February, 2012:

NFC East workout warriors of the past 5 years

NFL.com has a fun, nifty little NFL Combine tool to play with, as it shows you the top Combine performers of the past 5 or 6 years, depending on the drill.  I weeded out all the strongest and fastest NFC East players of the past 5 years:

Bench press (minimum 30 reps) Team Year Reps
Mitch Petrus Giants 2010 45
Linval Joseph Giants 2010 39
Marvin Austin Giants 2011 38
Trevor Laws Eagles 2008 35
Adam Carriker Redskins 2007 33
Tony Ugoh Giants 2007 32
Ryan Kerrigan Redskins 2011 31
Brandon Graham Eagles 2010 31
Brian Orakpo Redskins 2009 31
Chris Neild Redskins 2011 30
Clay Harbor Eagles 2010 30
Tony Fiametta Cowboys 2009 30
Anthony Spencer Cowboys 2007 30
40 yard dash (4.40 or better) Team Year Seconds
Orlando Scandrick Cowboys 2008 4.32
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Eagles 2008 4.33
Da’Rel Scott Giants 2011 4.34
DeSean Jackson Eagles 2008 4.35
LaRon Landry Redskins 2007 4.35
Laurent Robinson Cowboys 2007 4.38
Mike Jenkins Cowboys 2008 4.38
Devin Thomas Giants 2008 4.4

Show of hands… Who thought Orlando Scandrick had the best 40 time in the division in the last 5 years?

Here’s Scandrick and DeSean Jackson in a footrace. Scandrick enters the frame at the 0:13 mark, and closes on Jackson (you really can see Scandrick’s speed on display). However, he takes a bad ankle and seemingly runs out of gas trying to chase down Jackson, who was actually gimpy in this game.

Linky, February 23, 2012: Shanny’s man crush on Brandon Weeden

Here’s what the Falcons will – and won’t – do this offseason – Mark Bradley, Atlanta Journal Constitution

They won’t be crushed if Curtis Lofton leaves. The middle linebacker is a three-year starter and a fierce tackler, but there’s growing sentiment that he’s a liability against the pass. The question thus becomes: Would you pay $8 million a year for a two-down linebacker? At the right price, the Falcons would love to keep Lofton. If he does depart, they’d give Akeem Dent, the Georgia product taken in Round 3 last year, a long look in the middle.

Lofton could of course be an Eagles target in free agency.

Priority: Lock up Rodgers-Cromartie long term – Brian Solomon, McNabborKolb.com

Interesting numbers here.  DRC was way better on the outside (excellent, actually) than he was in the slot, where he got abused.

Wallace’s availability could affect DeSean – Sheil Kapadia, Moving the Chains

I’m almost annoyed I didn’t think of this post first.  Great job here by Sheil.

Possible Eagles target: Baylor RB Terrence Ganoway – Jason Brewer, BGN

Something I didn’t know: He’s Jeremiah Trotter’s nephew.

Something I do know: He struggled mightily in pass protection at the Senior Bowl practices.

Blame Ray – Tommy Lawlor, IgglesBlitz

Poor Mike Mamula.  Gets crapped on every year during Combine season, when in reality, it was Ray Rhodes that made the pick.  Not to mention, it’s not as if Mamula was anything close to a mega-bust.

Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants after the jump…


Full season snap count notes: Giants defense

Snap count data per Pro Football Focus:

Player Snaps Player Snaps
Corey Webster 1383 Rocky Bernard 466
Antrel Rolle 1377 Chase Blackburn 381
Kenny Phillips 1282 Greg Jones 204
Jason Pierre-Paul 1208 Prince Amukamara 203
Aaron Ross 1197 Mark Herzlich 75
Michael Boley 1177 Jimmy Kennedy 55
Deon Grant 1126 Michael Coe 55
Mathias Kiwanuka 975 Spencer Paysinger 50
Chris Canty 839 Tyler Sash 41
Justin Tuck 823 Justin Tryon 30
Linval Joseph 764 Justin Trattou 17
Jacquian Williams 597 Will Blackmon 17
Dave Tollefson 574 Brian Williams 13
Osi Umenyiora 542 Derrick Martin 4

Commentary after the jump…


Linky, February 22, 2012: Michael Irvin training schedule: Run routes, puke, wash out mouth, repeat


NFC East cap overview – Brian McIntyre, Football Outsiders

Carl Nicks expects to make more than teammate Evans – Gregg Rosenthal, PFT

Nicks is squarely on the wish lists of Redskins and Cowboys fans.  Evans signed a 7 year, $56.7 million deal in 2010.

Redskins aim to accentuate last year’s successful draft class with another – Mike Jones, Washington Post

I know that the general consensus among Skins fans was that their 2011 draft was “successful,” but I’m not sure I see it that way just yet.  Kerrigan was obviously a very good pick, and the combo of Roy Helu and Evan Royster might turn out to be a nice 1-2 punch in the backfield, but I don’t see much in the way of production from the other draft picks just yet.  Second round pick Jarvis Jenkins tore an ACL and missed all of 2011.  This year will essentially be his rookie season.  Leonard Hankerson, meanwhile, didn’t get onto the field until Week 7, but the last impression he left on the football field was an 8 catch, 106 yard game against Miami before he was lost for the season with a torn labrum.  For now, let’s substitute “promising” for “successful.”  Sorry, I’m a stickler for this kind of nit-picky detail.

