Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2010 NFL PREVIEW- Seattle Seahawks


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

2009 RECORD: 5-11-0
(3rd in NFC West)

HEAD COACH: Pete Carroll

Key Additions: RB Leon Washington (trade/NY Jets), S Quinton Teal (FA/Carolina), DE Robert Henderson (trade/Detroit), TE Chris Baker (FA/New England), QB Charlie Whitehurst (trade/San Diego)

Key Losses: QB Seneca Wallace (trade/Cleveland), WR Nate Burleson (FA/Detroit), CB Josh Wilson (trade/Baltimore), DT Cory Redding (FA/Baltimore), FB Justin Griffith (FA)

Offense: Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (3,029 yards passing with 17 touchdowns and 17 interceptions) is back for another season after coming back from injuries in '09 with a decent performance. Charlie Whitehurst comes over from the Chargers and will be the backup.
The running game needs to improve from last season, when the Seahawks averaged only 98 yards per game and that was 26th in the league.
Julius Jones (663 yards with two TD) and Justin Forsett (619 yards, 5.4 ypc average and four TD) will get the most carries and Leon Washington also will be on hand after being traded to the 'Hawks from the New York Jets.
The wide receivers include Seattle's leading receiver last season, T.J. Houshmandzadeh (79 catches, 911 yards and three touchdowns) along with Deion Branch, who made 45 catches for 437 yards and a pair of scoring grabs. Rookie Golden Tate will be available as will Ben Obomanu.
The tight end is John Carlson, who made 51 catches for 574 yards and seven touchdowns.
The offensive line is made up of center Chris Spencer, guards Mike Gibson and Max Unger and tackles Russell Okung and Sean Locklear.

Defense: Lawrence Jackson and Chris Clemons will play defensive end and the tackles will be Colin Cole and Brandon Mebane.
The linebacking unit features middle man Lofa Tatupu along with outside backers Leroy Hill and Aaron Curry.
Marcus Trufant and Walt Thurmond are the cornerbacks and the safeties are Earl Thomas and Jordan Babineaux.
The Seattle defense, once a true strength of the team, slipped to 24th overall in '09, allowing 356 yards per game. The run defense gave up 111 yards while the pass defense ranked near the bottom of the league, yielding an average of 245 yards per game.

OUTLOOK: The Seahawks will be looking to get back to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, but that will be a tall order as they have a new Head Coach in Pete Carroll, who comes back to the NFL after coaching at USC for the past decade.
The 49ers and Cardinals are the clear favorites in the NFC West, but Seattle is coming off a 5-11 season which features a softer schedule this season.
The offense will need to improve after scoring just 280 points in '09 while the defense also needs to show improvement after allowing 390 points.
If Hasselbeck can translate the new offensive system Carroll and his staff installs in 2010, then some good things could come about as the Seahawks have some talented wideouts along with a good tight end a decent backfield to run the ball.
The offensive line must do a better job of protecting the quarterback after allowing 46 sacks a year ago. In addition, Seattle only scored seven rushing touchdowns.
The Seahawks appear to be in rebuilding mode as the 2010 season approaches and they will battle the Rams to stay out of the NFC West cellar this season. Look for a 4-12 finish from Seattle this year as they look toward the future.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. San Francisco
Week 2- at Denver
Week 3- vs. San Diego
Week 4- at St. Louis
Week 5- Bye Week
Week 6- at Chicago
Week 7- vs. Arizona
Week 8- at Oakland
Week 9- vs. NY Giants
Week 10- at Arizona
Week 11- at New Orleans
Week 12- vs. Kansas City
Week 13- vs. Carolina
Week 14- at San Francisco
Week 15- vs. Atlanta
Week 16- at Tampa Bay
Week 17- vs. St. Louis

Monday, August 30, 2010

2010 NFL PREVIEW- San Francisco 49ers


SAN FRANCISCO 49ers

2009 RECORD: 8-8-0
(2nd in NFC West)

HEAD COACH: Mike Singletary

Key Additions: QB David Carr (FA/NY Giants), WR Ted Ginn (trade/Miami)

Key Losses: QB Shaun Hill (trade/Detroit), WR Arnaz Battle (FA/Pittsburgh), CB Dre' Bly (FA), CB Walt Harris (FA)

Offense:
Alex Smith is the starting quarterback after passing for 2,350 yards last season along with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. David Carr comes over from the New York Giants and will be the backup.
The 49ers ranked 27th on offense in '09, averaging 291 yards per game (100 on the ground and 191 yards passing) and Head Coach Mike Singletary would like to see more from the running game in 2010.
Frank Gore (1,120 yards rushing with a 4.9 ypc average and 10 TD) is the top rusher for the 49ers and Michael Robinson is the backup after Glen Coffee retired suddenly during training camp. Gore also had 52 catches last season, three for touchdowns. The fullback is Moran Norris.
The wide receivers will be Michael Crabtree (48 catches for 625 yards, two TD) and Josh Morgan, who made 52 catches for 527 yards and three touchdowns.
The team's leading receiver in '09 is the tight end Vernon Davis, who made 78 grabs for 965 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. Ted Ginn comes over from Miami in a trade and had 38 catches for 454 yards last season.
The offensive line has center Eric Heitmann, guards Chilo Rachal and Mike Iupati and tackles Joe Staley and Anthony Davis.

Defense: The defense was solid last year, especially in the red zone as the 49ers finished fourth in the NFL in points allowed, giving up just 281 points.
The run defense allowed 97 yards per game (6th in NFL) and 229 through the air.
The 3-4 defense has nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin and ends Isaac Sopoaga and Justin Smith.
The linebackers are Takeo Spikes and Patrick Willis, who each had four quarterback sacks in '09, on the inside while outside backers are Manny Lawson and Parys Haralson. Lawson led the 49ers with 6.5 sacks as the team totaled 44 for the season. In addition, Willis also snared three interceptions. Ahmad Brooks (six sacks) adds depth to the linebacking unit.
The secondary picked off 18 passes a year ago, including four by free safety Dashon Goldson, which led the team. The strong safety is Michael Lewis. The corners will be Shawntae Spencer and Nate Clements.

OUTLOOK: The 49ers are primed for a run at Arizona and the NFC West division title in 2010.
The defense is solid and the offense seems to be getting better and especially will do so if former top draft pick Smith continues to improve at quarterback.
San Francisco is seeking a playoff appearance for the first time since the 2002 season and there is a good chance they may achieve that this season.
Singletary is an intense coach who knows how to motivate his players and will likely be just as intense again this year.
The expectations are high for this team and with Arizona not expected to be as strong as the past two seasons, there will be added pressure on the 49ers to get it done this time around.
The keys will be the games against Arizona and an early season matchup at home against New Orleans. Some tough road games also face the 49ers as they travel to Atlanta, Green Bay and San Diego, all considered playoff contenders.
The dates to circle for the 49ers are November 29 and January 2 when they face the Cardinals, a team they swept last year.
Look for the 49ers to go 9-7 and perhaps emerge as the NFC West champions, which would punch their playoff ticket for the first time in eight years.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- at Seattle
Week 2- vs. New Orleans
Week 3- at Kansas City
Week 4- at Atlanta
Week 5- vs. Philadelphia
Week 6- vs. Oakland
Week 7- at Carolina
Week 8- vs. Denver
Week 9- Bye Week
Week 10- vs. St. Louis
Week 11- vs. Tampa Bay
Week 12- at Arizona
Week 13- at Green Bay
Week 14- vs. Seattle
Week 15- at San Diego
Week 16- at St. Louis
Week 17- vs. Arizona

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Is NBC TV's new Fall show Outsourced...funny or offensive?

2010 NFL PREVIEW- St. Louis Rams


ST. LOUIS RAMS

2009 RECORD: 1-15-0
(4th in NFC West)

HEAD COACH: Steve Spagnuolo

Key Additions: QB A.J. Feeley (FA/Carolina), LB Na'il Diggs (FA/Carolina), DT Fred Robbins (FA/NY Giants), LB Bob Carpenter (FA/Dallas), S Kevin Payne (trade/Chicago)

Key Losses: QB Kyle Boller (FA/Oakland), DE Leonard Little (FA), TE Randy McMichael (FA/San Diego), QB Marc Bulger (FA), OT Alex Barron (trade/Dallas), LB Paris Lenon (FA/Arizona), CB Jonathan Wade (FA/Detroit)

Offense: After finishing last in scoring (175 points) in the 2009 NFL season and near the bottom in total offense, the Rams used the number-one pick in the 2010 NFL draft and selected quarterback Sam Bradford from Oklahoma.
Bradford will be given the opportunity to be the starter and journeyman A.J. Feeley will be the primary backup.
The Rams averaged only 279 yards per game last season and ranked 29th overall in that category. The running game was 20th, averaging 112 yards per game.
Steven Jackson was the lone bright spot for the Rams' offense in '09, gaining 1,416 yards on the ground with four touchdowns. Jackson also led the team with 51 receptions for 322 yards.
The receivers include Laurent Robinson (13 catches in '09), Danny Amendola (43 catches), Brandon Gibson (34 catches) and rookie Mardy Gilyard. Donnie Avery was lost for the 2010 season to an injury suffered in the pre-season.
Daniel Fells and Billy Bajema will be the tight ends, filling the void for Randy McMichael, who left the Rams via free agency.
The offensive line has center Jason Brown, guards John Greco and Jacob Bell and tackles Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold.
This unit can run block pretty well as Jackson had a decent season in 2009. However, they must do a better job of protecting the quarterback after allowing a league high 54 quarterbacks sacks last season.

