Posted on: October 31, 2009 10:29 am

Happy Halloween - BURN of the Week 10/31/09

This will be my weekly "wrap-up" on the week that was. I'll usually try and cover a topic from 4 major sports. That includes college. This week, we have NBA, NFL, College Football, and Major League Baseball on the agenda. Let's get started.
  • NBA
There's been a lot of talk about the emergence of Brooke Lopez to challenge Dwight Howard as the best Center in the East. Maybe not this year, but in the future. People say that Lopez' offensive game is much more polished. So polished in fact, that he scored 11 points on 3-8 shooting. Dwight, however, only managed 20 points on 8-11 shooting. Lopez is supposed to be a great rebounder and defender also. So great, he managed as many personal fouls as rebounds: 5 a piece. Howard, on the other hand, managed 22 rebounds w/ only 3 personal fouls.

Let's look at the entire game here
  1. Howard: 20/22/1/4
  2. Lopez: 11/5/1/1
Howard had 9 more points, 17 more rebounds, and 3 more blocks. That's a pretty hefty margin for the top two centers in a conference, don't you think? Howard only had 1 assist, but when Carter went down, the offense only ran well when it ran through him. Lopez was so overmatched, the Nets had to double. Dwight's passing has improved and he made some great reads that got some superb ball movement opening up easy looks for Anderson/Carter, and even himself.

His offensive game has gotten much better as well. He dunked a lot last night, but he has moves now people. He's got soft touch. Against 
Samuel Dalembert and Brooke Lopez, two of the league's best defensive Center's, Dwight is averaging 21 points shooting at a 77% clip. Get ready league, the take-over has just begun.
  • NFL
Unfortunately for me, I'm a Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan. I know, there's a good chance that we go 0-16 this year. That would be our second ever winless season. It's heart-breaking and gut-wrenching for the fans. However, what it brought to my attention was the NFL's annual game in London.  After watching this game, I'm not a fan.

Even though the Bucs got destroyed by the Patriots, this game took away a HOME GAME from us Buccaneers fans. That's 100 dollars right down the drain. You have got to love NFL owners, right; especially ones that are 60 million dollars under the cap.

Another issue that I had was that the fans there really just didn't care. There was no real energy in the stadium. It would be like if Manchester United played some premiere league bottom feeder in Dallas' new stadium. Sure, people would watch, but no one would really be into it. It'd be just a flat atmosphere.

Now, I can't blame the NFL for putting a terrible team against a Super Bowl contender in this game considering when the decision was made. Tampa Bay was 9-3 and ranked as the third or fourth best team in the NFL. New England was also having a big year, and was set to return Tom Brady this year. It would be a clash of the titans. The, the Buccaneers blew up their team, and wa-la, you have what happened on Sunday. 

The England game takes too much planning, and as we saw last weekend, too much can happen in that time.
A common out-cry by football purists over the past couple weeks has been "defenses have finally caught up with the spread". That's just not true. They say that Texas Tech, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, the POWERS of the spread are all having down years offensively. Well, that's true, but it's not because "defenses have caught up with the spread". Let's take a look at some of the talent that these teams are missing this year, and we're not even including the offensive line.
  1. Florida - Percy Harvin (starting WR), Louis Murphy (starting WR)
  2. Texas - Quan Cosby (starting WR)
  3. Oklahoma - Joauin Iglesias (starting WR), Jermaine Gresham (starting TE), Sam Bradford (starting QB), Manny Johnson (starting WR)
  4. Texas Tech - Graham Harrell (starting QB), Michael Crabtree (starting WR)
All of these teams have taken heavy hits this year, especially Oklahoma. On that list are FOUR current or future NFL first round picks, and every single one other than Harrell is on an NFL roster. 

Now, look away from your traditional powers. Oklahoma State, who runs the spread, is putting up huge numbers. Auburn, who's converting over to a quazi-spread, has improved numbers. Houston is blowing people's minds right now.

The defenses have NOT caught up to the spread. It's a perfect system. Athletes in space are still athletes in space. The moment the defense tries to adapt and put a bunch of 5'9, 170 pound speedsters in the game, you're going to see a Tim Tebow or some big, powerful running back coming at you. 

The spread has too many options. It spreads you out. Think about paper. When you crumple paper up (i-formation), you can't really do anything so it. When you spread it out (spread), there are so many spots of weakness that you can have your way with it. The moment the NFL (other than New Orleans and New England) realizes that the spread is the future, you'll start to see great college players getting their dues and hopefully the end of these, "mediocre in college but has pro-tools" busts.
  • MLB:
Anyone else cheering for the Phillies just to see New York lose?
Posted on: September 8, 2009 9:26 pm

Don't Sleep on the Buccaneers

There's a lot of people doubting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year. Maybe for good reason, but I'm here to tell you, that this team can be a sleeper for a playoff spot.