Tale of the tape: Justin Blackmon vs Stanford – UkRedskin, Hogs Haven

My boy UK has been killing it all offseason with these visual breakdowns.  The commentary keeps the Redskins’ needs in mind, but they’re also worth a look from fans of the other teams that care about game film evaluation of this rookie class.  Much more to digest in the post, but here’s a quick sampling:

That catch put them in the red zone, where Blackmon saw double coverage.


Blackmon runs in between the two defenders and manages to gain a bit of separation coming out of his break.


Quarterback Brandon Weeden throws a very catchable ball. I believe Blackmon goes at the ball with his hands the wrong way around. Receivers will have a way they prefer to catch the ball, but from my perspective, I feel that he should have his left hand on top and his right hand supporting underneath. That way the nose of the ball would be caught between thumb and fore finger while the rest of the hand naturally wraps round the ball. The way Blackmon attempts to catch this pass means he has to pull the ball into his body to catch it.


The defender manages to disrupt the process of Blackmon bringing the ball back into his body and the ball comes loose. Luckily for Blackmon, the drop didn’t have an impact on the outcome of the game.

Pre-combine mock draft – Matt Alkire, Scouts Notebook

Speaking of Justin Blackmon… the Skins don’t get him here.

Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys after the jump…


Updated: Details of Cullen Jenkins’ restructured deal

Per Andrew Brandt of National Football Post, Jenkins’ salary was reduced from $2.75 million to $820,000, for a savings of $1.93 million toward the cap.  He’ll retain his $5 million signing bonus, due March 13th.

In new restructured contract w/Eagles, Cullen Jenkins retains his $5M roster bonus in March, reducing salary to $820,000.
Andrew Brandt


Golf clap for the Eagles’ front office.

Full season snap count notes: Eagles defense

Snap count data per Pro Football Focus:

Player Snaps Player Snaps
Nnamdi Asomugha 955 Casey Matthews 310
Jamar Chaney 873 Jarrad Page 306
Asante Samuel 828 Darryl Tapp 262
Kurt Coleman 771 Juqua Parker 254
Nate Allen 770 Jaiquawn Jarrett 244
Jason Babin 720 Akeem Jordan 227
Brian Rolle 659 Moise Fokou 180
Mike Patterson 652 Phillip Hunt 156
Cullen Jenkins 652 Keenan Clayton 156
Trent Cole 640 Brandon Hughes 91
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 406 Antonio Dixon 86
Joselio Hanson 355 Brandon Graham 56
Derek Landri 351 Curtis Marsh 13
Trevor Laws 332

Commentary after the jump…


Eagles re-do Cullen Jenkins’ contract

Last week, in my Eagles offseason team needs post, I wrote that there was an outside chance the Eagles could cut Cullen Jenkins, due to his impending $5 million roster bonus, which would bring his 2012 number to $7.5 million:

Defensive tackle – Cullen Jenkins is set to make $7.75 million this season.  He has a $5 million roster bonus coming his way on March 13th.  I personally feel it’s a no-brainer to keep him, but there’s certainly a possibility that the Eagles could cut him, which would open up a hole at the under tackle spot in the Eagles’ wide 9.  Even if the Eagles keep Jenkins, they could be drafting here for depth.

The Eagles did more than just keep him.  It appears they’re bringing him back at a more cap-friendly number:

#Eagles owed Cullen Jenkins $7.5 mil next month. It'll be interesting to see how restructuring breaks down. He had a good year, but is 31.
Les Bowen

The Eagles could still address the DT position in the draft, looking for a long-term solution there, as Les Bowen notes above that Jenkins is 31 years old.  For more on the Eagles’ DT situation, check out Tommy Lawlor’s DT post yesterday:

There have been some questions about whether the Eagles should pay Cullen Jenkins the big roster bonus that he’s due in March.  Yes.  Yes.  And yes.  He earned the money with a great showing in 2011.  He was also a leader in the locker room.  The only other possibility here that would make any sense would be to not pay the bonus and then use that money to go after Titans FA Jason Jones.  I think that would be a mistake, but at least that move would make some sense.  Jones is a natural 1-gap DT who can be very disruptive.  The Titans played him at DE this year and he was a non-factor.  Still…I think you need to keep Jenkins.  He was the Eagles best DT in years.  Letting him go would be odd, to put it mildly.  Just look at the drop off the Packers defense had without him.  They went from Top 10 to the bottom of the league.

No need to worry about that scenario anymore.

I’ll update this later when the details of the restructuring are revealed.

Can a rookie step right in and fill Anthony Spencer’s shoes?

I know.  I’m borderline obsessive at this point.  Apologies, but I keep finding compelling reasons not to franchise tag Anthony Spencer, a notion that, again, makes absolutely zero sense to me.  The latest argument I’m hearing a lot of is that a rookie can’t (won’t) step in and play as good as or better than Spencer.  While I certainly believe that a rookie might not play as well as Spencer has for the Cowboys, they most certainly can, and if you use the 2011 draft as a testing ground, they did indeed play better than Spencer last season.