Defense: This is a work in progress for the Rams as they finished near the bottom across the board in 2009 on defense.
The 436 points allowed was 31st in the NFL and they allowed 373 yards per game, which ranked 29th overall. The run defense gave up 138 yards per game (27th) and the pass defense wasn't much better, yielding 235 yards per game, which was 25th in the league.
Ouch!
The Rams employ the 4-3 scheme and up front are tackles Fred Robbins and Clifton Ryan and the ends are Chris Long and James Hall.
The linebackers are James Laurinaitis in the middle and outside linebackers David Vobora and Na'il Diggs, who comes over from the Carolina Panthers as a free agent.
The cornerbacks are Bradley Fletcher and Ron Bartell. The safeties are James Butler and Oshiomogho Atogwe. Kevin Dockery and Jerome Murphy, along with David Roach and Craig Dahl will provide depth in the secondary.

OUTLOOK: The Rams won just one game in 2009 and they have to improve on that.
With Bradford taking the snaps, look for gradual improvement from the passing game, which averaged a meager 168 yards per game last season.
Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo prides himself for having been a good defensive coach in the past and the defense definitely has to improve if the Rams want to avoid the basement in the NFC West again.
The minus-13 turnover ratio for the Rams is another area where they have to improve. They had just eight interceptions a year ago while their quarterbacks threw 21 picks. In addition, St. Louis was outscored by an average of 16 points per game in 2009.
It's hard to win games when a team falls behind so quickly.
With the number of draft picks the Rams have used the past few seasons, they should start to see some more positive results in the future. Whether or not that comes to be in 2010 is a big question for the Rams.
Look for some improvement from last season as the Rams finish 3-13 and battle Seattle for third place in the NFC West division.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. Arizona
Week 2- at Oakland
Week 3- vs. Washington
Week 4- vs. Seattle
Week 5- at Detroit
Week 6- vs. San Diego
Week 7- at Tampa Bay
Week 8- vs. Carolina
Week 9- Bye Week
Week 10- at San Francisco
Week 11- vs. Atlanta
Week 12- at Denver
Week 13- at Arizona
Week 14- at New Orleans
Week 15- vs. Kansas City
Week 16- vs. San Francisco
Week 17- at Seattle

2010 NFL PREVIEW- Arizona Cardinals


ARIZONA CARDINALS

2009 RECORD: 10-6-0
(1st in NFC West)

HEAD COACH: Ken Whisenhunt

Key Additions: QB Derek Anderson (FA/Cleveland), G Alan Faneca (FA/NY Jets), LB Joey Porter (FA/Miami), Kerry Rhodes (trade/NY Jets), CB Justin Miller (FA/NY Jets), K Jay Feely (FA/NY Jets)

Key Losses: WR Anquan Boldin (FA/Baltimore), WR Jerheme Urban (FA/Kansas City), CB Bryant McFadden (FA/Pittsburgh), LB Karlos Dansby (FA/Miami), S Antrel Rolle (FA/NY Giants)

Offense: The Cardinals' offense is getting a big makeover after the retirement of quarterback Kurt Warner. Matt Leinart, who was the starter when Warner arrived in the desert, will get a look as will Derek Anderson, who had a big year in 2007 for the Cleveland Browns, but has since fallen off and came over to the Cards via free agency.
The wide receiving corps took a hit when Anquan Boldin opted for free agency and went to the Baltimore Ravens. However, the Cardinals have one of the absolute best receivers in the NFL in Larry Fitzgerald, who made 97 catches in '09 for 1,092 yards and scored 13 touchdowns.
Steve Breaston (55 catches, 712 yards, three TD) and Early Doucet (17, 214, one TD) will be available as well. The tight ends are Ben Patrick and Anthony Becht.
Beanie Wells played well as a rookie for Arizona in 2009, gaining 793 yards with a 4.5 ypc average and scored seven touchdowns. Tim Hightower ran for 598 yards (4.2 ypc average) and scored eight touchdowns. In addition, Hightower caught 63 passes for 428 yards.
The offensive line has center Lyle Sendlein, guards Alan Faneca and Deuce Lutui and tackles Brandon Keith and Levi Brown.

Defense: The opportunistic Arizona defense had 43 quarterback sacks a year ago along with 21 interceptions. However, the team allowed 325 points and ranked 20th overall on defense, giving up 346 yards per game.
The 3-4 defense has nose tackle Dan Williams and ends Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell, who led the Cards with seven sacks a year ago.
The linebackers are Gerald Hayes and Daryl Washington inside with Clark Haggans and Joey Porter on the outside.
Porter had nine sacks with Miami last season, and along with the other front seven, should put pressure on opposing quarterbacks all season.
The secondary features safeties Adrian Wilson (five INT in '09) and Kerry Rhodes, who comes over from the New York Jets. The corners are Greg Toler and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who led Arizona with six picks last year, including one for a touchdown.

OUTLOOK: How the Cardinals fair this season, after winning back-to-back NFC West division titles, will depend on the quarterback play.
If Leinart or Anderson can do the job consistently and the running game continues to improve, then Arizona can be a factor once again in the West.
The defense is one that can get pressure on the quarterback, but they cannot give up the big plays as often as has happened in the past.
Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt knows the team is capable of winning a third straight NFC West title, but the San Francisco 49ers are closing in fast.
There are questions to be answered as the new quarterbacks take over and the receiving corps try to fill the void of Boldin's departure. If opposing defenses can double up on Fitzgerald and the other receivers don't come through, then Arizona will be battling on offense this season.
An 8-8 season appears likely for the Cardinals in 2010. How it goes from there will be interesting to watch.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- at St. Louis
Week 2- at Atlanta
Week 3- vs. Oakland
Week 4- at San Diego
Week 5- vs. New Orleans
Week 6- Bye Week
Week 7- at Seattle
Week 8- vs. Tampa Bay
Week 9- at Minnesota
Week 10- vs. Seattle
Week 11- at Kansas City
Week 12- vs. San Francisco
Week 13- vs. St. Louis
Week 14- vs. Denver
Week 15- at Carolina
Week 16- vs. Dallas
Week 17- at San Francisco

Friday, August 27, 2010

2010 NFL PREVIEW- San Diego Chargers


SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

2009 RECORD: 13-3-0
(1st in AFC West)

HEAD COACH: Norv Turner

Key Additions: CB Donald Strickland (FA/NY Jets), CB Nathan Vasher (FA/Chicago)

Key Losses: RB LaDainian Tomlinson (FA/NY Jets), CB Antonio Cromartie (trade/NY Jets), DT Jamal Williams (trade/Denver), WR Kassim Osgood (FA/Jacksonville), TE Brandon Manumaleuna (FA/Chicago), LB Tim Dobbins (trade/Miami), QB Charlie Whitehurst (trade/Seattle), RB Michael Bennett (FA/Oakland)

Offense: Quarterback Philip Rivers signed a huge contract extension prior to last season and then went out and had another huge year.
Rivers passed for 4,254 yards and 28 touchdown passes with just nine interceptions and for the second consecutive season, was the AFC's leading passer. Billy Volek is the backup and has shown he can do the job when needed.
The Chargers are a team that throws first and the receivers are good ones.
The Tight End is Antonio Gates (79 catches for 1,157 yards and eight touchdowns), a perennial All-Pro at the position.
The wide receivers include Vincent Jackson (68 catches for 1,167 yards and nine TD), Malcom Floyd (45 catches, 776 yards), Legedu Naanee (24 catches, two TD) and veteran Josh Reed, who made 27 catches with Buffalo last season, also providing depth.
Jackson has been holding out during training camp and threatening to sit out the season after leading all Chargers' wideouts last season.
The running game needed a boost after LaDainian Tomlinson had his worst season as a pro last year and he was not resigned and went to the New York Jets.
The Chargers drafted Ryan Mathews (Fresno State) to be the halfback and he will get the bulk of the carries. Mike Tolbert is the fullback and can do some damage, averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
Darren Sproles is the third down back and is a great pass catcher out of the backfield and also returns kicks for the Chargers. Sproles gained 343 yards on the ground in '09 with three touchdowns and also had 45 receptions for 497 yards and four touchdowns, including an 81-yard score on a pass.
The offensive line has center Nick Hardwick, who missed a lot of time in '09 with an injury. The guards are Louis Vazquez and Kris Dielman and the tackles are Jeromey Clary and Marcus McNeill, who also is a holdout during the pre-season. If McNeill decides to stay out, then Corey Clark or Brandyn Dombrowski will play left tackle.
San Diego scored 454 points, which was fourth in the NFL last season. The passing attack ranked fifth in the league, averaging 271 yards per game. The running game needs improvement after ranking 31st in the NFL in '09 with just 89 yards per game.

Defense: The Chargers run defense slipped to 20th overall last year as they allowed 118 yards per game. Nose Tackle Jamal Williams was injured in the opening game and missed the rest of the season. He went to Denver via free agency in the off-season.
Antonio Garay will be at nose tackle in the 3-4 scheme in 2010 and the ends will be Luis Castillo and Jacques Cesaire.
The linebacking unit is a solid group with Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips on the outside and Stephen Cooper and Kevin Burnett inside. Larry English is a solid backup and will play wherever he is needed.
Quentin Jammer and Anton Cason will be the corners and the safeties are Eric Weddle and either Donald Strickland or Steve Gregory. Providing depth in the secondary is Nathan Vasher and Darrell Stuckey.
The Chargers' pass defense ranked 11th in the NFL a year ago, allowing 209 yards per game.
Quentin Jammer had three interceptions to lead the team, which totaled 14 picks in '09.
San Diego had 35 quarterback sacks with Phillips leading the way with seven while Merriman had four.

