With all the happenings in the AFC East this offseason, I believe it will be the most competitive and hardest to secure in the NFL.
Let's start with the quarterback position.
The Jets are the only team in the AFC East that isn't set here. They're due to meet with Mark Sanchez, meaning he's a possibility.
The Bills have Trent Edwards. Although he isn't a proven Playoff contender, I believe he will do well as he did in 2008.
The Patriots are set with Tom Brady; we know that with the trade of Matt Cassel, Brady must be ready to go.
The Dolphins have 2008's Comeback Player of the Year in Chad Pennington.
Now, on to offense.
The Jets need to find their passer, but they're otherwise solid. With running backs Thomas Jones and Leon Washington, no more depth is necessary in the backfield. TE Dustin Keller had a good rookie year, but with Bubba Franks a free agent and Chris Baker now with the Patriots, an extra big target may be needed. With Laveranues Coles going to the Bengals, wide receiver may be a need also.
The Bills had a good offense last year, and with the signing of T.O., it will be even better. I believe Trent Edwards will be coming into his own, especially with the help of a star wideout. My main concern for the Bills on offense is Marshawn Lynch; his troubles with the law this may be a concern.
Two words are all that's necessary when it comes to the Dolphins offense: Chad Pennington. As the 2008 Comeback Player of the Year, he helped Miami win the division. I don't see him slowing down with the taste of the Playoffs still fresh in his mouth. With few departures, I believe the club can pick up where they left off; if all else fails, Bill Parcells in there to fix anything.
Then, there's the Patriots. The fact that they finished 11-5 in 2008 without Brady excites me to see what they can do with their normal playcaller reinstalled. Additions WR Greg Lewis and TE Chris Baker give Brady new weapons to throw to. The addition of Fred Taylor squares New England at running back, making my only concern the line's ability to protect Tom.
And lastly, defense. I'm not too familiar with this side of the ball but will take a stab at it.
Rex Ryan, the defensive guru of the decade, has taken over for the Jets. He is bringing in some "Purple" by signing Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard. He also traded to get Lito Sheppard, and don't think he's done there. Ryan's priority is preventing opposing scores, and I believe this defense will be in the top five of 2009.
The Bills had a pretty successful season, and I am sure defense had quite a bit to do with it. Their corps isn't the best or worst, and it certainly won't be a huge problem. Still, there have been some departures, and some depth may need to be added here.
The Dolphins have had some guys leave on defense, but Parcells has a plan. Winning the division took some consistency on defense; look for them to reproduce that in the coming campaign.
The Patriots had problems with pass rushing and overall pass defense. With the signing of Shawn Springs, Belichick is clearly addressing this problem. Look for Bill to continue to rebuild through the draft or possibly another trade.
With still more than a month till the Draft, there is time for more improvement. The AFC East is going to be an exciting division to watch. I can't wait to see what these teams are going to do next.
This is my first article. Please comment or give feedback to let me know your opinions on my writing or my opinions.
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