Will there be a football season this year? Will there be an 18 game schedule? Will we miss games this season? All legitimate questions that have a direct impact on who (if anyone) will be Super Bowl champions this coming season.
All but one fan base across the country was disappointed their team did not take home the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl XLV. With a lockout looming, fans have been left drooling over the name of Nnamdi Asomugha and other plays who could potentially end up on the free agent market. Until there is a resolution to this labor dispute, no free agents will be signed by another team.
Every team has certain needs that they attempt to address each off-season, with the hope that tweaking and tinkering their lineup just enough will push them too the top.
The fans are what is driving the league's multi-billion dollar industry, so here is a look at what each of the 32 NFL teams need to do in order to win the Super Bowl in the near future.
Larry Fitzgerald is the best player on the Cardinals, and may be the best player overall in the NFL. Arizona would be smart to listen to him if they want the potential free-agent to finish his career where it started.
The guy has made it clear to Cardinals management that he is not happy with the QB situation and he wants the team to make a move for Kevin Kolb, but he would settle for Marc Bulger.
The team was a threat in the playoffs in 2008 and 2009 and even made it to the Super Bowl, but the run-and-gun offense that was led by Kurt Warner seems like an afterthought now.
A solid quarterback would certainly bring Arizona back into playoff contention in the dreadful NFC West. The offense is still loaded with talent to go alongside the aforementioned and perennial All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald. They lost Anquan Boldin. but Steve Breaston has shown that he is more than capable of being the next premier wide-out on Arizona. "Beanie" Wells is an absolute beast who at 6'2, 230 lbs. had a down year after a solid rookie season. Look for Wells to bounce back this year if the QB situation stabilizes.
Darnell Dockett and Adrian Wilson are play-makers on the defensive side of the ball that the Cardinals intelligently locked up to long-term deals. Look for the Cardinals to listen to their best player and go after Kolb or Bulger this off season. If they can add one of these QBs to this team that is ready to win now, expect the Card's to bounce back strong by taking back the NFC West crown.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Solid, accurate, veteran quarterback.
The Falcons finished the 2010 season with the best record in the NFC. Matt "Matty Ice" Ryan and Micheal Turner give Atlanta a run-pass threat that will continue to enable them to put up big numbers for the next few seasons. Roddy White has blossomed into one of the best pass-catchers in the entire NFL after he led the league in receptions and garnered All-Pro honors last season.
This team is built to win now and built for the future with the younger players already listed and the seasoned veterans on the team like Tony Gonzalez and John Abraham. Brent Grimes was plucked out of D-II Shippensburg and made his first Pro-Bowl this year.
The team is built to win it all right now and they have the players and coaches to do so. If they can add another playmaker at DE and at linebacker, watch out for the Falcons in 2011.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Premier pass-rusher via free-agency or the draft.
The Ravens finished the 2010 season with a solid 12-4 record, but the season still has to be considered a disappointment after the way they lost to the Steelers at home. The team has improved steadily under Head Coach John Harbaugh and he will his team as title contenders for years to come.
Or will they? Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Derrick Mason are clearly the heart and soul of this team, but how much longer can/will they play? They can't play forever can they?
Does it matter though? The Ravens have shown that they are at the top of the league in terms of the scouting and drafting of impact players. Harbaugh will still have Haloti Ngata, a top three interior lineman, Terrell Suggs and Terrance Cody (to name a few) to carry on the Ravens defensive stigma.
They finished in the top 3 in total defense last season by only giving up 212 ypg. Ridiculous.
The offense is led by Joe Flacco who is surrounded by explosive talent everywhere he looks in Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, Willis McGahee and Todd Heap.
The Ravens need to keep Ngata happy and give him the long-term deal he deserves, somewhere in the 12-14 million range per year.
The Ravens need Joe Flacco to get over the huge hurdle that is the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has never beaten Ben Roethlisberger in his career. But, how much of that is Joe's fault? It was pretty apparent that his receivers really let him down in the playoffs. There seems to be no deep-threat to go alongside Boldin, and defenses have used that against the Ravens.
