Way back on Tuesday, when our nation was still a mere 235 years old, we had our weekly chat. If you missed it, you missed out on questions and answers about the Redskins' offense, a surprising number of questions related to Mel Brooks movies and a little bit of discussion about who's the greatest NFC East player of all time. (I went with Lawrence Taylor, but there were several solid suggestions.) Anyway, here's the link to the whole thing if you want to read it, and here are some highlights:
James from D.C.: Lots of people point to Pierre Garcon potentially having a big year for the Skins based on him "having his best year despite having the likes of Curtis Painter throwing him the ball". I just don't see it. His "best year" was purely a function of quantity, not quality. He was 18th in the league in total catches but NINTH in targets. Out of the top 25 WRs last year (# of catches), he posted the second lowest catch rate - an abysmal 52%. Even with Peyton Manning throwing him the ball he was in the low 50s while his pass-catching mates routinely clocked in at over 60%. What am I missing here that made Garcon worth a big contract?
Dan Graziano: What the Redskins like is his size and speed and age. They think he fits the physical profile of a receiver who can flourish in their offense and that he can grow with their rookie quarterback. They think they're getting someone who's about to "pop" as a No. 1 receiver. Seems like a lot of money to gamble on that, but they feel good about the gamble.
Thomas from New York: I'm concerned that the Giants have not done enough this offseason to solve their problems on defense and the offensive line. The secondary was terrible last year and was bailed out by a good defensive line (a JPP injury would make this defense below average). The offensive line is old and the depth is surely lacking at tackle. Do you think the Giants did the least to improve themselves out of all the NFC East teams?
DG: Get him, guys!!! (And yes, I think some of your points are solid, though I disagree with the idea that a Jason Pierre-Paul injury would drop the defense to "below average," and I think the secondary played quite well last year. Agreed, though, on the O-line and the fact that the Giants did the least. You could of course argue that they had the least to do, though...)
Caz from Dallas: Let me rant Dan. It's pretty obvious to even casual Cowboys followers that Jerry Jones has delegated a bunch of personnel responsibility to Jason Garrett and Stephen Jones. He lets Jason do anything he wants, he's in love with the guy. Jones has said publicly that he doesn't like the playcalling in some situations, he didnt like using Dez on PR, but did that stop JG? No, he was just giving his opinion. When he gives his opinion he follows it up with "But I support our coaching staff 100%."This whole, "Jones is Al Davis" stuff is so outdated.
DG: It is outdated and inaccurate. Think about how much longer he stuck with Wade Phillips than it made sense to. He's fired one coach prematurely, and he's said many times since that he regrets doing it. Jones wants Garrett to be a great coach, and is allowing him the opportunity to build what he wants to build. You are correct.
Ben from Washington, D.C.: Hey Dan. Not to rain on the Eagles' preseason momentum parade from last year's four game win streak, but their last two games were meaningless, so why does it even matter?
DG: It matters if it actually helps them feel better about themselves going into this year. If they actually buy into the idea that that's who they really were and that they CAN play that way. They have the talent, but the way their first 12 games went, it would have been easy to let a lot of self-doubt in.
Anyway, it was fun as always. No chat next week, since I'll be on vacation. Enjoy the rest of your holiday, and I'll get right back to you Thursday morning with some links.