Questions in the AFC East and North training camps.

AFC North Training Camp

Note: We will look at all the divisions of the NFL with this same point of view over the next few issues of

AFC East


  1. How effective with the QB play be? Trent Edwards is the leader going into camp but watch out for former 2nd round pick Brian Brohm. He has the talent to be a starter and Edwards has problems in the clubhouse.
  2. “RB? We don’t need no stinkin’ RB!" Marshawn Lynch started his career strong but has made more news off the field than on it in the last 2 years. The Bills took RB C.J. Spiller with their 1st pick but did Lynch get the message? No and Spiller starts.


  1. How good will the D be after losing some key players? DT Jason Ferguson retired and they cut LB Jerry Porter and S Gibril Wilson. The D played pretty well last year. Will it survive the losses?
  • How much will RB Ronnie Brown be able to contribute? In addition to an injury last year he faces a DUI issue. The Wildcat is much more effective with both RBs in the backfield.
  • How far has QB Chad Henne come or will former starter Chad Pennington become the starter again? Henne will be as good as the running game allows him to be.

  • Patriots

    1. Have injuries and contract questions reduced Tom Brady’s effectiveness? Brady was clearly not performing at his "pre-injury" level last year.. Will he get back to the 2007 level?
  • Can the Pats O line protect Brady? The line has gotten old and the replacements have been less than stellar. Brady needs protection.
  • How far has the D fallen? Last year the D was exposed by a lack of youth and talent.

  • Jets

    1. How will Sanchez do in year 2? Often 2nd year QBs have a regression. Last year Sanchez was at best OK. He was not asked to do too much. As the Ds focused on the running game, he struggled to get the ball down the field. The team traded for Holmes but he is suspended for the first 4 games. HC Ryan wants to throw more this year but can Sanchez deliver?
  • Will the Jets D continue to improve? The D took major steps forward last year. DE Marques Douglas was expected to do great things in 09 but was a bust. So was ILB Larry Izzo. The top newcomer CB Antonio Cromartie comes with a plane full of baggage. If the D is to improve, it will have to come from some guys on the 09 team developing,
  • Does RB LaDainian Tomlinson have anything left? I don’t think so.

  • AFC North


    1. How much will the D fall without S Ed Reed in the backfield full time? The D plays much more aggressively when they have the great eraser in the deep middle. How much can he contribute this year? Is a 6M price tag too much for a part time player?
  • Can the new CBs play up to the level of the front 7? This has the makings of dissention in the locker room if the pass D doesn’t play well.
  • How many balls will WR Anquan Boldin catch? For the last few years the team has not had a true #1 receiver. How much better will the O be? A lot!

  • Bengals

    1. What happens to the running game if RB Cedric Benson is suspended? With QB Palmer having an off year in 09, it was the running of Benson that propelled the O.
  • Will QB Carson Palmer get back to his previous levels of performance or is age beginning to catch up to him? Palmer has not been the same since the injury in the playoff loss to the Steelers.
  • Will the lame duck status of HC Marvin Lewis hold the team back or propel them to new heights to keep their coach? The history of the team indicates that two winning seasons in a row are unlikely.

  • Browns

    Check out my article on the Browns question marks on under team reports.,


    1. With QB Ben Roethlisberger being out for 4-6 games, how big a hole will the team be in when he returns. Will he be mentally ready to play? By rule, after training camp ends, he can have no contract with the team at all until he is reinstated by the league. Will the Steelers be out of the race by the time he gets back?
  • Can the running game get back to the old S teeler level without RB Willie Parker? A lot of the trouble in the last few years has been the lack of run blocking by the O line. Can that group come together without OT Willie Colon who is out with an Achilles’ tendon injury. I doubt it.
  • How much will S Troy Polamalu be able to play this year. Without him, the Steeler D is just average.

  • That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

    Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on ;and edits .

    Questions in the AFC East and North training camps. by
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    7 thoughts on “Questions in the AFC East and North training camps.”

    1. I’m really not 100% sure why but I think the Browns will play better overall compared to the Bengals so I wouldn’t be that surprised to see the Browns finish ahead of the Bengals.
      And am I the only one that read according to the story on the Browns that they sill have/got back Braylon Edwards? It could just be me because I did read the story early in the morning which to me is late at night because I work the night-shift..anywho Go Browns!

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    2. gotta love how much jets are hated on…beat bengals and chargers but i guess those were 2 weak playoff teams that won there division. anyone know how ravens beat the pats? and before you say welkers injury, dont forget jets had NT jenkins and #2 Rb/PR/KR leon washington hurt so dont use injury as an excuse

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    3. This was an article that was assigned by the AFC Editorial assignment desk and you will find that many articles and lists online may be similar, but the content of each slides does not match that of the article so that makes this article purely Ezri’s own opinion piece.

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    4. As far as the Steelers go, I question your remark in slide #11 that all the AFC North offenses have improved. Without Santonio Holmes and Willie Parker they have less depth at their skill positions, and Roethlisberger’s suspension along with the injury to Willie Colon will both hurt. On the other hand, the Steelers will have a stronger defense this year with the return of Polamalu, McFadden and Aaron Smith.

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    5. I hope the talk that Tom Brady is not happy at the Patriots is just talk…hands off Tom other clubs!

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    6. Roethlisberger’s suspension along with the injury to Willie Colon will both hurt. On the other hand, the Steelers will have a stronger defense this year with the return of Polamalu, McFadden and Aaron Smith.

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    7. Good info, I want say thanks to admin becaus i have read here a lot exciting knowledge. Im waiting for more posts. Best wishes 🙂

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