Now, I'm not a fan of every, if not most moves that the Raheem Morris/Mark Dominic regime has made. However, this team is still solid going into this next season. Let's look over why I think this team can make a splash or two.

Offensively, there are very few teams with the weapons that the Buccaneers have. Antonio Bryant established himself as a big-time receiving threat last year. Michael Clayton looking for a rebound year. New system, and in great shape, I'm feeling optomistic about him. Throw in a top 5 tight end in Kellen Winslow Jr. Oh, and it goes on. Jeramy Stevens is a stud. He's been a class citizen since arriving here. That's 4 options right there for Leftwich, our one weak link on offense to hit. I know it's a QB, and that's a bad weakness to have, but those weapons should provide some help to cover his flaws.

On to the offensive line. I'm not as sold on some of the members of this line as others are. In particular, Davin Joseph. However, I do realize that in the new zone blocking schemes, the offensive line has created some monster holes. Throw in the fact that Donald Penn may be one of the best blind side defending tackles in the game today. He constantly blocks other teams best players and shuts them down. No matter what, this is a solid unit, especially in the new schemes.

Now on to the biggest strength in the offense. That being the running backs. I mean just look at them. Cadillac Williams looks like he's totally decided to turn himself into a power back. He's HUGE! He still has good speed. Not what it was as a rookie, but far from slow. Then there's Derrick Ward. The guy who puts up crazy numbers. 5.6 YPC. Can't get much better. As a third down back/change of pace/second option, especially with the zone blocking, he's due for a good season. Then there's Earnest Graham. Find me a better third string back. And last, but certainly not least, Clifton Smith, the NFC's pro-bowl kick returner. Yea, he's back and should actually be a more featured part of the offense. With teams having to crowd the box against our running game, Leftwich's parade of weapons will have a field day. Only question is can he get them the ball?

Now, let's move to the defense which has been questioned over and over again.

In the pre-season, they looked solid. They were fast, and they hit hard. Losing Tanard Jackson is a big hit, but hey, we just move Jermaine Phillips back for a few games. Not a bad replacement in my opinion. Aqib Talib is an absolute stud at cornerback. Not many better than him ALREADY! Will he be suspended or face disciplinary action? Hopefully not. Ronde Barber looks ok, but he's definitely getting older. Elbert Mack, the new nickel back has made vast improvements since last year. Depth is a concern however. And can Piscitelli cut back on the mental errors?

On to linebacker. Now, the names outside of Barrett Ruud won't ring a bell. However, if you've seen these two kids play, you'd recognize them quickly. Quincy Black has been Derrick Brooks replacement in waiting for a few years now. He's fast, and over this past off-season, he's bulked up. He hits hard, and makes splash plays. Can't wait to see him in some regular season action. On the other side is the comeback story of the year, Geno Hayes. Geno last year was quickly evolving into a special teams star, and possibly closing in on getting some playing time in the defensive rotation before a torn ACL against Seattle ruined his season. He's bounced back and is prime for a great year. Then there's Ruud. No comment needed.

On to the defensive line. Gaines Adams has been a bust. His sack numbers don't tell the whole story. Those 6 sacks are really the only 6 times all year he got to the QB. He's a straight line rusher that still doesn't have any moves. He's not Simeon Rice. Hell who is? And he'll never be as good as Rice was. Hovan and Sims have looked very solid this pre-season and have adapted to the new scheme better than anyone could've thought. Styles White has been the biggest light on the DLINE. As a guy who last year took on multiple double teams, his production went down after a phenomenal rookie campaign in 2007-2008. However, out of all those names, my favorites may be the two rookies. Kyle Moore and Roy Miller. Moore was a stud at USC that earned heavy regards from his teammates and coaches. Then there's Miller, the anchor of Texas' defensive interior last year, and a strong as an ox player. I love this kid's fire. He's poised for big things in his career.

So, there you have it. I'm speculative about the Buccaneers moves made this off-season, however, this team still has some young fiery players ready to make a run. If these players can play as energetic as a young team should, and the coaching staff can stop dicking around, watch out folks. Offensively, they have weapons everywhere. Defensively, there's no film on them, and they are young and explosive. Am I saying they're a Super Bowl team? No. But, can they make a run and get a playoff spot and shock some people? Damn right they can!

Go Bucs!!!
Category: NFL
Tags: Buccaneers
Posted on: August 5, 2009 2:54 pm

Top 10 Sporting Events I've Attended

Ok, so last night I was at the Rays/Red Sox 13 inning circus that included 4 solo home runs. An MVP grounding into a double play with a man on 3rd. One team leaving the bases loaded with no body out TWICE, fan interference, and last but not least a walk-off home run. It was a great game, and maybe even the best baseball game I've ever been to. So, it got me thinking. What are the top 10 sporting events I've seen live? Here's my list.

#10: March 17, 2006 (not actual video. Just highlights)
  • I was on Spring Break when my dad and my friends and their dads decided to take a trip up to Orlando for an Amp'd Mobile Supercross event in the Citrus Bowl. It was and still remains the only supercross/motocross event I've been to in my life and it was a great experience. Going in and really still to this day, the only rider I'd ever heard of was Ricky Carmichael. Unfortunately, Ricky didn't win this race sending me home less happy. A rising star at the time, James Stewart was the winner. We had left the stadium a little bit early to avoid traffic on the hour or so drive back down to St. Pete, but I remember listening to the final call announcing Stewart's victory. I'm not a supercross/motocross fan by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a unique experience in itself and definitely deserving of the top 10.

#9: August 4, 2009
  • Well, this was last night. Rays vs Red Sox. What a game this was. It was probably the most exciting game I've ever been to, but it fails in comparison with the baseball games that made the top 8. Anyways, it was a re-match of the ALCS, where Tampa Bay closed out the Red Sox in a fantastic game 7 with David Price shutting the door. And speaking of that Game 7, we had the same pitching matchup. Jon Lester from the Sox and Matt Garza for the Rays. Once again, they did not disappoint. Garza went 7 innings and gave up 2 earned. Both on solo shots. One to Kevin Youkilis and the other to Dustin Pedroia. Lester gave up one earned in 6+ innings of work. His final act was a pitch that hit Carlos Pena. Pena turned into the Rays first run on a Jason Bartlett infield single. Evan Longoria tied the game up in the 8th with a solo shot off of the center field Restraunt to tie it up at 2-2. After leaving the bases loaded twice, Longoria final struck again in the bottom of the 13th with 2 outs and Joe Dillon at third. A two run bomb to left field sent the good guys home happy.
#8: August 8, 2007
  • We were in San Francisco on vacation. Earlier that month, I had been on stub hub or some other ticket site looking for seats to a Giants game. We were about purchase tickets to the August 7th game. We'd have been sitting in right field. Try and guess which section (wink, wink). However, a friend called and said that he was going to be in town at the same time so we decided to wait an extra day. Needless to say, Bonds hit 756 the day we were supposed to go into the section we were supposed to sit. Bummer. Haha. Anyways, we went the next night and sat down the 3rd base line in the outfield. On that night, Bonds became the first person to break the new home run record as he lifted his 757th HR into McCovey cove. The game was quite forgettable as I don't really remember who won. I believe the Giants did, but to be there when Bonds hit 757 was quite special and easily in the top 10.
#7: January 1, 2008
  • New Years day. A college football fans Thanksgiving. So many bowl games with so many great matchups. The Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida was no exception. It was my first bowl game and the atmosphere was great. 50-50 crowd, Lloyd Carr's last game. The Heisman trophy winner. All in all, it couldn't have been better..... but Florida lost. In a great shoot-out, the under-dog Wolverines, led by Chad Henne, upset the Gators 41-35. This is a game where a lot of people say it could've been worse, but Michigan kept turning the ball over. What people miss is the fact that Florida would start their drives after the turnovers inside their 3 yard line where it was really try and avoid a safety then punt. After the punt, Michigan would score anyway, so all was what it should be. Even with the Gators loss, it was still a great day.
#6: May 22, 2004
  • First, I would like to say I do not consider myself anything but a fairweather hockey fan. However, number 6 on my list needs to go to the NHL. May 22nd marked the day where the Tampa Bay Lightning clinched their first Stanley Cup Finals berth. I was there, and it was crazy. Ruslan Fedtenko started the scoring in the first period to make it 1-0 Lightning. Early in the second, Mr. Slap Shot, Freddy Modin made it 2-0, a lead the Lightning would never give up. With 9:54 left in the period, the Flyers' Kim Johnsson made it 2-1, but that's as close as the Flyers would get. I can still remember the end of the game. The Flyers relentlessly attacking the Lightning goal trying desperately to get themselves back in it. Luckily for the Bay area, they didn't and the Lightning went on to win their first and only Stanley Cup against the Calgary Flames in 7 games.
#5: October 22, 2008
  • Another loss for the good guys here. This was game 1 of the 2008 World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies. Now, I know what you're probably thinking. "How is the first World Series game in Tampa Bay history only number 5?". Well, It's because A)we lost and B)the atmosphere wasn't as intense as the top 4. In this game, we had Cole Hamels facing off against Scott Kazmir. Kazmir's last outing had been the biggest collapse in ALCS history. But, let's not talk about that, ok? Haha. Kazmir gave up 3 earned in 6 innings of work while Hamels gave up only 2 earned in 7 innings of work. The Phillies first two runs came off of a Chase Utley two run homer. The last on a Carlos Ruiz grounder. The Rays runs came on a Carl Crawford homer and an Akinori Iwamura RBI double. Even though the Rays lost, the fact that it was our first ever World Series game here in St. Pete., it deserves to be mentioned in the top 5.
#4: January 12, 2003
