Three days until the conference championship games. Is it raining in San Francisco yet? Let's have some links while we check.
New York Giants
Johnette Howard writes that the Giants are the most complete team left in this playoff field. I can buy that. The 49ers have a better defense but not a lot of offense. The Patriots have a better offense but absolutely nothing on defense. The Ravens are fine at both, but certainly not as explosive on offense as the Giants are. So I'm with Johnette on this. Curious to see whether it helps overcome that Niner defense on the road, is all.
Tara Sullivan takes a look at how breakout star Victor Cruz's life and outlook have changed since becoming a father a week and a half ago. "Turns out I'm a natural," Cruz says. "My hands are big, so she just fits right in."
This notebook tells us Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, and that former Bills quarterback Trent Edwards recently worked out for the Eagles, who are exploring backup quarterback options in case they decide Vince Young wasn't the answer there.
Jonathan Tamari takes up the question of what Andy Reid would do for an offensive coordinator if Marty Mornhinweg were to get one of the head coaching jobs with which he's recently been connected. Mornhinweg and Reid do appear to have worked quite well together and to share a lot of the same beliefs and philosophies. And I still think the Eagles, after what they went through this past year, will be loath to impose major scheme and philosophy changes this offseason.
Todd Archer takes his turn today at "Fixing the Cowboys" as ESPNDallas.com continues that fine series. Todd believes Dallas' priorities should be the pass rush and the pass protection, as this is a passing league and the Cowboys already have a passer. Some have suggested cornerback as a priority, but Todd is of the opinion that cornerbacks can be found in many places and the important thing is to be smart about which one you get. He'd break the bank for a pass-rusher or two and some offensive line help.
Blogging the Boys feels similarly and goes as far as to say the Cowboys need to look to the NFC East team still playing as a model of how to build their team. Even if they feel dirty saying such a thing.
John Keim took a spin through the Pro Football Focus rankings of the Redskins' pending free agents and found out that Adam Carriker and Will Montgomery didn't grade out very well while London Fletcher, not surprisingly, did. We know they're working hard to keep Fletcher, but it'll be interesting to see what they do on the offensive and defensive lines, where they believe they can get better.
The Redskins have lost another assistant coach, as linebackers coach Lou Spanos is off to become Jim Mora's defensive coordinator at UCLA. Spanos deserves credit for his work with the linebackers, which were a strength of the Redskins' team this past year and look as though they'll continue to be a strength into the future.