NFC East roundup: Down on Vick

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NFC East roundup: Down on Vick

Have you've been wondering how it is the Philadelphia Eagles, a team many a pundit predicted to win the NFC East this year, struggled to defeat the supposedly lowly Cleveland Browns inthe season opener?The headlines over at CSNphilly.com provide insight. Vick's fundamentals were lousy Vick needs to stop thinking and just play Reid deflects criticism away from VickEagles quarterback Michael Vick attempted an astonishing 56 passes, but barely completed half of them(29) while throwing four interceptions.Yes, he ultimately threw the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was the many wayward tosses that nearly derailed the Eagles despite playing a Browns teamdirected offensivelyby an overmatched rookie quarterback. That won't be the case in Week 2 when Philadelphia hosts Joe Flacco -- not to mention ball-hawking defenders like Ed Reed --and the Baltimore Ravens. Vick could be without wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who is dealing with a hip pointer. Once you move past the fantasy football type thoughts about the Dallas Cowboys opening game victory - Tony Romo throwing for three scores, unheralded Kevin Ogletree catching two of them, DeMarco Murray running for daylight - the improved cornerback play was a true standout. High profile free agent Brandon Carr and No. 1 draft pick Morris Claiborne more then held their own against the Giants upside receivers and did so without the veteran incumbent Mike Jenkins, recovering from shoulder surgery. The Cowboys hope to have Jenkins ready for the Seahawks in Week 2 - and is it turns out with their depth issues, they need him. As for the Giants, many a sleepless night has been had by "disgusted" defensive end Justin Tuck since Wednesday's 24-17 home loss to the Cowboys. Hard to imagine he's alone considering New York struggled in many facets, from its vaunted pass rush to its potent passing attack. To avoid a 0-2 start, the Giants must defeat Tampa Bay, a team brimming with confidence after opening the season with a win under new coach Greg Schiano."I think every guy in this locker room is disgusted with how we played, and want to come out and have a better showing, considering Tampa is coming off a great win over Carolina,'' Tuck said.

Depth and role players the focus for the Redskins on draft Saturday

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Depth and role players the focus for the Redskins on draft Saturday

The Redskins are going into the third and final day of the NFL draft looking for some more talent, more Scot McCloughan-type “football players” who will fit in with the culture that the GM is trying to build.

And while they should be able to find some players who will help them, both immediately and in the long term, they are unlikely to find many who will be able to start for them in 2016.

Let’s look at last year. There were 156 players selected on the final day of the 2015 draft. Of those, only nine started in at least half of their teams’ games. Far more third-day draft picks, 101 to be exact, didn’t start a single game.

The Redskins had two late-round players who started games last year. Safety and nickel back Kyshoen Jarrett started five games and slot receiver Jamison Crowder started six.

It’s not impossible to find a full-time starter on draft Saturday. In 2012 the Redskins drafted Alfred Morris in the sixth round. He started 16 games as a rookie and went on to start 72 straight games in four seasons.

And there is Kirk Cousins, a fourth-round pick the same year Morris came out, who started as a backup for two years and took advantage when he got his chance as the full-time starter last year.

But Morris and Cousins are very much exceptions. The Redskins are not banking on finding any starters, just players who will be good role players, reserves, and special teams contributors. If they find a Morris or a Cousins today it is a bonus.   

Redskins intend to be cautious with Kendall Fuller

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Redskins intend to be cautious with Kendall Fuller

Kendall Fuller could be held out until training camp later this summer as he recovers from a knee injury that cut short his junior season, Jay Gruden said.

The Redskins selected the Virginia Tech cornerback in the third round (84th overall) on Friday night.

“We feel good about his progression from his injury,” Gruden said at Redskins Park. “We think he’s going to miss rookie minicamp [next month], but there’s a chance he could be back for the OTAs [in late May]."

Gruden added: “Worst-case scenario, we think he’ll be back for training camp [in late July].”

Fuller suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee last preseason. He attempted to play through the injury for three games before opting for surgery. As it turned out, though, he injury required a season-ending microfracture procedure.

The operation was performed by famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who is also a senior medical consultant to the Redskins.

Asked if the relationship with Andrews helped the team make its decision on Fuller, Gruden downplayed the connection.

“I think every team has that information on the kid, and we felt good about his recovery,” Gruden said. “We really do. We know he’s a hard worker. We know where he is in his rehab. We’ll get him down here and help him along the way. But he’s a hard worker and he’s going to get himself ready to go.”

Gruden added: “He was too talented of a player to pass up. He can play nickel, obviously, which is a big hope for him. He can play outside. He’s got great natural football instincts at the nickel or corner position. Obviously you got great bloodlines, and I think it’s a great pick."

McCloughan bulks up secondary by drafting Fuller

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McCloughan bulks up secondary by drafting Fuller

After the Redskins signed Josh Norman, Scot McCloughan told everyone that he would not hesitate to draft another cornerback this week.

Nobody really believed him. But he made believers out of everybody in the third round tonight when he took Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller.

He immediately jumps into a cornerback depth chart that has gone from shaky to strong in the last week. Norman and Bashaud Breeland will be the starters. Fuller could come in for nickel situations. Chris Culliver is still on the mend from a knee injury he suffered last November and his status for training cap is very much up in the air. Second-year player Quinton Dunbar will work

Spinning it forward to 2017, Fuller should be able to fit in with Breeland and Norman to form a formidable starting group of cornerbacks.

Many had Fuller rated as a first-round talent before he suffered a knee injury last season. Even after that, some thought he might be talented enough to be worth a late second- or early third-round pick. Fuller is a solid value as a late third-round pick.

RELATED: REDSKINS DRAFT VIRGINIA TECH'S KENDALL FULLER IN THE THIRD ROUND