  • This here was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs the San Francisco 49ers in the 2002-2003 NFL playoffs. This game itself wasn't the greatest thing ever as the Buccaneers had control from the very beginning on their way to a 31-6 route of the 49ers and Jeff Garcia. The Buccaneers top rated defense crushed Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens and company on their way to 4 turnovers and only allowing 227 total net yards (some of which were gained in garbage time). The Bucs went into halftime leading 28-6 on two Brad Johnson touch down passes and two Mike "A-Train" Alstott touch down runs. Derrick Brooks picked off one Garcia pass and also recovered a fumble forced by sack machine Simeon Rice. Martin "Automatica" Gramatica added a field goal to make it a 31-6 ball game. This was the Buccaneers last home game of the season. They next went on to dump the Philadelphia Eagles. That game being clinched on the Ronde Barber interception return. After that, the Buccaneers travelled to San Diego where they made mince-meat of the Oakland Raiders and their top ranked offense. The Buccaneers brought back 3 Rich Gannon interceptions for touch downs. Two by Dwight Smith and 1 by 2002-2003 NFL DPOTY Derrick Brooks. Dexter Jackson, who intercepted two earlier Gannon passes was named Super Bowl XXXVII MVP.
#3: October 2/3, 2008
  • I combined two events into one right here so call me a cheater. The reason being is that game 1 was important because it was the Bay Area's first MLB playoff game. However, it was game 2 that got the excitement really going. In game 1, the Rays were given a gift by the touted young Rookie/All Star, Evan Logoria. Longoria became the second player EVER to hit home runs in his first to playoff at bats. James Shields went 6 and a third innings giving up 3 runs. All of which were on a Dwyane Wise 3 run homer. When Shields left, the bases were juiced and obviously, only one out. Grant Balfour, who had been the Rays "stopper" all year came in and struck Juan Uribe and then Orlando Cabrerra out to end the threat. In game 2, Scott Kazmir battled control issues early but still managed to give up only two runs in 5 and a third innings of work. Grang Balfour came in again to hold off a threat. In the 7th, J.P. Howell came in to settle Balfour's mess. Going into the 8th, it was 3-2 Rays. Akinori Iwamura had hit a home-run to give the Rays a lead. In the 8th, the Rays scored 3 runs. It was a 6-2 game, but what made this game special was a record set that was totally unrelated to baseball. In this 8th inning, Tropicana field set the record for second loudest stadium ever. Ask anyone that was there, it was mayhem...good mayhem. The Rays would lose game 3 but finish off the White Sox in game 4. This set up one of the great ALCS of all time against the Boston Red Sox.
#2: January 8, 2009
  • Anyone care to try and venture a guess as to what this game may be? I know, It's obvious. January 8th, marks the day that Florida defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 24-14 in the National Championship game in Miami, Florida. In a dead-locked first half, neither team really could get anything going offensively. Oklahoma was stopped twice at the goal line. Once on an interception by Major Wright, and the other a 4th down stop by Torey Davis. Tim Tebow struggled mightily. He threw two terrible interceptions. One to Nic Harris and the other to Gerald McCoy. The trademark play of the game took place on Oklahoma's first drive. Heisman Trophy winner, Sam Bradford flung a ball deep to WR Manny Johnson. Safe to say, I highly doubt Johnson remembers this play and he was highly ineffective the rest of the way. The second half was where it really came together for the Gators. Although the scoreboard doesn't say so, this game was over in the 3rd quarter. Mid-way through, it became Tebow-Time. It seemed like every play was a QB draw, designed or not. And every time he got good yardage and/or ran over a OU defender. There was a sense of "awe" in the crowd that this game was done. A Jonathan Phillips field goal gave the Gators a 17-14 lead. On OU's next possession, Ahmad Black made the game changing play (at around 1:55 in that video). Florida took the ball. After driving down to the goal line, Tebow and the Gators put the dagger in the Sooners with the famous Tebow Jump Pass. This time, 6'5 Carl Moore was the target. After OU failed to score again, Florida ran out the clock in Good Ole' Gator Fashion.
#1: September 28, 2007
  • I really don't expect anyone to agree that this should be the number 1 moment in a GATOR fan's sports attending life, but this really was a "you had to be there" moment. It was a beautiful Thursday night in Tampa, Florida. The 5th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers were coming in to face the 18th ranked University of South Florida Bulls. This was the first time in Bulls history that the upper-deck at Raymond James Stadium (also home of the Buccaneers) had been opened up for one of their games. It's also the only sell-out in USF history. Needless to say, this game was a big deal for the Bull faithful (I am not. Outside of Grothe/Selvie, I can't name many more). Walking up to the stadium, there were countless "Grothe > insert great QB" shirts and "Go home couch burners" shirts. It was a fantastic atmosphere. We sat to the left of the endzone (if you're facing the endzone from the other) and on the Pirate Ship side. For those of you that don't go or have never been to a USF game, we were right next to the student section. The Bulls started the game off with a bang. Pat White dropped back and threw an interception to Bulls middle-linebacker and then though of as model citizen, Ben Moffit. Moffit ran left (towards us) and returned the interception for a touchdown. The crowd went ballistic. The only songs that I can remember them playing on the stadium PA was "Party Like a Rock Star" and "Crank Dat Soulja Boy - Travis Barker Mix". It didn't matter though. Whenever the songs would play, the bass was going and the student section was rocking. In this game, Matt Grothe may have made the play of the year. Somehow avoiding a sack, Grothe does this. A Jamar Taylor 19 run score made it 21-3 and the rest is history. The part of this game that was most exciting had to have been the aftermath. During the 4th quarter, the stadium made the mistake of "asking" fans to celebrate in the stands. All that did was give them the idea. When the final seconds ticked off, the stadium emptied.....on to the field. This gave us one of the more memorable images of the college football season where Grothe surrounded by fans waives up at a camera right above him and gives the "number 1" sign. USF would ride this momentum to climb all the way up to number 2 in the polls at one point becoming the fastest school to ever do so. However, the second half of the season wasn't as kind to the Bulls as they struggled down the stretch and got pummeled by Oregon in their bowl game.
Anyway, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed.
Posted on: August 16, 2008 11:51 pm