If the Ravens can add a burner who can stretch the field, Flacco will be very tough to stop.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Speed Wide Receiver who can stretch the field.
Has any teams fan base gone through more heartaches than Buffalo's? Four Super Bowl losses in a row from 1991 to 1994 might be enough to drive anyone insane, but the Bill's faithful have stayed strong through these lowly times.
The Bills need to address their quarterback situation first and foremost if they want to move forward as a franchise. Is Ryan Fitzpatrick really the answer? They have an excellent running back in Fred Jackson who showed this past season that he is capable of carrying a heavy workload, and decent skill position players in Lee Evans and C.J. Spiller.
But, there is clearly a lack of play-makers on both sides of the ball and too much inconsistent line play for the Bills to contend anytime soon.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Convince Lebron James to retire from basketball and become their next franchise quarterback.
Steve Smith is one of the best players in the game today. Every time he touches the ball it seems like he has a chance to take it the distance.
The Panthers showed this year that it doesn't matter how good of a wide receiver you have when you don't have anyone to get him the ball. Smith has been a no-brainer to collect 1,000 yards in a season, but was held to just 46 catches for 554 yards and two touchdowns last season.
The Panthers put up the least amount of points in the NFL last season with a dreadful 12.2 PPG. They also gained the least amount of YPG with a paltry 258.4. These numbers still seem a little low (despite the qb situation) considering the Panthers had three very solid running backs on their roster and three talented wide receivers.
Jimmy Clausen was thrust into a very difficult situation last year, but is he the guy to lead the franchise to future glory? This season will go a long way towards answering that question.
Defensively, Charles Johnson has been a monster at DE (11.5 sacks last year) which was good for third in the league. Captain Munnerlynn may have been the find of the draft after his terrific rookie season at cornerback.
The Panthers still seem to be lacking a few pieces before they can contend.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Franchise quarterback??? Run-stopping defensive tackle.
The Bears showed their fans that they are in it to win it when they signed game-changer Julius Peppers last summer to a huge contract.
Peppers PAID instant dividends to the Bears in his first season by bringing the vaunted Bears 'D" back to one of the tops in the league.
Johnny Knox was a steal in the draft and has the type of speed that lets Jay Cutler show off that arm of his. Joseph Forte is a solid, complete back who has shown the ability to exceed in all areas asked of him.
Knox, Devin Hester, Devin Aromashodu, Earl Bennett and Rashied Davis give Cutler plenty of speed and athleticism to throw the ball to.
Devin Hester is one of the top three kick returners of all time and has not shown any signs of "slowing" down as of yet.
Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs for years have formed one of the most devastating and intimidating linebacker corps in all of football.
The question with the Bears lies in their quarterback. Will the REAL Jay Cutler please stand up? (off the bicycle) Bears fans will always wonder which Cutler will play that day. The QB who can throw for 400 yards and four TD's, or the Cutler who can throw four INT's. Will the team trust in Cutler after not finishing the NFC Championship game?
The Bears certainly need a right tackle to play opposite Chris Williams. In a draft loaded with offensive lineman, look for the Bears to head in this direction in the draft.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Difference maker at right-tackle....And Jay Cutler to get off the stationary bike.
Is Carson Palmer really headed for retirement? Is Chad Ochocinco really still with that girl from his VH1 reality show?
It is amazing how quickly things can change in the NFL. The Ravens were fresh off a playoff berth in 2009 and were seen as contenders in the AFC for the 2010 season. Things did not work out that way.
The Bengals need to address their QB situation if they want to return to the playoffs anytime soon. Will a new quarterback come via free agency or the draft? Will Palmer be back?
The Bengals really need a tight end that can stretch the middle of the field with teams like the Steelers and Ravens seemingly always covering the Bengals TE's with a linebacker.
Chris Henry was a tall, strong wide receiver that the Bengals have not been able to replace. Cedric Benson has seemed to have resurrected his career with the Bengals, but there is not the supporting cast and line around him right now. The Bengals have a lot of work to do this offseason.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Quarterback and receiving tight-end.
