First of all, Happy Fourth to all the MTC readers out there.
Whether you're barbecuing, down the shore, taking in Phils-Mets, hope you have a great and safe holiday.
As you know by now, there are no holidays here, even during one of the slowest times on the NFL calendar. We're here to give you your daily football fix.
Today, we point to an item by Adam Schein of FoxSports.com. Schein makes the argument that the Eagles have the best receiving corps in the NFC East:
Who has the NFC East's best wide receivers?
The Eagles' receivers are the best in the NFC East. For all of the question marks at this position through the Donovan McNabb-Andy Reid era, and all of the dropped passes by Todd Pinkston and company, finally Eagles fans can rejoice in the truth of the above statement. And actually, it isn't even close.
With Plaxico Burress and Terrell Owens out of the picture, it's an interesting argument.
DeSean Jackson was the standout for the Eagles last season with 62 catches for 912 yards and a pair of touchdowns. I think most fans will be content if he matches those totals in 2009. Kevin Curtis, given his health, is a question mark. We have no clue what to expect from Reggie Brown, and Jeremy Maclin is still a rookie.
Jason Avant is steady, and Hank Baskett tells us the fade is going to be a serious weapon this season.
Overall, I'm pretty comfortable with the receivers. I think the "spread the ball around" blueprint can work for the most part. Where I question its effectiveness is in crunch time. Time and again in the NFL, we see quarterbacks relying on the No. 1 guy during a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter. Can Jackson be that guy for Donovan McNabb? That's the leap it'd be nice to see him take in year number two.
As for the other teams in the division, the Giants' biggest question marks probably come at receiver. They'll rely on some young guys who are talented, but unproven.
You could certainly make the argument for the Redskins. Santana Moss is a proven veteran, who had a very good 2008 campaign, with 79 catches for 1,044 yards and six touchdowns. As Schein pointed out in his article, the overall success of the 'Skins' receivers probably rests on the shoulders of second-year guys Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas.
And finally the Cowboys. Can Roy Williams be the No. 1 guy? Dallas obviously thinks so, considering how much they gave up for him. And considering that they cut T.O. loose. It would be impossible for him not to improve from last season, but can he be the same guy who caught 82 balls for 1,310 yards and seven touchdowns with the Lions in 2006?
That's my take on the overall comparison. You could really make the case for the Eagles, Redskins or Cowboys. The Giants' receiving corps, at least at this point, appears to be a clear fourth.
Other links to pass along:
** SI.com's Ross Tucker gives the Eagles props for having a great offseason:
The Eagles somehow managed to let go of a large chunk of the core of their team over the past six years and still come out the other side alive. Gone are Tra Thomas, Jon Runyan, Brian Dawkins, L.J. Smith and Lito Sheppard. All of them were replaced by younger players who may actually end up being upgrades in the 2009 season. So much for the window closing on the Eagles.
** CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco names an underrated and overrated player for each team. Overrated for the Eagles is Brian Westbrook:
He's a good player but some think he's great. He doesn't stay on the field, and for a guy who didn't rush for 1,000 yards last season, you'd think he was Adrian Peterson the way some talk about him.
Underrated, per Prisco, is Quintin Mikell:
He was the Eagles' best safety last season, not Brian Dawkins. He's a good tackler who has improved in pass coverage.