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NFC East roundup: Aggressive versus patience


NFC East roundup: Aggressive versus patience

Cowboys: After starting with the 14th overall pick, Dallas traded up with the St. Louis Rams for the sixth pick - yes, the Redskins old slot - to grab LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, the first defender selected. The Cowboys secondary has been an issue, perhaps the issue when it comes to why they have been a sporadic playoff player and winner. Now with Clairborne and incoming free agent Brandon Carr, the weakness is a strength, on paper anyway...Trade talk began at high noon on draft day (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)Prominent Cowboys football writer calls maneuver risky (Dallas Morning News)Claiborne stunned he's heading to Big D (USA Today)Corner explains reported low score on Wonderlic by saying he "pretty much blew it off." (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)Eagles: Defensive tackle was the popular position draft pundits linked to Andy Reid's club - but getting the top-rated option required a trade. So like their NFC East rivals, the Eagles moved from 15 to 12 and acquired Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox. Stout interior presence for deep defensive front.Once again, Eagles make a bold move to get what they want (CSNphilly)Analysis: Cox will slowly work his way onto the field (Sporting News)Meet the new guy ( Haynesworth's former position coach with the Titans excited to have Cox in Philly (CSNphilly)

Giants: The onlyNFC Eastteam staying pat in the first round, New York addressed their suspect ground game by drafting Virginia Tech RB David Wilson. Brandon Jacobs left Gotham in free agency and Ahmad Bradshaw will be coming off afoot injury. Still, I didn't think the Giants would take a back in the first. Why?......because they had not selected an RB before the fourth round since 2000. That's why. (Newark Star-Ledger)Patience leads to runner for Giants (New York Times)Wilson's power and versatility irresistible (Sporting News)Giants select "best acrobat" in the NFL (NY Daily News)

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Redskins make new hire at special teams coordinator, and he comes from Tampa Bay

USA Today Sports

Redskins make new hire at special teams coordinator, and he comes from Tampa Bay

The Redskins announced the hiring of Nate Kaczor as their new special teams coach on Saturday morning. Kaczor will take over the role vacated by Ben Kotwica, who left Washington to take the same role in Atlanta.

Kaczor spent the last three seasons with the Buccaneers as special teams coordinator, but that coaching staff got let go this offseason. Prior to his work in Tampa, Kaczor coached in similar roles for the Titans and the Jaguars. 

It's not particularly easy to rank special teams, but Kotwica's groups did some things very well, particularly in punt coverage. Football Outsiders ranked all 32 special teams groups across the league based on a formula that combines field goals/extra points, kickoffs, kick returns, punts, and punt returns; The Redskins ranked 8th and Tampa ranked 29th. 

On the flip side, the Redskins had some of the lowest kick and punt return yardage in the NFL last season. The Redskins gained just 110 yards on all of their punt returns for the year. 

Head coach Jay Gruden spoke about bringing in Kaczor.

"We are excited to have Nate join our staff. We have had the opportunity to face his special teams play during his time at Tampa Bay and respected competing against him," Gruden said via press release. "He is a competitor and we have noticed and admired the intensity his units have played with through the course of his time as a special teams coordinator and assistant coach in the NFL."


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Kyler Murray is 'making a mistake' choosing football over baseball, according to Joe Theismann

Kyler Murray is 'making a mistake' choosing football over baseball, according to Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann wants Kyler Murray to have a "long, happy career" — as a professional baseball player.

In an interview with NBC Sports Washington, the former Redskins QB was asked what he thought of Murray's choice to pursue his NFL dreams over his MLB dreams for now. He didn't hold back.

"I think that he should choose baseball," Theismann said. "I think that he would struggle in the NFL."

As of now, many mock drafts are projecting the Heisman Trophy winner to be selected in the first round. His believers see him as an electric option who's entering a league perfectly suited for his skillset. 

Theismann is not in that camp, though.

"I understand a lot of guys work from the 'gun. You're away from the line of scrimmage," he explained. "But, sooner or later, defensive coaches in this league are going to figure out how to keep you in the pocket. And if you can't throw from the pocket, or you can't see from the pocket, it's going to become a problem."

Murray's height, which Theismann touched on, is a main concern for those skeptical of how he'd handle life in the NFL. Of course, being in the 5-foot-9 range matters far less on a MLB diamond.

Theismann also thinks that the Oklahoma product will need to be in an offense with a strong running attack. That's something any rookie passer needs to succeed, and without one, Theismann isn't sure if Murray can carry the load on his own.

In the end, Theismann told NBC Sports Washington that Murray is "making a mistake" by setting his sights on the gridiron. He simply doesn't see things going well for Murray as a signal caller.

"I think in professional football, it'll be a real challenge and an uphill climb for him to be able to do the things that he wants to do and a team wants him to do," he said.