OUTLOOK: After seeing the Chargers rip off 11 wins in a row to close the season at 13-3, Head Coach Norv Turner was once again disappointed with the team's performance in the playoffs.
The Chargers lost a tough one in the Divisional Round of the playoffs to the New York Jets, 17-14 as usually reliable (and Pro Bowl) kicker Nate Kaeding missed two very makable field goals.
The Chargers won their fourth consecutive AFC West title last season and will look to advance further in the playoffs this year.
Rivers should be solid again after leading the AFC in passing in back-to-back seasons.
With the talent on both sides of the ball and a new running back starting in 2010, the Chargers should win another AFC West title. Barring any significant injuries, they should go 12-4 and go deep into the AFC Playoffs.
Whether the Chargers reach the Super Bowl this season will depend on their mindset in the post-season.
If they play in the post-season the way they do in the regular season, especially in December, where they are 18-0 since 2006, there is no reason to believe the Chargers cannot achieve their goal of a Super Bowl title.
The Chargers expect to get to the Super Bowl and know they have the talent on the roster to do so. They just have to get it done when the chips are down in the post-season.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- at Kansas City
Week 2- vs. Jacksonville
Week 3- at Seattle
Week 4- vs. Arizona
Week 5- at Oakland
Week 6- at St. Louis
Week 7- vs. New England
Week 8- vs. Tennessee
Week 9- at Houston
Week 10- Bye Week
Week 11- vs. Denver
Week 12- at Indianapolis
Week 13- vs. Oakland
Week 14- vs. Kansas City
Week 15- vs. San Francisco
Week 16- at Cincinnati
Week 17- at Denver

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2010 NFL PREVIEW- Oakland Raiders


OAKLAND RAIDERS

2009 RECORD: 5-11-0
(3rd in AFC West)

HEAD COACH: Tom Cable

Key Additions: QB Jason Campbell (trade/Washington), LB Kamerion Wimbley (trade/Cleveland), QB Kyle Boller (FA/St. Louis), RB Rock Cartwright (FA/Washington), CB Joey Thomas (FA/Miami), DE Quentin Groves (trade/Jacksonville)

Key Losses: RB Justin Fargas (FA/Denver), WR Javon Walker (FA/Minnesota), QB JaMarcus Russell (FA), QB J.P. Losman (FA), LB Kirk Morrison (trade/Jacksonville), DT Gerard Warren (FA/New England), DE Greg Ellis (FA)

Offense: JaMarcus Russell is gone and Bruce Gradkowski, who led the team to some wins late in the season, is likely out for the year with injuries. Charlie Frye was also placed on "injured reserve" for the 2010 season.
So what do the Raiders do for a quarterback?
They trade and get Jason Campbell from the Washington Redskins.
Campbell threw for 3,618 yards last season and had 20 TD passes with only 15 interceptions. He also rushed for 236 yards, which was second for the 'Skins. The backup signal caller will be Kyle Boller, a journeyman quarterback who played in St. Louis last season.
The running game features Darren McFadden and Michael Bush with Oren O' Neal and Luke Lawton as the fullbacks.
McFadden gained 357 yards a year ago and Bush led Oakland with 589 rushing yards (4.8 ypc average) and scored three touchdowns.
The wide receivers include Darrius Heyward-Bey, Chaz Schilens (29 catches for 365 yards and two TD), Louis Murphy (34, 521, four TD) and Johnnie Lee Higgins.
The tight end is Zach Miller, who led the Raiders with 66 receptions in '09 in addition to scoring three touchdowns and also racked up 805 receiving yards. He is probably the best tight end for Oakland since Todd Christensen in the 1980's.
The O-Line features center Samson Satele, guards Robert Gallery and Cooper Carlisle and tackles Khalif Barnes and Mario Henderson.
Oakland struggled to put points on the board last season, scoring only 197 points which ranked 31st in the NFL. The Raiders averaged 266 yards per game in total offense, which also ranked them 31st in the league in that category.

Defense: The defense struggled to stop the run a year ago, allowing 156 yards per game. which was 29th in the league. The pass defense was better, giving up only 206 yards per game, which put Oakland in the Top 10 (7th) in the NFL.
Up front in the 4-3 scheme is Richard Seymour at defensive end along with Matt Shaughnessy at the other end spot and tackles Tom Kelly and Desmond Bryant.
The linebacking corps has Rolando McClain in the middle with outside backers Thomas Howard and Kamerion Wimbley, who comes over from Cleveland.
The safeties are Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch and the corners are Chris Johnson and Nnamdi Asomugha, who is a tremendous cover corner. Johnson and Huff led the Raiders with three picks in 2009.
Oakland had only eight interceptions in '09 to go along with 37 quarterback sacks. Last season's sack leader Greg Ellis is gone via free agency and Seymour and Shaughnessy each had four sacks.

OUTLOOK: The Raiders and their embattled Head Coach Tom Cable, would like to take the next step and move up another level in the AFC West, which is a division they owned once upon a time.
They improved from years past and finished 5-11 in '09, but to keep that movement going upward the Raiders will need the offense to get better in a hurry.
McFadden has been a bust thus far in his years with the Raiders. If he and Bush can muster steady yardage on the ground, it would do wonders for the rest of the offense.
Campbell will be tested as the Raiders line allowed 49 QB sacks last year.
If the young quarterback, who showed some flashes of brilliance with the Redskins, can hook up with the young receivers, perhaps Oakland will surpass 200 points scored in 2010. Seven different times in 2009 the Raiders scored ten points or less during games.
The defense has to stop the run. It is as simple as that.
Playing in the AFC West is a challenge for Oakland and they would do well to finish second this season. That would be a step up from third place a year ago. The one step at a time approach likely suits the Raiders this year as they look to the future and possibly challenging the Chargers a year or so down the road.
But for now, second place and a 7-9 finish is not out of the question for Oakland as they build for a better future.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- at Tennessee
Week 2- vs. St. Louis
Week 3- at Arizona
Week 4- vs. Houston
Week 5- vs. San Diego
Week 6- at San Francisco
Week 7- at Denver
Week 8- vs. Seattle
Week 9- vs. Kansas City
Week 10- Bye Week
Week 11- at Pittsburgh
Week 12- vs. Miami
Week 13- at San Diego
Week 14- at Jacksonville
Week 15- vs. Denver
Week 16- vs. Indianapolis
Week 17- at Kansas City

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2010 NFL PREVIEW- Kansas City Chiefs


KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
2009 RECORD: 4-12-0
(4th in AFC West)

HEAD COACH: Todd Haley

Key Additions: RB Thomas Jones (FA/NY Jets), G Ryan Lilja (FA/Indianapolis), C Casey Wiegmann (FA/Denver), WR Jerheme Urban (FA/Arizona)

Key Losses: WR Bobby Wade (FA/Washington), C Wade Smith (FA/Houston), G Mike Goff (FA)

Offense: Quarterback Matt Cassel and running back Jamaal Charles are the keys to the Chiefs offense.
Last season, Cassel passed for 2,924 yards and had 16 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions. Brody Croyle is the backup quarterback.
Charles rushed for 1,120 yards (5.9 ypc average) and scored seven touchdowns in 2009. In addition, Charles had 40 receptions.
Thomas Jones comes over from the New York Jets after running for 1,402 (4.2 average) and scoring 14 touchdowns. Jones is 32 years old and has shouldered a lot of carries through the years, so he may not get as many in KC as he has in the past few seasons with the Jets and Bears.
Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers will be the wide receivers. Bowe had 47 catches for 589 yards and four touchdowns. Chambers caught 36 passes for 608 yards and four TD. Jerheme Urban (18 catches in '09) comes over from Arizona to provide depth. The tight ends are rookie Tony Moeaki and Leonard Pope, who had 20 catches and a TD last year.
The line will have center Casey Wiegmann, guards Ryan Lilja and Brian Waters and tackles Branden Albert and Ryan O' Callaghan.

Defense: After finishing 30th overall in the NFL on defense, the Chiefs need some help.
Enter Romeo Crennel, the former Defensive Coordinator for the Patriots' Super Bowl run from 2001-2004.
The Chiefs allowed 388 yards per game last season, including 157 on the ground, which was 31st in the league.
Ouch!
Playing a 3-4 defense, Kansas City has Ron Edwards at nose tackle with ends Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey.
The linebackers include inside linebackers Derrick Johnson and Demorrio Williams and outside backers Tamba Hali and 14-year veteran Mike Vrabel, a holdover from the glory days with Crennel in New England. Hali led the Chiefs with 8.5 quarterback sacks last season.
The cornerbacks are Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr and the safeties are Jarrad Page and Eric Berry, the team's top draft choice from Tennessee.
The Chiefs secondary was lit up to the tune of 231 yards per game a year ago and the defense allowed 424 points.

