NFL Insider peeks into crystal ball.....Me Likes!!

Muck

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THE NFL INSIDER
By Michael Jessen

June 21, 2002 Random thoughts on 2002: Moss to be boss again...Ricky will shine in the sun...Reality bites the Pats...We're saving our 2002 NFL regular season, playoff and Super Bowl picks for early August, but with training camps set to open in just about a month we've taken a look into the "Insider" crystal ball and have some early picks in some special categories.

MVP:
AFC -- Ricky Williams, RB, Dolphins. Team that desperately needed a franchise back got a great one in a pre-draft trade. Sure sounds like a good idea to us.
NFC -- Randy Moss, WR, Vikings. For at least this season while things are still fresh with new Vikings' head coach Mike Tice, Moss will try hard every week. And that's all he really needs to do to be the league's best player.

Biggest surprise:
AFC -- Cincinnati. Actually, we're just playing the percentages here. After drafting so many times in the top 10 in recent years picks, the Bengals have to surprise sometime.
NFC -- Minnesota. See above...If Randy Moss is trying, we're buying!

Biggest disappointment:
AFC -- New England. What goes up, must come down. Especially when what went up wasn't that good in the first place. Ultimately, we hope we're wrong about this one. The Patriots are easy to root for, but if there was ever a Super Bowl champion set up for fall, it's these guys.
NFC -- Chicago. We're still confused how the Bears won 12 games last year.

Rookie of the year:
AFC -- William Green, RB, Browns. Nothing impacts quicker than a stud franchise back.
NFC -- Donte Stallworth, WR, Saints. New Orleans has big plans to go deep this fall and the Aaron Brooks-to-Stallworth combo will be the talk of the league. We also have a good feeling about new Lions' QB Joey Harrington, but he may not have the supporting cast in Detroit.

Rookie bust:
AFC -- Bryan Thomas, DE, Jets. We just don't think a kid can be big-time first-year player coming out of Alabama-Birmingham.
NFC -- Javon Walker, WR, Packers. What was Mike Sherman thinking when he traded up for this guy?

Most intriguing coaching story:
AFC-- Bill Callahan, Raiders. Al Davis gets to push around a powerless head coach. Privately, the players are saying it's "back to Bugel."
NFC -- Steve Mariucci, 49ers. If Mooch bingos it to the Super Bowl, he wins. If not, it could get ugly in 49er land.

Person to be missed the most:
AFC -- Jon Gruden. The Raiders look very ordinary without 'Chucky'. The squad were old last year. And that was before signing LB Bill Romanowski and DB Rod Woodson.
NFC -- Correll Buckhalter, RB, Eagles. The Eagles thought they could get over the hump with Buckhalter as their feature back. So they backed off Warrick Dunn and didn't draft a RB in the first round. Then Buckhalter blew out his knee running in shorts and a T-shirt without being hit on the first day off minicamp last month. Ouch!

Hottest assistant:
AFC -- Norv Turner, offensive coordinator, Dolphins. With the addition of RB Ricky Williams, Miami will consistently score in the high 20s this coming season and Turner will get much of the credit.
NFC-- Marvin Lewis, defensive coordinator, Redskins. Lewis has been high on everybody's list the past couple of seasons; no problem with his on-field coaching which won't be hurt having emerging Redskins' LB Lavar Arrington wreaking havoc all over the field, but Lewis has to improve his interview skills. He had the Bucs job locked up this past off-season, but blew it in his five-hour meeting with the Glazers.

Most improved team:
AFC-- Cleveland. The Browns beefed up an already solid defense with the addition of veteran free agents DE Kenard Lang, LB Earl Holmes, and SS Robert Griffith and finally have a true franchise back in William Green to complement QB Tim Couch. In fact, the Browns might be one superstar WR away from being a Super Bowl team.
NFC -- Dallas. If enigmatic Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones keeps getting 'attaboys' for his offseason moves - this year he upgraded an already pretty good defense with the addition of free agents DT La'roi Glover, LB Kevin Hardy and CB Bryant Westbrook, not to mention adding hard-hitting SS Roy Williams in the draft, and added promising young QB Chad Hutchison to the mix behind center - he might never hire a 'real' GM.

Early favorite to get the #1 pick in 2003:
AFC-- Jacksonville. If either QB Mark Brunell or RB Fred Taylor ever go down again, the Jaguars are too thin to survive.
NFC -- Carolina. The Panthers will be what you get when you pass on a Joey Harrington and go to war with Chris Weinke. The good news in Carolina: Say hello to Byron Leftwich, Dave Ragone, or even Drew Henson.
 

VanDolPhan

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My favorite non dolphin part of that post:

Originally posted by Muck

Rookie bust:
AFC -- Bryan Thomas, DE, Jets. We just don't think a kid can be big-time first-year player coming out of Alabama-Birmingham.
 

dirtywhiteboy

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Re: Re: NFL Insider peeks into crystal ball.....Me Likes!!

Originally posted by VanDolPhan
My favorite non dolphin part of that post:

i like the baguar's drafting #1 pick also!!!!:lol: :D :evil:
 

Miamian

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Originally posted by Muck
Rookie bust:
AFC -- Bryan Thomas, DE, Jets. We just don't think a kid can be big-time first-year player coming out of Alabama-Birmingham.
[/B]
It may sound good, but there have been quite a few good players to come from small schools. