In gauging division honors over the course of a 16-game season, it’s logical that the cream will rise to the top and the best of the best will be fairly set in stone. But with the inconsistency of the entire NFC East this season, it’s been difficult to determine who is not only the best, but can perform most consistently.
In this week’s edition of Dan Graziano’s ESPN NFC East Blog’s “All-NFC East Team,” there are a new set of seven Redskins representing the best in the division at their position. The honors are based on a body of work over the course of a season, with wry commentary to follow.
Fullback: Darrel Young, Redskins (Tony Fiammetta)
Center: Will Montgomery, Redskins (Montgomery)
Outside linebacker: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys; Brian Orakpo, Redskins (Ware, Orakpo)
Inside linebacker: London Fletcher, Redskins; Sean Lee, Cowboys (Fletcher, Lee)
Safety: Kenny Phillips, Giants; O.J. Atogwe, Redskins (Phillips, Atogwe)
Kick returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Banks)
Punt returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Banks)
Those of you who follow the weekly updates are aware that I banged the drum in support of several players this season, including punter Sav Rocca, tight end Fred Davis, and fullback Darrel Young. Rocca and Davis eventually yielded to strong comeptition, but Young has been outstanding this season. Here’s what Graziano had to say about making the switch back:
And while I, like a lot of people, got caught up in the Fiammetta hype. But Young has been a mauler all season at fullback, and it says something that three different Redskins running backs have had 100-yard games this season. (And that doesn’t count original starter Tim Hightower, whose season high was 96.)
On top of his contributions via accessory, Young has also emerged as a dual threat in the passing and ground game. In his sophomore season, he has career highs in rushing attempts, receptions, yardage and touchdowns. Not bad for the little linebacker from Villanova.
Another player making waves going into the final week of the season, is receiver Jabar Gaffney. As it stands now, Gaffney’s steady production has him on the cusp of his first 1,000-yard season. If he’s able to haul in another 81 yards, he’ll be there, and he could be on this list:
One final thought, at wide receiver: The Redskins’ Jabar Gaffney is making a run at this team. If Nicks keeps dropping balls or misses this week’s game with the hamstring injury that popped up on this morning’s injury report, Gaffney could make a run at his spot. The numbers are getting close.
And that’s the word on the second to last All-NFC East team of the year, per Dan Graziano.