Browns fans have not had a lot to laugh or be excited about lately. Now, they have a running back in Peyton Hillis who laughs at cornerbacks that try and tackle him. That's right, the guy with the Incredible Hulk arms single-handedly moved the Browns offense this past season.
Sure Colt McCoy helped a little, but lets think about this Brown's fans; What if Hillis had a premier wide receiver or even a solid wide receiver to help? This is clearly their most pressing need this offseason. Hillis and TE Ben Watson had more catches than any wide receiver on the team.
The team’s entire receiving core of Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, Josh Cribbs and Chansi Stuckey had fewer yards combined (1,431) than the NFL’s leading receiver Brandon Lloyd (1,448), and scored only six total touchdowns.
Will A.J. Green fall to No. 6 in the draft? The Bengals would be extremely happy if he did. Cincinnati could also look at bringing in a free-agent (lockout looming) like Braylon Edwards, T.O., or Vincent Jackson.
The Browns do have a book-end tackle in Joe Thomas who will continue to be an All-Pro for the next decade, and Joshua Cribbs, who seems to return a kickoff for a touchdown at least a couple of times a year.
The Browns are not as far away as you might think.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- No. 1 wide-receiver, No. 2 wide-receiver!
The Cowboys lost their quarterback early on in 2010 and subsequently lost their season. Look for the Cowboys to bounce back big this season.
Their offense is loaded with top-tier talent for golfer, ehem quarterback like Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Roy Williams, Jason Witten, Felix Jones and "Can I have your autograph Michael Vick" Tashard Choice.
Their defense is why many people will again favor the Cowboys this coming season. Led by All-Pro DeMarcus Ware who may be the most dominant player in the league the past three seasons, the 'Boys defense is extremely stout up front. Jay Ratliff and Marcus Spears combine to make a dominant front three.
Safety has seemingly been a need for the Cowboys for the past five years. Gerald Sensabaugh and Alan Ball will most likely be gone via free agency, and Jerry Jones will be saying, 'Good riddance.' The Cowboys need to address this situation early in the draft if they want to be serious trophy contenders.
The offense and defense are filled with potential and perennial All-Pro's, but until Tony Romo shows that he can win a big game (and not fumble a snap on a kick) there will be many people doubting "America's Favorite Team."
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- SS, FS
Hate him or love him, Tim Tebow is a beast.
The Broncos need a lot of players to replace the shambles that Josh McDaniels left the team in, but Tebow has the work ethic, leadership and intangibles to keep the team in any game. He has won at every level and don't expect that to change in the Pro''s if he is surrounded with some talent.
The defense has many holes to fill with all of their tackles being cut and Champ Bailey becoming a free agent. Patrick Peterson seems to be a no-brainer with the No. 2 pick. He is ranked as the top player on Mel Kiper's Big Board (take that with a grain of salt) for good reason. He has the potential to be a shut-down corner and an All-Pro returner.
The Legend Brian Dawkins may finally be at the end of his road and Denver would be smart to find an adequate replacement.
The Bronco's have many holes but at least they have the right guy in place at quarterback moving forward.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- DT, SS, CB
The Lions may already be one of the most exciting, young teams in football. Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor can now proudly rock his Lions sweatshirts.The Lions were notorious for terrible draft picks (WR after WR) with top five picks. It seems like they have finally figured out that you do not need a wide receiver with every draft pick.
Calvin Johnson is a top five WR in the NFL and may be a top-ten overall talent in the league. But, he is not alone anymore. They have three solid wide-outs who are being thrown to by strong-armed Matthew Stafford, so expect the Lions to continue to improve. Jahvid Best will prove (already proved?) to be a steal in the late first round.
Ndamukong Suh is already one of the most dominant defensive players in the entire NFL. He has the rare blend of speed, strength, quickness and instincts that come around once in a lifetime. Paired with the experience and professionalism of a Kyle Vanden Bosch, he should continue to grow into a dominating interior lineman.
Lions fans can be excited that they have two of the best players in the league on opposite sides of the ball for the next decade.
They definitely need an OLB to replace Julian Peterson, and a No. 1 CB because Amari Spievey will likely be moved to Safety.
