• 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:
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:
But in typical 2012 Eagles fashion, Moore dropped it:
• 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.
• 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.
• Tommy and I recorded a new show. We recapped Eagles minicamp. Podcasting excellence lies within.
• ESPN NFC East blogger Dan Graziano did a Twitter Q&A, and here was one of his answers:
He then elaborated on that prediction:
Dan is a smart guy, and I like him, but holy hell that’s an awful call. Chip Kelly has a 5 year contract worth $32.5 million. He’s the 9th highest paid coach in American sports. You simply don’t give a guy that kind of coin unless you really believe in him. The Eagles won’t have a quick hook with Kelly if he gets off to a rocky start, and even if the returns are disappointing after 3 years, eating $13 million to fire him doesn’t seem realistic (assuming Kelly’s salary is spread out evenly across his 5 year deal), unless his first 3 years are a complete and total failure. It’s not like he’s Mike Mularkey, who lasted just one year with the Jaguars. The Eagles invested heavily in Kelly. Can he fail horribly at the pro level? Sure, it’s possible, but if you don’t think he’ll last 4 years, you’re betting on a catastrophe.
Also, why refer to him as “this guy” instead of “Chip” or “Kelly?” Am I reading into something that isn’t there, or is that phrasing weird?
• Learn what “runnin through the okra patch” means.
• In his Monday Morning QB column, Peter King says there’s “little doubt” RG3 will play Week 1.
• Rich Tandler has a good piece up on Barry Cofield. However, one line caught my eye:
Cofield does not fit the traditional mold of an NFL nose tackle in terms of size. The mold, in fact, is substantially larger than he is. Cofield is listed at 6-feet-4 and 318 pounds, a few inches taller and a few dozen pounds lighter than the prototype.
When the Redskins signed Cofield, the prototype was what Rich is describing. However, that is changing to some degree. Here are the heights/weights of all the 3-4 NTs across the league. Most 3-4 teams still employ the big-bodied space eater, but a growing number of 3-4 teams are gravitating toward smaller, more athletic NTs. Cofield is only 5 pounds lighter than the average.
The Cowboys, Texans, and Skins could be viewed as trend setters at NT. Cofield played at a high level last season, especially during the Skins’ 7-game win streak.
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post has a good read on taking risks with 3rd round picks. He has interesting notes on a number of players drafted in the third round this year (including Damontre Moore). Definitely worth checking out. Unrelated to that portion of his column, Pompei also talked about the Redskins’ secondary:
The Redskins like ball skills in their defensive backs. They really like ball skills in their defensive backs. Cornerback Dave Amerson, whom they chose in the second round, had 18 college interceptions. And safety Bacarri Rambo, whom they chose in the sixth, had 16 picks at Georgia. They will fit in well in a secondary that features cornerback DeAngelo Hall (39 career interceptions, including an NFL record-tying four in one game), cornerback Josh Wilson (13 career interceptions, including four returned for touchdowns) and safety Brandon Meriweather (13 career interceptions). “This isn’t new, but turnovers are key,” Redskins general manager Bruce Allen told me. “We liked Amerson and Rambo. We liked their playmaking abilities. The fact they created turnovers makes you like them a little better than others who may have been similarly talented otherwise.” He pointed to the fact that Rambo is a former quarterback, and quarterbacks turned defensive backs usually have good ball skills. As for Amerson, he said, “He had a phenomenal year a couple years ago. I don’t know if it will translate into the NFL immediately, but he has traits you look for.”
David Amerson is going to be fascinating to watch. I did a 3-part breakdown series on Amerson (Part I, Part II, Part III), and he was extraordinarily fun to watch, because he was so simultaneously awesome and awful. If I were a fan of a team with nothing to lose, say, like, the Jaguars… I would be extremely anxious to see him get out on the field and make some big plays. Conversely, if I were a fan of a team coming off a division title, I’d be terrified to see him out there gambling and giving up big plays.
The Redskins’ road to the division title last season was fueled by an improbable, yet impressive 7 game win streak to close the season. I don’t want to take anything away from what the Redskins accomplished during that run. However, with the exception of the Giants and Browns games, it should be noted that the Skins were playing teams that were absolutely devastated by injuries (noteworthy absences listed below).
The Redskins themselves played most of the season without Brian Orakpo, a large chunk of it without Fred Davis, and if you want to consider Adam Carriker and Brandon Meriweather significant losses (I don’t with Carriker, Meriweather is debatable), then that is your prerogative. RG3 of course missed Week 15 against a bad Browns team, and 7 snaps vs the Ravens.
The Skins weren’t completely devoid of injuries themselves, but those above losses pale in comparison to what some of the teams they faced had to deal with on the injury front:
- Michael Vick
- Jason Peters
- Jason Kelce
- Todd Herremans
- Jason Avant
• Rich Tandler of RealRedskins put his speculation hat on and wondered if RG3 will be ready to practice a lot sooner than we all think, based on the low number of QBs currently on the Redskins roster. Rich is careful to note several disclaimers (such as the Redskins adding another QB sometime between now and training camp), but he poses an interesting thought/observation nevertheless.
• Rich also put up an interesting post on the history of teams going from bad records (7-9 or worse) to 10 or more wins the next season. The 2011/2012 Redskins would apply here. Historically, in the third year, it’s very likely that the team will regress.