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Brandt's 60-Second Preview (NFC South)

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Brandt's 60-second previews Gil Brandt By Gil Brandt NFL.com Senior Analyst (June 30, 2006) -- As we have in past years, we are giving you a 60-second preview on each team as the players make their final preparations for training ...

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Old 07-07-2006, 03:48 PM   #1
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Brandt's 60-Second Preview (NFC South)

Brandt's 60-second previews

Gil Brandt By Gil Brandt
NFL.com Senior Analyst

(June 30, 2006) -- As we have in past years, we are giving you a 60-second preview on each team as the players make their final preparations for training camp.

Unlike past years, I have decided to rank the teams 1-32.

Let's make it clear that these ranking are based upon the assumption that all key veterans will start the season healthy (even Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer and Daunte Culpepper) and that all rookies will be signed on time (unlike Chicago's Cedric Benson last year).

But like everything else this time of year, this is a product of uncertainty. Five teams in the NFC that had losing records in 2004 made the playoffs in 2005, including division winners Tampa Bay, New York and Chicago. And needless to say, the Colts will drop if Peyton Manning gets hurt during training camp, as will the Saints if Reggie Bush holds out.

We took into consideration each team's performance from last season, who they lost and who they gained.

In September, we'll take another look at each team and factor in how they played during the preseason.




1. Carolina

In 2005, it was No. 3 in total defense and was No. 2 in takeaways. It also had 45 sacks. The defense lost one starter from 2005 (Will Witherspoon) and played the season without Kris Jenkins, who will turn from injury in 2006. Carolina signed six veteran starters in free agency (two linebackers, two defensive linemen, a center and wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson) who should be a big help. Carolina's bye will be Week 9 and it will play Dallas, Pittsburgh and the Giants at home. Carolina will end the season with road games against Atlanta and New Orleans. Johnson and rookie running back DeAngelo Williams (Memphis) should help an offense that finished No. 22 last season.



14. Tampa Bay

The 2005 Buccaneers might have been the first team in history to go from worst (5-11) to first (11-5) while starting three rookies. Running back Cadillac Williams, who set an NFL record with 434 rushing yards in his first three career starts, was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Tampa Bay was No. 1 in the league in total defense. I don't know if someone has ever been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame based on a career as an assistant coach, but Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin deserves some consideration. The team will play road games against Dallas (on a short week), Pittsburgh and Chicago. The Buccaneers need another big season from Joey Galloway, and Michael Clayton needs to bounce back to 2004 form. Keep an eye on second-year tight end Alex Smith; he could have a big season. Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden do an outstanding job of running the team. The bye will come in Week 4.



16. Atlanta

The Falcons have led the NFL in rushing for the past two seasons, but they finished 27th in passing last year and 30th in 2004. Atlanta also broke even in turnover differential last year. Drafting Jimmy Williams and signing free agent Lawyer Milloy will help that defense. A new quarterback coach in Bill Musgrave should help Michael Vick improve after he finished 29th in completion percentage in 2005. The bye comes in the fifth week, they play road games at Cincinnati and Washington, and they finish on New Year's Eve in Philadelphia. The Falcons will have a new kicker, and DeAngelo Hall is a rising star at cornerback.



24. New Orleans

With a new head coach (Sean Payton), a new quarterback (Drew Brees), and Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, who will be outstanding as a rookie, the Saints could be a surprise team in 2006. This team has much better players than its 2005 record would indicate. The return of RB Deuce McAllister from injury (knee) should also help. The Saints had 19 takeaways and 43 giveaways; their minus-24 turnover ratio tied Green Bay for the worst in the NFL. The pass defense ranked third overall last season. The inspired Superdome crowds will be a big factor this season. New Orleans has a bye in Week 7 and will play road games against Dallas, Pittsburgh and the New York Giants.




1-32.....
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9532593







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Old 07-07-2006, 04:13 PM   #2
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RE: Brandt

24 seems pretty fair considering how awful we were last year. Just imagine how scary Carolina is going to be with a healthy Kris Jenkins... it's just unfair.
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Old 07-07-2006, 05:27 PM   #3
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RE: Brandt

I think that Tampa will falter a bit this year. Im not and never will be sold on Chris Simms as a starting QB. Galloway isnt getting any younger, the O line is far from a strength for the team, and unless Cadillac Williams and Michael Clayton return to form, then the offense could be dismal. The defense will be solid but also arent getting any younger. Carolina's and Atlanta's ranking are good. Drop Tampa towards the latter teens and bump the Saints up a few spots.
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Old 07-09-2006, 11:23 AM   #4
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Just imagine how scary Carolina is going to be with a healthy Kris Jenkins... it's just unfair.
A healthy Kris Jenkins? Isn't that an oxymoron? Hasn't he been put on IR the last two seasons? Yeah, if he's healthy, the Panthers defense will be even better, but you'd have to think that two seasons on the shelf may have taken it's toll on Jenkins.

A new quarterback coach in Bill Musgrave should help Michael Vick improve after he finished 29th in completion percentage in 2005.
I'm thinking maybe they would be better off with Barry Sanders as Vick's QB coach. Nothing will help him in the pocket. He's that bad.
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:14 AM   #5
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I'm thinking maybe they would be better off with Barry Sanders as Vick's QB coach. Nothing will help him in the pocket. He's that bad.
It's not that Vick's bad, in my opinion. For the Falcons (or any other offense, for that matter) to have success with him at QB they must adapt to his abilities instead of forcing a square peg into a round hole. Perhaps Atlanta thinks they can mold him into a pocket passer. Maybe they will in time, but you gotta think they knew what they were getting....


My 2 cents.


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Old 07-10-2006, 09:47 AM   #6
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living in nj i am glad to have the saints visit up here but Why do the NYG get the home game?
how about a "home game" for the NYG in N.O.?
In fact, the team should only have 3 road games(tb,car,atl) this year if the nfl truely wants to help the city. IMO
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