The thought here is they should take a OT in the first round to finally protect their franchise QB. He has shown that if he has time, he will put points on the board.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- OT, CB
The Super Bowl champions do not need much this offseason to get them back to the promised land, as they already have 16 guys coming back from Injured Reserve last year.
They are getting back RB Ryan Grant, TE Jermichael Finley and LB Nick Barnett (To name a few), all of which are guys who have Pro Bowl potential.
Aaron Rodgers has let the "Cheeseheads" sleep easy and forget about Brett Farve. He has proven himself at such an early point in career to be one of the elite quarterbacks in the entire NFL. In five years, he may be without question the best quarterback in the league.
He is surrounded with some of the best talent in the league. Heck, he won the Super Bowl with James Starks out of the University of Buffalo!. He has everything you want in a quarterback: Strong, fast, quick-twitch, intelligent, great work ethic, tall, clean rap sheet.
They have terrific coaches in Mike McCarthy and in Dom Capers who are smart enough to know where they should look this offseason. Clay Matthews, steroids or no steroids is a beast and one of the most intimidating forces in the league.The problem is, teams started to double and triple team the guy towards the end of last year. If the Pack can add another elite pass-rusher opposite Matthews, the defense may be as unstoppable as the offense.
They already B.J. Raji manning the middle, and he is one of the top three interior defensive lineman in the NFL. Charles Woodson is still as much as of a playmaker as he has ever been.
Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and a healthy Jermicheal Finley give Rodgers more than enough options to keep him happy for at least the next couple of years, so expect the Pack to look 'D" in the draft early.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- OLB
Andre Johnson, Arian Foster and Matt Schaub is a pretty scary trio of WR, RB and QB. No wonder many had the Texans making a playoff push in 2010. Things didn't work out so well for Houston fans, but there is hope.
Foster may be the hardest, toughest runner in the entire NFL. Andre Johnson is the best WR in the game. Matt Schaub has the talent to lead the league in passing yards in a season. They surely have the pieces to light it up on offense.
There is reason for hope amongst the defense as well.
Mario Williams has proven to the NFL that he was the right pick taken at No. one overall when not many others thought it was a good idea.
DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing if healthy, can be as dominant a pair of linebackers in the league.
While Wade Phillips looked incompetent in Dallas, expect the D to immediately improve with him calling the shots of the new 3-4 look. While they need a pass-rusher and a Vince Wilfork/ Haloti Ngata type stuffing the middle, the Texans ranked last in the league against the pass last season. Expect them to grab a corner in the first round.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- CB.
The Colt's are the one team in the league that can argue to Packers fans that injuries affected their season the most.
Say what you want about Peyton Manning's .500 career playoff record, the guy is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league and one of the best of all-time. The Colt's have already said that they plan on making him the richest man in NFL history (smart) so they might want to add some more muscle in front of the guy.
With the exception of Tom Brady, no one player has meant more to a team than Peyton Manning. The guy holds the record for most MVP awards with four and was the MVP of Super Bowl XLI. Players and coaches have changed in Indy, but the quarterback has not.
I do not even feel that I need to mention two of the best defensive ends in the league and all of the skill position players that surround Manning. Because....
As long as No. 18 is behind center, you have a shot to win it all.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- RG.
Watching Maurice Jones-Drew plow through defenses like a wrecking ball will never get old.
David Garrard has proven that he is an above average NFL quarterback.
Mercedes Lewis and Mike Sims-Walker had solid seasons and need to prove that they were not a fluke.
The defense however seemed to give up big-play after big-play. They need someone to line-up opposite Resean Mathis. They gave up the highest yards per pass attempt in the NFL last season, and it was not hard to see why.
They simply did not have another competent CB, and their safety play left much to be desired. They can't go wrong by addressing either/both of these positions in the first two rounds of the draft.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- S, CB.
Is Matt Cassell being your franchise quarterback give you a warm feeling? I would love to hear the opinion of the fans that pack Arrowhead Stadium and create such an intimidating atmosphere.