OUTLOOK: Head Coach Todd Haley knows his team has a daunting task ahead in 2010 as they try to compete in the AFC West, which is considered the worst division in the NFL.
With Crennel running the defense and new Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis, also from the New England Patriots glory days, on board this season, Chiefs fans are optimistic.
Newsflash!
The talent in KC in 2010 is not the same as the New England Patriots talent from the Super Bowl days.
With Cassel in charge, the team has a nice, young quarterback who will continue to improve when given time. The Chiefs allowed 45 sacks last season.
The Kansas City running game appears solid as the 2010 season looms. Charles is a fast back and Jones will provide experienced depth at the position.
If the Chiefs can get it together on defense and Cassel continues to progress, then there is definitely reason for optimism.
Just not this year as the Chiefs finish with a 5-11 record while looking to a brighter future.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. San Diego
Week 2- at Cleveland
Week 3- vs. San Francisco
Week 4- Bye Week
Week 5- at Indianapolis
Week 6- at Houston
Week 7- vs. Jacksonville
Week 8- vs. Buffalo
Week 9- at Oakland
Week 10- at Denver
Week 11- vs. Arizona
Week 12- at Seattle
Week 13- vs. Denver
Week 14- at San Diego
Week 15- at St. Louis
Week 16- vs. Tennessee
Week 17- vs. Oakland

2010 NFL PREVIEW- Denver Broncos


DENVER BRONCOS

2009 RECORD: 8-8-0
(2nd in AFC West)

HEAD COACH: Josh McDaniels

Key Additions: QB Brady Quinn (trade/Cleveland), DE Jarvis Green (FA/New England), DT Jamal Williams (FA/San Diego), LB Akin Ayodele (FA/Miami)

Key Losses: WR Brandon Marshall (trade/Miami), TE Tony Scheffler (trade/Detroit), RB Peyton Hillis (trade/Cleveland), CB Ty Law (FA), QB Chris Simms (FA/Tennessee), RB LaMont Jordan (FA), LB Anrda Davis (FA/Buffalo)

Offense: The Broncos will have a new look and a revamped offense with quarterback Kyle Orton leading the way.
Orton, who threw for 3,802 yards and 21 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, will be backed up by Brady Quinn (1,339 passing yards with eight TD and seven INT with Cleveland in '09) and rookie Tim Tebow.
Knowshon Moreno (947 yards rushing with seven touchdowns) and Correll Buckhalter (642 yards in '09 and a 5.4 ypc average) are the halfbacks. Buckhalter has been nicked up in training camp so Moreno will have to shoulder the load for Denver.
The wide receivers are Jabar Gaffney (54 catches, 732 yards, two TD), Eddie Royal (37 catches) and Brandon Stokley, who made 19 catches in limited action, but four of them were for touchdowns.
Daniel Graham (28 catches) and Richard Quinn will be the tight ends as Tony Scheffler was dealt to Detroit. In addition, wideout Brandon Marshall was sent packing to Miami after many confrontations with Head Coach Josh McDaniels.
The offensive line will have center J.D. Walton, guards Russ Hochstein and Chris Kuper and tackles Ryan Harris and Ryan Clady.
The Broncos finished 15th in the NFL in total offense a year ago, averaging 341 yards per game.

Defense: The Broncos looked like world beaters through their first five games in 2009, allowing just 43 points while limiting opponents to meager yardage, particularly through the air.
The team totaled 39 quarterback sacks, including 17 by outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil.
But Dumervil is likely out for the 2010 season because of injuries and that will hinder the Broncos and their aggressive style.
Up front in the 3-4 is nose tackle Jamal Williams, a former Chargers' player who missed all of last season after a serious injury in the season opener.
The ends are Justin Bannan and Jarvis Green, who comes over from the New England Patriots.
The linebackers are Robert Ayers and Jarvis Moss on the outside and inside linebackers will be D.J. Williams and Mario Haggan.
The secondary seems in capable hands with perennial All-Pros Champ Bailey at left corner and strong safety Brian Dawkins. Bailey had three interceptions in 2009.
Andre Goodman, who led the Broncos with five picks, plays right cornerback and the free safety is Renaldo Hill.
The Broncos pass defense was solid last year, allowing just 186 yards per game which ranked third in the NFL. But the run defense was shredded as the team fell out of playoff contention last season, allowing 129 yards per game.

OUTLOOK: After racing out to a 6-0 start in 2009, Denver went 2-8 afterward and missed the playoffs as Head Coach Josh McDaniels saw his Coach of the Year dreams go up in smoke.
To avoid that from happening again and actually challenge the San Diego Chargers for the AFC West title, the defense must stop the run and keep the pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Without Dumervil, it appears that is a tall order.
The Broncos were lit up for 281 points over the final 11 games, including 44 by lowly Kansas City in the season finale loss that knocked them out of the AFC post-season.
Orton must also step up after receiving a recent contract extension. The running game will suffer with Buckhalter hurting as Moreno seemed to wear down by season's end. The depth is gone in the backfield as LaMont Jordan and Peyton Hillis were dealt in the off-season.
The team has capable and experienced receivers and Royal showed he is one of the league's best kick returners as he brought both a kickoff return and punt return back for touchdowns in 2009.
With the revamped look on offense and holes to fill on defense, will Denver be able to overcome those obstacles and return to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons?
Not likely as the Broncos appear headed for a 5-11 finish and will see how rookie Tim Tebow figures into their future plans.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- at Jacksonville
Week 2- vs. Seattle
Week 3- vs. Indianapolis
Week 4- at Tennessee
Week 5- at Baltimore
Week 6- vs. NY Jets
Week 7- vs. Oakland
Week 8- at San Francisco
Week 9- Bye Week
Week 10- vs. Kansas City
Week 11- at San Diego
Week 12- vs. St. Louis
Week 13- at Kansas City
Week 14- at Arizona
Week 15- at Oakland
Week 16- vs. Houston
Week 17- vs. San Diego

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where Dick Armey and his Tea Party goons got it all started

2010 NFL PREVIEW- Washington Redskins


WASHINGTON REDSKINS

2009 RECORD: 4-12-0

HEAD COACH: Mike Shanahan

Key Additions: QB Donovan McNabb (trade/Philadelphia), RB Willie Parker (FA/Pittsburgh), RB Larry Johnson (FA/Cincinnati), CB Phillip Buchanon (FA/Detroit), QB Rex Grossman (FA/Houston), WR Joey Galloway (FA/New England), WR Bobby Wade (FA/Kansas City)

Key Losses: QB Jason Campbell (trade/Oakland), RB Rock Cartwright (FA/Oakland), WR Antwaan Randle El (FA/Pittsburgh), CB Fred Smoot (FA), QB Todd Collins (FA), TE Todd Yoder (FA), RB Ladell Betts (FA), DE Renaldo Wynn (FA)

Offense: The Donovan McNabb era begins this season in Washington and the Redskins are hoping the veteran quarterback can put up the kind of numbers he did with the Eagles and get the Redskins back to the playoffs.
McNabb (3,553 yards passing with 22 TD and 10 INT in '09) is entering his 12th season and will lead the offense. The back up is Rex Grossman, who played in Houston last season.
He will have Santana Moss (70 catches for 902 yards and three TD) and Devin Thomas (25, 325, three TD) as his main targets at wide receiver.
The tight end is Chris Cooley, who made 29 catches a year ago before missing the final nine games with a broken ankle. Fred Davis filled in nicely with 48 grabs for 509 yards and six touchdowns.
The backfield is crowded with Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker. Mike Sellers will be the fullback.
Portis is bouncing back from injuries after rushing for 494 yards last season. Johnson has had some great years and comes over after playing sparingly the last two seasons with the Chiefs and Bengals. Parker was hurt again last year with Pittsburgh, where he gained 389 yards in very limited action in '09.
The line consists of center Casey Rabach, guards Derrick Dockery and Mike Williams and tackles Trent Williams and Artis Hicks.

Defense: Will Albert Haynesworth be ready when the season starts?
The massive nose tackle in the Redskins 3-4 scheme has been at odds with new Head Coach Mike Shanahan during the off-season. If he starts, he will be alongside ends Phillip Daniels Kedric Golston. Ma'ake Kemoeatu is also available at nose tackle for the Redskins.
The linebackers are Brian Orakpo and Andre Carter on the outside and inside backers London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh. Orakpo (11 QB sacks) and Carter (12 sacks) helped the Redskins accumulate 40 sacks in 2009.
The defensive backs are Carlos Rogers and DeAngelo Hall (four interceptions) at the corners and Chris Horton and LaRon Landry playing the safety spots.

OUTLOOK: After finishing 4-12 a year ago and 27th in the NFL in rushing the football, Washington wants to run again. They averaged just 94 yards per game last season. With a healthy Portis and Johnson and Parker providing depth, the Redskins will look to improve in this area.
McNabb is the key to the offense and if he is healthy and gets the fresh start he needs in Washington, then the Redskins should score more often in 2010.
After scoring just 266 points in 2009, the offense has to generate more scoring and that is why McNabb was brought in.
Defensively, the Redskins finished 10th in the NFL allowing 320 yards per game. The pass defense was decent, finishing eighth in the league while allowing 207 yards per game.
Shanahan was run out of Denver two years ago when the Broncos collapsed down the stretch and missed the playoffs.
With a fresh start in Washington, both Shanahan and McNabb are looking to propel the Redskins back to the playoffs.
Playing in the NFC East isn't easy, where the Redskins went 0-6 last season. To move up in the standings would be a good start this season. Look for a 5-11 finish this season as the team looks to improve and looks toward the future.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. Dallas
Week 2- vs. Houston
Week 3- at St. Louis
Week 4- at Philadelphia
Week 5- vs. Green Bay
Week 6- vs. Indianapolis
Week 7- at Chicago
Week 8- at Detroit
Week 9- Bye Week
Week 10- vs. Philadelphia
Week 11- at Tennessee
Week 12- vs. Minnesota
Week 13- at NY Giants
Week 14- vs. Tampa Bay
Week 15- at Dallas
Week 16- at Jacksonville
Week 17- vs. NY Giants

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2010 NFL PREVIEW- Philadelphia Eagles


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

2009 RECORD: 11-5-0
(2nd in NFC East)

HEAD COACH: Andy Reid

Key Additions: RB Mike Bell (FA/New Orleans), DE Darryl Tapp (trade/Seattle), DB Marlin Jackson (FA/Indianapolis), LB Ernie Sims (trade/Detroit), LB Alex Hall (trade/Cleveland)

Key Losses: QB Donovan McNabb (trade/Washington), CB Sheldon Brown (trade/Cleveland), LB Jeremiah Trotter (FA), RB Brian Westbrook (FA/San Francisco), S Sean Jones (FA/Tampa Bay), LB Will Witherspoon (FA/Tennessee), WR Kevin Curtis (FA), WR Reggie Brown (trade/Tampa Bay)

Offense: Kevin Kolb will get his chance after the Eagles traded long time starting quarterback Donovan McNabb to Washington.
Kolb filled in last year when McNabb was hurt and passed for 741 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.
Michael Vick will be the backup and showed some old flashes of brilliance, but for the most part he will be used sparingly unless Kolb struggles or gets injured.
Brian Westbrook, another fixture in the Eagles' offense through the years, is also gone via free agency to San Francisco.
The Eagles will rely on LeSean McCoy (637 yards rushing with four TD), Mike Bell (654 yards with five TD with New Orleans in '09) and fullback Leonard Weaver, who ran for 323 yards and scored twice. McCoy is also a good receiver out of the backfield, having made 40 catches in 2009.
The primary wide receivers are play maker DeSean Jackson (62 catches for 1,156 yards and nine touchdowns) and Jeremy Maclin, who made 56 catches for 773 yards and four touchdowns.
Tight End Brent Celek is a perfect compliment to the speedy wideouts and led Philly with 76 catches last season good for 971 yards and eight touchdowns.
Jason Avant (41 grabs for 587 yards and three TD) and Hank Baskett provide depth at wide receiver for the Eagles.
The line consists of center Jamaal Jackson, guards Todd Herremans and Stacy Andrews and tackles Winston Justice and Jason Peters.

