Note: We will look at all the divisions of the NFL with this same point of view over the next few issues of Fryingpansports.com.
- 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.
- “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.
- 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 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.
- 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?
How far has the D fallen? Last year the D was exposed by a lack of youth and talent.
- 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?
Does RB LaDainian Tomlinson have anything left? I don’t think so.
- 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?
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!
- 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 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.
Check out my article on the Browns question marks on NFLDraftDog.com under team reports.,
- 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?
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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on ;and edits .Questions in the AFC East and North training camps. by Steven R