Colts 2006 NFC Opponents: Power Notes

The Colts take on the NFC East this season, but who has time to keep up on all of them? Scout.com provides you with the most important news and information that could impact those matchups in our Power Notes.

Giants: The Giants' problem in stopping the running game up the middle was highlighted against the Ravens, and it was bad enough for coach Tom Coughlin to consider changes in the starting tackles. Currently they are William Joseph and Fred Robbins, but Jonas Seawright, Damane Duckett and rookie Barry Cofield might be worked in during the week and could even start.

Rookie free agent Michael Jennings, who has been with four NFL teams and has never played in a regular-season game, took a punt return back 57 yards for a touchdown and improved his chances of earning a roster spot. The 5-11, 175-pound Florida State product might put veteran return specialist Chad Morton at risk.

Veteran WR Amani Toomer continues to sparkle in training camp practice sessions and, for a guy beginning his 10th season, all with the Giants, seems in better shape than ever. "I haven't lost any speed," he said. "On the other hand, I never had that much to start with."

Cowboys: Coach Bill Parcells said his switch to the two-tight end offense is about adjusting to today's game and taking things forward. It's an innovation based on keeping up with the increased size of the defensive ends around the league, like Carolina's Julius Peppers. It's also a way to take advantage of the size and versatility of today's tight ends like Dallas' Jason Witten and San Diego's Antonio Gates. The Cowboys will start rookie second-round draft choice Anthony Fasano opposite the two-time Pro Bowler Witten.

"It's not so much two tight ends," Parcells said. "It's that we like versatile players. We like players who are big enough to block perimeter people (in the running game). You can't get to the perimeter if you don't have guys set the corner for you … If you don't make yards to the perimeter, they are going to squeeze everything down from the outside in, then you are not making any yards."

In addition to improving the run game, the tight end is a tougher matchup than a third receiver in the passing game, Parcells said, because it forces defenses to stay in their base scheme and Witten is too much for most safeties and linebackers to cover.

Redskins: Running back Clinton Portis said he hoped he wouldn't play another snap in the preseason after injuring his shoulder making a tackle following a turnover Sunday night. He said he hoped he would be ready in time for the regular season opener.

Eagles: Wide receiver Hank Baskett continues to be the story of training camp. Baskett, an undrafted rookie who was acquired in an unusual May trade with the Vikings, started for the second straight week and had two receptions for 39 yards, including an impressive 33-yard catch from Donovan McNabb at the 2-yard line that set up the Eagles' first score. If Baskett stays healthy and continues to play as well as he has thus far in camp and the preseason, he'll likely open the regular season as a starter.

Fifth-round WR Jeremy Bloom has missed most of camp and both of the Eagles' first two preseason games with a hamstring injury. He'll likely spend the first part of the season on the physically unable to perform list.


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