NFC East Team

Random notes around the NFC East: Sapp’s an idiot, a new podcast, the Skins’ play action, & NFCE up-and-comers


• 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.


The Eagles may not be so fortunate to face the Redskins Week 1 after all

When the schedule was released, it was revealed that the Eagles would play the Redskins Week 1. With Robert Griffin III recovering from a torn ACL in the playoffs against Seattle, getting the Redskins Week 1 looked like it might be a major advantage for the Eagles. If RG3 could not fully recover in time for the season opener, the Eagles would instead face backup Kirk Cousins.

It appears that the Eagles will not be so fortunate, as RG3 looks like a near certainty to suit up Week 1, barring a setback, according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated.

Getting the Redskins on the schedule Week 1 now looks like it might be a very bad thing for the Eagles if you consider Mike Shanahan’s record as a head coach in season openers:

Continued at the Allentown Morning Call…

My NFC East flag football team

My friends over at Hogs Haven are doing a 7-on-7 “Redskins flag football draft,” which is an idea I love. RG3 is not allowed in their draft, but he will be here. I figured I’d pick my own NFC East 7-on-7 flag football draft using their rules, which are…

  1. Automatic rush allowed for all defenders
  2. Full contact blocking on the line of scrimmage, but no downfield blocking
  3. No Kickoffs, but there are field goals
  4. The quarterback can run at will
  5. Everyone is an eligible receiver, so blitz at your own risk
  6. NO RG3

Here’s my NFC East 7-on-7 team:

  • RG3, Redskins: Screw that last rule. I’m taking RG3. He’s my QB (duh), and he’s also athletic enough to D up. Plus, if I want to run the ball, I’ll just run with RG3. No need whatsoever for a running back.
  • DeSean Jackson, Eagles: Fairly obvious choice, in my opinion, solely for his speed. I’ve never seen anybody able to cover DJax in 1-on-1 drills at Eagles training camp, and I don’t see many people covering him in flag football.
  • Dez Bryant, Cowboys: Another fairly obvious choice, for his speed and size.
  • Lane Johnson, Eagles: Most athletic offensive lineman in the division, and he used to be a TE. He’ll block for RG3, and he can leak out into the occasional pass pattern. He also played QB in JuCo, so we can run some trick plays, or he can be the emergency QB if RG3 blows out a knee.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants: He and Lane Johnson will serve as my primary pass rushers, but they’re also athletic enough to hold their own covering bigger guys. JPP is 6’5, and Johnson is 6’6, so they will both be instructed to get their hands in the air on D. I’ll also trust that JPP will be athletic enough to figure out how to pass protect, and I’ll assume he can catch a football if it’s thrown his way from RG3. “Healthy back” disclaimers apply.
  • J.J. Wilcox, Cowboys: Wilcox played slot receiver in college, before moving to safety. He had 138 rushes for 968 yards (7.0 avg) and 14 TDs to go along with 45 catches for 898 yards and 4 TDs in his career at Georgia Southern. He’s a guy who can be competent on both sides of the ball.
  • Isaac Sopoaga, Eagles: Oddly enough, Sopoaga was the emergency kicker for the 49ers in his tenure there. He played rugby in Samoa, so I trust him to play both sides of the ball as well, although obviously, I wouldn’t be asking him to cover receivers down the field or go out for many passes. He’ll obviously play OL/DL.

Who you got?

Random notes around the NFC East: Bandwagon fan Chris Christie, Jordan Reed’s spreading injury, Miles “Hamstrings” Austin, and the Eagles from worst to first?


• NJ Governor Chris Christie is pretty much the worst kind of football fan there is:

“The Giants and the Jets pretty much stunk when I was a kid,” Christie said. “And my father was a Giants fan and I used to remember watching him when I was eight, nine-years-old. Every Sunday, he would watch the Giants and yell at the TV set. I used to think to myself, why would I want to root for a team that makes you angry? So I decided not to and the Cowboys were really good back then.”

That is pretty much the definition of a textbook bandwagon fan. Oddly, in a very non-bandwagon choice, he’s also a Mets fan.

