A Look at the 2007 NFC EAST
As we stand just three weeks away from the start of training camps around the NFL, there are a lot of uncertainties following the teams in the NFC east. Below is a list of the biggest questions surrounding the four division rivals.
Question: Was Tom Coughlin's “second chance” a good decision for the Giants?
Answer: I just don't see this being a good decision. We Eagle fans can think back to 1998, when Ray Rhodes was given one more season to coach the team, knowing that there was just about no chance of a contract extension to follow. What resulted? A 3-13 season. After the Giants lost six of their last eight games in 2006, it was shocking Coughlin kept his position at all. I'm not saying I guarantee the Giants will finish up with double digits in the loss column, but I don't expect “the Troll” to be there by season's end. Unless Coughlin changes from a “hardass” to a big teddy bear like in every Disney movie, he'll lose the players again
Question: Will the Redskins be better off since they did not make another “big splash” in free agency?
Answer: Of Course. Maybe the team has finally realized that you cannot win Superbowls in March. It only took them about 10 years and a trillion dollars, but maybe the organization has gotten the idea that if they don't waste cap room on past their prime vets like Bruce Smith or trade away valuable draft picks for duds like Brandon Lloyd, they can stock up on high draft picks, develop talent, and thus build a winner. So what free agents did they bring in this season? Their former cornerback Fred Smoot. The skins hope Smoot will be healthy enough to start the season, and he has been in pain from being burned so many times while playing for Minnesota .
Another question mark will be Jason Campbell, who will have to live up to his first round expectations in order for the Skins to escape the cellar.
Question: Will Wade Phillips do what Bill Parcells was unable to do in Dallas , win a playoff game?
Answer: Phillips has never won a playoff game before, so I don't see why this time around should be much different. Dallas goes into this season with the same issues as last season, coverage problems and uncertainty at quarterback. Ken Hamlin replaces the horrific Patrick Watkins at safety, making the Cowboys a little better off than they were last season in the secondary. DeMarcus Ware might be one of the top pass rushers in the game, but their front three is just plain boring.
Is Tony Romo really the hero that Dallas fans make him out to be? Romo failed to lead his team to victory in his final three games of the season, and appeared to be figured out by most defenses by the year's end. The guy has some great talent around him now, but I do not see a return to the pro bowl for him in 2007.
Question: Will a makeover at linebacker and the addition of two defensive tackles give the Eagles a better chance to sustain the run?
Answer: This answer is really to be determined. Three new starters enter the season at linebacker for the birds, one with little experience (Omar Gaither) and another with no NFL experience (Chris Gocong). Trotter struggled by season's end, so it looks like he will platoon with Takeo Spikes to prevent automatic runs of at least six yards up the gut. The Eagles defense (136.4 rushing yards allowed per game) was the second most inept against the run among all playoff teams except for one, Indianapolis (173 rushing yards allowed per game). Fortunately for the Colts, they were able to fix their problems before the start of the playoffs. With the talent the Eagles have, they will more than likely return to the playoffs in such a weak NFC. You know what you're going to get out of the vets on this defense, but in order to be a legitimate contender, the development and contribution of high draft picks like Gocong, Patterson and Bunkley will be key.
© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla
Not affiliated with the Philadelphiqa
Eagles or the NFL.