Defense: The Eagles were making adjustments a year ago with a new defensive coordinator and at times it showed.
They finished 12th in total defense last season, allowing 321 yards per game, but proved to be an opportunistic defense that accumulated 25 interceptions and 44 quarterback sacks.
Trent Cole led the Eagles with 12.5 sacks and will start at defensive end along with Darryl Tapp, who was acquired from Seattle in the off-season. Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley are the tackles in the 4-3 scheme. Juqua Parker (eight QB sacks) is also available on the defensive front line.
The linebackers are Stewart Bradley in the middle along with outside linebackers Akeem Jordan and Moise Fokou.
The secondary is led by Asante Samuel, who tied for the league lead with nine interceptions in 2009. He is the left cornerback along with Ellis Hobbs at the right corner. The safeties are Quintin Mikell and Marlin Jackson. Quintin Demps and rookie Nate Allen will provide depth in the secondary.

OUTLOOK: If Kolb can be a consistent quarterback, the Eagles can continue to soar in the NFC East, where they finished 11-5 last season. Remember, two years ago, this team came very close to reaching the Super Bowl.
There have been numerous changes in personnel and Head Coach Andy Reid has been a solid fixture for over ten years in Philadelphia.
With the speedy receivers and consistent running attack, the Eagles should score some points again in 2010. They finished fifth in scoring in the NFL last season with 429 points.
The defense must be more consistent after getting torched at times last season. They gave up 337 points, which ranked 19th in the NFL.
In the always tough NFC East, Dallas looks to be the favorite this season and the New York Giants are looking to rebound from a .500 finish in '09. Washington now has McNabb at QB and who knows what to expect from them.
Philadelphia may well be a playoff team again but that will ride on the play at quarterback. A 9-7 finish is the likely outcome this season, but the Eagles could be better or worse.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. Green Bay
Week 2- at Detroit
Week 3- at Jacksonville
Week 4- vs. Washington
Week 5- at San Francisco
Week 6- vs. Atlanta
Week 7- at Tennessee
Week 8- Bye Week
Week 9- vs. Indianapolis
Week 10- at Washington
Week 11- vs. NY Giants
Week 12- at Chicago
Week 13- vs. Houston
Week 14- at Dallas
Week 15- at NY Giants
Week 16- vs. Minnesota
Week 17- vs. Dallas

Saturday, August 21, 2010

2010 NFL PREVIEW- New York Giants


NEW YORK GIANTS

2009 RECORD: 8-8-0
(3rd in NFC East)

HEAD COACH: Tom Coughlin

Key Additions: S Antrel Rolle (FA/Arizona), QB Jim Sorgi (FA/Indianapolis), S Deon Grant (FA/Seattle)

Key Losses: S Aaron Rouse (FA), CB Kevin Dockery (FA), QB David Carr (FA/San Francisco)

Offense: Quarterback Eli Manning is the key for the Giants in 2010 as the running game needs to bounce back after a lack luster season a year ago.
Manning threw for 4,021 yards and 27 touchdowns along with 14 interceptions in '09. Jim Sorgi is the back up quarterback.
The running tandem of Brandon Jacobs (835 yards, five TD) and Ahmad Bradshaw (778 yards, 4.8 ypc average, seven TD) was adequate but the Giants thrive on running the football effectively. Madison Hedgecock is the fullback.
The offensive line includes Shaun O' Hara at center. The guards are Rich Seubert and Chris Snee and the tackles are Kareem McKenzie and Dave Diehl.
The wide receivers are Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. Kevin Boss is the tight end.
Smith led the Giants in receiving in '09 with 107 catches for 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns. Manningham made 57 catches for 822 yards and five scores while Nicks added 47 catches for 790 yards and six touchdowns. Boss made 42 catches for 567 yards and five touchdowns.

Defense: The Giants drafted two defensive linemen with their first two draft picks as age and injuries seemed to creep up on them a year ago.
Defensive ends Justin Tuck (six QB sacks) and Osi Umeniyora (seven sacks) team with tackles Barry Cofield and Chris Canty up front while Jonathan Goff is the middle linebacker. The outside linebackers are Michael Boley and Clint Sintim.
The Giants allowed 111 yards rushing per game, a far cry from the stingy run defense they displayed in recent seasons.
Opponents threw for 214 yards per game against New York in '09.
The secondary includes safeties Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle, who comes over from Arizona. The cornerbacks are Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas, who led the Giants with five interceptions. Aaron Ross provides depth at the corner spot.

OUTLOOK: After finishing 17th overall in the NFL in rushing, Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin would like to see his team get back to running the football more effectively as that was their bread-and-butter during their Super Bowl season in 2007.
The line must protect Manning more as well. The Giants allowed 32 sacks a year ago and Manning has already been getting banged up in the 2010 pre-season.
Defensively, New York thrives on shutting down the run and bringing pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
That really was not the case a year ago as the team faded down the stretch, losing the final two games to finish 8-8. They were outscored by a combined 85-16 in those losses.
If the Giants are to contend with Dallas for the NFC East division title in 2010, they must improve on running the football and stopping the run on defense. Cutting down opponents' scoring is also a must as the Giants allowed 427 points last season, which ranked 30th in the league.
A 9-7 finish appears likely for the Giants this season and possibly a wild card berth in the playoffs if they can do better than that.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. Carolina
Week 2- at Indianapolis
Week 3- vs. Tennessee
Week 4- vs. Chicago
Week 5- at Houston
Week 6- vs. Detroit
Week 7- at Dallas
Week 8- Bye Week
Week 9- at Seattle
Week 10- vs. Dallas
Week 11- at Philadelphia
Week 12- vs. Jacksonville
Week 13- vs. Washington
Week 14- at Minnesota
Week 15- vs. Philadelphia
Week 16- at Green Bay
Week 17- at Washington

2010 NFL PREVIEW- Dallas Cowboys


DALLAS COWBOYS

2009 RECORD: 11-5-0
(1st in NFC East)

HEAD COACH: Wade Phillips

Key Additions: OT Alex Barron (trade/St. Louis)

Key Losses: LB Bobby Carpenter (trade/St. Louis), OT Flozell Adams (FA), K Nick Folk (FA/ NY Jets), S Ken Hamlin (FA)

Offense: After enjoying his finest regular season as a pro in 2009, quarterback Tony Romo (4,483 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and only nine picks) has a lot to look forward to this season after finally getting the monkey off his back and winning a playoff game.
Romo has a wide range of targets in wide receivers Miles Austin (81 catches, 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns), Roy Williams (38, 596, seven TD), Patrick Crayton (37, 622, five TD) and rookie Dez Bryant. Not to mention Tight End Jason Witten, who led Dallas in '09 with 94 grabs good for 1,030 yards and two touchdowns.
The running game features Marion Barber, who led the Cowboys with 932 yards and scored seven TD in 2009, which included a 4.4 yards per carry average.
Felix Jones showed he is ready to take over the starting duties as he ran for 685 yards (5.9 ypc average) and scored three touchdowns. Tashard Choice also performed when given a chance, rumbling for 349 yards (5.5 average) and scored three times.
The offensive line has center Andre Gurode, tackles Doug Free and Alex Barron (Marco Colombo is battling injuries in training camp and will likely miss some time) and guards Kyle Kosier and Leonard Davis.
Dallas averaged 399 yards per game last season, second only to New Orleans and showed good balance by averaging 131 yards on the ground and 268 through the air.

Defense: While it might not remind Dallas fans of the 'Dooms Day' defense of the past, the Cowboys defense made some strides last season, allowing 316 yards per game, which ranked them ninth in the NFL.
The run defense gave up just 90 yards per game, good for fourth in the league while the pass defense allowed 215 yards a game.
Up front in the Cowboys' 3-4 defense is nose tackle Jay Ratliff along with ends Marcus Spears and Igor Olshanski.
The linebackers are Keith Brooking and Bradie James inside and outside linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. The Cowboys had 42 quarterback sacks last season, which included 11 by Ware, and six each by Ratliff and Spencer.
The secondary struggled at times, getting only 11 interceptions.
The safeties are Alan Ball and Gerald Sensabaugh with cornerbacks Terrence Newman (three interceptions) and Mike Jenkins, who led Dallas with five interceptions last season.

