NFC East Blog
About a month ago, there were worries that Victor Cruz may never return from his horrific knee injury. Now word out of New York Giants camp is that there are "zero doubts" that Cruz will be ready for the season opener. Cruz himself sounds very optimistic.
"We got [to cutting]," Cruz said. "We started running some intermediate routes on air and stuff like that. It's feeling good. It's feeling good so far. I think I'm 75-80 percent right now. It's just a matter of building it."
Giants' cornerback Prince Amukamara also weighed in on the matter. "I've only seen Victor run straight ahead. I asked him the other day, Hey have you been doing any side to side? And he got all cocky and tried to come at me and say, "Yeah you'll see me" or whatever," said Amukamara "He said he did side to side a couple of days ago. I always joke with him, Do you think that you're ever gonna get that first step? When Victor comes off the ball he's got that quick twitch quick step, and he said it's coming along."
Tony Romo has dealt with a litany of injuries over the past couple of seasons, the most serious of which required back surgery. This offseason, Romo is feeling better than he has in years and is able to participate more as well. Romo says he can clearly feel the difference and considers himself younger than a 35-year-old man who is entering his 13th year as an NFL quarterback.
"Just the ability to have an offseason – I haven't had that in a few years," Romo said. "It's been just about rehab and maintaining. When you're doing that, it's what you have to do when you come back from surgery. But you don't really strengthen. If anything, you're just trying to find a way to manage it and be at your best at specific times of the year. I'm really able to push it a little bit right now, which has been exciting with the legs, the upper body and some of the stuff I haven't been able to do for two, two and a half, three years."
Michael Vick is working with NFL wideout turned top trainer Chris Chambers. Chambers gave us some insight into Vick's mindset.
"He didn't know if he wanted to play football again," Chambers said of Vick. "There was a lot of political stuff with him and Geno Smith with the Jets last year. Last two weeks, he has done phenomenal. There are several teams that want him. He wanted to be on a winning team. He wants to play three years. Eventually, he wants to start again."
Santana Moss will be 36 on June 1, and has 14 NFL seasons under his belt. However, he says he's not done yet. The former Pro-Bowler has seen a drastic decline in production over the past three seasons and has been stuck on a train wreck of a franchise in Washington. Moss spoke about his future in the NFL and a possible retirement. "I've got another year in me," Moss said. "I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do us old guys. I'm going on my 15th year. Right now my agent is talking with some teams to see what's going to be my best scenario. Right now I'm just chilling, just enjoying life, and enjoying this off time."
With Trent Cole gone in Philly, the Eagles will be looking for an outside linebacker to fill the void. Either Marcus Smith, Travis Long or Jordan DeWalt will have to step up and become the third man in the rotation. OLB Connor Barwin says that Smith caught his this offseason. "Physically, he looks different. He gained 15 pounds, he put on a lot of muscle," Barwin said of Smith. "He's one of the stronger guys on our defense now. He took the offseason and did what he needed to do, which was get bigger, stronger. Now we're just excited to see what happens when we put the pads on."
Jay Gruden has been consistent saying Alfred Morris is the feature-back in Washington. That's until he saw rookie Matt Jones out on the practice field. Now it sounds like he may be beginning to change his tune a bit. "The thing about Matt is you think of him as a big power-type back, but really Matt has done some things out in space that have been very, very impressive – making moves on the second level, getting to the second level," Gruden said. "In the passing game, running some option routes on linebackers. He has done some good things. He has got natural hands, so we've been very impressed him."
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden loves what he sees out of rookie wideout Jamison Crowder. He seems to really believe in this kid and has nothing but good things to say. "The thing about him is that he has got great football IQ," said Gruden. "If you're a slot receiver, you need that, and you need to know how to run routes against different leverage points. He's done some good things outside too, but in order to be a good, effective slot receiver, you've got to be able to field zones and man, inside technique, outside technique, bump, head up, outside, and then know how to set them at top of your break. Right now, he's showing that he can take what we're teaching him in the classroom and translate it effortlessly to the playing field."
Cowboys' top corner back Orlando Scandrick will join the Cowboys in their second week of Phase II of minicamp. He met with the team last week and both sides are optimistic they can get a new deal done. Scandrick is currently slated to make $1.5 million this season. After playing like a top 10 corner last season, it's no surprise he wants more money. The two sides will get a deal done soon because the Cowboys desperately need his services.
Redskins rookie Matt Jones has been very impressive this offseason. His 6-foot-2, 231-pound frame has garnered a lot of attention from coaches. Still, he knows that Alfred Morris is the man in D.C. "I know he's going to be the starter, but we will compete," Jones said. "I will compete with anybody who's in front of me."
A large reason the Cowboys had such an effective running game in the 2014 season was largely attributed to their offensive line and the skill and athleticism of DeMarco Murray. One of the lesser known cogs in their highly effective run-game that was rarely talked about was FB Tyler Clutts. As of today, self-reported by Clutts, he was re-signed by the Cowboys this afternoon. Clutts is an important signing for the Cowboys as it pulls together nearly all of the pieces of last years' successful running unit. With the singing of Clutts, the Cowboys released FB Jed Collins.