The 2009 NFL Draft is in the books, and despite the holes many teams were able to fill with their selections, there are still questions surrounding all 32 squads.
The Bruno Boys though are here for you, attempting to shed light on the key issues surrounding all 32 NFL teams. This time we take a look at the AFC East.
Improvement, it's all you want to see out of a young quarterback, and it's what Trent Edwards showed the Bills during his sophomore campaign. Not only did Edwards complete 9.4% more of his passes and average 1.1 yards more per completion from 2007 to 2008, but he, also, was able to finish the year with a positive TD to INT ratio, something he was not able to accomplish in his rookie season.
The question, thus becomes, will the Bills' addition of oft-troubled wide receiver, Terrell Owens, help or end up hindering Edwards' development?
No doubt, every quarterback in the league would like to have a wide receiver of Owens' caliber to throw to. After all, Owens has gone for over 1,000 receiving yards in 9 of 13 seasons in the NFL and for double digit TDs in 8 of those 13 years. Still, does Owens' talent justify the extra baggage that comes with the receiver? Hopefully, for Edwards, he won't have to find out.
Despite burning bridges with three NFL franchises, Owens has always had a good year one with all of his teams, and with just a one-year contract, it would behoove the wide out to be on his best behavior in 2009 with the Bills. If that's the case, then Edwards very well could see the best season of his young career.
But, with Owens' not getting any younger and his desire to win ever increasing, the wide out may not have the most patience with his young quarterback.
If Owens has been willing to call out the likes of Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo, he'll have no trouble barking at Edwards on the sideline. And, if that's the case, the Bills may regret bringing Owens to town as it may be detrimental to Edwards, a player the Bills would like to be their quarterback of the future.
The NFL like fantasy football is a game of risk and reward, and only time will tell, if this gamble by the Bills pays off.
Able to take the division by surprise in 2008, how will the Dolphins handle being the defending division champs in 2009?
Looking at the Miami Dolphins' 2008 roster, it's incredible to think that the same team won 11 actual games. Heck, the team was sporting a noodle arm at quarterback in Chad Pennington, a backfield that contained a less-than 100% Ronnie Brown and a pot head in Ricky Williams, and a wide receiving corps that was highlighted by Ted Ginn Jr., who had just 790 receiving yards and 2 TDs on the season.
Seriously! I mean, I could understand if they won games with their defense, but that unit ranked just 15th in the league. What the heck was going on?
Truth be told, the Miami Dolphinsexemplified the idea that if you win the turnover battle, you win games last season. While the Dolphins forced their opponents to cough the ball up a solid 30 times, they only gave it up to their opponents a mere 13 times on the year. Thats a +17 advantage for our readers that struggle with Math.
This team may not have the most superstars out there, but if they continue to play within their abilities and not make mistakes, they could be just as successful in 2009 as they were in 2008.
New England Patriots
In trading away Matt Cassel, the Patriots appear to be putting all their eggs in the Tom Brady basket. Is this a wise move?
If Tom Brady is on your roster, whether it be for fantasy purposes or in the actual NFL, you're starting him. His Super Bowlvictories and record breaking 2007 season in which he threw for 50 TDs have earned him that right, but that doesn't mean you're not going to have a plan B, especially after last season in which Brady was lost for the year less than 8 minutes into the season.
However, while fantasy owners will be sure to have strong contingency plans should they have the fortune of drafting Brady for 2009, Patriots' head coach, Bill Belichick, apparently doesn't feel as compelled to back Brady up with a sure thing.
In fact, Belichick is so confident that Brady will be able to perform, and perform well, that he had no qualms about trading Brady's back-up from last season, Matt Cassel, who threw for 3,693 passing yards, 21 TDs, and just 11 INTs in Brady's stead last season, for just the 34th pick overall in this year's draft.
Perhaps, Belichick has seen enough to know Brady will be 100% come season's start, or perhaps due to the success he's had with no name QBs like Brady and Cassel, he's not worried by the fact that Kevin O'Connell, the Patriots' number two QB, has attempted just 6 passes in his brief NFL career.
Nevertheless, if I were a Patriots' fan, I'd hold my breath every time Brady dropped back. You can only go to the well so many times, and as far as QBs go, Belichick's made plenty of trips, before it's empty.
New York Jets
Did bringing Brett Favre in in 2008, mortgage the Jets' future?
In trading for the elder Favre last off-season, the New York Jetsmade it clear that they were adopting a "win now mentality."
However, no matter a team's mentality, to win in the NFL you need to execute when on the field. The Jets failed to do that during the last five games of the 2008 season as they dropped four of those five games, essentially playing themselves out of a playoff birth.
The Favre gamble did not pay off in 2008, and it will more than likely prove costly for the Jets in their immediate future. While Favre's future is a bit cloudy for 2009, one thing is for certain and that is that Favre won't be a member of the New York Jets, which leaves the team with either Kellen Clemens or first round draft pick, Mark Sanchez, under center.
No matter how much Jet fans hate the noodle arm of Chad Pennington, a casualty of the Favre acquisition, no one can tell me that New York wouldn't rather have him running the offense in 2009 over Clemens and Sanchez.
Remember, it was Pennington who ran the show for the Miami Dolphins last season, a team that won 9 of its last 10 games to win the AFC East crown.
Not only would Pennington's presence have aided the team's passing game in 2009, thereby taking pressure off of Thomas Jones and the running game, but it would, also, have allowed Sanchez, assuming the Jets still grabed the former USC quarterback, to get acclimated to the league a bit while learning from the sidelines before being thrust into the fire. A path that seemed to work wonders for Green Bay Packers' quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.
As it appears now, Sanchez will be thrown into action without that luxury, placing him in a sink or swim scenario. The Jets better hope he swims or else the cost of the Favre gamble will continue to go up.
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