With free agency set to kick off next Tuesday, here’s a look at some of the storylines regarding the Eagles’ NFC East rivals …
DALLAS: THE LATEST ON ROMO AND TRYING TO FIX THE DEFENSE
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett on the status of quarterback Tony Romo’s rehab from back surgery: “Tony had the surgery four or five days after the Washington game and we feel like the surgery went well, and he's really spending a lot of his time rehabbing his back and getting himself right. We are anticipating him to be able to be back for the spring and to be able to be involved in a lot of the stuff we do in the spring with OTAs and our on the field work. In order for him to do that, he has to spend a lot of time getting that back right. So he's spent a lot of time with Drew Dossett and his staff down there at The Carrell Clinic. He's getting it right. He looks good and his mindset is really good and he's just trying to get himself healthy.”
On the different between Rod Marinelli and Monte Kiffin and why the switch was made to Marinelli as defensive coordinator: “Rod and Monte spent a lot of time together so they are very similar. We feel that transition will be a smooth one. Monte's role in helping us implement this 4-3 defense has been significant. Rod had a huge role last year and will have an even bigger role this year as the main coordinator and defensive play caller as well. You always want to go back and evaluate the things you did well and the things you didn't do quite as well and hopefully from year to year your system is in place. But the identity is based on the personnel you have and the direction you want to take the defense. The fundamental philosophy will be the same and we are in the process of evaluating what we can do better.
“We just think Rod is suited for this job. Rod has been a great coach in this league as a defensive line coach and defensive coordinator. We are fortunate to have him on our staff. It was time for him to take that role. The relationship that both he and Kiff have we think is positive. Kiff's role is significant as assistant head coach of the defense, overseeing the whole thing and be involved in all the meetings and on the practice field. He will work closely with Rod and the whole defensive staff. We spend a lot of time talking about bringing the right people in the building as players and coaches. We also want to make sure we have the right seats on the bus. That's an important thing. We feel we have done that this off season.”
NEW YORK GIANTS: MAKING CHANGES TO THE OFFENSE
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin on the offense transitioning coordinators from Kevin Gilbride to Ben McAdoo, who was previously Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach: “Well, (McAdoo’s) obviously a disciple of Mike McCarthy. Mike’s done a good job, if you look at the people who have worked with him and then been able to advance. I like Ben because he did a superb job in terms of his preparation. He’s very fundamentally sound. He started out with that aspect of it, not necessarily starting to talk about Xs and Os, but just about fundamentals.
“He had some very detailed video of the way in which he teaches. The way in which he presents, the way in which he teaches, he did an outstanding job with that. And great knowledge of the system he believes in and also knowledge of our team, the critical games that we had played against the Packers the last few years and the fact that we’ve had a little success there. That combination was a good one for both of us in terms of attracting him and being a franchise that he very much respected and wanted to be a part of if the opportunity came his way. He, interestingly enough, does not describe himself as West Coast. He thinks more in terms of the ball going vertical or down the field if the opportunities present themselves.
“But what I like about it is that I basically, from my standpoint, have a chance to challenge myself with some new learning which is good for me and for all of us who are a part of the offensive system. And the defense as well because obviously working against each other you have some new thoughts and new learning. I like that. It’s stimulating. It’s exciting. We’re very new into the development of where we’ll go and what our program will be, but it’s a good time, it’s an exciting time. I feel good about it.”
WASHINGTON: GRUDEN TRIES TO GET RG III BACK ON TRACK
On if Robert Griffin III’s 2013 season could cause a roadblock: “It could be, for some guys, if they’re not mentally tough. But the good thing about Robert is I feel like he’s a mentally tough kid. He’s going to let last year be a learning experience for him. He’s going to do everything in his power - you can already sense it - to not let it happen again. And if you’re a mentally tough kid, he’s obviously a physically tough kid, you’re going to have a bright future, as long as he doesn’t let things that happened in the past affect him in too negative or too positive of a way. Just stay even-keeled and continue to get better, because there’s no question about the talent that he has at the quarterback position.”