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Division Links: Coaches and rankings dominate the discussion this week

Blogging the Boys

How Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy ranks in a fan survey

Cowboys fans are rather lukewarm towards the head coach.

When McCarthy was hired, there was already somewhat of a split about him. Then 2020 happened. The Cowboys fell flat and couldn’t even win a terrible NFC East. Sure, COVID and injuries made the first-year head coach’s job that much harder. Even with all that, there was still a sense that McCarthy underachieved.

Bookies.com did a survey of each NFL’s team fanbase to get a sense of how they felt about their coach. The Cowboys feelings toward McCarthy are decidedly middle-of-the-road.

On the question of: Which NFL coach is the most liked by their own fans?

McCarthy placed 16th, right in the middle of the league. Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay topped the list (no surprise there considering their Super Bowl win). What is a little surprising is Joe Judge of the New York Giants ranked third in being liked by his own fanbase. Giants fans must really like what they’re seeing. Despite winning the NFC East, Washington fans only ranked Ron Rivera 25th, and new Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is liked dead last by his own fanbase.

The next question was: Which NFL fan base has the most confidence in their coach?

McCarthy once again is in the middle with a ranking of 17th. Joe Judge comes in fifth, while Ron Rivera jumps up to 16th. Nick Sirianni was 30th in this category.

The final questions was: Which NFL coach is the best decision maker?

McCarthy drops to 18th in this category while Judge is fourth, Rivera is 15th and Sirianni is 30th.


Eagle Maven via Bleeding Green Nation

National Spin on Nick Sirianni: ‘A Guy Who’s Gonna Get Run Over’

Jason Cole believes the Eagles first-year coach is much like former coach Doug Pederson and won’t stand his ground when it comes to his way or the way of the front office

“My biggest concern about Sirriani is that he’s a continuation of Doug Pederson in that he’s going to be manipulated by the owner and the GM [Howie Roseman],” noted Jason Cole, the Pro Football Hall of Fame voter whose past stops have included The Miami Herald, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report, while covering the league for over two decades.

Cole had a good relationship with former Lurie right-hand man Joe Banner and is even closer to Pederson, the ex-Eagles coach who was dismissed back in January less than three calendar years off a Super Bowl LII championship.

RELATED: Nick Sirianni Draws High Marks in OTAs, but It’s Early in the ...

“I know Doug really well. I mean I covered him when he was a quarterback with the Dolphins,” Cole said. “He doesn’t have the persona to go into Howie or Jeff and say ‘hey, you guys gotta back off okay. You guys gotta let me run my part of the organization you go do whatever it is you’re gonna do and I’ll win, OK?’.

“He never did that and they didn’t trust him and they ran over the top of him. ... That’s their nature.”

Cole sees history repeating itself with Sirianni.

“[My concern] is that [Lurie and Roseman] are going to take control of the situation,” Cole said. “They haven’t found the authority figure like an Andy Reid. [A coach] they could trust to say ‘go run the football operations.’

“Sirianni seems to me like a guy who’s gonna get run over by the owner and the GM.”


Bleeding Green Nation

Biggest reasons to be excited about the 2021 Eagles

What has you fired up about this upcoming season?

2 - Rooting against the Colts and Dolphins

Even if things go poorly for the 2021 Eagles, there will at least be the fun schadenfreude factor of rooting against the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins to fall back on. Struggles by those teams could potentially set the Eagles up nicely with three quality first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. And it’s not even just Colts and Dolphins games that will hold more interest to Eagles fans than ever. The draft pick dynamic also adds extra intrigue to other games featuring AFC playoff contenders. In a normal year, you might not be all that interested in watching a Titans-49ers game on Thursday Night Football. This year, however, you’ll be rooting for Derrick Henry to go off and keep Indy away from the AFC South lead. More games with Eagles relevance!

4 - Ryan Kerrigan is one of the good guys now

Not sure about his long-term value to this franchise but it’s at least nice to know that he won’t be terrorizing the Eagles for once!