Jamaal Charles was a great find in the draft and the Chiefs did the smart thing in awarding him with a nice contract extension. Dwayne Bowe had the kind of year that many people expected out of him when he was drafted out of LSU. He has proven himself to be a top WR. Dexter McCluster is an all-around athlete who puts so much pressure on the defense. They need to be aware of where he is on the field every single play.
The Chief's need a second option on the outside to draw double-coverage away from Bowe. A playmaking WR would do wonders for the offense.
The same would go for someone opposite my main man from Penn State, Tambi Hali. Even while facing double-teams all season, the guy still had an All-Pro season. Kansas City needs to add another pass-rusher to help out Tamba and they have the makings of a terrific defense.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- WR, OLB.
Is Chad Henne a starting NFL quarterback? Maybe, maybe not.
What we do know is that with Bill Parcells running the show, the Dolphins will continue to get quality players and their team will continue to improve.
Even with guys like Vontae Davis, Brandon Marshall, Cameron Wake, Jake Long, Karlos Dansby and Channing Crowder, the Dolphin's still have needs to address.
Miami was the team to make the 'Wildcat' famous in the NFL, but the Dolphins fell to 29th in the league last season in rushing. They may lose both of their RB's from last season via free agency, but that may not be a bad thing. Look for them to address this in the draft, and a quarterback via free agency.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- RB, QB.
Adrian Peterson is not only one of the best running backs in the league, but he is also one of the best players in the league as well. He is strong, quick, smart and has moves in his arsenal that he hasn't even thought of yet.
Personally, I think the Vikings will be better off now that the whole Brett Farve drama is done with. It is done with right?
The Vikings need to make a move for a QB (McNabb?) and if they get a proven QB then they will again be a favorite to come out of the NFC. Sidney Rice, Jared Allen and Percy Harvin are all top-rate talent, but without a QB in a quarterbacks league, Minnesota will go nowhere.
They are loaded to win now, expect them to address the QB situation via free-agency. The Vikings will use an early-round pick on a ball-hawking safety, that will pay instant dividends next season.
With the right QB in place, Vikings fans have the right to start dreaming about a parade.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- QB
It's laughable to me that people are starting to question Tom Brady. "He hasn't won squat since 2005." My answer to that is simple: He took a team that everyone thought was rebuilding (including a defense of stiffs) and led them to a 14-2 record. The guy is still as good as their is in the NFL. He has three Super Bowl victories and two MVP awards, including the first unanimous MVP selection in league history.
The Patriots also have Bill Belichick coaching them as well. Spygate or no spygate, he is the best coach in the NFL.
Okay, there were some proven names, but what other coach could have gotten as much out of his players this season than Belichick.
The Patriots behind their QB and coach will always be one of the favorites to win it all.
Remember, the Pat's are LOADED with draft picks this year, with six in the first three rounds. They will reload in places that need help and will be a dominant team for at least the next five years.
They need to add an outside linebacker who can get after the QB, and a DE that can get some pressure will certainly help big-man Vince Wilfork.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- OLB.
Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas, Robert Meachem have the Saints offense in good hands for the next five years.
Brees is surrounded by great skill position players and a solid offensive line that features one of the best guards in football in Jahri Evans (D-II guy!)
He is a Super Bowl MVP who has a terrific coach in Sean Payton and a raucous crowd that lifts the decibels in their dome to unheard of levels.
The defense is led by Jonathan Vilma who continues to play at an All-Pro level. Their defense thrives on turnovers and getting the ball back to their high-octane offense. Too bad they were last in the league in INT's in 2010. Was the secondary really that bad?
Things look a lot worse in the secondary without a lack of a pass-rush, and the Saints could not get a consistent enough push. Will Smith is a productive, solid veteran who can put up big-time sack numbers in Gregg William's go-get-em defense. He needs someone opposite him so he is not double and triple-teamed.
Look for the Saints to address their pass-rushing deficiencies and contend again for a title.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Pass rushing DE.
The Giants seem to draft well every year.
My Eagles moved up in this past draft to take Brandon Graham so the Giants could not select the D-end. The Giants responded by taking Jason Pierre-Paul who had a terrific rookie campaign and clearly outplayed Graham (injury or no injury.) This is not to say this debate is over on the two..
