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Cooley: Eagles are 'team to beat' in NFC East

Posted on: September 6, 2011 1:57 pm
Skins TE Chris Cooley calls Eagles "the team to beat" in the NFC East. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Chris Cooley is a lot of things -- a Pro Bowler, an artist and perhaps, above all else, brutally honest.

The Redskins tight end joined 106.7 The Fan in DC to talk about the upcoming season, which is now just two days away (!). And when he was asked about the NFC East, Cooley didn't rattle off the usual "Everybody's 0-0, we're going to give 110 percent but only while taking it one day at a time" cliches. Instead he told the truth and, well, it was a refreshing change of pace.

“I think Philly’s the team to beat, looking at what they’ve done right now," Cooley said, via "But when you look at the NFL and you look at the East, everyone can be very good. I wouldn’t be surprised, any way, to see New York and Dallas both being excellent football teams. It’s a tough division and it always will be, but when you look at what Philly did and when you look at the players they have and coming off the year they had last year, I think they’re a very good football team. Obviously we’re not the team to beat based on the way we played last year and what we’ve done over the past couple years.”

Couldn't agree more. But for some reason, it's taboo to say such things publicly, even if everybody's thinking it.

While no one disputes that the Eagles are the preseason front runners, they're not without issues. Michael Vick might insist that you can't design a defense to stop him, but we don't think he was taking his suspect offensive line into account when he made those comments.

We wrote last week that Philly drafted Danny Watkins in the first round and immediately installed him at right guard. Watkins, 26, was considered the most NFL-ready o-lineman in the 2011 draft, which is exactly why the Eagles selected him with the 23rd overall pick. But like most rookies, the transition hasn't been easy. "It's definitely overwhelming. That's for sure. Compared to what I was doing before this, I was just a regular working guy," said Watkins, a former firefighter in West Kelowana, British Columbia. "Now, I've got microphones stuffed in my face and everything. It's an adjustment, that's for sure, in every aspect."

Watkins was playing next to right tackle King Dunlap early in the preseason but that didn't last; left guard Todd Herremans replaced Dunlap at right tackle last week and Evan Mathis took over for Herremans at left guard. Oh, and Philly's starting a rookie center in Jason Kelce.

And that, along with new and improved* Rex Grossman now quarterbacking the Redskins, has Cooley thinking that, even if the Eagles are the team to beat, the NFC East is wide open.

“Yeah I have no question -- any team could win the division now. You could say any team would win it and I wouldn’t be surprised.”

* mileage may vary

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 4:07 pm

Cooley: Eagles are 'team to beat' in NFC East

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 5:27 am
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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 12:05 am
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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 8:02 pm
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Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: September 6, 2011 9:41 pm

Cooley: Eagles are 'team to beat' in NFC East

He was probably on Lavar Arrington's show. LaVar has a radio show on 106.7 The Fan in DC.

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: September 6, 2011 9:39 pm

Cooley: Eagles are 'team to beat' in NFC East

The Eagles have some issues but clearly, at least on paper, they're the best team in the NFC East. I don't have a problem with Cooley saying the Eagles are the team to beat. Honest answer, better than the usual "non-answer" and cliche answers we usually get from players. Plus it would have sounded absurd if he said the Redskins were the team to beat. The Redskins have to have the worst QB, WRs and RB's of the teams in the NFC East. Maybe better RB's than the Cowboys, but that's about it.

Since: Nov 29, 2008
Posted on: September 6, 2011 6:57 pm

Cooley: Eagles are 'team to beat' in NFC East

Cooley must be speaking from a Redskins point of view, because their season has been over before it started most of the time in this millennium. Dan Snyder ruined that franchise,  Now his players have this Defetist mentality and loser attitude. If the Eagles Patchwork O-Line can't protect Vick, Vince Young better get ready. Cause Vick will be running for his life and won't make it past the bye week.

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: September 6, 2011 6:56 pm

Cooley: Eagles are 'team to beat' in NFC East

Regardless if Cooley was being "brutally honest" about the Eagles being the "beast of the NFC East", I bet that didn't sit too well with his teammates as well as the coaches. I feel that it's going to be a 3-team race in the NFC East,and the teams that will be in the mix will be the Eagles,Giants,and Cowboys.  Some people that read this article may also feel like Cooley is trying to play "mind games" early in the season hoping that the Eagles lose focus believing the hype that's going throughout the league about them being "The Dream Team"!

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: September 6, 2011 6:21 pm

Cooley: Eagles are 'team to beat' in NFC East

I honestly can't see how Washington doesn't have issues at QB when they are starting Grossman and the Eagles and Cowboys do with Vick and Romo, plus the Giants lost their secondary and has injuries at the D-line. Because 2011 is the year of the underdog that makes the Skins and the Giants problems a non-issue?

Since: Aug 4, 2009
Posted on: September 6, 2011 5:47 pm

Cooley: Eagles are 'team to beat' in NFC East

at least he got rid of that stupid platinum hair.  Whats that?  YOU have platinum hair?  ohh... uhh...  but it looks good on you.Foot in mouth

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