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Discussion in 'American Football' started by boltmanbz, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. boltmanbz

    boltmanbz Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2006

    San Diego (13-6)

    Looking back: After their second early playoff exit in three years, the Chargers entered the 2007 campaign with the modest goal of winning one postseason contest. San Diego exceeded those expectations, advancing to the AFC championship game before having an eight-game winning streak snapped in New England.

    Biggest need area — Running back: No, the Chargers don't need to groom a replacement for LaDainian Tomlinson just yet. But the impending loss of Michael Turner in free agency will take away San Diego's one-two punch in the ground game. With Tomlinson having missed just one start in seven NFL seasons, San Diego must guard against overusing him at this point in his career. That makes finding a quality backup a top priority.

    Player/coach to watch — Billy Volek: He wasn't called upon to do much during his two seasons in San Diego, but Volek came through when it mattered. Replacing an injured Philip Rivers, Volek guided the Chargers to a second-round playoff victory at Indianapolis. That performance may have raised Volek's stock on the free-agent market. With Rivers having knee surgery, the Chargers must decide whether to pursue re-signing Volek or leave the backup duties to the promising-but-unproven Charlie Whitehurst.

    Projected cap space — $21 million: And the scary part is that San Diego has much of its young talent locked into long-term contracts. The Chargers were the only team not to make a free-agent signing in the 2007 off-season, although general manager A.J. Smith pulled an early-season trade with Miami for wide receiver Chris Chambers. The move paid dividends, but San Diego is now on the hook for Chambers' $5.1 million base salary in 2008.

    2008 outlook: Excellent as long as Rivers makes a successful comeback. San Diego's defense should be even stauncher playing a second season under coordinator Ted Cotrell. Norv Turner also will enter the season no longer having to hear criticism about his head coaching prowess.

    Denver (7-9)

    Looking back: The Broncos were one of the NFL's biggest disappointments, falling apart after squandering a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in late November at Chicago. Second-year quarterback Jay Cutler struggled behind a shoddy offensive line and the defense was such a wreck that renowned coordinator Jim Bates was demoted after just one season (he quickly resigned and was replaced by Bob Slowik).

    Biggest need area — Offensive line: This unit is almost always considered a Broncos strength, but that wasn't the case in 2007. The Broncos lost two key starters — center Tom Nalen (biceps) and left guard Ben Hamilton (concussion) — to season-ending injuries and never recovered. While the 36-year-old Nalen and Hamilton are expected back, the Broncos should consider choosing an interior lineman early in the draft. The Broncos haven't selected a guard or center in the first three rounds since 1999. Denver also is hoping 2007 third-round pick Ryan Harris is ready to replace retired left tackle Matt Lepsis.

    Player/coach to watch: John Lynch is coming off his ninth Pro Bowl appearance but he will turn 37 in September and has lost a step. Lynch is undecided about whether to retire. Regardless, the Broncos have to weigh pursuing a replacement in a weak free-agent class of safeties.

    Projected cap space — $1 million: The Broncos have relied heavily on free-agent acquisitions in the Mike Shanahan era, but that may be changing. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has hinted the team might not be as willing to spend as much this off-season. Wide receiver Javon Walker has expressed unhappiness with the Broncos and could be on his way out just two seasons after signing a five-year, $40 million contract extension. Walker carries a $7.1 million cap figure. The Broncos also must decide whether to keep running back Travis Henry, who the Denver Post reports is due a $6 million roster bonus. His 2007 season was marred by injury and a legal battle that overturned a failed drug test for marijuana, keeping Henry from receiving a one-year suspension.

    2008 outlook — Fair: Lousy drafts earlier this decade — only three of 34 players remain from the Classes of 2002 to 2005 — are catching up with the Broncos. Shanahan has enjoyed Bowlen's support for 13 seasons. But Denver's lack of postseason appearances and success (1-4) since winning a Super Bowl nine years ago could put Shanahan in jeopardy if the Broncos flounder in 2008.

    Kansas City (4-12)

    Looking back: All signs pointed to the Chiefs being one of the NFL's worst teams. They didn't disappoint. Brodie Croyle failed to develop as quickly as Kansas City management had hoped, leading to a quarterback rotation with Damon Huard. Both players were hamstrung by poor offensive-line play and the absence of running back Larry Johnson, who missed eight games with a foot injury.

