Any fan of the NFL is fully aware of the strength of the AFC East this season. I don't know anyone who knows anything about football that would tell you this division isn't top-notch. Every team in this division has a playoff-capable roster.
What's intriguing to me, is how entertaining this dominant division has the potential to be. Here's five reasons you'll want to watch the AFC East in 2009.
Let's face it... not matter how tired you are of hearing about him, you like it.
After stints in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas...Terrell Owens is bringing his camera crew to Buffalo. I can't help but think his training camp documentary won't be as successful there as it was in Dallas, but...okay.
Owens thrives on the people around him, and he'll have his hands full in this division. Trent Edwards has already spoken to the press about T.O. being a welcomed addition to the franchise.
C'mon, Trent. With his reputation and history, you're welcoming him into your career? Good luck with that one. You'll be hung out to dry by Week Six. I see this ending badly...sooner than usual too.
Owens will now be facing off against Randy Moss twice this season. That in itself is going to be a show. Everyone loves a little 81 vs. 81.
Jim Kelly was recently quoted in saying "People say he might be a disturbance in the locker room. You know what I say? I hope he is.
"We haven't had anything in the locker room. When you walk into a locker room on Monday and you don't know whether your team won or lost, something's got to change."
I get where he's coming from, but Owens' effect on a locker room is not the kind of influence you want. Maybe I'll be proven wrong.
The Miami Dolphins, Pat White, and the Wildcat Formation
As if "The Wildcat" wasn't interesting enough last season...the Dolphins went and drafted Pat White. This is a guy who's ability to play in the NFL was questioned by many scouts. It was a valid concern, really. But, in Miami...White may have found himself the perfect home.
The Dolphins ran the Wildcat very effectively last season with Ronnie Brown running it, but having Pat White brings an entirely new dimension to this confusing formation.
Brown can throw the ball, but White can throw it even better. No longer will teams be able to stack the line against it, since a pass for a big play is now a much more viable option.
Not to mention, this is still a team that finished the 2007 season with a record of 1-15. Last year's turn-around is still fresh in everyone's mind, and we're all interested to see if they can prove their worth for a second straight year.
The New York Jets' Never-Ending Search for an Identity
Mark Sanchez, eh?
The Jets have been trying to find an identity since Joe Namath left. Last year, they almost had it. They didn't even necessarily need to keep Brett Favre for more than a year in order to maintain that identity.
For most of last season, the Jets were a team that believed in themselves. They came out onto the field with confidence, and were a force to be reckoned with, no matter who their opponent was.
Now they've gone and traded up for a quarterback who will "compete" for the starting role.
Sure...let's trade up in the first round of the draft for a guy who isn't even the best quarterback on the Jets' roster, let alone the best quarterback in the draft.
What the Jets should have done, is draft an elite WR with the pick they already had, and given Kellen Clemens a year to develop.
If Clemens completely flopped, at least you can say that you gave him a chance, and you're moving on. Now... you've got uncertainty instead. Now your fans don't know who you are again. Nice job.
But hey, what do I know?
Tom Brady Returns to the Gridiron
Not long ago, a man named Tom Brady commanded the Patriots to a 16-0 regular season record, setting an offensive record of 50 TDs in one season.
After going down in the first game of the 2008 season, Brady has gone through reconstructive knee surgery, and treatment for two different staph infections following the surgery... but he's claiming to have no restrictions in his preparations for the 2009 season.
Randy Moss has also expressed his optimism about Brady's return, saying that this team could exceed the performance of that record-setting offense in 2007.
He and Welker have both been in the system for a couple years now, and they understand the playbook a lot more.
The additions of Greg Lewis, Joey Galloway, Fred Taylor, Chris Baker, and Alex Smith will also help to improve what was already a very potent offense.
Last year, the AFC East came down to the final week, and three out of the four teams in this division were still in position to take the crown. Expect this season to be no different.
Bill Parcells knows what he's doing down in Miami. He'll be there at the end of December, no matter how good the Pats are.
The Bills have the potential to be right up there in the standings as well. They fell off in the second half of last season, but they've shown signs of being a pretty tough squad. If they can keep Terrell Owens happy and productive, they might find themselves in the hunt late into the season.
The Jets, as stated above, are in for a tough year. Unless Mark Sanchez is the starter in Week One, and does very well all season.. the Jets will be on the bottom of the standings at the end of the year.
But...stranger things have happened. If Sanchez is the real deal, suddenly this team has what it needs to hang with the rest of the division.
Regardless...I think it's quite clear that the AFC East will be one of the most exciting divisions of the 2009 NFL Season. Are you ready for some football??
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