The Redskins re-signed Tim Hightower. I really liked the trade the Skins made last offseason to bring him in. Hightower had a great preseason, and in the 5 games he played last year prior to tearing his ACL, he got a nice amount of work, averaging 17 carries per game. This year he comes in as a backup to Roy Helu, and possibly Evan Royster. Good blocker, hard runner, capable receiver. Good guy to have in camp. I would assume the Redskins will keep 4 RB’s, in addition to a FB. They also drafted Alfred Morris out of Florida Atlantic in the 6th round. I think people think of Hightower as a guy that’s been around for a while, but he only turns 26 in a couple weeks.
Speaking of RB ages in the NFCE, my boy Tommy noted that the Eagles are going very young at RB. It’s kind of crazy that LeSean McCoy is the old grizzled veteran of the group. He turns 24 in July. However, the same can also be said for the rest of the division. I fact, the two oldest groups of NFC East runners average 24 years of age:
|Ahmad Bradshaw – 26||LeSean McCoy – 23||DeMarco Murray – 24||Roy Helu – 23|
|David Wilson – 20||Dion Lewis – 21||Felix Jones – 25||Evan Royster – 24|
|D.J. Ware – 27||Bryce Brown – 21||Phillip Tanner – 23||Tim Hightower – 25|
|Da’Rel Scott – 23||Chris Polk – 22||Alfred Morris – 23|
|Avg – 24||Avg – 21.75||Avg – 24||Avg – 23.75|
I’ll be attending Eagles training this year for sure, and I hope the Giants will have me back this year as well. Still working on the Skins and Cowboys (not sure if I’ll make it out to Oxnard even if the Cowboys grant me credentials). Anyway, here are the new players I’d be most interested to see to compete against the big boys on each NFC East team:
- Bryce Brown, Eagles: Got my first look at Brown on Saturday at Eagles rookie OTA’s. In case you’re unaware, Brown was a bigtime recruit coming out of high school, rated higher than guys like Trent Richardson. I saw a kid with good burst, nice size, that was smooth catching the ball. He just looks the part. Was clearly the most athletic back at OTA’s. The Eagles might have a steal. The general feeling among the beat writers is that he needs to be “de-recruited,” meaning… People have been kissing this guy’s ass since he was 16, and a grueling NFL training camp could be the thing that determines whether he came to play or not. But the physical ability is there.
- Adrien Robinson, Giants: He probably isn’t going to play a lot his rookie season in NY, but I’m curious to see just how athletic this kid is in person. 265 pound TE’s that run a 4.51 don’t grow on trees. I’d love to see him matched up against Michael Boley.
- Matt Johnson, S, Cowboys: Obviously, the Cowboys saw something in this kid that made them pick him in the 4th round. ESPN’s Scouts Inc had him rated as the 70-somethingth best safety in this class. Then again, Scouts Inc. also thought that a “key matchup” for the Eagles-Falcons Week 2 matchup last year was Trent Cole vs. Jason Peters. Seven teams worked Johnson out, so he did get attention around the league. His game tape is almost unwatchable due to Eastern Washington’s horrific red field. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the jump from a small college to covering guys like Witten, Austin and Bryant.
- Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins: As I noted in my Redskins draft review, Morris ran for 725 yards and 7 TD’s on 118 carries (6.14 per carry) in his last 5 games at FAU. Florida Atlantic was outscored in those games 190-84. Despite playing from behind in most of those games, the Florida Atlantic passing attack contributed just 826 yards. In other words, Morris basically WAS their entire offense. That was against teams like Middle Tennessee and Arkansas St. However, in Morris’ first two games on FAU’s 2011 season, they played Florida and Michigan St. His combined numbers in those games: 24 carries, 37 yards. I want to see him running behind a professional offensive line against a good Redskins front 7.
Osi Umenyiora is not Richard Pryor.
Jamaal Jackson retired after a day of tryouts with the Giants. He was a guy that carved out a long, productive NFL career despite not being drafted. Great Eagle. Happy retirement, Jam Jax.