NFC East Mailbag: Pierre Garcon Could Explode in Washington
It must be the heart of the low season because I didn't get much from ya'll this week.
Some of the stuff I skipped over from previous weeks was dated, so I'm just going to keep it short and sweet in this edition of the mailbag with three solid questions—one from Twitter and two from the Bleacher Report NFC East e-mail inbox.
And now we jump in...
We kick it off on Twitter with Adrian McKenzie, who my research tells me is a 24-year-old sports and exercise major at the University of Central Florida who lives and breathes football and soccer. He also looks pretty pissed off and extremely shirtless in his Twitter profile picture (right), but that's beside the point.
So, I don't know if he's the answer, and I don't even necessarily know what the definition of "the answer" is, but I do anticipate Johnson getting a chance to start by the time 2013 rolls around. The Cowboys wouldn't have "reached" for him had they not believed that he could step in and finally give them the kind of game-changing plays needed from the safety position.
For now, they need to stick with Gerald Sensabaugh, Brodney Pool and Barry Church. They know what they're getting from those guys, and this is a team that can't risk rolling the dice on an unknown at this stage.
That said, if things don't pan out with Pool, Johnson might be gaining reps earlier than expected.
Three of the last eight defensive players of the year have been safeties, so if you can find a true game-changer at that position, it can alter the defensive landscape. Johnson has that knack for making plays; he might be exactly the kind of ball hawk the Cowboys need in the secondary.
But he might be a year away.
The next question comes from Zach, who gives no other information. I'm just going to assume it's Zach Braff from Scrubs. Strange, though, because I don't remember his character, J.D., ever daydreaming about the Redskins.
Anyway, here's what the Garden State star has on his mind. Pretend to hear the question in this voice:
What should we expect from Pierre Garcon this year? It's tough to tell because he's been on some great teams, some bad teams and I don't know if he's about to take off or if he's already hit a wall.
I certainly don't think Garcon has hit a wall. Last year indicated he was making a hell of a lot of progress. He's only 25 years old, and he's coming off a year in which he somehow put up career numbers despite going from Peyton Manning to DanKerry Painterlovsky—three terrible quarterbacks for the price of one!
He's also taken a lot of heat for having butterfingers, but Garcon improved dramatically in that area last season. After dropping 13 passes in 2010, he had only five drops in 2011, according to Pro Football Focus. If he continues on that pace, he should drop minus-three balls next season.
Robert Griffin III is a mystery, but you'd have to think that he'll be better—probably much better—than Curtis Painter and Co.
They're giving Garcon over $20 million guaranteed, and league sanctions mean cap money will be tight between now and the 2014 offseason, so the stakes are high. But I don't think Garcon will disappoint. He has the ability to accumulate yards after the catch like no other Redskins receiver during the last five years.
In fact, based on what we saw from Kendall Wright last year at Baylor, Garcon could have the ingredients in place to explode in 2012.
We wrap it up with Jamie, whom I've determined is a Comcast subscriber. That's all I've got. Question, please...
Which team gets more sacks this year, G-men or Eagles?
This is a tough one, JT, because both pass rushes are so damn good. However, I did write early this month that a healthy and happy Osi Umenyiora gives New York the best pass rush in the league, so I'll stick to my guns.
I do think that, up front, the Eagles probably have the best system in football. Jim Washburn is a magician, and his wide-nine is his wand. That's something to watch. And while Philadelphia has a ton of talent up front—and added more of it with Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry in the draft—I still think the Giants have the better, more seasoned group of pass-rushers.
To be clear, this is a very small edge. I might be biased as a man in charge of covering the NFC East, but I can't see any of the other 30 NFL teams getting to the quarterback as often as the Giants and Eagles in 2012. Both should have over 50 sacks.
Ultimately, though, I'm going with ridiculous talent over quasi-ridiculous talent and a superb system and taking the G-men.
Thanks for the questions. Jump in on the mailbag next week by tweeting at me or emailing us at BRNFCEast@gmail.com.
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