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The official NFL thread


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for the 08/09 season. Motivated by the bills vs steelers thread, it's probably a good idea to just have an NFL thread.

I am very excited for this season coming up. And with the season soon approaching, I would like to start out this thread by making a few bold predictions.. Here's my first one.

The Browns I believe overachieved last year.. While certain guys had their coming out party last season (Braylon Edwards as an example), I think the team takes a big step back this year.. Looking at their schedule, and they have a much more difficult schedule this year because of their improved record last season, I can't see better than 5-11 or 6-10 for Cleveland.

Look at this schedule-

Steelers X2 (Pittsburgh just owns them now)
Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Redskins (NFC east, are you kidding me?)
Colts, Jaguars, Titans, Texans
Bills, Broncos
I'm going to the Bills-Jets game November 2... SOOO excited... will be my first NFL game. :D

Who do you think is the team to beat this year, LN? (From the bit I've seen in preseason, not my Colts. =/)
I'm going to the Bills-Jets game November 2... SOOO excited... will be my first NFL game. :D

Just great, my 2 most hated teams. I hope they BOTH lose. LOL.

Your first NFL game huh? Make sure you get there early. NFL games are an "event" Get there 2 hours early and tailgate with the fans.. Barbecues are burning in the parking lot, people drinking beer, having a great time. People throwing the football around..

Great atmosphere.. Nothing like it in sports... BTW, you're not going to the Miami-Buffalo game in December @ the Skydome? It's the first regular season game ever in Canada.. THAT is going to be an event.. Glad that my Dolphins will be playing in the first ever reg season game in Canada.

Who do you think is the team to beat this year, LN? (From the bit I've seen in preseason, not my Colts. =/)

Just a bit too early, hard to tell. I will give my predictions a couple days before the reguar season starts.. Still, with cuts, injuries happening all over the place ( The Rams just lost their starting center and guard, so LeCharles bentlley is going there with a shot knee etc).

And of course, the Giants losing a good DE in a season ending injury the other night, as just a couple examples.. Final cuts are coming Aug 30th, and some good players get cut and move on to other teams.. Some trade rumors are swirling.. For instance the stud WR out of Arizona, Anquan Boldin wants out of Arizona.. Miami and Dallas are rumored as interested. If Dallas gets him, WOW, they'd be my pick right off the bat.. Boldin is like a Michael Irvin in his prime. Same type of player.. I think Boldin is the fastest player to ever get 400 receptions (or something like that)..

So there are still moves teams will make.. But early on, in the AFC, I like the Chargers. Only question is if their coaching can hold up imo. The team itself though, is awesome, and they have good depth at key positions.
By the way mesh, I wouldn't worry about the preseason when it comes to the Colts.. When they won the super bowl, they were 1-3 in the preseason ( or was it 0-4?).

Now the Colts with the great Bill Polian running the show are the epitome of how to build a successful NFL franchise.. All 22 of their starters for their super bowl team spent their entire careers with the Colts.. They had some number of 45 of their starting 48 being drafted by the team.. That's very impressive.

The Steelers won the super bowl with 18 of their 22 starters drafted by the team. The Pats won a super bowl with 85% of their starters drafted by the team.

That's why I am very excited what Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland the GM are doing in Miami.. They built that good team in Dallas. They know how to draft well. And we had a terrific draft this year.. Bodes well for the future.

Quick turnarounds happen often in the NFL.. When Bill Parcells took over the Jets, they were 1-15 the year before.. PArcells took them to 9-7 in his first year, and in his 2nd year took the Jets to 12-4 and into the AFC championship game..

In 2001 the Panthers were an abysmal 1-15 team.. They got Rodney Peete, a veteran QB to hold the fort, and a guy who knew the system (similar to what Miami did with Pennington for a ball control power offense).. A guy who the young players respected back there... Then what Carolina did was build from the lines on back..

Two years after that 1-15 season , Carolina made the super bowl in 2003 with a young QB ( Jake Dellhomme).. A similar QB style to the rookie Chad Henne in Miami, who is also similar in style to Matt Hasselback.. So those are just 2 examples of some teams that have made quick turnarounds in a couple of years. But you need the right guys in charge to make it happen.
Totally forgot about the Merriman thing. Remember reading it on footballsfuture... That will hurt, definitely. Not an easy player to replace..
merriman is an enormous blow. he's almost as important as LT. of course, if rivers can bounce back from the knee surgery and also take a few steps forward (as a young QB coming off some big-game playoff experience should) they should still be alright. rivers has been good for them but not great. he has the potential to change that and he is going to have to this season with merriman out and gates hobbled.

as for the browns, i would agree that anderson overachieved last year; i don't know why they gave him that contract. but they have a pretty good wildcard in brady quinn so if things aren't going smoothly he can be inserted and is good enough to turn things around, even as a first year starter.
During the playoffs last year Rivers finally started to show why everyone was blowing their load on him during his draft year, it was nice to finally see him shine.

But yeah, If Merriman is out that is going to really suck. Aside from the fact that he's one of the best defensive players in the game, he's fun as hell to watch. Typical luck for that team.

Gates and Hardwick should be ready to go sooner than later though.

And hopefully LT is still LT. Looked to me by the end of last year like he might have passed his best before date.
When I think of the Browns, it's not so much their offense. They have some impressive skill position players and a good line. Love their TE by the way,.. No matter who the QB is there, they are going to move the ball.

