• Warren Sapp slammed Michael Strahan to make some point that Simeon Rice was a great player. He also got in a shot at Jon Runyan:
“Nobody ever talks about Simeon (Rice),” Sapp told the Tampa Tribune. “Simeon was a better rusher than Michael Strahan any day of the week and twice on Sunday. (Rice) didn’t rush the worst lineman. You know the right tackle is the worst of the five. Strahan played right end his first four years.
“When they were putting the label on him as a bust, they put ‘B-U-S . OK, let’s transition him on the other side and see if he can play in his fourth year.”
“They put (Strahan) at right end and he couldn’t do it, so they moved him to the weak guy. One-on-one with the (Eagles right tackle) Jon Runyans for eight quarters every year. Sim won’t ever have his name brought up (for the Hall of Fame), and that’s a shame. He’s one of the best pass rushers I’ve ever encountered in my life.”
There’s no questioning Warren Sapp’s professional football career. He was an outstanding player. However, those days are over, and both Runyan and Strahan have gone on to bigtime post-football careers. Sapp is a broke, alleged woman-beating asshole who is horrrrrrid on TV, while Runyan is now a congressman, and Strahan is a legitimately talented TV personality. Showtime wised up and fired him (or didn’t renew his contract, or whatever other nice way of saying it) after making the terrible decision to hire him in the first place, but it’s absolutely incredible to me that NFL Network renewed Sapp’s contract last year. He’s a bad guy, and worse, he sucks at his job. It’s only a matter of time before NFL Network dumps him. Then again, that’s a station that employs Heath Evans and Jamie Dukes, sooooo…
• Recently released Packers LB Desmond Bishop has gotten interest from a number of teams, including the Giants. The other teams are the Vikings, Chiefs, and Jaguars. The Giants seem to like bringing in players who play well against them. For years, Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson played well against the Giants, and now they are Giants. Similarly, Bishop had a great game against the Giants in the 2011 playoffs, and now he’s getting a look. More on that game if they sign him.
• Tommy and I recorded a show a couple days ago, and hey… It was on the Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants. As a disclaimer, we tended to pick at the weakness more than we admired the strengths.
• Tommy also listed his best Eagles win of the season for each of the last 10 years. Some years the Eagles were plentiful in great wins. For example, 44-6 didn’t even make list, nor did DeSean’s walk off punt return. Other years, not so much.
• Rich Tandler of Real Redskins (via Football Outsiders) notes that the Redskins were the best team in the NFL last year at running play action. This doesn’t come as a surprise in the slightest. The Redskins hit on little 10-yard slants all season long off of play action and got a lot of yards after the catch.
In terms of sustainability, I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news for the Skins heading into 2013.
• Tim MacMahon of ESPN has his 6-pack of under-the-radar Cowboys up-and-comers. My 6-pack of NFC East under-the-radar up-and-comers (2 from each of the other 3 teams):
- Jacquian Williams, Giants: Great cover linebacker, and by far my favorite of their LBs. I don’t know if he can handle the rigors of being a 3-down LB in the NFL, but in a division in whoch the Skins, Cowboys, and Eagles are all deep and talented at the TE position, Williams is a very valuable player.
- Will Hill, Giants: If Will Hill gets a significant amount of playing time in 2013, I have no idea how opposing teams will try to attack him, and whether or not he’ll hold up, but I do know that he loves contact. Hill got 218 snaps last year. He’ll get more this year, and has the look of an enforcer.
- Arrelious Benn, Eagles: The Eagles are going to place a high emphasis on blocking from the WR position this season, which bodes well for Benn. Sheil did a good post on Benn’s skill set shortly after the Eagles traded for him.
- Bradley Fletcher, Eagles: The Eagles signed 2 CBs this offseason who are likely to start. One has made headlines talking about sconces and fire places. The other has simply gone out every day in practice and played well. Fletcher may very well wind up being the better acquisition.
- Rob Jackson, Redskins: With Brian Orakpo returning from injury, Jackson’s 2012 season is being largely forgotten, but the Redskins didn’t lose much production going from Orakpo to Jackson. Their big plays simply came in different forms. While Jackson didn’t get to the QB with as much frequency as Orakpo, he made enormous plays in coverage, snagging 4 INTs, some of which were very impressive catches. Jackson is suspended for the first 4 games of the season, which should make him even more of an after-thought, but when he returns, the Redskins need to find a way to get him on the field.
- Josh LeRibeus, Redskins: I had a chance to zero in on LeRibeus against the Seahawks in the playoffs last year, and I came away very impressed. For the better part of the day, he won his battles against a really good player in Brandon Mebane. For now, he’ll ride the pine, but should be the first guy off the bench if any of the Skins’ three interior linemen go down. I have little doubt the Skins will be fine if LeRibeus has to play. And of course, I’m legally obligated to note LeRib’s career as a male model.