The offense has a solid receiving corps with Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith. Kevin Boss is a quality NFL tight end. The offensive line has always done a great job run-blocking no matter who is carrying the ball, and don't expect anything to change any time soon. Or should we? Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert both underwent major surgeries after the season and you have to wonder how much longer they will be effective. The Giants would be smart to add some depth among the O-line.
Even with all that was said above, how does Eli Manning have a Super Bowl ring and Dan Marino doesn't?!
The team is built around a defense that attacks the quarterback. Osi Umenyiora bounced back this season to prove that he is still one of the best at getting after the QB. Antrel Rolle was a terrific signing from the Cardinals as he continued to display the quickness, instincts, and hard-nosed nature that made him a prized free agent. Justin Tuck is a pure monster.
If the Giants can sure up the up-front, the Giants will be back to Super Bowl contenders (as long as they kick it away from Desean Jackson.)
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- C or OG.
Mark Sanchez, his love issues aside, is a pretty talented, young quarterback.
Having a single catch while on "Revis Island" can be considered a "small feat," pun intended. Having a cornerback that can completely take away the oppositions best receiver each week is the key to why the Jet's defense has been so dominant and Rex Ryan looks like a genius.
The Jets recent signings of Braylon Edwards, Santanio Holmes and Ladainian Tomlinson have provided the Jets with the professionalism, experience and skill necessary to be an elite team. Even though it seems likely that one or two of the their top three WR's will not be back next year, the Jets have enough talent offensively to continue scoring points.
How many points do they really need with their defense? You have to give a lot of credit for the Jet's and their coach for bouncing back from the drubbing the rival Pat's put on them (45-3!) and whooping up on them in the playoffs. That is the type of mental-toughness and moxy that makes a championship team.
The Jet's need to bring back Antonio Cromartie and leading tackler David Harris to keep the defense dominant, and look for them to do that.
The Jet's need to look skill position in the draft with them likely losing Edwards and/or Smith.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- WR.
I still have nightmares from when I went with Eagle Nation on a road trip vs. Oakland. The picture above is of a woman Raider fan...kidding.
It seems like the entire NFL considers Al Davis a joke, but there is no denying the Raiders have gotten significantly better the past few seasons. The talent that has been infused into the Raiders lineup can not be overlooked.
The Raiders NEED to keep Nnamdi Asomugha if they want to keep moving forward as a franchise. As stated on the previous slide, a true "shut-down" cornerback is a rarity in the NFL. Asomugha is the type of player that forces quarterbacks to look to the other side of the field every play.
Nnamdi will obviously be looking for a huge payday this offseason, but will he stay in Oakland? At this point in his career he has stated that he wants to play for a contender. Are the Raider's contenders at this point and time?
They do not have a first-round pick after trading it to the Patriots (thanks a lot) and they could lose both Nnamdi and safety Michael Huff as they are both free agents. They may need to shell out the big-bucks for both players, but that is what must be done in the minds of Raider fans.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Beg NE for their first-round pick back.
The Eagles lost to the Super Bowl champions by five points 21-16. They showed that they can play with the league's best, but they also showed that they can play down to the league's worst.
They are loaded on the offensive side of the ball with the most speed and playmakers in the entire league. Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Brent Celek, LeSean McCoy coupled with Micheal Vick, have the type of game-breaking speed that has not been seen in the NFL since "The Greatest Show on Turf." They have more shear talent than they have ever had at the skill positions in Eagle history.
Their left-side of the offensive line is solid with potential and perennial Pro-Bowlers Jason Peters and Todd Herremans. A healthy Jamaal Jackson can not be overlooked by Eagles fans. His return will do wonders in sureing up the right side of the line. However, Nick Cole and Max Jean-Gillies are not starters in the NFL. Look for the Eagles to solidify this position in the draft, as Porky PIG (Andy Reid) knows the importance of "beefing" up the interior line.
Defensively, Asante Samuel is paid to be a ball-hawking defensive back. Regardless of what his haters say about his tackling, the guy has a tendency to make big-plays in big-games. He put the jinx on James Jones dropping a sure TD in the playoffs right?