It just has to do with their defense,. Their defense is porous against the run.. And with that schedule, and teams who can run the ball on them with some very good offensive lines, and some stud backs on those teams ( such as The Jags with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, Dallas with Felix and Barber, The Eagles with Westbrook, The Steelers with Parker and Mendenhall , The Giants with Jacobs and Bradshaw, The Titans with White and Johnson, the Colts with everyone on offense etc), they will have a very difficult time stopping teams getting off the field and trying to give the ball back to that offense of theirs.
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The Browns are one of the more overhyped teams this offseason......they seem to be everyone's pick to do big things (both ESPN and CNNSI have been drooling over them all offseason).....but from where I'm standing they seem poised to be one of the teams that has the biggest drop off.

Although everyone is looking mainly at my Jets acquisition of Brett Favre, I think they did some great things this offseason which will have larger impacts on their success than Favre will.........The addition of defensive lineman Kris Jenkins gives us our first real NT for our 3-4 defense, since the Mangini came on board........fully healthy he's one of the best 3 or 4 defensive tackles in the league, and should do incredible things to open things up for our linebacking crew.........which has a great core now, led in the middle by David Harris and Eric Barton.....and solid passrushers on the outside with Calvin Pace (another offseason addition) and the combo of Bryan Thomas and Vernon Gholston (who'll get eased into the lineup mainly on passing downs)

With all that pressure coming from up front.......it should also lead to our star DB's Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes getting more int's off of QB's forced mistakes.

Also on offense we added LG Alan Faneca (perenial pro-bowler), RT Damien Woody and FB Tony Richardson all of which should help out our running game significantly and give Favre plenty of time, to do some damage.

(For the Fantasy guys in the crowd, Thomas Jones is going to put up fantastic numbers behind this reconfigured O-line, which already had 2 studs in Nick Mangold and D'Brickshaw Ferguson)......

All of this.....plus the addition of Brett Favre, should position the Jets to be a legitimate sleeper in the AFC this year..........a 10-6 or 11-5 season isn't out of the question at all.
This is for axlsalinger and the other dolphins fans on this board.. I found a nice little 8 minute highlight video of the game saturday night (link below)..

And this is why I love this new young offensive line.. Take a look at about 52 seconds into the video, take a look at the toss sweep to the left with Ricky Williams... Look at the right guard #66 Donald Thomas on that play.. Look at him chip the DE first, then look at him go to the 2nd level and just toss the Linebacker to the ground like a flea.. Then look at him go downfield following the play and shove another D-lineman at the end of the run... He also screams and yells at the d-lineman shaking his head after the play is over for good measure.. Now THAT's some SERIOUS attitude from your O-line....You can't miss it here starting at 52 seconds in-


Also take a look at 2 minutes in, it's a solo closeup shot of Donald Thomas pulling creating holes.. The announcers even mention this guy's extraordinary POWER !! VERY IMPRESSIVE rookie ! He was a STEAL in the 6th round this year. A TOTAL steal.. Some veterans on our D-line have mentioned after practice that Donald Thomas has the strongest punch they have ever seen.. He also ran the 2nd fastest 40 at the NFL combine for lineman.. And he had the fastest 10 yard split of any lineman drafted at 1.72. I see BIG things for him and this nice young O-line Miami has built.. It ALL STARTS up front.. And we have some very talented guys up front with an attitude and mean streak ( something I haven't seen in many years).. Perfect place for a rebuilding team to start from.

Long-Smiley-Satele-Thomas-Carey = Finally a real O-line in Miami that we can be proud of. Thank you Bill Parcells.

ps-- By the way, Leafman101, you mentioned in the other thread that you didn't see Pennington throw a pass outside the hashmarks, well watch at 3 minutes into that video above, pass to Ginn near the sideline.. And oh yeah, the perfect nice long TD pass to Peelle (about 5 minutes in) that was called back because he bobbled the ball ;)
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Williams has looked fantastic behind that O-Line this pre-season.......him and/or Brown are gonna studs for the Phins this season.
Williams has looked fantastic behind that O-Line this pre-season.......him and/or Brown are gonna studs for the Phins this season.

I am a big Ricky fan.. The guy, if he played every season, could have potentially been the best running back in history.. He has no weaknesses.. Tremendous vision, unbelieveable power, great speed, a tremendous "feel" for the game and finding the open holes. Great speed to the outside and his ability to sucker in safeties is unbelievable.. Very explosive, a great ability to make something out of nothing, and has a good ability of catching the ball out of the backfield. Really, he has no weaknesses.

The good thing about him now is he is in the best shape of his life, he has been at the Dolphin complex all summer really dedicated and training like a mad man... He is really a young 31 when you consider he has only had 6 snaps in the NFL since 2005.. His body hasn't taken the beating of most players his age as he took a few years off.

When you're bored, take a look at his 2002 season when he won the NFL rushing title. .I watched it all last night, and it gave me goosebumps in regards to the upcoming season.. He's Very impressive. It's a treasure seeing this guy run the ball.

Ricky Williams' 2002 NFL season

Part1- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jc68d2vEXM

Part2- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHeR7TWdW-Y

Part3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4wpP1llLfc

Part4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2msR7SLqR2M

Part5- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtNxj3o6Y0w
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I think Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Emmit Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson would have something to say to that Ricky Williams comment.
Okay, you're right.. Maybe not "easily". I definitely agree there.. Let me replace that word with "Potentially".. Edited acccordingly.

He potentially could have been a great back , not potentially the best ever.

I was a huge fan in college. That trade that was made for him by Ditka was insane and probably part of his problems, expectations were too high (no pun intended,lol)
I think Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Emmit Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson would have something to say to that Ricky Williams comment.

Not to mention Erik Dickerson, Earl Campbell, Tony Dorsett, Walter Payton, Marcus Allen, OJ, Marshall Faulk , etc etc