    Biggest need area — Offensive line: This was also atop the priority list last off-season and wasn't adequately addressed. The Chiefs have never recovered from the retirements of right guard Will Shields (2006) and left tackle Willie Roaf (2007). Damion McIntosh, a free-agent signing who Kansas City hoped would solidify the left tackle position, struggled with injuries. The right tackle situation was even worse. With a high first-round pick (either No. 4 or 5 depending on an upcoming coin flip), Kansas City could seek to bolster this area with a blue-chip tackle like Michigan's Jake Long or Boise State's Ryan Clady.

    Player/coach to watch — Damon Huard: Teams interested in a proven backup quarterback may want to closely monitor Huard's status with the Chiefs. New Chiefs offensive coordinator Chan Gailey held the same position in 2000 with Miami when Jay Fiedler was awarded the starting spot despite being outplayed by Huard during the preseason.

    Projected cap space: $18 million: In the short-term, defensive end Jared Allen seems more likely to land a franchise-tag designation of $8.8 million than a long-term deal. The Chiefs have $17.3 million in cap room designated for 30-something cornerbacks Ty Law and Patrick Surtain, neither of whom have reached a Pro Bowl in two seasons.

    2008 outlook — Fair: Can it get much worse than 4-12, which was Kansas City's worst record since 1978? Johnson's return to health will probably translate to at least two more wins this season — provided he can play at the same level as 2005 and 2006. But until quarterback and the offense line are solidified, Kansas City won't be an AFC West threat. That means coach Herman Edwards will be feeling the heat in his third Chiefs season.

    Oakland (4-12)

    Looking back: Well, the offensive line showed great improvement. Other than that, it was hard to find many positives for a franchise that is 15-49 since 2004. Judging by his late-season play, quarterback JaMarcus Russell is a long-term project.

    Biggest need area — Defensive tackle: Oakland surrendered an NFL-high 4.8 yards a carry in 2007. The problems started up front. Future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp was a shell of his former self and Terdell Sands was beaten out for a starting spot by journeyman Gerard Warren. Plus, end Derrick Burgess struggled against the run. Because of team owner Al Davis' affinity for all things Raiders, don't be surprised if Oakland selects end Chris Long (Howie's son) if he's still available when Oakland drafts at either No. 3 or 4 in the first round.

    Player/coach to watch — Lane Kiffin: Coaching the Raiders is just like being the Spinal Tap drummer: Your time is coming, but you just don't know exactly when. All the speculation about Kiffin's job security may have undermined the 32-year-old's ability to command his team. Kiffin should be safe for this season, but nothing is ever certain in Oakland.

    Projected cap space — $20 million: The Raiders won't be losing cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who will be slapped with a $9.5 million franchise tag. Oakland secured the services of its other top free agent Wednesday by re-signing running back Justin Fargas to a three-year contract with reportedly $6 million guaranteed. Fargas' return could end the Oakland tenures of running backs LaMont Jordan ($4.7 million base salary) and Dominic Rhodes ($5.5 million cap number).

    2008 outlook — Poor: As long as the franchise continues being run in the same fashion, there is no hope in Oakland.

    Coming Friday: NFC East
  2. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
  3. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Goood Fuuukin' Reeead!!!! nothin but the truth too.
  4. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Fuc the bullchiat get the hardware. It's already starting and IMO we will be the AFC media knob-job in 08. We did this in 06 so focus up and get the hardware. Don't buy the hype San Diego. :no:

    Hardware. :bolt:

    Bling. :bolt:

    The shiny ****. :bolt:
  5. Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan

    Carlsbad_Bolt_Fan Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2006

    What's that? Another blacked out game in Oakland?

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

    Oct 13, 2006
    Good Read!!! :bolt:
  7. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

    Jul 12, 2007
    Man, where are all those Raider fans proclaiming that we are on the way down, while they are on the rise? I didn't really see any of that this year..
  8. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2005

    and T-shirt!!!!


  9. Kwak

    Kwak ....

    May 25, 2006
    And a hat.

    I just want to see the freaking hardware! :abq2:

    Good read.
  10. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    Lane Kiffin is going to soak Davis for every dime in the contract and I don't blame him. He will have almost no control over a team that wasn't well disciplined when he got there and the raider fans will lining up in increasing numbers for liver transplants over the next several seasons, as they drown their fury and angst in a river of booze. My brother went to the first Charger game here with me and he lives up in Raider Country now, trying not to laugh too loudly, since he knows how dangerous that can be.
  11. henryqjr2001

    henryqjr2001 BoltTalker

    Sep 18, 2007
    The division is ours 6-0. Sure NFL network says its the worse, but that is not the Bolts Fault, PR will work his tail off for the rehab period.Faster and stronger:bolt:

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