History doesn't mean sh*t!!!

History doesn't mean sh*t. I'm about to have a really light hearted blog, so I thought I'd get a little serious with this one.

Again, history doesn't mean sh*t. I'm sick of hearing viagra taking old farts talking about the history and how much it means now adays. Well guess what, it doesn't mean sh*t.

The Phillies have 10,000 losses in their history. The only team that has that "achievment". Nowadays, they're in the middle of a pennant race. Those 10,000 losses don't mean sh*t.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only team in NFL history to go winless in and NFL season. They won the Super Bowl in 2002, and were a playoff team last year. That history doesn't mean sh*t.

The Tampa Bay Rays had 10 losing seasons in their first 10 seasons. This year, they have the best record in arguably the best division in baseball. That history of 10 losing seasons in a row, it doesn't mean sh*t.

The Boston Red Sox went 86 years without a WS. Correct me if I'm wrong. They've won 2 of the last 4. That 80+ years of failure and the curse of the bambino; It doesn't mean sh*t.

The New York Yankees have 26 WS championships. They've made the play-offs 13 straight times. The last time the won the WS was 2000. This year, they're 9.5 games out of first. That rich  history they have doesn't mean sh*t.

History doesn't matter. It's what you're doing in the here and now. So, all those people that want to say how, oh the Rays have been losers their whole history and will crumble because the Yankees always come back, shut your mouths and enjoy being in 3rd.


