No better way to wrap up a week on the road than to sift through the ol' mailbag and see what's on the pigskin-crazed minds of my dear, dear readers.
David from Dunmore, Pa., has a theory: "I think if the Philadelphia Eagles don't do well (particularly if it appears to be poor execution and not poor personnel) Andy Reid moves to front office while they hire a new coach (providing Reid is willing)."
Dan Graziano: Maybe, but I wouldn't be too sure about that. Reid burns to win a Super Bowl as a head coach. He's proud of what he's done in Philadelphia (as he should be), but he hates the idea that history would remember him for what he couldn't do rather than what he did do. So, while your theory makes some sense, it would require Reid to (a) admit to some deficiencies as a head coach and (b) give up on the idea of winning a Super Bowl as one. I'd be surprised if either of those things happened in the 2013 offseason. If this season doesn't go well, and the Eagles decide they have to make a change, I believe Reid would be heavily courted by other teams and would take another head coaching job somewhere else. But I could certainly be wrong.
Jon from Atlanta read the post earlier this week in which I referenced Mike Sando's NFC West blog post that featured a video from Dallas Cowboys practice. Jon points out that, while there was some contact in the video, it does not appear as though it was the result of coaches ordering players to hit each other. And that there's a difference.
DG: Completely worthwhile point, Jon. And for the record, I wasn't accusing the Cowboys of anything and I don't think Sando was either. Guys are bound to bump into each other while running around on the football field, and I'd be surprised if what showed up on that video rose to the level of what the Seahawks were penalized for. The point of the rule is to limit what players can be ordered to do by their coaches during the offseason, since the players felt coaches were asking too much and overworking them in offseasons past. So your point is well taken, and I agree with it.
DG: I think it's pretty obvious that it was, Bill, as Ballard won't play in 2012 and (as you point out) isn't likely to dent the Patriots' tight end depth chart in 2013. But Jerry Reese surely knew when he put Ballard on waivers that the league isn't exclusively populated by scrupulous gentlemen and that there was a risk he'd lose him. Reese determined the risk was worth it, and it was a gamble he ended up losing. In the end, I really don't see it as a huge deal. Ballard is pretty much just a guy, and I think the Giants will find and develop at least one guy on their roster who can give them at least what they got from Ballard at the tight end position, if not more. And I'd be shocked if the guy plays meaningful snaps for the Patriots at any point in his life.
DG: The good news on Jenkins is that he hasn't lost any speed or quickness as a result of the injury that cost him his rookie season. That said, he's still getting used to playing football again after that lost year. The coaches have said several times that Jenkins has been behind the other defensive lineman throughout the offseason program, and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he expects Jenkins to struggle some more once the pads go on in training camp, if only because he hasn't worn them in a while. All of that said, the Redskins expect Jenkins to be a major part of their defensive line rotation this year and have high hopes for him in the short and long term. He just may have to endure some struggles this offseason and preseason as he gets his feet back under him.
That's all for this week's mailbag. I'm off to enjoy the weekend, but I would like to wish a Happy Father's Day to all of my fellow members of the world's coolest club. Enjoy it.