Tear yourself away, if you would, for a moment, from the smell of burning animal flesh on your backyard grill and check out the NFC East goodness that has made its way into my mailbag this week. I promise that you won't be disappointed. Or that if you are, I'll do better the next time.
durtymurph from Princeton, N.J. (yeah baby) saw Leslie Frazier and Jason Garrett land full-time head coaching positions in Minnesota and Dallas after midseason takeovers and wonders if the same thing could happen with the Giants and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell: "How likely is it that the Giants fire Coughlin mid-season and replace him with Perry Fewell? It may take a 2010 cowboys type start to their season for him to end up like Wade Phillips, but with Fewell being one of the hot coaching commodities in today's market it seems likely that Jerry Reese'd have to be thinking it a possibility with Coughlin missing the playoffs the last two seasons. And the fact that they let Spagnuolo leave to be the savior in St. Louis has to hurt a little too: they cant lose two great head coaches."
Dan Graziano: I think it'd have to be a 2010 Cowboys type of start (remember, that was 1-7 after preseason Super Bowl expectations) to get the Giants to even consider such a move. And in part because Coughlin is not Wade Phillips, I don't imagine how that could happen. But even if it did, I think it would be shocking for the Giants to change head coaches midseason. It's just not the way they roll. And besides, even if they decided halfway through the season to make a change, it's not as if someone else is going to hire Fewell away from them in November. They could just give him the job at the end of the season if they like him that much. I fully expect Tom Coughlin to coach at least 16 more Giants games.
AnswernumberI - Sanj from Philly wants to know what to expect from Michael Vick in 2011: "Will he improve from his MVP caliber performance in his second year as a starter under Andy Reid's system and as the young pieces around him continue to mature? Will he regress as defenses will have figured him out with more blindside blitzing and pressure? Or should we expect more of the same awesomeness?"
DG: I expect several doses of the same awesomeness as long is Vick is healthy. The question is whether he can keep himself healthy. And it's a critical question, since the Eagles probably wouldn't have been a playoff contender last year without the surprise star performance from Vick. There's no doubt that a healthy Vick has both the physical tools and the surrounding weapons to do pretty much anything he wants with the Eagles' offense. And I don't think it's as easy as defenses "figuring him out." The Giants had him figured out in the second game last year, and he still managed to go bonkers in the fourth quarter and engineer the comeback of the season. I'd expect a couple of huge games and a couple of games where the pressure throws him off a bit. On the whole, if he stays healthy, I see no reason he can't rank among the top 10 quarterbacks in the league, statistically. It's merely a question of how much time he misses due to his inevitable injury problems.
Darryl from Oakland, Calif., offers this: "I find it very amusing that you still believe that either Peyton Manning or Tom Brady are the two best players. One question, are you blind to watching the Packers play football. Not only am I certain that the best player in all of football is Aaron Rodgers, but if he continues at his current rate of success he will go down as the greatest football player ever regardless of position. Manning and Brady are certainly great QBs, but please open up your eyes."
DG: Darryl, I'm glad I amused you. Thanks for returning the favor.
Wayne from Round Rock, Texas, writes: "Sir, just wondering why you left the Cowboys off the NFC teams when discussing receivers and defensive tackles. Respectfully Wayne."
DG: No way could I ignore a question that respectful! Wayne is referring to the ongoing series we've been doing on the blog about potential four-year unrestricted free agency and its potential impact in the NFC East. We went position-by-position, and not every team was represented in every entry. The reason the Cowboys were mentioned in those lists was because I don't consider those positions of need for the Cowboys in free agency. I will say, though, that an argument could be made that they should be more open-minded to moving Jay Ratliff to defensive end and bringing in a nose tackle. But they've said they won't do that, so I looked instead at other teams who needed (or might need, depending on how other situations shake out) help on the interior defensive line. I hope that answers your question, Wayne. Thanks so much for your manners.
And finally, Mario Leon from Arlington, Va., writes: "DG, I know holding out hope that McNabb actually stays in DC, becomes the full-time starter, plays a complete season, and has a better statistical year than in 2010 is full of delusion but, really, how delusional am I?"
DG: Completely, ML. Completely. McNabb is only on the Redskins' roster because the lockout has prevented them from removing him from it. His time in Washington is most assuredly up, and they will trade or release him shortly after the lockout ends. It's John Beck and/or Rex Grossman for 2011, it appears, and then maybe a big-time quarterback in the first round of next year's draft.
Thanks as always for the questions. I now return you to your regularly scheduled parades and fireworks.