Here are several whispers we've been hearing from around the NFC East:
• Giants CB Aaron Ross hasn't played the same since he suffered a hamstring injury last season, battling several other setbacks along the way. Ross has taken better care of his body in the past year, though, and the Giants expect him to play better ball down the stretch. He's on the field a great deal as the nickel corner, and with Bruce Johnson down for the season, the pressure will be on Ross to produce.
• The Redskins gave up the idea of Andre Carter being a 3-4 outside linebacker when it became clear he was not capable of playing in the base defense. But they like him as a nickel and dime rusher and have found themselves using those packages more than the base defense because of their pass-heavy opponents. Like many of the 4-3 holdovers from last season, Carter might not be a perfect fit in what the Redskins do defensively, but coordinator Jim Haslett has found a way to use him effectively.
• The Eagles like what they have seen out of rookie Keenan Clayton, who is maybe the team's fastest linebacker. They have worked him into their sub packages and think that he can contribute even more as the season goes on. Clayton was brought along slowly, but he has started to earn the coaches' trust over time.
• With DE Marcus Spears out for the season and Sean Lissemore down for at least a month, the Cowboys are expected to broaden the workload of rookie Josh Brent. A supplemental pick, Brent primarily plays on the nose, but his emergence could allow NT Jay Ratliff to play some snaps at end to help build a more effective run-stopping front. At this point, the team is willing to experiment on the line.