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View Full Version : My take on the AFC East..so far..



Gladsadmad
05-25-2004, 06:05 PM
Hey if NFL Network, CNNsi & CBS Sportsline can do off-season analysis, why can't I?

My take..

NY Jets...Offense..Only starter lost was Curtis Conway, and he was replaced by a better WR in J. McCareins. If Pennington stays healthy, the Jets should have no problems scoring points.

Defense...If J.Abraham & D.Robertson don't bounce back in a big way and provide a strong pass rush, they are going to get into shootouts every week. They definitely added speed to their LB corps. Eric Barton & Jonathan Vilma are much more athletic than Mo Lewis & Marvin Jones. They will lose some leadership and veteran savvy because Vilma will probably make rookie mistakes, but overall they improved at the position. The secondary is where the Jets are going to get killed. Losing out on Antoine Winfield was a big blow. Donnie Abraham & David Barrett are mediocre at best. Reggie Tongue is only a slight upgrade over Sam Garnes.

STRENGTHS- Entire Offense
WEAKNESSES- Secondary, D-Line

Bills...Offense..Mike Malarkey's coaching will help more than any personnel moves here. Remember, he made Kordell Stewart look pretty good for a while. He is very creative, but fortunately for us Fin fans he still has the "living statue" Drew Bledsoe. That will hinder him. The biggest problem remains the o-line. They have 4 of 5 starters coming back. Villarreal is a nice upgrade over sluggish Ruben Brown, but is it enough?

Defense..Didn't change much, but didn't need to. I still think that Winfield's loss will be felt. Vincent has more experience, but Winfield was probably the best CB in the NFL against the run. Just ask Ricky. Vincent is on the way down.

STRENGTHS- Entire Defense
WEAKNESSES- O-Line, Immobile QB, WR besides Moulds

Patriots..Offense..Adding Dillon is a nice upgrade over Antowain Smith and will make a big impact when N.E. plays poor run defenses. However, I don't believe that his addition will have a great impact when the Pats play teams like Buffalo, Miami, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. The loss of Woody should hurt. I know that they play well together, but Light, Hochstein, Koppen, Andruzzi, and Ashworth simply aren't THAT great. I know I'll catch flack for saying that, but these guys are overacheivers who play is helped greatly by Tom Brady. Brady gets rid of the ball so efficiently and quickly, his o-line doesn't have to hold their blocks very long. I truely believe that their o-line can be exposed in some games. (it's funny how so many people here compain about the lack of stars on the current Dolphins o-line when New England has a bunch of no-names and castoffs.)

Defense....I also think that losing Ted Washington will hurt alot. Traylor is now officially a journeyman. Wilfork should be good, but to expect him to adequately replace the best run-stuffer in the entire NFL as a rookie is a bit much. Don't get me wrong, they should still be an outstanding defense. Their preparation is second to none..thanks to Bilichick. However, I do wonder when age will catch up to this unit. I also wonder if other teams can replicate what the Carolina Panthers did in the SuperBowl. They went no-huddle most of the 2nd half and they simply torched them. New England wasn't allowed to do all of their substitutions and you saw the result. I hope that is the key to figuring them out, otherwise the Pats are going to roll again.

STRENGTHS- Passing game, Front 7
WEAKNESSESS- Not much on paper..just T. Poole & Eugene Wilson

34RWilliams
05-25-2004, 06:22 PM
Like the analysis but wheres your take on the Phins :)

TigerJ
05-26-2004, 10:32 PM
I appreciate your non-smack objectivity. Your assessment on the Bills' offensive line and wide receiver positions represent conventional wisdom. There was only one change in offensive line personnel in the off season, so therefore we should expect a similar woeful performance this year to what we saw last season. Buffalo drafted a WR, but it's rare that a rookie WR makes much of an impact. It may turn out to be correct.

We Bills fans are placing quite a bit of hope in new offensive line coach Jim McNally. From our perspective, we think for the most part Buffalo's linemen are athletic, have sufficient size, and should be a lot better than they have shown, and a great position coach might be just what the doctor ordered to help them reach their potential.

From our perspective, Lee Evans looks like the most NFL ready of the first round receivers picked. In addition to his great speed, he has great hands, runs excellent routes and is a strong downfield blocker. All of that does not guarrantee a high impact rookie season, but it's better than not having those qualities. We think he might benefit from having a healthy Eric Moulds. Eric played injured much of last season, and that put extra pressure on the other receivers. Josh Reed couldn't hang on to the ball early in the season. Bobbly Shaw did not play terribly, but he's no #1 receiver. Any way, we think a fast receiver like Evans combined with a healthy Eric Moulds represents a significant upgrade from last year. BTW, the position coach who worked with Anquan Boldin and helped him to rookie of the year honors is now the Bills' wide receiver coach.