Big Blue View

Giants’ Leonard Williams seventh-ranked interior defensive lineman, per ESPN

Leoanrd Williams of the New York Giants is No. 7 on a list of the NFL’s best defensive tackles assembled by ESPN. The list was compiled by asking more than 50 coaches, execs, and scouts from across the NFL. The participants gave their best 10 to 15 players at the positing and then ESPN collated the information to formulate their list.

Defensive tackle has arguablybeen the Giants strongest position group on the roster, and the deepest. New York just retained Williams by signing him to a three-year, $63 million deal with $45 million guaranteed. Let’s take a look at the rest of the list:

  1. Aaron Donald, Rams
  2. Chris Jones, Chiefs
  3. DeForest Buckner, Colts
  4. Cam Heyward, Steelers
  5. Fletcher Cox, Eagles
  6. Jeffery Simmons, Titans
  7. Leonard Williams, Giants
  8. Stephon Tuitt, Steelers
  9. Vita Vea, Buccaneers
  10. Grady Jarrett, Falcons

Also receiving votes were Washington’s Jonathan Allen, Jets’ Quinnen Williams, Cardinals’ J.J. Watt, Bears’ Akiem Hicks, Saints’ David Onyemata, Chiefs Jarran Reed, 49ers Arik Armstead, and Ravens’ Calais Cambell.


Big Blue View

NFC East Dream Team: Division’s best defensive players

Defensive line

Jonathan Allen, WAS

I could make a very reasonable case for Allen’s teammate Daron Payne, Cox’s teammate Javon Hargrave, or New York Giants’ lineman Dexter Lawrence, but passing on Allen would be a mistake. He is coming off a 50 pressure season and had more than 30 pressures in the previous two years. He’s also stout against the run. In this scenario, with these three linemen, either Cox or Allen can play the one-shade or nose, while the other aligns to the strong side with Williams as the backside defender in three-down fronts. The combination of the three players would consist of strength at the point of attack, solid quickness off the snap, and a combination of effective run and pass abilities.

Edge

Chase Young, WAS

After just one season has already cemented himself as the top EDGE rusher in the NFC East. Offenses curtailed their game plan’s to not allow Young to make game-changing plays - see Jason Garrett’s game plans vs. Washington last season. Young finished the year with 42 pressures and 6 sacks - this isn’t an incredible display of statistical significance, but when one observes the game it is evident that Young’s impact goes way beyond statistics. The 22-year-old is going to be an issue for the Giants during the next several years.

Montez Sweat, WAS

Drafted a year before Young, Sweat fell to 26th in the draft due to a heart condition. Through two seasons, he has 81 pressures and 18 sacks, according to Pro Football Focus. Protection packages have to be wary of Young, but leaving Sweat one-on-one is not always a good idea. Sweat has one of the longest wingspans in the NFL for EDGE rushers (84 ¾”) which is 97th percentile. This combination of EDGE rushers is scary, and the Giants will have to deal with them for the next few seasons.

Linebackers

Jamin Davis, WAS

The Giants were reportedly very interested in Davis who was selected 19th in the 2021 NFL Draft. With the very next selection, the Giants chose wide receiver Kadarius Toney out of Florida. Davis is a long, rangy, and incredibly athletic, but kind of raw, linebacker out of Kentucky. GM Dave Gettleman has admitted his affinity for Davis, and it is understandable why he had an interest. Davis has pass-rushing upside, and he can cover, while also being a traditional linebacker prospect. The future could be bright for Davis in Washington, especially since he is playing behind one of the more stout fronts in the league.

Cornerbacks

Slot, Kendall Fuller, WAS

Fuller played most of 2020 on the outside, but he has a lot of time spent in the slot throughout his career. He is only 26 years old and is coming off of a solid season with the Football Team, the team that traded him to the Chiefs until he ultimately signed back with Washington after the 2019 Super Bowl. Fuller’s dual ability will lead to him being the nickel personnel cornerback that operates the slot.

NFC East team totals offense/defense:

Giants: 11

Football Team: 8

Eagles: 6

Cowboys: 5