07-26-2006, 12:23 PM #1
First look at upcoming NFL season
[size=18px]First look at upcoming NFL season[/size]
Your first look at the upcoming NFL season -- in 10 minutes time.
Mark Craig, Star Tribune
Last update: July 25, 2006 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 9:23 PM
New faces, new places
Nearly one-third of the league's teams switched head coaches this offseason. Here's a look at what's ahead for each of them:
Herman Edwards, Kansas City (top circle): Should have the best chance to win right away. Should be able to improve a struggling defense on a team that finished 10-6 last year.
Dick Jauron, Buffalo: Good luck picking a QB between J.P. Losman, Kelly Holcomb and Craig Nall. Maybe another 5-11 season.
Scott Linehan, St. Louis (middle circle): Former Vikings offensive coordinator needs to build and commit to more of a running game than Mike Martz. Should improve on 6-10 mark.
Brad Childress, Vikings: Takes over 9-7 team that really was 8-8 since the Bears laid down like dogs in last year's season finale. A lot has to go right -- offensive line, Chester Taylor, the linebackers, the receivers, Brad Johnson's health -- for this team to contend.
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay: If the Packers stay healthy, maybe they're better than last year's 4-12 team. But not much better, it seems.
Sean Payton, New Orleans (bottom circle): With Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and a home stadium, the Saints will be better than last year's 3-13 mark.
Art Shell, Oakland: The Raiders are still a mess, but the Hall of Famer should get more than four wins out of them.
Gary Kubiak, Houston: Takes over 2-14 team that passed on Reggie Bush. Ouch.
Eric Mangini, N.Y. Jets: Another Bill Belichick protÃƒÂ©gÃƒÂ© takes over an AFC East team. Don't expect much more than last year's 4-12 mark.
Rod Marinelli, Detroit: Takes over perennial loser that finished 5-11 last season. Might surprise with Mike Martz at offensive coordinator and Jon Kitna at QB.
Three games to watch
Indianapolis at N.Y. Giants, Sept. 10
An early season gem: Manning vs. Manning on national prime-time TV.
Dallas at Philadelphia, Oct. 8
Philadelphia, the city that booed Santa, gets its first crack at T.O.
Vikings at Seattle, Oct. 22
First meeting since the two teams' salary cap wizards took turns swapping "poison pills" this offseason.
the honor roll
MVP: Jake Delhomme, QB, Carolina
The Panthers are talented and hungry.
Coach of the Year: Brian Billick, Baltimore
With Steve McNair at QB and a healthier Jamal Lewis, look for the Ravens to bounce back from 6-10 season.
Breakout Player of the Year: Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego
With a HUGE assist from LaDainian Tomlinson.
Rookie of the Year: Reggie Bush, RB, New Orleans (top of page)
News flash: This guy is pretty good.
Biggest disappearing act: Fran Foley, unattached
Could be challenged by Reggie Bush if Bush has lengthy holdout.
First look at upcoming NFL season
"If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"
07-26-2006, 12:31 PM #2
Re: First look at upcoming NFL season
I hope he's right about Jake Delhomme; I took him in my NFL.com fantasy draft as my starting QB. However, if he thinks Reggie Bush is going to be Rookie of the Year, he's got another thing coming.
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