I freely admit that the things I've mentioned do not automatically turn the offensive line and wide receivers into a strength. I merely state there is a chance they may be better than conventional wisdom gives them credit for. We'll see in the fall.

dantheman1280
05-27-2004, 08:10 PM
Nice assesment Tiger J, I love when people know what they are talking about!!

TigerJ
05-27-2004, 11:49 PM
Well, to be honest, at this point in the offseason, a lot of things are opinion and relatively little is immutable fact. Most, though not all, fans are optimistic that if things turn out as good as they might, their teams will have a better season than last. I'm no different than any one else in that regard. I guess what I can do better than some is admit what is hope and distinguish it from fact. Gladsadmad did a nice assessment. However, those logical, objective assessments rarely work out exactly as projected because some of our hopes actually pan out and sometimes the things we were counting on blow up in our faces. I'm sure fans of the Jets and Patriots could tell you the things they hope for that go against the grain of the objective assessment. That is why, as they say, you play the game.

I'm really glad we can have cordial conversations about it though. May is no time to be talking smack. The season is just too far away.

82YARDotBOMB
06-07-2004, 12:02 PM
wilson and poole were pretty solid last year overall,especially wilson

FlyingElvis
06-14-2004, 09:59 AM
I also wonder if other teams can replicate what the Carolina Panthers did in the SuperBowl. They went no-huddle most of the 2nd half and they simply torched them. New England wasn't allowed to do all of their substitutions and you saw the result.

Just a quick comment here. The Pats secondary WAS burned badly in the 4th quarter of the SB. However, a lot of that had to do with the fact that both Rodney Harrison and Eugene Wilson both went down with injuries.

BB went out and added depth in the secondary this offseason because the 4th Q of the SB made it clear to him that its one area he lacks depth.

Nice solid assessment though. Good job IMO.

psirus716
06-26-2004, 04:55 PM
Not to mention with the Bills, yes the oline was a major weakness last year but you also have to consider Jonas Jennings being injured much of the season with a hip flexor and playing through it. You could obviously see it affected his play.
Now saying that Jennings is a solid left tackle, and Mike Williams (4th pick overall 2 years ago) has been a solid tackle his first 2 years but has been looked at as a disapointment seeing where he was drafted. With Mcnally who is one of the best oline coaches in the league many people in and around Buffalo think this is Mike Williams break out year. Plus Ruben Brown did not deserve a pro bowl spot and Chris Villiarial is definitly a upgrade.

Tom Clements(Pittsburgh's Former QB coach) who made Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox look good is definitly going to help Bledsoe. But more so Sam Whyce will help Bledsoe. Theres no doubt Drew still has one of the best arms in the leauge. But they are heavily stressing to get the ball OUT after 3 seconds and Drew has been receptive to the coaching. Also Willis Mcgahee and Travis Henry will be carrying this offense. Not Drew. The pressure is not on his shoulders as much to win as it was ALL last year. Now I'm not saying Bledsoe will have Pro Bowl numbers next year, all I'm saying is he WILL do better than last year.

Ross
06-26-2004, 09:42 PM
I remember thinking the Jet's oline having some question marks heading into this season? But i can't remember exactly why or when I heard it?

Any help?

--Ross

CAbills
06-28-2004, 08:19 PM
Bills Fan here.

Anyways you saying our o-line has a weakness is a very true statement. However like TigerJ said McNally and most of our o-line intact we should do much better. My only worry is our center position seeing as Teague is not a "real" center and is small for playing the center position.

However I think our receiving core is a strenght rather then weakness. Having Moulds healthy already helps and people who saw him in minicamp says he looks back in form. The addition of Lee Evans will only help hopefully fill in the gap left by P.Price (a need for a reciever who can stretch the field) which we didnt have last year causing an injured Moulds to be double teamed which equaled a fall off in production. Reed will fall back into the slot where he is fit to play and which he excelled so well in with Price and Moulds. Either Shaw will fill out the #4 spot or a second year guy named Aiken who was injured last year but has working hard and everyone who has seen him in minicamp are pretty high on him.

