Random thoughts from around the NFC East: No Barron in Philly, no free lunch in Dallas, no Luck in D.C., no reaching for need in NY

Apologies for the lack of a post yesterday. I’ll be ramping it up bigtime here over the next two weeks, so I figured I’d give myself a day to recharge. I did yard work. Dug holes. With a shovel. It sucked. This is better. So I’m back.  I’m skipping attending any draft venues this year.  I’ll be doing a detailed writeup for every NFC East pick, and staying right at home is probably the best way to give you the best coverage.  So don’t forget to check in regularly with your old buddy Jimmy next Thurs-Sun.

Per Les Bowen from Howie Roseman’s press conference yesterday:

I think Mark Barron is exactly who Roseman was referring to.  Good to know they see it the same way I do.

According to a report from the Denver Post, the Broncos were rebuffed by the Eagles on a couple trade offers for Asante Samuel.  One reportedly involved a late round draft pick, the other involved a player (likely a player the Broncos have no worries about losing).  The Broncos appear to be that guy in your fantasy football league that offers your a backup RB and WR for Adrian Peterson.  Of course, Asante doesn’t exactly appear to be making it easy to deal him, which doesn’t help in getting appropriate trade compensation.

Good job by Ed at Big Blue View transcribing Jerry Reese’s press conference yesterday.  Some interesting nuggets there, but the thing that I’m most interested in is how they plan on lining up their LB’s.  Here’s what Reese had to say:

Q: Is Boley in the middle really a possibility?

A: He plays middle linebacker in the nickel a lot for us anyway. I think he can play any position. We like our linebackers to be versatile, to play different positions. I think he can play any of the linebacker spots. I think Rivers can play any of the linebacker spots. I think the young guy, Jacquian, I think he’s a WILL, though. I think he’s an outside backer just because of his size. But he could probably play SAM in some schemes as well though. We like those guys to be versatile. They’ll play all over the place. That’s the coaches job to figure out where they play. It’s our job in personnel and my job to try to find a lot of players to give them some choices to pick from.

In my Q&A with a Bengals guy, I got some insight as what Rivers played in Cincinnati:

Jimmy: Ignoring where you think he might fit in with the Giants, what is Keith Rivers’ best LB position, and why?

Josh (Bengals guy): Last time we watched him play a game was during the 2010 season. He’s a natural weak-side linebacker.  He’s strong on the back-side away from the run. Quick and strong, but he always appeared somewhat bulky in regards to lateral movement. Run at him and you won’t get through. Run away from him, and he’ll track you down. But run near his side, he seemed to miss more often than not.

Jimmy: Can he play the other LB spots?

Josh (Bengals guy): The Bengals rarely, if ever, moved him out of position. He was also taken out of the game in nickle and dime sets.

My best guess is that the Giants will line them up as such:

WILL: Keith Rivers MIKE: Michael Boley SAM: Mathias Kiwanuka

Jacquian Williams will be lurking over Rivers’ shoulder, and should replace him on 3rd and anything over 3.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I kinda like the Giants’ LB rotation.  Maybe not “like like” them, but like them enough where they’re not really a weakness.  I’ll have my Giants pre-draft depth chart out this weekend.  Eagles and Cowboys pre-draft depth charts can be found here and here.

Also, as usual, the Giants have no plans on reaching for need:

Q: Do you think the moves you made in free agency free you to pick the best players in the draft?

A: Not really. We never do that anyway. We never try to reach in the draft. We’re conscious of what we think our needs are, but we try to pick the best player in the draft. We do try to fill holes in free agency when we get an opportunity to do that, but we never say let’s get a certain position in the draft. We just try to pick the best player.

Continued after the jump…

We already knew this, but it appears official that Andrew Luck is going to be a Colt:

My boy Raf from Cowboys Nations notes that if you were to believe all the smokescreens out there, 13 players are likely to be drafted in the Top 10.

Awesome little nugget buried in a Ross Tucker article on ESPN:

Q: I think I once heard you say that you used to collect your “used” equipment from each team you played with but that the Cowboys charged you for some of it. Just wondering how much you paid for a Cowboys jersey and helmet? Or did you leave them behind? What was their explanation for being so cheap? Would their policy change in an uncapped year?

Paul in New Brunswick, Canada

A: It has nothing to do with the salary cap, and yes, I have said that the Cowboys were the only team of five I played for that I recall charging me via payroll deduction for my helmet. I believe it was $200. I was told that Jerry Jones looks at equipment as team property, and if a player wants it, he has to purchase it. I’m a business owner, so on some level I get it, but I was pretty surprised, given how much money the Cowboys make. They also were the only team that deducted money for lunch every week during the season, which was even more astonishing to me.

Jerry Jones will give Roy Williams a 5 year deal worth $45 million, but free PB&J?  That’s where he draws the line.

Donovan McNabb opened his mouth again.  Said he’s a Hall of Famer.  That’s not so bad, but then he compared his numbers to Jim Kelly and Troy Aikman.  Just stop it, Donny.

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  4. Rafael Vela says:

    I can answer Tucker’s point in more detail. The Cowboys sell used equipment during training camp and at the stadium. I asked last year what they wanted for a Leonard Davis helmet. I forget the exact amount, but it was close to $500. Some little-used backup? Closer to $300.

    You get the point.

    Michael Irvin once said of Jerry, “he squeezes a bill so hard, you can see Ben Franklin’s tongue sticking out.” Michael wasn’t joking.

    1. Free Plax says:

      Did he at least give Tucker the employee discount on his equipment?

  5. AustonianAggie says:

    That’s pretty funny. Maybe is Ross Tucker did more than be a camp body Jerry would of been more kind

  6. Jimmer says:

    Rumor on ht Samuel trade is that the problem with the proposed trade was not what the Eagles would be getting, but rather that Samuel did not approve the re-structured contract (pay cut) that would be part of the deal.

  7. Mark Sitko says:

    Love the 13 players in the top 10 bit – I say Floyd, Reiff, Gilmore and Brockers have the chance to fall, and one of them will fall hard…maybe beyond 15 even…20? Seems to happen every year, right? If you miss your suitor the floor can open up.

    I think these four guys would not be there if it were not for the other player in the top 10 at their position that they are closest to by comparison. These 4 guys are second shelf drop offs…but all great players, just not the elite of this draft. I would also include Tannenhill in this, but he is a QB so has less of a chance of falling.

  8. JUZ SAYIN says:

    McNabb a Hall of Shamer !

  9. JUZ SAYIN says:

    Andy Reid is bigger than Rob Ryan by 15pds

    1. Gary says:

      Andy is all muscle. 100% cut.

    2. nadam says:

      no way. You must be looking at Reid’s weight from 3 years ago.

  10. Free Plax says:

    As far as Donovan being a hall of famer I just don’t see it. However I want to raise a point that won’t be popular but I know eventually it would start happening. Troy Aikman was not a Hall of Fame QB! I get it the SB’s elevated him, but he was a very pedistrian QB as far as his stats. When you consider he played with a Hall of fame RB and WR, he should have been far better. When you put McNabb’s stats next to Aikman’s McNabb comes out on top except for the SB wins. In fact I think becuase they let Aikman in we need to re look at guys like Randall Cuningham, Phil Simms and Joe Theisman, who blow Aikman away and played with half the talent he played with. So having said all that I can see how McNabb feels he is a hall of famer.

    1. It should also be noted though that the game was different in Aikman’s day. Back then CB’s could mug WR’s all the way down the field, and the NFL actually let you hit the QB.

      1. Free Plax says:

        For the most part true but Troy did play in the same era as Marino, Elway, Montana and Farve just to name a few so it’s not like we are talking about the 70’s or somthing.

        Question for you, as an Eagles fan. How do you feel about Aikman getting in but Randall Cuningham can’t get a sniff of HOF love? Same Era..

        1. Aikman is a no-brainer. You win 3 SB’s, you’re in. Passing numbers are similar, and Aikman only went to the playoffs one more time than Randall, but here’s the difference:

          Aikman’s playoff record: 11-4
          Randall’s playoff record: 3-6

  11. David Myers says:

    Les Bowen is my media hero of the week.

    13 in the top 10? Pretty much par for the course. Ourlads, who isn’t a wild n crazy bunch, has 36 players with round 1 grades. Some of their round 1s will be going in round 2.

    Mel Kiper routinely rotates players in and out of his top 25. I suspect this is all part of the “fog of war” around draft time. No one really knows what the draft boards of NFL teams look like. We’re all guessing to some extent. And since the draft is an auction and thus suffers from the winner’s curse, you never know what relative unknown will shoot up the draft charts.


  12. Smitty2K3 says:

    Unfortunately I have to agree with you. The Giants LB doesn’t look bad at all. Not great, but good.

    I love the Jerry Jones nugget. What a d-bag. I understand that you have to run your business intelligently, but I’ve also heard the better you treat your employees, the harder they’ll work for you. Especially when you’re a business as big as the Cowboys. I for one would be a little unmotivated to work for him if my boss was pulling tricks like that.

    And lastly… Donovan, why? It’s so disappointing to see him going out like he is. I was always a huge McNabb fan and avid supporter. But he’s making himself harder and harder to like the more he opens his mouth.

    1. Jimmer says:

      McNabb’s actions now make it easier to believe what TO was saying back in the day.

      1. Tracer Bullet says:

        Let’s not get crazy. Owens was and is a complete jackass.

  13. brisulph says:

    I am with you on the Giants LBs… they are not going to wow anyone or dominate a game, but they are a far cry better than the 2008-2010 rotations they had, that is for sure.

  14. Jimmer says:

    Wonder what Rob Ryan’s lunch tab was last year??

    1. Rafael Vela says:

      He’s getting lap-band surgery.

      Jerry’s bill probably clinched it!

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