OUTLOOK: With Austin, Williams, Crayton and highly touted rookie Dez Bryant on hand, Romo should put up impressive numbers once again in 2010.
The question is whether that gets the Cowboys to their ultimate goal, which is the Super Bowl.
Head Coach Wade Phillips knows if the running game can compliment the passing game and the defense continues to be steady against both the run and pass, then Dallas may indeed return to glory. They wouldn't have far to travel either as Super Bowl 45 is in Dallas.
That should provide extra incentive for the Cowboys this season.
Come post-season time, will Dallas be able to advance past the divisional round?
The Cowboys should finish at 12-4, win the NFC East and get to the NFC Championship Game. But the tradition will continue as the 'Pokes fall short of the big game, meaning no home field advantage for either team in the Super Bowl.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- at Washington
Week 2- vs. Chicago
Week 3- at Houston
Week 4- Bye Week
Week 5- vs. Tennessee
Week 6- at Minnesota
Week 7- vs. NY Giants
Week 8- vs. Jacksonville
Week 9- at Green Bay
Week 10- at NY Giants
Week 11- vs. Detroit
Week 12- vs. New Orleans
Week 13- at Indianapolis
Week 14- vs. Philadelphia
Week 15- vs. Washington
Week 16- at Arizona
Week 17- at Philadelphia

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2010 NFL PREVIEW- New York Jets


NEW YORK JETS

2009 RECORD: 9-7-0
(2nd in AFC East)

HEAD COACH: Rex Ryan

Key Additions: RB LaDainian Tomlinson (FA/San Diego), LB Jason Taylor (FA/Miami), CB Antonio Cromartie (trade/San Diego), WR Santonio Holmes (trade/Pittsburgh), K Nick Folk (FA/Dallas), S Brodney Pool (FA/Cleveland)

Key Losses: G Alan Faneca (FA/Arizona), CB Lito Sheppard (FA/Minnesota), RB Leon Washington (trade/Seattle), RB Thomas Jones (FA/Kansas City), CB Donald Strickland (FA/San Diego), S Kerry Rhodes (trade/Arizona)

Offense: Run, run and run some more was the way to describe the Jets' 2009 offense.
Rookie starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, who had 2,444 passing yards with 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, was basically asked to manage the offense as the running backs did the bulk of the work.
New York's 2009 leading rusher Thomas Jones left for Kansas City and the Jets added LaDainian Tomlinson (730 yards rushing with 12 TD) from the San Diego Chargers to back up Shonn Greene, who ran for 540 yards while averaging 5.0 yards per carry as a rookie.
Tomlinson is on the down side of his career having been let go by San Diego after his lowest output, which included a career low 3.3 yards per carry average.
Tony Richardson, another durable veteran, is the fullback.
The wide receivers got an upgrade from 2009 as Santonio Holmes was added from the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he had 79 catches for 1,248 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Along with Jerricho Cotchery (57 grabs for 821 yards and three scores) and Braylon Edwards (35, 541 yards, four TD), Holmes will give the team more options for the second year quarterback to throw to as they attempt to open up the offense in 2010.
Tight End Dustin Keller is another target for Sanchez after making 45 catches a year ago for 522 yards and two touchdowns.
The offensive line lost guard Alan Faneca to free agency, but is still a solid unit with center Nick Mangold surrounded by guards Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson and tackles D' Brickashaw Ferguson and Damien Woody.

Defense: The Jets led the NFL in total defense a year ago, allowing just 252 yards per game and also allowed a league low 236 points.
The run defense gave up 98 yards per game (8th overall) and the pass defense was outstanding, giving up only 154 yards per game.
The 3-4 defense has Kris Jenkins at nose tackle with ends Mike DeVito and Shaun Ellis.
The linebackers are David Harris and Bart Scott on the inside and the outside backers are Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace.
Eric Smith and Jim Leonhard are the safeties and Antonio Cromartie will play cornerback after being acquired from San Diego.
The big question facing Head Coach Rex Ryan is whether his All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis will be with the team in 2010.
Revis, who led the Jets with six interceptions in 2009, has threatened to holdout and miss the entire season in a contract dispute. Revis seems to be to the Jets' defense what Troy Polamalu is to the Steelers' defense. He brings leadership and confidence to the team.
Getting him on the field in 2010 is vital to the success of the New York Jets defense.

OUTLOOK: Until the gift win given to the Jets by Indianapolis late in the 2009 season, the Jets appeared headed for an 8-8 finish and no playoffs. But then the boisterous Ryan was able to convince the team and the media alike that his 9-7 team could win the Super Bowl, and they almost made it there.
This season, the Jets have a large target on their collective backs as teams no longer take them for granted each week.
Sanchez will be asked to elevate his play on the field and that means cutting down on the interceptions in 2010. His 20 picks were the second highest total in the entire league for a starting QB in the 2009 season.
Another question and challenge for New York will be whether the tandem of Shonn Greene and an aging L.T. can get it done in the offensive backfield. The Jets led the NFL in rushing the football with 172 yards per game last season.
Defensively, the team is solid and if Revis does indeed give in and play along with Cromartie at cornerback in 2010, the Jets will have two shut down corners, barring injury, on the field all season long.
The blitz happy Jets only mustered 32 quarterback sacks a year ago and that total must increase if they are to continue to enjoy success on the defense.
The AFC East has New England and Miami (which swept New York a year ago) setting their sights on the Jets and a pretty tough schedule ahead as well.
Look for the Jets to finish 11-5 in 2010 and probably edge out New England for the division title. Can the Jets fly all the way to the Super Bowl?
Perhaps, but that will depend on the maturity of Sanchez at QB and the defense come post-season time.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. Baltimore
Week 2- vs. New England
Week 3- at Miami
Week 4- at Buffalo
Week 5- vs. Minnesota
Week 6- at Denver
Week 7- Bye Week
Week 8- vs. Green Bay
Week 9- at Detroit
Week 10- at Cleveland
Week 11- vs. Houston
Week 12- vs. Cincinnati
Week 13- at New England
Week 14- vs. Miami
Week 15- at Pittsburgh
Week 16- at Chicago
Week 17- vs. Buffalo

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thank God- The U.S. Combat Troops are Heading Home from Iraq



Thank God!
The U.S. combat troops are leaving Iraq... thank you for delivering on the promise President Barack Obama!
The last of the United States combat troops are heading home after nearly seven and a half years occupying the nation of Iraq that was spearheaded by the neo-cons of the Bush-Cheney Administration.
Remember?
"The smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud," Bush said in October of 2002 while the drums were being banged to get Americans behind the "war on terror."
That exaggeration was echoed by then Vice President Dick Cheney and also by Condaleeza Rice, another hardcore neo-con insider of the Bush administration.
Finally, these people can get on with their lives after the repeated hard tours of duty they have performed.
Thank you troops...
and Thank God!

2010 NFL PREVIEW- New England Patriots


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

2009 RECORD: 10-6-0
(1st in AFC East)

HEAD COACH: Bill Belichick

Key Additions: DT Damione Lewis (FA/Carolina), WR Torry Holt (FA/Jacksonville), TE Alge Crumpler (FA/Tennessee), WR David Patten (FA/Cleveland)

Key Losses: TE Ben Watson (FA/Cleveland), LB Adalius Thomas (FA), DE Jarvis Green (FA/Denver), TE Chris Baker (FA/Seattle)

Offense: Quarterback Tom Brady (4,398 yards passing in '09 with 28 TD and 13 INT) and wide receiver Randy Moss continue to be the mainstays on this offense as there are questions regarding others from year's past as the 2010 season approaches.
Wide receiver Wes Welker suffered a terrible knee injury in the final regular season game last year after a great season in which he led the NFL with 123 receptions. Welker had 1,348 receiving yards and four touchdowns before going out with the injury.
Moss (83 catches, 1,264 yards and 13 TD) continues to be his usual brilliant self on the field and along with Welker forms a formidable duo for the Patriots.
But will Welker be totally healthy once the season begins?
Julian Edelman (37 catches for 359 yards and one TD) can step right in and shows much resemblance to Welker at wide receiver. Torry Holt was signed from Jacksonville, but injuries put him on the injured list and it was reported he will be lost for the season.
The tight ends will be two newcomers to New England as Ben Watson and Chris Baker left via free agency. Veteran Alge Crumpler comes over from Tennessee and rookie Rob Gronkowski (Arizona University) is also available.
The running game has veterans Laurence Maroney and Fred Taylor along with 12-year veteran Kevin Faulk lining up in the backfield.
Maroney led the Pats in '09 with 757 yards rushing and scored nine touchdowns. Faulk was the second leading rusher (335 yards, 5.4 ypc average, two TD) and also caught 37 passes.
Taylor, who was banged up some in 2009, ran for 269 yards and scored four touchdowns. Sammy Morris (319 yards rushing in '09) provides depth as well.
The line consists of center Dan Koppen, guards Stephen Neal and Logan Mankins and tackles Matt Light and Sebastian Vollmer. It's a solid group that has many veterans and protects Brady in the pocket, allowing just 19 sacks a year ago.

Defense: The Patriots' defense was decent a year ago, allowing 110 yards rushing per game and 210 yards passing, which was good for an overall ranking of 11th in the NFL.
Unfortunately, veteran defensive end Ty Warren was lost for the season to injury in training camp.
Nose tackle Vince Wilfork is solid up front and will team with ends Mike Wright and free agent signee Damione Lewis.
The linebackers in the 3-4 scheme are Pierre Woods and Tully Banta-Cain on the outside and Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes lining up inside. Banta-Cain led the Patriots with 10 quarterback sacks in 2009.
The defensive backs include safeties Brandon Meriweather (five interceptions) and James Sanders. The cornerbacks are Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden (five picks in '09) along with Darius Butler, who showed improved and steady play late last year. Butler intercepted three passes for New England as well.

OUTLOOK: Head Coach Bill Belichick would like to see the team get back to playing the brand of football that earned them four Super Bowl appearances in a seven year span, including three titles between 2001 and 2004.
However, with all the changing personnel in the past two seasons, it's been difficult for New England to maintain consistency throughout the season.
Brady bounced back nicely from a serious knee injury in 2008 and now it remains to be seen if his favorite target (Welker) can do the same this year.
With a healthy Welker back and Randy Moss running the deep routes, the Patriots are always a threat to score often. They finished sixth in scoring in '09 with 427 points.
The defense is capable of dominating opponents at times, but they can also get burned as well.
In the post-season last year, New England came unglued early and was blown out (at home) by Baltimore, 33-14 in the Wild Card round.
The Patriots will face a stiff challenge for the AFC East crown in 2010 from the New York Jets and Miami is always tough.
A 10-6 finish is likely once again this season and most assuredly a spot in the playoffs again. It would be a reach to see the Patriots go to the Super Bowl this season.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. Cincinnati
Week 2- at NY Jets
Week 3- vs. Buffalo
Week 4- at Miami
Week 5- Bye Week
Week 6- vs. Baltimore
Week 7- at San Diego
Week 8- vs. Minnesota
Week 9- at Cleveland
Week 10- at Pittsburgh
Week 11- vs. Indianapolis
Week 12- at Detroit
Week 13- vs. NY Jets
Week 14- at Chicago
Week 15- vs. Green Bay
Week 16- at Buffalo
Week 17- vs. Miami

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2010 NFL PREVIEW- Miami Dolphins


MIAMI DOLPHINS

2009 RECORD: 7-9-0
(3rd in AFC East)

HEAD COACH: Tony Sparano

Key Additions: WR Brandon Marshall (trade/Denver), LB Karlos Dansby (FA/Arizona), G Richie Incognito (FA/Buffalo), LB Tim Dobbins (trade/San Diego)

Key Losses: LB Joey Porter (FA/Arizona), LB Jason Taylor (FA/ NY Jets), WR Ted Ginn (trade/San Francisco)

Offense: Chad Henne is the Dolphins' quarterback until further notice.
After a shoulder injury knocked Chad Pennington out last season, Henne took over and finished the '09 season with 2,878 passing yards along with 12 TD passes and 14 interceptions.
Pennington, Tyler Thigpen and Pat White are other quarterbacks available in 2010.
The running game is the bread and butter for the Miami offense.
Ricky Williams seems to have been reborn the last two seasons after his bizarre departure a few years ago.
Williams ran for 1,121 yards (4.7 ypc average) and scored 11 touchdowns last year. Ronnie Brown had a short season because of injuries, but still rushed for 648 yards and scored eight touchdowns while averaging 4.4 per carry.
All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall (101 catches, 1,120 yards, 10 TD) comes over in a trade from Denver and will line up along with Davone Bess, who led Miami receivers in '09 with 76 catches for 758 yards.
Greg Camarillo (50, 552 yards) and Brian Hartline (31, 506 yards, three TD) are the other receivers in the mix. Anthony Fasano is the tight end, and made 31 catches last season, including two for touchdowns.
Jake Grove is the center and the guards are Nate Garner and newcomer Richie Incognito. The tackles are Jake Long and Vernon Carey.

Defense: What was a strength in 2008 slipped downward last season as the 'Fins finished the '09 season ranked 22nd in total defense.
The pass defense was weak, allowing 235 yards per game while the run defense allowed 114 yards a game.
Up front in the Dolphins' 3-4 scheme is nose tackle Randy Starks. The ends are Kendall Langford and Jared Odrick, a rookie out of Penn State.
Gone are linebackers Joey Porter and Jason Taylor.
But the Dolphins added Karlos Dansby via free agency at linebacker and he will team with Channing Crowder on the inside while the outside linebackers are Quentin Moses and Cameron Wake.
Vontae Davis and Will Allen are the cornerbacks and the safeties are Yeremiah Bell and Chris Clemons.
The Dolphins were third a year ago with 44 sacks. Porter had nine of those sacks and Taylor had seven, but they are gone. Starks, the nose tackle, totaled seven QB sacks in '09.

OUTLOOK: While the Dolphins fell short of a .500 record a year ago after shocking the entire NFL in '08 with a division title, they are decided underdogs in the AFC East this year and Head Coach Tony Sporano will do his best to motivate the team in 2010.
If Henne can put it together for the entire season at quarterback, this team could get back to the playoffs.
The running game is solid and the defense is revamping with new players via free agency and the draft.
The Patriots and Jets are formidable foes in the division, but the Dolphins did sweep the Jets a year ago, twice scoring 30 or more points in those games.
The schedule is tough, so the Dolphins know that things will not come easy in 2010. A lot depends on the play of the quarterback.
Look for Miami to finish 8-8 this year and continue to load up for the future as they pursue their divisional foes while looking to get back to the post-season.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- at Buffalo
Week 2- at Minnesota
Week 3- vs. NY Jets
Week 4- vs. New England
Week 5- Bye Week
Week 6- at Green Bay
Week 7- vs. Pittsburgh
Week 8- at Cincinnati
Week 9- at Baltimore
Week 10- vs. Tennessee
Week 11- vs. Chicago
Week 12- at Oakland
Week 13- vs. Cleveland
Week 14- at NY Jets
Week 15- vs. Buffalo
Week 16- vs. Detroit
Week 17- at New England

Monday, August 16, 2010

2010 NFL PREVIEW- Buffalo Bills


BUFFALO BILLS

2009 RECORD: 6-10-0
(4th in AFC East)

HEAD COACH: Chan Gailey

Key Additions: LB Andra Davis (FA/Denver), DT Dwan Edwards (FA/Baltimore), OT Cornell Green (FA/Oakland)

Key Losses: WR Terrell Owens (FA/Cincinnati), WR Josh Reed (FA/San Diego), G Richie Incognito (FA/Miami), DE Aaron Schobel (retired)

Offense: The Buffalo Bills have a lot of work to do improve an offense that ranked 30th overall last year, averaging just 274 yards per game while only scoring 258 points for the season.
Trent Edwards (1,169 passing yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (1,422 yards, nine TD and 10 INT) split the duties last year and are in battle for the starting spot this season.
The running game wasn't bad and will get a boost from top draft pick C.J. Spiller (Clemson) as he joins Fred Jackson (1,062 yards, 4.5 ypc average and two TD) and Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 450 yards and two touchdowns.
Lee Evans will be the main man again at wide receiver with the departure of Terrell Owens.
Evans had 44 catches for 612 yards and seven TD in 2009 and will line up with Roscoe Parrish, James Hardy and Steve Johnson. The tight end is Shawn Nelson (17 grabs in '09) with Derek Schouman providing depth.
The offensive line also needs work as they allowed 46 QB sacks a year ago. The center is Geoff Hangartner, the guards are Eric Wood and Andy Levitre and the tackles Cornell Green and Demetrius Bell.

Defense: The Bills did a great job defending the pass in 2009, finishing second overall (184 yards allowed per game) as safety Jairus Byrd led the AFC with nine picks.
The run defense was another story after allowing 156 yards per game, which ranked 3oth in the NFL.
The 3-4 scheme has Kyle Williams at nose tackle with ends Dwan Edwards and Marcus Stroud.
The linebackers are Aaron Maybin and Chris Kelsay (five sacks) on the outside with Paul Posluszny and Andra Davis on the inside spots. Davis (3.5 sacks in '09) comes over from the Denver Broncos.
Edwards comes over from Baltimore to fill the void left by Bills' QB sack leader in '09 Aaron Schobel, who registered 10 sacks.
The secondary features Byrd at free safety along with strong safety Donte Whitner and the corners are Terrence McGee and Leodis McKelvin.
Buffalo picked off 28 passes last season, good for second in the NFL with Byrd tying for the league lead with nine interceptions.


OUTLOOK: The Bills are definitely in rebuilding mold with new Head Coach Chan Gailey taking over in 2010.
Edwards must show improvement at quarterback after a disappointing 2009 season.
The running game appears solid and the passing game has to catch up in order to balance the attack.
There are too many questions to answer this season for the Bills as they face a rugged schedule and an uphill battle in the AFC East, where the Patriots and Jets loom large.
Defensively, stopping the run is a must for the Bills.
A 3-13 finish is likely for Buffalo and anything better than that would be considered an accomplishment.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. Miami
Week 2- at Green Bay
Week 3- at New England
Week 4- vs. NY Jets
Week 5- vs. Jacksonville
Week 6- Bye Week
Week 7- at Baltimore
Week 8- at Kansas City
Week 9- vs. Chicago
Week 10- vs. Detroit
Week 11- at Cincinnati
Week 12- vs. Pittsburgh
Week 13- at Minnesota
Week 14- vs. Cleveland
Week 15- at Miami
Week 16- vs. New England
Week 17- at NY Jets

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Numbers Don't Lie

In spite of the Fox 'News' Channel attempting to spin the numbers regarding spending by Obama Administration and the National Debt, take a good look at these numbers.
See what they reflect?
So the next time someone from the Republican party tries to say the deficit is too high, take a guess as to why this is so.
Remember... the numbers don't lie, people do!