Hopefully all these things can work out and the bills will be able to make it back into the postseason I feeling that has long been forgotten by many bills fans.

FlyingElvis
06-29-2004, 03:27 PM
I would be shocked if the Bills challenged this year in the AFCE. For one simple reason, new coaching staff.

How often do you see NFL teams come out strong out of the gate with a new staff?

I also have doubts that the Bills have enough depth. Most teams look good looking at their starters. But what happens when they start dropping like flies?

TigerJ
06-30-2004, 09:22 AM
Conventional wisdom is always that new coaching staffs mean a short term down turn in team fortunes. I can't argue that. Bills fans, homers that we are, like to think that the Bills may buck the trend because: they are more talented than the typical team with a brand new coaching staff, they managed some continuity on the defence which was not the problem, the new offensive staff has some bright young minds and some proven veterans and thus far has shown unusual savvy and common sense for a brand new staff.

Buffalo is deep at running back, has gotten deeper at WR, is fairly deep on offensive line and has decent depth at linebacker and secondary. We're very deep at DT though pretty thin at DE. We're not sure what we've got behind Bledsoe at QB. Travis Brown doesn't have a major college pedigree or much time behind center in games at the pro level, though by all accounts he has all the tools and has done well during the minicamps. JP Losman also has the tools, but of course he's a rookie.

Justasportsfan
07-01-2004, 05:45 PM
I would be shocked if the Bills challenged this year in the AFCE. For one simple reason, new coaching staff.

How often do you see NFL teams come out strong out of the gate with a new staff?

This could very well be true however, Mularkey was not brought in to fix an entire team but only the O. This is why he kept Jerry Gray, Tim Krumrie and co. for continuity's sake on the D side .

The OL can run black as proven last year and seems like all is needed to do is fix the pass protection.

Mularkey didn't bring in unexperienced coaches unlike Greg Williams. He brought in the likes of Wyche, Mcnally who know their stuff and don't neccesarily have to experiment using college coaches.

Mularkey pretty much brought in coaches to tweak the team in certain areas. Whether that pans out remains to be seen.

ScottLawrence
07-10-2004, 10:39 PM
I would be shocked if the Bills challenged this year in the AFCE. For one simple reason, new coaching staff.

How often do you see NFL teams come out strong out of the gate with a new staff?

I also have doubts that the Bills have enough depth. Most teams look good looking at their starters. But what happens when they start dropping like flies?


I never did buy into that theory..... Many new coaches who were hired are usually taking over a very bad team talent wise.

I don't think thats the case with the Bills.... I think we have a solid nucleus of players.

dolphin_safe
07-12-2004, 04:13 PM
Originally Posted by FlyingElvis
I would be shocked if the Bills challenged this year in the AFCE. For one simple reason, new coaching staff.

How often do you see NFL teams come out strong out of the gate with a new staff?

I also have doubts that the Bills have enough depth. Most teams look good looking at their starters. But what happens when they start dropping like flies?
[QUOTE]
The AFC East is the most balanced division in the league. You can be a very good team but you still have to face 6 quality teams within the division in addition to the rest of your schedule. That NE won 14 straight games last season is amazing. I hope they lose early on - I'd like to see the 72/73 fins keep the record for consecutive wins.

TigerJ
07-12-2004, 05:06 PM
So, where do you think Buffalo lacks depth, asside from the obvious (DE and maybe free safety)?

BigNate123
07-21-2004, 04:30 PM
I would be shocked if the Bills challenged this year in the AFCE. For one simple reason, new coaching staff.

How often do you see NFL teams come out strong out of the gate with a new staff?

I also have doubts that the Bills have enough depth. Most teams look good looking at their starters. But what happens when they start dropping like flies?
you mean like Gruden takin over Tony Dungy's job.....:)

BigNate123
07-21-2004, 04:31 PM
the bills lack nothing....they have the most talented team in the division

FinFrenzy
07-24-2004, 04:40 PM
you mean like Gruden takin over Tony Dungy's job.....:)

Beat me to it..lol don't forget the raiders coach that year Callahan or somethin 2 new coaches on 2 new teams in the bowl.

LosmanOwns7
07-29-2004, 01:12 AM
Oh just you boys wait.

The Bills are developing sets with Travis Henry and Willis McGahee in the backfield. If they line them up on opposite sides of Bledsoe, how is the defense supposed to cover that? That's a legitimate threat to each side of the field, not to mention Moulds with Reed and/or Evans. With an improved O-line... it should be something to see.