Trent Cole has worn down the past few seasons towards the end of the year, but how much is that due to him being double and triple-teamed? Mike Patterson, Broderick Bunkley and Antonio Dixon will improve this season under the best defensive line coach in Jim Washburn. If Brandon Graham can improve, the Eagles defense will improve as a whole.
The linebackers for the Eagles have left a lot to be desired for the past ten years. Do we really expect that philosophy to change under Andy Reid? Jamar Chaney looks like a tackling machine, but can the undersized middle-linebacker last 16 games?
Nate Allen looks to make a full-recovery this offseason, and will be a fine free-safety in the NFL for the foreseeable future. Quintin Mikell's play may have us yearning for B-Dawk, but he provides leadership and a lot of the calls for the defense.
Dmitri Patterson and Ellis Hobbs were a complete disaster this season. The Eagles have shown in the past that they covet defensive ends and cornerbacks. Look for them to use their first-round pick on a corner.
Micheal Vick will continue to progress in this offense, and will be in the discussion for the Hall-of-Fame when his career is finished.
As always, I end everything I say about the Eagles with this: The Eagles WILL get a Super Bowl next season, I look in the mirror and tell myself that every day. They MUST win a Super Bowl next season. Think of the children!
I will keep my opinions on Andy Reid out of this.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- CB.
The Rooney family are in my opinion one of the top three best owners in football. The Steelers consistently draft impact players, and they integrate the right Free Agent's into their system.
The Steeler's "system" of run the ball down the opposition's throat, and stop the run has been their motto for as long as I can remember.
Other teams know that is what Pittsburgh is going to do, but they still can not seem to do much about it (except for the Packers.)
Ben Roethlisberger is a franchise quarterback that already has two of his fingers covered with Super Bowl rings, and odds are that he will get another before it is time to hang up the cleats.
Troy Polamulu has proven that he is the heart and soul of the Steelers defense. Without a healthy No. 43 on the field, they are simply not the same defense.
LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison, James Farrior, Casey Hampton and Lawrence Timmons to name a few are all players that have the potential to take over a game at any time.
Mike Wallace may have been the steal of the draft (Pouncey may have a say in that), and combined with Hines Ward, Heath Miller and Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers will have great skill position players for years to come.
The Steelers played the Packers tough in the Super Bowl with four backups starting on the offensive line. Look for them to sure up the O-line, while also adding another CB.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- OT.
With Phillip Rivers running the show in San Diego, you have to consider the Chargers contenders.
With Norv Turner calling the shots in San Diego, you start to believe they are pretenders.
Phillip Rivers is one of the top quarterbacks in the league. He is a complete player who has the arm strength, accuracy, poise, escape ability and leadership that can lead a team to the Super Bowl.
Can he do it without Vincent Jackson? It seems more likely every day that the star WR will not be playing for Norv Turner and the gang anytime soon.
Can Norv Turner win the big game? I feel for the Chargers faithful as I myself am a fan who asks the same question of my coach daily.
Antonio Gates becoming one of the greatest receiving tight-ends in NFL history is an outstanding story. He will continue to put big numbers for at least a couple more years.
The Chargers do have impact players on the offensive and defensive lines, but do they have enough playmakers at the offensive skill positions to really challenge the AFC's elite? And don't give me Darren Sproles either when he only plays thirty percent of the snaps.
The Chargers need to keep Jackson or get a nice package deal for him in return.
The Chargers finished the season ranked No. 1 in total offense and No. 1 in defense, becoming the first team in history to hold those distinctions and miss the playoffs. A ball-hawking safety is the way to go this offseason, as is another pass rusher on the line or at linebacker across from Shaun Phillips.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Safety.
Many "experts" had the 49ers coming out of the West and challenging for an NFC title. They seemed to forget that Alex Smith was still playing QB for San Fran.
The 49ers are loaded with talent up and down their roster, but they will never be a super bowl contender with Smith as their guy. Just because they paid him a TON of money as the No. one pick, doesn't mean its not time to turn the page and start a new chapter.
With Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Micheal Crabtree, Patick Willis and Co. leading the way for the next 5-10 years, the future looks very bright in San Fran.
If/when they find a new quarterback.
They need to address this need seriously before they do anything else.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- Letting Alex Smith take his money and leave.
I don't know about Seattle fans, but I still can't get the image of Marshawn Lynch plowing through a whole defense in the playoffs out of my mind. It was one of the most amazing runs of all time.
Pete Carroll was known at USC for being a terrific (illegal?) recruiter. He had a knack for identifying and getting top-rate talent.
The Seahawks have drafted very well the past few seasons (Aaron Curry, Earl Thomas, Lofa Tatupu) but they still need more help at the skill positions to become a contender, and that is where the Pete Carroll factor will come in.
If Jake Locker slips to No. 25 the Seahawks need to step up and take him. If not, Seattle will look at a deep-threat at WR or the top defensive back available.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- WR, CB.
The Rams have finally found a franchise quarterback after Kurt Warner. Sam Bradford resurrected a talent-depleted offense in his rookie campaign and almost led them to the playoffs. (the division stunk but still pretty good) He has all of the tools that a franchise can build their team around.
They have the right coach in 'Spags" as well.
Steven Jackson is still one of the best RB's in the NFL. The guy is an absolute beast who gets it done every week with not much of a supporting cast around him.
If the Ram's can continue to draft well and bring in some more pieces via free agency, they could be a team to watch out for this season.
The Rams' glaring deficiencies are at wide receiver and outside linebacker. They need an OB to go alongside James Laurinitis, and a physical wideout to stretch the field and run after the catch.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- WR, OLB.
Josh Freeman may be a top ten quarterback in the NFL after this season. It's great to see that the Buc's finally have found a guy that they can build their franchise around (knock on wood..)
LeGarrette Blount left a lot of teams wishing they had overlooked his punch he threw against Boise St. and took him before Tampa did. He is a big, bruising running back with great feet that will continue to get better. Look for him to make a few Pro-Bowls in the near future.
Now that the offense looks potent, the defense must be addressed this offseason. They ranked 30th in sacks in 2010. They need to resign their sacks leader, Greg White and leading tackler Barret Ruud. They have not had a guy get 10+ sacks since 2005, and if White is not resigned, that will not change in 2011.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- DE.
Chris Johnson may be the best overall player in the entire NFL. Madden sure thinks so, giving him an overall rating of 99 and a speed rating of 99.
With Jeff Fisher and Vince Young now gone, defenses will continue to load up the box with nine guys to force whomever it is at QB to throw the ball.
Kenny Britt is a legitimate deep-threat who has All-Pro potential, but he needs someone that can get him the football.
The quarterback situation needs to be addressed if the Titans want to move foward as a franchise.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- QB.
While the national media has blasted Philadelphia the past three years for wanting to part ways to a finished Donovan McNabb, they celebrated Daniel Snyder for the acquisition.
Haven't we learned anything about Daniel Snyder? Anything the guy does to "improve" his team, completely blows up in his face. Albert Haynesworth anyone?
The team does have some nice players like DeAngelo Hall, but quarterback is clearly the pressing need for the Redskins.
Unfortunately for Washington, neither of the draft's top-two QB prospects (Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton) seem likely to fall to the No. 10 overall pick. Maybe they can move "Fat Albert" to quarterback?
The team is in complete disarray and will not be challenging for anything any time soon, except maybe consecutive seasons as cellar-dwellar in the ultra-competetive NFC East. And it couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy than Daniel Snyder.
Greatest Need to Win the Super Bowl- QB.
Tell me what you think are "your" teams most pressing needs and start the debate! The NFL is the type of league where a team can go from worst to first in one offseason (Dolphins, Rams). What does your team need to do to stay/reach the top?
Forget the pending lock-out, free agents and draft picks are all fair game here. While players will no longer be able to train at their respective team's facilities, fans jobs as general managers never stop.
Football fans are the best fans in the world (not futbol) and they live and die with their teams. Whether you think your team has no hope or is all-in to win it now, there is always room for improvement!