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NFC East story lines already simmering
STEVE DeSHAZO: NFC East should be fun to watch

Date published: 4/24/2006

SATURDAY BRINGS the NFL draft and its annual false optimism, with every team dreaming of vast improvement (with the possible exception of the New York Jets, whose fans never seem to like their team's direction).

Most of these high hopes come from the arrival of talented but unproven athletes. Holding the first pick, the Houston Texans are betting that Reggie Bush be the next Marshall Faulk and not the next Desmond Howard.

But Saturday figures to be a relatively quiet day for NFC East teams--most of whom are already pretty good and who already have made their headlines.

The New York Giants' signing of LaVar Arrington on Saturday continued an eventful off-season for what could be pro football's best division. The movement of controversial impact players Arrington and Terrell Owens within the division only adds to the intrigue.

Will a motivated Arrington regain his Pro Bowl form on what looks to be a stellar Giants defense? Can the Dallas Cowboys harness Owens' immense talents before his ego shreds their locker room--just as it did in his previous stops in San Francisco and Philadelphia?

And how much will those players be missed by their former teams? Have the Washington Redskins finally spent wisely in the off-season? And will the Eagles be better off without Owens' distraction--or will they miss his touchdown-per-game production?

Tune in in September to find out.

Arrington's move to New York makes a lot of sense. He stays in the division--and in his preferred 4-3 defense. With premiere pass rushers Michael Strahan and Omi Umenyiora in front of him--and ex-Redskin Antonio Pierce beside him--he should be comfortable.

He won't be asked to be the star, as he was during Washington's losing years. But he was merely a role player on last year's playoff edition of the Redskins--and a sometimes unhappy one at that. Can he thrive in New York?


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