03-12-2009, 12:08 PM
In the Starting Line-up
Join Date: May 2006
Lombardi's Diner Morning News: AFC East
Pretty good piece on AFC East team questions that still need answers.
The National Football Post | Diner Morning News: AFC East
FROM MICHAEL LOMBARDI:
12 March 2009
QUOTE: “The real test of character is how you treat someone who has no possibility of doing you any good.” ~ George Orwell
FROM HARVEY FIALKOV OF THE SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL… While the Dolphins have barely dipped a toe into the free-agent pool, the rest of the AFC East dove in headfirst. Sure, the Dolphins didn’t make a huge splash like the Bills did last week with the signing of diva receiver Terrell Owens, but they did secure the future of five solid starters, including three of their own, without breaking the bank.
With free agency coming to sudden stop, there will be many columns like this one by Harvey Fialkov grading the offseason. It makes for great conversation, but I find it difficult to place a grade on teams until after the draft, when I can look at their moves in total. Each team’s movement in free agency answers some questions about which direction they’re heading, but it also opens others before the draft. I tend to focus on what’s next rather than looking back and grading just one part of the offseason. Here are five questions each AFC East team must answer…
1. Where’s the pass rush going to come from? The Pats need an outside linebacker who can rush. They lack the ability to make plays on third down and were last in the league in allowing third-down conversions on third-and-10 or more. A rusher would help.
2. Can Tedy Bruschi play another year? The Patriots need to add speed to their front seven, and this might keep Tedy off the field. They need to find a big, tough inside linebacker.
3. Do they have enough depth in the offensive line? The Patriots do a great job moving all the pieces around, but they need to find some young linemen they can develop for the future. They ranked 26th in sacks allowed last year.
4. Can they find some help in the punting game? They were 31st in the NFL in yards allowed on punt returns. This was due, in part, to their punter and their lack of speed on the field.
5. Who is the next Matt Cassel? The Patriots need to make sure they have another young player ready to go. Is it Kevin O’Connell?
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