NFC Notes: Shane Bowen, Austin Ekeler, Commanders, Cowboys, Giants

Commanders

Commanders RB Austin Ekeler spoke about misconceptions of him not wanting to be heavily used in the run game while on the Chargers, saying he’s been his most productive when splitting between being a receiver and running back. 

“You’re going to get the best version of myself always, no matter what,” Ekeler said, via NFL.com. “There’s been this controversy out there, like, ‘Oh Austin said he doesn’t want 300 carries, ’cause that’s what the Chargers said.’ I’ve never had that many carries ever. So, I don’t know why everybody’s in an uproar. It’s not that I don’t want to touch the ball. It’s the way that I’ve had the most production is when I’m able to split between catching and running the ball. That is when I’ve been the most productive, down in the red zone, right out in the field, when I can have both those type of environments.

“And now, with Brian Robinson being in the backfield also, my old head coach, Anthony Lynn, where I first got my start and first started finding success, is also my running backs coach and is going to utilize us probably in that same type of way, is what it’s looking like. So, I’m going to go right back to my roots of when I continue to have success and continue to build on that in the way that fits Austin Ekeler the most.”

Ekeler thinks he’d be a smart investment in fantasy leagues as a first-round pick. 

“Yes,” Ekeler said. “Let me ask you this: I guess it’s little tough because in the fantasy world you’re judged off your last season, but as far as consistency, when I’ve been healthy — yes, last year I missed like four games (with) high ankle sprain, come back sprain my other ankle — but when Austin Ekeler has been healthy on the field, he has produced. And so that’s the same thing going forward here. If I’m healthy, I’m going to be on the field and I’m going to be producing. You’ve seen what it looks like when I produce, so you’re going to want me on your team.”

Cowboys

Jon Machota of The Athletic makes his projection of the Dallas Cowboys’ 53-man roster for the regular season. 

Giants

Giants new DC Shane Bowen emphasized collectiveness in the staff when discussing how they will prepare for games this year. 

“It’s not the Shane Bowen way,” Bowen said, via Dan Duggan of The Athletic. “There (are) no egos involved here. We are going to be a very collaborative group as a coaching staff.”

  • Bowen described how they would use LB Isaiah Simmons this year: “In our minds, (he will) be a first- and second-down nickel and then playing ‘money’ on third-down.” (Dan Benton)

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