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Old 07-28-2004, 11:00 PM   #2
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The Eagles running game will be fine. Staley was more of a clubhouse leader than anything else. Buckhalter and Westbrook both had more yards and scored more TDs than Staley did. No Staley just means more touches for Correll and Brian. I am more concerned about how the two young corners will hold up. I am not ready to write off Jerome McDougle just yet. He was kind of thrown right from the frying pan into the fire last season. He got injured early in training camp and was thrown right into the rotation once he was healthy enough to play. He should be way more productive this year after a full training camp under his belt. Plus teams will be focusing on Kearse so he is unlikely to draw many double teams. Another concern is Corey Simon's contract status, there are signs of another messy hold out this summer and they really need Simon happy, healthy, and in training camp.

Dallas' running game will still probably be mediocre. I do not see Dallas as a good fit for Eddie George due to the fact that Dallas' line is still very mediocre. If that line does not improve I doubt Quincy will see much improvment. His head tends to get scrambled when under pressure. A big issue for Dallas could be the status of Darren Woodson. He had to have back surgery and could miss the beginning of the season. Currently the backup safeties are Keith Davis, Tony Dixon, and Lynn Scott.

I do not see the Skins winning more than 8 or 9 games. The defense still has too many holes. The front seven is weak and Arrington is the only guy a team really has to account for and Shawn Springs is a step down from Champ Bailey and Sean Taylor sprained his knee during the first day of practice. I thought Brunell was a waste of money. Ramsey is a good QB when he gets adequate protection. He just could not hold up to the abuse last year. Gibbs must get better line play or Brunell will be on the shelf by the end of October. Ramsey was not the reason the team was so bad last year. That money would have been better spent upgrading the front seven on defense.

The Giants are going nowhere fast. Manning will see time early on because Warner will get his head scrambled behind the Giants mediocre line. I am somewhat surprised they even signed Warner as they were the team that made him look so bad last season.

I love what the Vikings have done on defense they finally got some guys who could be some real playmakers in Winfield and Udeze. They got arguably the best corner available on the free agent market and got the best pass rusher available in the draft. There are also rumors that the 'Phins may be dangling Ogunleye in exchange for one of their RBs.

I also love the direction the Lions appear to be headed. Love the additons of Roy Williams, Kevin Jones, and Teddy Lehman. I think Lehman could be one of those Zack Thomas type of players. Joey Harrington seems to be getting better each season, he just needs to improve his decision making out there. Lions should at least be competitive.

The Bears still have a lot of work to do. They are pretty thin at reciever and will have to contend with Grossman's 'rookie' mistakes out there as he settles into the offense.

The Pack's offense should be just fine, but the fact they took no real measures to improve the defense is a concern.

I do not see any reason why the Panthers cannot win the South again. They kept the core of the team together and as long as they stay healthy they should be right there again. Although, I think they overspent to retain Jake Delhomme. Early reports are that this team is anxious to show last year was not a fluke.

The Falcons should be better, but a lot depends on how much Jim Mora can turn the defense around as it was just horrid last year.

The Saints will still probably only win eight or nine games like they always do.

Tampa looks like a mess these days. The defense may miss Sapp and Lynch. There are a ton of new faces on this year's team and it could struggle early as it looks to forge a new identity.

I still like St. Louis in the West, but it could be a long season for Faulk and Bulger if Pace has a lengthy hold out.

Seattle could win the division if they ever figure out how to win on the road.

San Francisco is going nowhere fast and will probably never win more than seven or eight games while Erickson is head coach. He has no business being on an NFL sideline. It could be an exceptionally long season if Julian Peterson follows through on his hold out threats.

Arizaon still has a lot of work to do on defense until they are to be taken seriously. Dennis Green should make things interesting on offense though. Emmitt Smith just needs to go ahead and retire.
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