Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Indianapolis Colts [full archive here].
Season Recap – Seems a bit early to be picking for the Colts, but 2010 was a different season for Indianapolis. Finishing 10-6, Peyton Manning and the Colts had their worst season since 2002. Injuries were a factor as they lost many important players including Dallas Clark, Bob Sanders, Austin Collie, and Jerraud Powers. The Colts found a way to win without them and secured their ninth consecutive playoff appearance. The Colts will be back to full strength in 2011 and figure to be among the top teams in the league.
1. Left Tackle – GM Bill Polian admitted his mistake of taking DE Jerry Hughes over LT Rodger Saffold last season. Saffold started all 16 games in St. Louis and was the blindside protector for rookie Sam Bradford. This offseason, Polian will have to correct his mistake and try to find Manning a better protector. 2010 starter Charlie Johnson is scheduled to become a free agent, but due to his performance he may not return. There will be an OT available in the first round for Indy. Tyron Smith would be a great pick. Read more
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Kansas City Chiefs [full archive here].
Season Recap – Similar to the Bucs, the Kansas City Chiefs had a much better season then most people predicted. After picking Eric Berry fifth overall in 2010, Scott Pioli showed many why he was such an important hire. Coming from New England, Pioli knows talent and is very successful at the draft. Matt Cassel had a pro-bowl season and Jamal Charles was second in the league in rushing yards. Losing offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will hurt, but previous offensive line coach, Bill Muir, is a capable replacement.
1. Outside Linebacker - AFC sack leader, Tamba Hali was scheduled for free agency, but was franchised. Hali has developed into one of the top 3-4 OLB’s but doesn’t have much help. Mike Vrabel failed to record a sack and at 35, along with becoming a free agent, it seems Kansas City will have a new starter in 2011. Justin Houston has been linked to the Chiefs in round one, but I don’t think he’ll be available. Brooks Reed would be a good fit. Read more
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers [full archive here].
Season Recap – The Buccaneers surprised many this season, as the league’s youngest team finished the season 10-6. Quarterback Josh Freeman took major strides in his second season and finished with a 96 quarterback rating. GM Mark Dominik has done a great job of bringing in the right personnel, especially last years draft where 10 rookies became starters. This young team will be a year older and is expected to be a top competitor in 2011.
1. Defensive End – Dominik did a good job of fixing the defensive tackle need with Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, but now he must fix the outside. The Bucs ranked 30th in the league in sacks with only 26. Getting pressure on the QB is very important as seen through Super Bowl participants Green Bay and Pittsburgh who finished first and second in sacks, respectively. The Bucs could use two new starters on the outside. There should be a capable D-End available for the Bucs in the first round. Ryan Kerrigan or Adrian Clayborn would be nice additions. Read more
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the New York Giants [full archive here].
Season Recap – The Giants finished the season with a solid 10-6 record, but had yet another late season collapse. They blew many leads in the fourth quarter and failed to beat the Packers in week 16, a game that would have put them in the playoffs. New York was solid on both sides of the ball and received contribution from a range of players. Tom Coughlin and the coaching staff return in hopes of getting back to the playoffs in 2011.
1. Left Tackle – William Beatty was horrible at left tackle, and David Diehl is better inside. The Giants can select a young tackle in this years draft and insert him to protect Eli Manning’s blind side. Anthony Castanzo would be a great fit. Read more
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the San Diego Chargers [full archive here].
Season Recap – Each year the Chargers seem poised to contend for the Super Bowl, but mid-season collapses continue to hold them back. Despite finishing the season ranked #1 overall in offense and defense, the Chargers, at 9-7, failed to make the playoffs. San Diego managed to win many games without the help from players Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill, both of whom missed games due to holding out. 2011 will likely be the last season owner Alex Spanos settles with a non-playoff qualifying season.
1. Defensive End – Jacques Cesaire is set to become a free agent, which leaves only two defensive ends on the roster. San Diego needs to rejuvenate their front and this draft presents the perfect opportunity, considering the strength of the D-line class. Cameron Heyward should be available and would fit in great for San Diego. Read more
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Oakland Raiders [full archive here].
