Sources within the NFL announced today that former New Orleans Saints and UFL head coach Jim Haslett has accepted an offer from the Washington Redskins to become their new defensive coordinator.
The former Buffalo linebacker was atop a long list of prospects that included Mike Zimmer of the Cincinnati Bengals. When the Bengals resigned Zimmer earlier this week, it was clear the deal between the ‘Skins and Haslett would gel quickly. Read more…
Posted by Zack Nally Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tags: cincinnati bengals, dallas cowboys, Jim Haslett, Mike Shanahan, Mike Zimmer, NFC East, nfl defensive coordinators, NFL Draft, redskins news, redskins rumors, UFL, Washington, washington redskins
Is Eli Manning overpaid? Uh, yeah.Is he an elite quarterback? It’s arguable, either way.
What isn’t arguable, however, is that this New York Giants team is built to last on both sides of the ball, and regardless of any “key” losses they’ve had, they should still contend for their division, at the very worst.
Then again, they looked as if they were destined to repeat for much of last season, until they collapsed out of nowhere and called it a season in their first playoff game.
Will that happen again? In today’s NFL, the only answer I can think of is “if they’re lucky”.
They have a hard-nosed turned softy coach (just kidding) and an overpaid quarterback who isn’t nearly as good as the rest of the world thinks he is.
Are those problems? Not really. Read on to see what the New York Giants should be concerned about in 2009.
5. Can Ahmad Bradshaw Be Derrick Ward?
While Derrick Ward’s departure leaves a 1,000-yard gap, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be Ahmad Bradshaw’s to fill.
If healthy, Brandon Jacobs figures to handle the bulk of the carries. However, if Jacobs’ reckless style of play were to have Bradshaw starting, there’s no reason to think why he can’t keep the Giants’ offense operating correctly.
With yardage jumps of 190 yards and over eight yards per carry in his rookie season, to 355 yards last season (five yards per carry), it’s evident Bradshaw can produce at a high level and makes the most of his chances.
4. Which Rookie Receiver Will Step-Up?
We know Steve Smith is starting in the slot, and Domenik Hixon’s experience and solid play should keep him as the No. 1 receiver.
However, the second starting spot is up for grabs, with two rookies, Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, Sinorice Moss, and David Tyree battling it out.
Tyree has yet to stay healthy enough to try to live up to his 2007 Super Bowl helmet catch, which could likely end up in a release in favor of the younger, more talented receivers.
Moss has been a complete bust, hence the addition of Barden and Nicks, who should make Moss expendable, or at the very best, the fifth option.
Both rookie receivers are immensely talented, but Nicks appears to run more polished routes and has proven to have reliable hands.
Barden, on the other hand, has a continuous case of the “dropsies” and also hasn’t look very fast in camps.
Look for Nicks to have the job, and possibly even beat-out Domenik Hixon.
3. Are Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith the Answers?
He may not be Plaxico Burress, but in his first season with major action as a starter, Hixon performed fairly well.
The Giants brought in reinforcements, though, to “aid” Hixon and fellow starter, Steve Smith, as well as push them competitively.
Quite honestly, it was a youth/talent movement. Hence the lack of true desire to bring back a 35-year-old Amani Toomer or a 30-year-old Plaxico Burress.
While Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden are sound additions to the receiving corps, Hixon and Smith are still too talented to not get a fair shake as the starters.
2. Can Brandon Jacobs Stay Healthy?
Jacobs topped 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2008, and that was while sharing the backfield with fellow 1,000-yard rusher Derrick Ward sharing the ball.
Oh, and he missed three games.
Jacobs’ tough, physical running style has garnered praise from teammates and opponents, alike, but his reckless style of play causes worry in New York, and for good reason.
While it’s impossible to predict if he’ll play a full 16 games (I doubt it), what is easy to predict is his likely impact, regardless of the amount of games he suits up for.
Jacobs is the Giants’ offense now, and as long as he’s on the field, the “G-Men” will pound the ball, and will do it well.
So, can Brandon Jacobs stay healthy?
Sure. I just wouldn’t bet on it.
1. Will the Defense Remain Dominant Without Steve Spagnuolo?
As long as the new defensive coordinator runs the aggressive style Spagnuulo did, the talent should take care of the rest.
Despite losing Osi Umenyiora, the Giants still ranked sixth in the league in sacks, and fifth in scoring.
The additional loss of Michael Strahan to retirement only displayed the great depth the Giants had in their line-men, and in turn made two defensive ends, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka, stars of their defense.
The addition of Chris Canty through free agency and Clint Sintim via the NFL Draft shows progress on an already nasty defense, one that should continue playing well.