2010 NFL PREVIEW- Tampa Bay Buccaneers


TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

2009 RECORD: 3-13-0
(4th in NFC South)

HEAD COACH: Raheem Morris

Key Additions: WR Reggie Brown (trade/Philadelphia), S Sean Jones (FA/Philadelphia)

Key Losses: WR Antonio Bryant (FA/Cincinnati), S Will Allen (FA/Pittsburgh), QB Byron Leftwich (trade/Pittsburgh)

Offense: After averaging just 288 yards per game and finishing 30th in the NFL with 244 points scored, the Buccaneers have a lot of work to do on offense.
Quarterback Josh Freeman showed some promise, but struggled for the most part during the '09 season. The second-year QB had 1,855 yards passing to go with 10 touchdowns, but threw 18 interceptions. Third-year player Josh Johnson is the backup.
Running back looks to be solid with Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward handling the duties.
Williams ran for 823 yards and scored four times while Ward gained 409 yards after putting some impressive numbers the previous two years with the New York Giants. B.J. Askew will be the fullback.
The wide receivers include Michael Clayton, Sammie Stroughter (31 catches for 334 yards), Mike Williams and rookie Arrelious Benn. The tight end is Kellen Winslow, Jr., who led the Bucs with 77 catches for 884 yards and five TDs in 2009.
The men up front include center Jeff Faine, guards Davin Joseph and Jeremy Zuttah and tackles Donald Penn and Jeremy Trueblood.

Defense: Tampa Bay has prided itself over the years on having a good defense.
That was not the case last season as the Bucs simply could not stop the run, allowing a league high 158 yards per game. The pass defense was decent, finishing 10th in the NFL with 207 yards allowed per game.
Up front in the 4-3 scheme are two rookies at tackle. Brian Price and Gerald McCoy were drafted high by Tampa Bay and will be thrown right into the fire. The ends are Kyle Moore and Stylez G. White.
The linebackers are Barrett Ruud in the middle and outside backers Quincy Black and Geno Hayes.
The secondary has Aqib Talib and Ronde Barber at the corners and the safeties are Tanard Jackson and Sean Jones. Both Talib and Jackson picked off five passes a year ago as the Bucs finished the '09 season with 19 interceptions.

OUTLOOK: Playing in the NFC South with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers is a daunting task for the young Buccaneers team.
Freeman will continue to develop in the system the Bucs employ and the running game will be the focus.
The defense has to improve against the run in 2010. That is why two highly touted rookies will be the starting defensive tackles.
This is clearly a team in the rebuilding stages after a sharp decline from two years ago when they lost their final four games after a 9-3 start. After finishing 3-13 a year ago, Head Coach Raheem Morris would like to see improvement.
A 4-12 finish looks to be what is in store for Tampa Bay this season, which would be an improvement from a year ago.


TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. Cleveland
Week 2- at Carolina
Week 3- vs. Pittsburgh
Week 4- Bye Week
Week 5- at Cincinnati
Week 6- vs. New Orleans
Week 7- vs. St. Louis
Week 8- at Arizona
Week 9- at Atlanta
Week 10- vs. Carolina
Week 11- at San Francisco
Week 12- at Baltimore
Week 13- vs. Atlanta
Week 14- at Washington
Week 15- vs. Detroit
Week 16- vs. Seattle
Week 17- at New Orleans

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dr. Laura- You Are No Redd Foxx

2010 NFL PREVIEW- New Orleans Saints


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

2009 RECORD: 13-3-0
(1st in NFC South)

HEAD COACH: Sean Payton

Key Additions: DE Alex Brown (FA/Chicago)

Key Losses: LB Scott Fujita (FA/Cleveland), RB Mike Bell (FA/Philadelphia), QB Mark Brunell (FA), TE Dan Campbell (FA), DE Charles Grant (FA)

Offense: What can quarterback Drew Brees do for an encore?
In his fourth season as Saints' QB, Brees led the NFL in passing (4,388 yards and a 70.6 completion percentage along with 34 touchdown passes and just 11 interceptions) as 510 points were racked up.
Outstanding!
Four wide receivers and a big target at tight end are the options for Brees as well as versatile Reggie Bush, who made 47 catches and had three for touchdowns.
Marques Colston (70 catches, 1,074 yards and nine touchdowns) and Devery Henderson (51, 804, 2 TD) along with Robert Meachem (45, 722, 9 TD) are the weapons. Lance Moore, who is battling back from injuries in '09 will be ready this season as well.
In addition, Jeremy Shockey (48, 569, 3 TD) is the tight end along with reserve David Thomas (35, 356, one touchdown) which proves the Saints can really spread the ball around.
Pierre Thomas is the leading rusher, gaining 793 yards (5.4 ypc average) and scoring six TD to go with his 39 grabs for another 302 yards and two scores. Bush ran for 390 yards and scored five rushing touchdowns.
The offensive line is where it all starts and the Saints have a great one, which allowed just 20 sacks all season while providing solid run blocking.
Jonathan Goodwin is the center. The guards are Carl Nicks and Jahn Evans and the tackles are Jon Stinchcomb and Jammal Brown.
The Saints led the league in scoring and in total offense, averaging 404 yards per game, including 272 yards passing per game.

Defense: Opportunistic is the best way to describe the Saints defense and that was never more true than in the Super Bowl when cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted a pass and raced 74 yards for a game clinching touchdown in the final minutes.
The Saints defense had 39 takeaways last season, including 26 interceptions.
Safety Darren Sharper had nine picks to tie for the league lead while Tracy Porter had four interceptions. Along with Sharper and Porter in the secondary is cornerback Jabari Greer and safety Roman Harper.
Up front in the 4-3 defense are tackles Sedrick Ellis and Remi Ayodele along with ends Will Smith (13 QB sacks) and Alex Brown, who comes over from Chicago during the off-season to fill the void of Charles Grant, who left via free agency.
The linebacking unit took a hit with the departure of Scott Fajita to Cleveland. However, middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma is back along with outside LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Scott Shanle.
Getting 39 turnovers was something special and the Saints preach such a defensive scheme.
The knock on the New Orleans defense is giving up too much yardage and points. The Saints ranked 25th overall, allowing 358 yards per game, which included 236 yards through the air. In addition, opponents scored 341 points last season, which ranked 20th in the NFL.

OUTLOOK: Strategy and breaks add up to wins and losses in the NFL and nobody took advantage of the breaks more so than the Saints last season as the magic continued throughout the playoffs all the way to the Super Bowl title.
Can they do it again?
Head Coach Sean Payton is an offensive genius who knows how to put a game plan together each week.
With Brees back again and barring any unforeseen injuries, there is no reason to doubt this team's offensive capability.
The defense will be the key as the Saints defend their Super Bowl crown. They have a big target on their collective backs in 2010 and a rugged schedule will test them.
Everything went the Saints way last year and that cannot be expected to happen again.
Look for the Saints to battle Atlanta all season long for the NFC South division title and finish 11-5. How far they go this year in the playoffs will depend on the defense. Another Super Bowl appearance is not out of the question.

TEAM SCHEDULE:
Week 1- vs. Minnesota
Week 2- at San Francisco
Week 3- vs. Atlanta
Week 4- vs. Carolina
Week 5- at Arizona
Week 6- at Tampa Bay
Week 7- vs. Cleveland
Week 8- vs. Pittsburgh
Week 9- at Carolina
Week 10- Bye Week
Week 11- vs. Seattle
Week 12- at Dallas
Week 13- at Cincinnati
Week 14- vs. St. Louis
Week 15- at Baltimore
Week 16- at Atlanta
Week 17- vs. Tampa Bay

Scottie P- Hall of Famer


In 1987, Scottie Pippen was drafted by then Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause as a little known basketball player from Central Arkansas.
Some 23 years later, the 6-7 former NBA star became a new member of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA with the greatest player in the history of the NBA, Michael Jordan, as his presenter.
As a person who witnessed many of Pippen's exploits on the court, it's no surprise that he wound up in the Hall of Fame.
As the Chicago Bulls team 'DJ' for seven years (1987-94), which consisted of producing and playing the music and sound effects heard during the NBA games, I was courtside at the scorer's table for three of the seven years at that position, and witnessed Pippen's transition from the bench to the superstar status he ascended to.
Pippen started out on the bench and often would be the first one to enter the game when then starting forward Brad Sellers would get yanked from the game by then Head Coach Doug Collins.
Long time Bulls official scorer Bob Rosenberg would joke with Pippen as he waited at the scorer's table to enter the game, "Hey Scottie, you going in for Brad (Sellers)?"
Pippen would smile and laugh slightly before entering the court, "Yeah" was his response.
That was during the 1987-88 season as the Bulls began to surround Jordan with the supporting cast he needed to lead the team to the NBA championship.
Along with fellow rookie Horace Grant, Pippen was one of the pieces of the puzzle to get it going during that rookie season.
The team continued to ascend to new and greater heights as the years rolled by, culminating with the Bulls' first ever championship in the 1990-91 NBA season.
Seeing Pippen giving his acceptance speech Friday evening, it was good to know that even though the role played as the Bulls' sound producer (official title) was a small one, it was never the less a role played in helping contribute to an atmosphere conducive to winning at the old Chicago Stadium.
Pippen had some favorite tunes he liked to hear during the pre-game warmups as did Jordan and many other players. But when MJ and Scottie P (as he was often called) requested a tune, we would definitely accommodate.
Current Bulls public address announcer Tommy Edwards, back for a second tour of duty after leaving the mic at the tail end of the 1989-90 season, was the man who bellowed out the introductions for the team during Pippen's early years.
When he became the starter midway through his rookie year, Pippen would be introduced first and Michael last to the roar of the crowd as Alan Parson's "Eye in the Sky" Sirius introduction song was played during a spotlight ceremony that has since been copied by numerous NBA teams.
That introduction was prophetic it seems now as the two players were book ended around the supporting cast of starters that, through the years, carried the team to six NBA championships in eight seasons spanning from 1991-98.
When all was said and done and the team moved from the old Chicago Stadium to the United Center in 1994, Pippen and Jordan were the two who were there for all six titles.
Congratulations Scottie P... you earned it.