Season Recap – Tom Cable led the Raiders to an 8-8 record, marking their first winning season since the 2002 season. The Raiders finally began playing with passion and determination, and finished undefeated in the division. A big part of the success was Hue Jackson and the offensive scheme he employed – Darren McFadden topped a 1000 yards and new QB Jason Campbell led some exciting game-winning drives. At seasons end, Owner Al Davis felt Hue Jackson was better qualified to lead the Raiders, so he fired Tom Cable. In 2011, Jackson looks poised to bring the Raiders back to the playoffs.
1. Cornerback – With Nnamdi Asomugha set to depart; the Raiders have a hole to fill. Stanford Routt was resigned to a huge contract, but he struggled in the second half of the season. If Asomugha does not return, the Raiders have to find a new number 1. With no pick in the first round, the Raiders are likely to sign a free agent corner. I bet Antonio Cromartie appeals to Al Davis. Read more
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Jacksonville Jaguars [full archive here].
Season Recap - The Jaguars had a shot at winning their first division title since 1999, but a week 15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts destroyed any chance. Jacksonville did some things well (3rd in rushing yards) and some things not so well (28th in defense), and the 8-8 record backs their average play in 2010. Jack Del Rio hasn’t led the team to the playoffs since 2007-meaning time is winding down. Hopefully the Jaguars can make some improvements and overtake Indianapolis in 2011.
1. Defensive End – The Tyson Alualu selection shocked the world last year, but surprisingly paid off. Alualu started all season and made the all-rookie team. Now, Jacksonville needs to add a pass rusher to compliment Alualu. Aaron Campman is coming off an ACL tear, and Derrick Harvey has failed to live up to expectations. Jacksonville can use their first round pick to fill the need. Aldon Smith, Ryan Kerrigan, and Adrian Clayborn are options at #16. Read more
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Miami Dolphins [full archive here].
Season Recap – Bill Parcells took over a team in 2007 that just came off a 1-15 finish. Parcells began bringing his people in and giving the Dolphins a new image. The Dolphins finished the next season ranked 11-5, made the playoffs, and the future began to look as bright as ever, but Miami didn’t live up to the expectations and finished the next two seasons ranked 7-9. Parcells is now gone, and the Dolphins are back to rebuilding. Coach Tony Sparano likely has one season remaining to prove he is capable of the job, so expect the Dolphins to be active this offseason.
1. Quarterback – Chad Henne failed to improve much with two seasons of starting under his belt. Henne’s poor play was a big reason the Dolphins finished the season ranked 31st in points, with just over 17 points a game. Brandon Marshall needs a gunslinger that can get him the ball, and Henne might not be the option. The best option would be to sign a veteran free agent and hope Henne can develop some more under him. Another option would be to bring in a draft pick and create some competition for Henne. Ricky Stanzi, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, and Ryan Mallet are some names that could be in the Aqua and Coral next season. Read more
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the St. Louis Rams [full archive here].
Season Recap – Rookie QB Sam Bradford helped lead the Rams to their best season since 2006, as they finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs by one game. Steve Spagnuolo’s philosophies are beginning to take shape and now that Bradford is under center, expect the Rams to be a contender in the NFC West.
1. Defensive Line – With the Giants, “Spags” had a plethora of D-lineman and would rotate them throughout the game causing many miss matches. The Rams don’t have the same type of personnel, so adding more pieces the D-line will be a priority this offseason. Chris Long is set at one end spot, but the Rams need to get someone across from him. With the strength of the defensive line class, the Rams can grab a starter (or two) in the first two rounds. Read more
Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Detroit Lions. [full archive here].
Season Recap - Since becoming head coach in 2009, Jim Schwartz has made all the right moves in attempts of recovering from the mess left by ex- general manager Matt Millen. Detroit was very competitive this season and ended the season on a four game win streak, all without the play from young star quarterback Matthew Stafford, who still faces doubts over durability issues. With another offseason in the Schwartz era, look for the Lions to make a run at the playoffs in 2011.
1. Outside Linebacker – Detroit has a young star in the middle with Deandre Levy, but lacks talent on the outside. Starter Julian Peterson was recently released and Zach Follett may be forced into retirement due to a serious neck injury. Detroit upgraded the D-line last offseason, but its main focus will be in the back part of the front seven this year. Read more