Let's get some NFL discussion in this place. Talk about your team, how camp is going, preseason, any possible signings/cuts, etc.
I finally think this is the year for my boy Alex Smith. He has been taking some unfair criticism these past years. He played with a injured shoulder and as a result he ****ed up and it took awhile for his shoulder to heal(missed all of last year) but It looks like he's back. They are saying he's having a good camp and can take the starting job during pre-season.
I'm extremely excited for the NFL season to start, just like every offseason. The NFL is such a rush because there's only 16 regular season games and each play is huge, unlike the NBA or MLB where there's way too many regular season games.
My team, the Buccaneers, are in a total transition stage right now. We have been a defensive power since the mid-90's, but this season we will be a force on the offensive end and suck on defense. I guarantee we will have a top 10 offense, even if our QB situation isn't even settled yet. I'm hoping Luke McCown wins the job. Byron Leftwich is a sitting duck and has a looooong wind up. And I like Josh Freeman, but I'd like him to sit a season or two. I think Cool Hand Luke is ready to run the show.
We will have a very potent offense. We have one of the top 3 offensive lines in the game, and its a very young offensive line. We have an excellent backfield with Derrick Ward, Earnest Graham, Carnell Williams, BJ Askew and Clifton Smith. We have a top WR returning in Antonio Bryant and a top TE in Kellen Winslow, to go along with Michael Clayton, Brian Clark, Jerramy Stevens and Maurice Stovall in the pass receiving game.
Our defense will suck though. Ronde Barber is a shadow of himself. Our CB, LB and Dline situation is ugly. Our starting LBs right now are Jermaine Phillips (has played Safety his entire career), Barrett Ruud (should've been a pro bowler last year), and Quincy Black or Adam Hayward. I do feel, however that Gaines Adams will have a breakout year, as will Safety Tanard Jackson.
With all this said, I think a 7-9 record would be a success seeing how we have perhaps the hardest schedule in the NFL. AND we also lose a home game b/c we "host" NE in the London game. Stupid.
The Bengals have improved their defense via the draft, but they stil have some weaknesses up front on the OL. Drafting Andre Smith is a major step in the right direction, though. Also, this really is a make-or-break season for Carson Palmer in determining just how much of a franchise QB this guy really is. He has the skillset and the arm that the great ones do, but health is a major issues. Losing TJ Houshmandzadeh is huge. Laverneaus Coles is an OK enough replacement, but he's not TJ. 85 will really have to rebound from a poor season that he had last year.
The running game is..............ok. Benson is a good back. Teams out there have worse guys starting than Benson. Can he carry the load for a full season? Never really lived up to the promise coming off a steller college career.
Apparently the Vikes are looking at Marvin Harrison.
Personally I think he is done, but he should help push the younger guys(looking at you Rice).
NFC North is a real crapshoot to me. I actually like Green Bay the most, though they have to get solid support on the ground. Chicago have an old defense that was looking old last year, they need Tommie Harris to flat out dominate if they are doing anything. Minny may yet miss the Wall for four games and that would hurt. Should be better against the pass without Sharper though which is a positive. EJ Henderson should be back and beasting all so which will be a nice inclusion. Lions don't matter.
AFC West should be a fun division, healthy the Chargers should walk it in, but Chiefs, Raiders and Bronco's all have room for improvement, Chiefs are the best 2 win team I've seen, Bronco's will surprise, before his injury Orton was playing every bit as well as Cutler and now actually has weapons and an OL that isn't ancient. Raiders are a crapshoot, they have some talent that can make big plays, defensive consistency is the problem, they have a lot of defensive talent, just got to get it working together.