

Team Forced Fumbles (NFL Average was 15.6) Players with 3 or more forced fumbles
Giants 34 Osi Umenyiora (10), Justin Tuck (6), Terrell Thomas (4)
Redskins 19 London Fletcher (3)
Cowboys 14 None
Eagles 11 None
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