• The Giants think David Wilson’s pass protection has improved. It better:


9 quick poll questions on the NFC East

You know… because it’s June.


Let’s play an RG3 “what if” game

I’m curious where Redskins fans’ heads are at on this one. Last season, in Week 16, the Eagles were about to run the 15th play of a drive that started at their own 15. It was a quick slant to Evan Moore, which was open. If Moore makes the catch, he’s going to score:

Evan Moore 1

But in typical 2012 Eagles fashion, Moore dropped it:


Random notes around the NFC East: Amerson’s amnesia, Chip chippy with fans, Giants TEs, and stealing players from NFCE teams


• Rich Tandler put up a piece on David Amerson. Jim Haslett thinks that Amerson’s first game against Tennessee ruined him for a few games. Amerson truly was brutal in the Tennessee game. His lowlights:

When I took a deep look at Amerson, I thought that his coverage lapses were the smaller problem:

The double moves, for me, are the smaller issue. That can be fixed. It was the lack of effort and the total unwillingness to tackle that is more alarming, and a much harder fix. The talent is clearly there, but Amerson is going to have to decide if he wants to play football at a high level. If he does, he should be a good pro. If not, he’ll be out of the league very quickly.


Yes, Nick Foles had a good rookie season

In the last few years, a handful of rookie QBs have done extraordinary things, and the bar for comparative purposes has been raised. In 2011, Cam Newton took the league by storm, breaking records both for rookie passing yards (4,051) and rookie rushing yards (706). He and Andy Dalton became the first rookie QB duo to make it to the Pro Bowl.

In 2012, Newton’s passing record was broken by Andrew Luck (4,374), and his rushing record was broken by QB Robert Griffin III (815). Luck, RG3, and Russell Wilson became the first rookie QB trio to make it to the Pro Bowl.

In 7 combined seasons in the NFL, Newton, Dalton, Luck, Griffin III, and Wilson have a combined 5 playoff appearances. That is simply incredible. If you add in guys like Redskins rookie backup Kirk Cousins, who came on in relief of RG3 in two late season clutch performances, and Colin Kaepernick, who wasn’t a rookie, but got his first real taste of action last season and absolutely lit it up, the list of impressive young QBs only grows.

In his rookie campaign last season, Nick Foles went 1-5 as a starter, and backed up a legendary figure in Michael Vick, who is one of the flashiest players in the history of the NFL. In terms of excitement level (although not necessarily making an “arm strength” analogy here), Foles backing up Vick is the equivalent of Jamie Moyer coming on in relief of Mitch Williams. And so, when we look at Foles’ rookie season last year, it’s very easy to dismiss it as “meh.”

However, for a rookie, Foles was a lot more effective last season than you might think. For example, in the Super Bowl era, 20 QBs were drafted with the 1st overall pick. If you inserted Nick Foles into that group, he had the 2nd highest passer rating his rookie season:

Continued at the Allentown Morning Call…

Random notes around the NFC East: Perry Fewell and the read option, DeSean’s documentary, the Cowboys’ TEs, and Carriker to the PUP?


• Perry Fewell thinks that stopping the read option will be similar to the way teams started stopping the Wildcat after its initial success:

“I look at that offense kind of like the Wildcat. The Wildcat took us by storm and then until you can see it, understand it; then you can defend it.”

Last season, the Giants gave up 455 yards in two games to the Redskins. I’m not so sure it was because they were fooled by some kind of exotic look. A few interesting formations aside, the Redskins’ offense was extraordinarily simple. There isn’t much to grasp. The Giants gave up huge rushing days to read option teams and non-read option teams alike. They gave up 224 rushing yards to the Ravens, and 191 to the Eagles. Worse, they gave up at least 129 rushing yards to 4 teams in the bottom 8 in the NFL in rushing yardage (the Cowboys, Steelers, Falcons, and Saints).

The Giants’ ability to stop the read option will be more about whether or not they can keep from being dominated in the trenches, not “figuring out” a fairly simple concept.


Jason Peters auditions for “Fast and Furious” movie franchise, gets arrested

The boys over at Birds 24/7 have the real details. Here were my initial thoughts when the news broke last night:

Peters 4

Peters 1


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