On Tuesday, as we do every Tuesday, rain or shine, home or road, we had our weekly chat. It was fun, as always. It was entertaining. I hope it was informative, but that's not for me to decide. If you missed it, I have some highlights. But stop missing it!
Justin (Meadville, PA): Dan I never understood how anyone could say the Giants had a better pass rush than the Eagles when the Eagles had more sacks and actually fared better against the run. After being in tc and watching their first preseason game without Babin and Cole are you ready to reconsider?
Dan Graziano: I'm willing to admit, as I always have been, that it's a close call. But you can't tell me Jason Babin/Trent Cole is clearly better than Justin Tuck/Jason Pierre-Paul, and you surely can't tell me that Brandon Graham is better than Osi Umenyiora. It's a very close call ranking these two pass rushes, but I still like the Giants' guys if they're healthy. And incidentially, they are right now and Philly's guys are not.
st8prop (Atlanta, GA): Dan...remind Justin that the Eagles only had 2 more sacks than the Giants...it wasn't some huge margin. Also, I would like to think had Tuck and Osi not been out for almost half the season, the giants would have held the edge in sacks. Agree?
DG: I don't know what happens in alternate universes where different people are healthy. But yes, 50 sacks vs 48 is not a significant enough margin on which to base a definitive opinion, and there are other things to consider besides sack totals.
Joey (Cali): When the Cowboys drafted Tyrone Crawford you had your doubts that he could contribute soon and called him a developmental player, have your views changed at all? How do you think he fits this year?
DG: Yes, having visited Cowboys camp, watched practice and asked the coaches directly, my views have changed. Their plan is to use Crawford some this year as a situational pass rusher, maybe in nickel and dime packages, while continuing to try and add size to his frame in the hope that he can someday be a starting end for them. That is slightly different from my initial analysis. I always remain open to changing my opinions after further education and reporting.
Steve (Troy): Dan I know it was the preseason and almost useless to judge, but the Cowboys defense felt different and more relentless, what were your thoughts?
DG: My thoughts are that it was the preseason, and almost useless to judge.
Mark (Oregon): Do you think that Mike Shanahan is out of patience with Jammal Brown? Are they just waiting till he gets healthy enough to release?
DG: I don't think he has to be healthy for them to release him, and I don't think Shanahan is out of patience with him. I do think that Shanahan believes he's better off with a fully healthy backup-type player like Tyler Polumbus at RT than he'd be with an 80-perecent-healthy Brown.
Tony (McLean, VA): Can it be argued that it has been the Redskins QB's in fact, and not the O-line that has plagued team for the last few years?
DG: Pretty sure that's been argued to death. I think Mike Shanahan argued it so hard that he convinced his owner it was a good idea to trade three first-round picks and a second-round pick to get a new one.
Dan (Boring, MD): Any good grasp of who will backup Ahmad Bradshaw in NY? The rookie seems a bit unpolished as of yet and they keep a pretty good stable laying around.
DG: At this point, I don't see why it wouldn't be D.J. Ware.
Mark (Los Angeles): Michael Vick seemed awful confused when the Steelers backed out of the blitz on that one play. Is that first preseason game jitters or is he still not getting it?
DG: Yes, yes he did. Again, though, no long-term judgments based on preseason games. I understand it's scary when they remind you of old concerns, but deep breaths, people. Long way to go here.
Drop by next Tuesday, would ya?