SCOUT'S HONOR: Frequently asked questions

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The NFL's FAQ:
Word on the Street

Fans around the NFL always have questions regarding many issues they hear or read about in the fine print of Transactions listings. The problem is, where can you find the real NFL dirt, unfiltered?

Here are 10 questions buzzing around league circles recently, along with the straight scoop from our Scouting Insider Brian DeLucia on what's really going down.

Scout's Spotlight
1. EAGLES: Can Freeman fly like an Eagle?
2. RAIDERS: Is Callahan a lame duck coach?
3. REDSKINS: Will Spurrier call any handoffs?
4. CARDS: Can AZ overcome O-line injuries?
5. PANTHERS: Is DeShaun DeSoft?
6. CHIEFS: Is secondary down on the corner?
7. GIANTS: Is Ferrara a Ferrari or a Pinto?
8. SEAHAWKS: Is Wunsch waiver wire gold?
9. REDSKINS: Is Stai worthy of 'Hog' status?
10. CARDS: Yo Adrian, who can replace you?


    1. Does Antonio Freeman have anything left for the Philadelphia Eagles, or is he over the hill?

    Despite his decline in recent years, could become an effective complement within the offense and their young wide receivers. With the receivers leveling off in training camp, this was a good time to make a move. Freeman won¿t make that many big plays these days, but he¿s effective out of the slot. He¿s going to make tough grabs in clutch situations. Freeman needs to be someone trusts in tough third-down situations, plus he should become a key target inside the red zone. This also takes a little pressure off , whose development has been slower than the had hoped. Mitchell will work behind Freeman out of the slot right now. The passing game must deliver a lot more consistently this season and adding another veteran should help stabilize their efforts here. Freeman is the fourth veteran from a Super Bowl-caliber club that Philly has added this summer. These additions certainly should help the reach the next level from a mental standpoint.

    2. Are the Oakland Raiders slipping under Bill Callahan? There¿s definitely some concern in Oakland right now. Word around town is players don¿t have the same amount of respect for Bill Callahan as they did toward Jon Gruden. Several players are also upset with the organization as a whole for the treatment of linebacker . Plus offensive coordinator Marc Testman hasn¿t been as respected during his previous two posts as an offensive coordinator in San Francisco and Arizona. But these are veteran players. They must come together and push themselves hard. This year is the last stand for Oakland and their veterans.

    3. What will happen with the running back situation in Washington? Is Stephen Davis going to collect dust under Steve Spurrier?

    isn¿t a happy camper. He¿s the type of runner best suited for a power-based run scheme. He needs a lot of carries to develop an effective rhythm.

    New Skins coach Steve Spurrier will run the ball to keep defenses honest, but his offense is better suited for a runner with more quickness than Davis. Watch to see if rookie is worked into the offense throughout the season as the evaluate what role he¿ll play in the future. Betts provides a little more versatility.

    4. The Cardinals were being touted for their talented, young offensive line. Can they remain strong with Anthony Clements lost for the season? Losing Anthony Clements is a tough deal for the . Sure, they have to move outside. Davis has more upside at right tackle than Clements, but his major challenge will be playing in space against quicker defenders. Where this loss hurts Arizona is with depth. They plug at right guard, which depletes their proven depth. He¿s solid in the run game at times, but he¿s inconsistent as a starter and has overall limitations. If anyone goes down in the trenches, they¿re in major trouble. Pity Dave McGinnis.

    5. Should the Carolina Panthers worry about running back DeShaun Foster? After a college career that was noted for questions about his durability — not to mention his fumblitis, couldn¿t make it through his first preseason without an injury. That raises major concerns around Carolina. Foster¿s development is critical for Dan Henning¿s offense, which is built around a strong run game. Who knows where he picks up when he returns to the field. Foster had a very up-and-down college career that was marked by minor injuries. In the NFL, running backs must prove their toughness and durability to reach the elite level.

    Now the will be forced to start veteran , who is coming off a very subpar year with Miami. Smith is slow and doesn¿t scare opponents at all. With Foster in the lineup, he¿s versatile enough and shows flashes of solid run skills on the ground that he attracts much more attention from opposing defenses. That won¿t happen with Smith.

    6. Can the Chiefs survive the loss of injured cornerback Jerome Woods?

    Losing was a major blow to the . They couldn¿t afford injuries in the secondary, and Woods is the veteran of that young group. will take over in the starting lineup. Belser is a savvy veteran who was a long-term starter with the Indianapolis . He¿s smart and tough for his size, but has limitations. Teams will attack the over the deep middle of the field through the air, which means Dick Vermeil is going to need more out of this season to keep pace.

    7. What good comes out of the Giants' move in benching Kenny Holmes in favor of Frank Ferrara on the defensive line?

    Credit the here for not being afraid to bench a big-money player such as . Holmes is angry about the move, but he simply didn¿t produce. The should be commended for holding him accountable. With playing on the other side, there¿s no reason Holmes shouldn¿t be able to post solid numbers. Frank Ferrara likely doesn¿t resolve their need for more production from their pass rush outside of . But Ferrara will bring a lot of heart and intensity to the defense. He¿s not a talent by any means. He¿ll make some things happen with his motor and tenacity alone. While Ferrara probably won¿t post the numbers the need, the most important thing is that he earned this spot over . 8. Can Jerry Wunsch strengthen the Seahawks along their offensive line, or is he on his last legs? Considering the circumstances, Seattle made out well by adding former Buc to their roster. Wunsch had been an adequate starter at right tackle with Tampa for a few seasons. He isn¿t much of an athlete and he¿s not going to explode off the ball in the run game, but he has a big frame and knows how to use it to his advantage. This move significantly solidifies the right side of the line. ¿s continued neck problems left a huge hole at right tackle. Wunsch should stabilize them here because Mike Holmgren is relying on strong offensive line play to help the offense remain efficient.

    9. How does the Brenden Stai trade help the Washington Redskins? should help stabilize the Washington along the offensive line. Despite having two solid bookends with and , the two guard positions have been a major concern within the organization. had a horrible camp until landing on injured reserve. Stai should step in and solidify his spot. He¿s been a reputable veteran for several seasons due to his tough, scrappy play. He¿s a big upgrade over Jones. Ross Tucker fills the other spot at guard. Tucker has been fairly effective this summer because he¿s playing with a lot of heart. It remains to be seen how effective he¿ll be throughout the regular season.

    10. What happens with the Arizona Cardinals¿ defense without Adrian Wilson for several weeks?

    This significantly hampers their efforts to display improvement from last season and start the year on the right note. The Cards don¿t have many players who grade as starters across their defense. They can¿t afford to lose key guys, and Wilson was expected to evolve into a key player within their secondary. Wilson has the tools to become a solid matchup guy against tight ends and some slot receivers, plus he also possesses the physical tools to become a presence in run support.

    Brian DeLucia is a respected college and pro personnel consultant around the NFL. Formerly a consultant with, and currently an editor for Pro Football, Brian heads into his third season with providing commentary around the NFL and NFL Draft.

  • Tagged: Bills, Broncos, Packers, Chiefs, Raiders, Giants, Eagles, Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers, Cardinals, Steelers, Donovan McNabb, Freddie Mitchell, Anthony Clement, Adrian Wilson, Stephen Davis, Jon Jansen, Chris Samuels, Ladell Betts

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