In the first 4 rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, there were 5 rookies that were drafted with the intent of playing OLB in a 3-4.  Here’s that list:

Player Team Round Overall Tackles Sacks FF INT
Aldon Smith 49ers 1 7 37 14 2 0
Ryan Kerrigan Redskins 1 16 63 7.5 4 1
Brooks Reed Texans 2 42 45 6 0 0
Justin Houston Chiefs 3 70 56 5.5 1 0
Sam Acho Cardinals 4 103 40 7 4 0

Amazingly, Aldon Smith did his damage in just 616 snaps. Sam Acho did his in just 575, and Justin Houston in 775. The only two players on this list with comparable snaps count numbers to Spencer were Ryan Kerrigan (1056) and Brooks Reed (930). Spencer saw 939 snaps.

Spencer’s numbers here. Are his shoes really so hard to fill that you want to pay him $8.8 million in 2012?

*Note from the editor: Just to be clear, the above rookies from the 2011 draft were not “cherry-picked.” Those were ALL the rookies taken in the first 4 rounds with the intent of playing OLB in a 3-4.

Linky, February 21, 2012: Michael Vick: Not as good as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Flynn or Sam Bradford

Can Orlando Scandrick be a starter? – Dan Graziano, ESPN NFC East blog

Agree here with Dan that it wouldn’t be ideal.  Rafael Vela of Cowboys Nation thinks he could be a starting safety if the Cowboys don’t adequately fill that need.   He even picked him to be just that in our NFC Draft.

Anyone want to pay this guy Nnamdi dollars? Yeah, me neither.

Finnegan wants (almost) Asomugha money – Rafael Vela, Cowboys Nation

He ain’t getting it.

Playing GM for a day, defensive edition – Rabble, Blogging the Boys

Franchise Spencer: This is a brutal choice, and it dictates the rest of my offseason plans, as his 8.8 million franchise tag significantly limits what I can spend at other positions. But I feel strongly that good pass defense depends more on good line play than good secondary play (see: Giants playoff runs) The Cowboys pass rush is already average; without Spencer, it will be anemic and I fear that, no matter how many elite cover guys they bring in, it won’t matter because opposing signal callers will routinely have six seconds to throw.

Yes, the Cowboys could let Spencer walk and then target a first-round talent like Melvin Ingram or Courtney Upshaw to take his place, but there’s no guarantee the newcomer will be better than Spencer in the long run–and he almost certainly will not be in 2012, as he adjusts to the big boy’s game. And, as Bob Sturm sagely notes in his Spencer piece, “I cannot fix this defense by subtracting a reasonable piece while adding another. That is called running in place…” The Cowboys can’t get caught up in whether or not Spencer is “worth” franchise money. Let’s be clear: he’s not. They have to focus on what their defense will look like without him. It’s a terrifying prospect, frankly. So, they have to keep him around until somebody who is clearly as good (or better) is on board.

Nooooo, not you too, Rabble.  I think the phrase I disagree with most here is:

Yes, the Cowboys could let Spencer walk and then target a first-round talent like Melvin Ingram or Courtney Upshaw to take his place, but there’s no guarantee the newcomer will be better than Spencer in the long run–and he almost certainly will not be in 2012, as he adjusts to the big boy’s game.

More on that statement later today.

Cowboys’ Tony Romo like a ghost in the locker room – Gerry Fraley and Rich Gosselin, dallasnews.com

On whether Tony Romo can learn to take on more of a leadership role:

Fraley: You’re going to have to sacrifice it. It’s just either not in [Romo’s] nature or he just wants nothing to do with it because I have seen no sign that he’s willing to play to that. It’s more than just staying and watching film. It’s how you interact with your teammates. This is a guy who’s like a ghost in the locker room. Jon Kitna, you could see him interacting with his teammates, getting on guys a little bit. We’re not around 24 hours a day, but you never see Romo interactive. He’s seek the tee time or something. I thought he was going to learn from Kitna, but I don’t think he did.

Gosselin : Aikman was a quiet leader. Michael Irvin was the vocal leader of that team, but Troy Aikman could go up to a teammate and get the point across. He knew when it was time to say something, and he said it. With Romo, you just don’t feel that he ever knows that time.


Redskins, Giants, and Eagles after the jump…


Free agent appetizer Stanford Routt won’t be a Cowboy

A couple weeks ago, ESPN reported that the Cowboys had interest in Stanford Routt.  Today, per PFT, he signed with the Chiefs.

The Cowboys are probably better off.  Routt certainly had his drawbacks:

The bad Routt committed 17 penalties including eight for holding and seven for pass interference. The total number of penalties committed was the highest on the Raiders and the highest among NFL cornerbacks. He also allowed nine touchdown passes, the most of any cornerback.

The penalties are not a new issue. He has committed 38 in the past three seasons. To be fair, Routt’s issues with penalties may be connected to the culture in Oakland. They annually are among the league leaders in penalties committed and in 2011 they set the NFL record for both penalties and penalty yardage in a single season.

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