Category: MLB
Posted on: July 26, 2008 12:14 pm

My NFL Power Rankings! 1-16

  1. New England Patriots - I think they have the best team and finally added some youth to the LB core with Jerrod Mayo out of Tennessee. Donte Stallworth will be missed, but I think Jabar Gaffney is a reliable 3rd option.
  2. New York Giants - The Super Bowl champs deserve to be top 5, and I put them here because I believe that Justin Tuck will help that defense from not missing a beat without Strahan, and a team that can win on the road is a solid team.
  3. Indianapolis Colts - This is a team that could slide. Peyton Manning is expected to be fully healthy, but infections and such are not little, minor things. That could have a big effect on his furutre career if he can't fully recover. Harrison is back, and the rest of the team is solid.
  4. Greenbay Packers - Even with Arron Rodgers at the helm, this team is great. They have a solid defense, and Ryan Grant is a phenomenal RB. Deshaun Wynn provides decent depth at that position. Brett Favre might not be gone for good, and I think that it will only take 1 mistake from Rodgers before Favre comes in.
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars. I think that this may be the year for them. The defensive line loses a little bit of bulk in the middle, but they add arguably the SEC's two best edge rushers in Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves. They hurt with pass-rush off the edge last year and filled that need. They also needed a more reliable WR and they got that in Jerry Porter. He ain't great, but he's a solid upgrade.
  6. Dallas Cowboys - I'm not sold on this team because of them not coming through in the play-offs. They have the talent, but it seems like this team has more going on off the field than on the field. They got a skat-back to off-set Marion Barber's power style in Felix Jones, and they really boosted their corner play with Adam Jones, and Mike Jenkins out of USF. Offense is still solid.
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers - Another just absolutley solid team. They have the play-off expereince with the SB 3 years ago. big Ben is a great QB, and they get another RB in Johnothan Stewart. Defense is great, and Troy Polomanu is healthy. This is one of the best examples of a TEAM in the NFL
  8. Seattle Seahawks - I expect another good year from them taking the division with ease. Their biggest weakness last year was running back and they re-built that with the additions of Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett that will give a nice 1/2 punch of speed and power. Another team that is more of a TEAM than superstars.
  9. San Diego Chargers - This is a great team, but the injuries that thye endured at the end of the year raised some question marks about this year. Great talent, but without Michael Turner, how will they deal with a very possible tough injury to Ladanian Tomlinson?
  10. Cleveland Browns - This team can score with anyone, and now they have a re-vamped defensive line. This team already has an amazing offense led by Derrick Anderson who is the most under-appreciated player in the league, and now they should have a better defense. Look for them to be very good this year.
  11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - This team's only significant loss was Brian Kelly. They adressed that hole by drafting Aqib Talib and converting Eugene Wilson to corner. Those two are more fillers for Phillip Buchanon whi is going to fill BK's hole. They may have the best safety duo in the NFL with Jermain Phillips and Tynard Jackson. Sabbi Pisceteli is back to provide depth at safety and they can go 3 deep at TE.
  12. Tennessee Titans - Vince Young could be a very solid QB, but his organization REFUSES to put a good offensive product around him. They have like 100 quality RB's and NO WR's. They drafted Chris Johnson out of ECU, and he may be able to be a receiving weapon out of the backfield, but he's not a full-time WR.
  13. New Orleans Saints - They had a down year last year, but I think they'll be better this year with the addition of Jeremy Shockey at TE and Deuce McCallister back at RB. Reggie Bush is a pure 3rd down back. The defense still is the biggest question mark, but they can put good pressure on the QB off the edges. I think the offense will be back to form this year, and they should contend the Bucs for the NFC south.
  14. Minnesota Vikings - I have them this low because I don't expect the same production out of Adrian Peterson. He'll be solid, but I don't see the record breaking performances on the horizon. The defensive line is the best in the NFL with Jared Allen now providing the rush of the edge to go with the Williams in the middle. Tavaris Jackson is a severe weakness for them, but if he plays at a somewhat high level or plays like Jeff Garcia last year and just keep his interceptions to a minimum, then the Vikings could be a force.
  15. Washington Redskins - They added Jason Taylor at DE to fill the injury holes, but this offense looks like it's built to much for the big play, especially at WR with Santana Moss and Antwan Randle El. Devin Thomas looks like a potential bust to me, but Malcom Kelly could be the big they need. Clinton Portis is a great back, but will the injury bug bite him again? I don't think that Jason Cambell can lead them to the play-offs.
  16. Cincinatti Bengals - I love this team this year. I think they'll be back. They've removed the legal distractions and the Chad Johnson off-season circus seems to be over. Their offense can score with anyone, and there's no way that the defense will get any worse. I'm not sure if they can be a play-off team, but they are worth noting.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com