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Next year's surprise team...

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Next year's surprise team...

Postby Guttpuppy » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:16 pm

foxsports.com

There are four 5-11 teams that could become next year's Panthers:

Jaguars. If John Fox can do it in his second season as head coach, so can his former defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio. Jacksonville proved to be competitive with the Colts, and the Titans have salary-cap troubles. Del Rio already has a strong run defense in place, and the offense has explosive potential with Byron Leftwich and Fred Taylor. A little help in the secondary and at receiver would go a long way.


Redskins. What Bill Parcells did for the Cowboys, Joe Gibbs can do for their archrivals — speed up the learning curve with winning experience. There is some great talent in Washington, including Laveranues Coles and LaVar Arrington. Gibbs will get much more out of an underachieving offensive line to establish a ball-control, run-heavy scheme. The draft should bring answers for the team's biggest weakness, the defensive line.


Lions. Steve Mariucci did the best job he could in 2003, considering the team put 13 players on injured reserve. In 2004, a young defense will be healthier and continue to improve under new coordinator Dick Jauron. The offense again should get an early-draft boost, and Joey Harrington and Charles Rogers should develop into stars. The key to a quick turnaround, however, is finding a way to win on the road, where the Lions have lost a record 24 straight.


Texans. Dom Capers helped Carolina drop its "expansion" tag quickly and has done the same for Houston. Just as Domanick Davis and Andre Johnson were the right rookies to put around David Carr on offense, expect Capers and G.M. Charley Casserly to find the ideal young personnel for their 3-4 defense this off-season. If the Colts or Titans falter in the AFC South, watch out.
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Postby DUKE » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:22 pm

no mention of the Bengals? :-[
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Postby Guttpuppy » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:24 pm

DUKE wrote:no mention of the Bengals? :-[


No surprises there as they settle back into mediocrity... :-)
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Postby M_Zimm_ffc » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:31 pm

Guttpuppy wrote:
DUKE wrote:no mention of the Bengals? :-[


No surprises there as they settle back into mediocrity... :-)

I personally think that the Bengals will make the playoffs next year and the Panthers will not.

That is pretty interesting, I wouldn't mind seeing the Jags or Skins go far.
Last edited by M_Zimm_ffc on Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TTTBone » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:32 pm

DUKE wrote:no mention of the Bengals? :-[

Well, I don't think it would really qualify as a surprise after they rejoined the rest of the league this year.
I'm thinking the Redskins. They have lots of talent, money, and a proven coach. May take until midseason for the program to gel though.
Texans are an intriguing team too, let's see how they handle actually winning some games.
Last edited by TTTBone on Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby deftdelivery » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:33 pm

M_Zimm wrote:You heard it here first, The Bengals will make the playoffs next year and the Panthers will not.



lol, actually I've heard it here, there, over there, over yonder, right there, and on ESPN a lot Zimm...EVERYBODY on ESPN says the Pats are in great shape next year due to their draft picks, and that the Panthers will be a lot worse...

not really goin out on a limb ;-D

but I would love to see the Bengals make the playoffs - they're a fun team
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Postby Azrael » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:35 pm

I really think the Jags stand to do well...maybe Gibbs can get that star studded defense (i.e., Bailey, Smoot, Arrington, Armstead, Trotter) to stop someone.
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Postby M_Zimm_ffc » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:35 pm

deftdelivery wrote:
M_Zimm wrote:You heard it here first, The Bengals will make the playoffs next year and the Panthers will not.



lol, actually I've heard it here, there, over there, over yonder, right there, and on ESPN a lot Zimm...EVERYBODY on ESPN says the Pats are in great shape next year due to their draft picks, and that the Panthers will be a lot worse...

not really goin out on a limb ;-D

but I would love to see the Bengals make the playoffs - they're a fun team

Yea, I guess you're right. I do really think the Bengals will go far next season. They will have their RB issues behind them and should be able to get a couple good guys in the draft and there is talk that they may go after Chris McCalister as an FA this year.
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Postby terpfan » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:46 pm

M_Zimm wrote:That is pretty interesting, I wouldn't mind seeing the Jags or Skins go far.

u would be the only non-skins fan in the world with that view. ;-D
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Postby VHawk15 » Tue Feb 03, 2004 5:47 pm

From a record standpoint, what about the Falcons. I know they aren't much of a suprise but with Vick back, you can obviously expect a large W-L improvement.

But I think that either the Jags or the Texans will be the main suprise next year, with one of them going as far as the conference championship game.
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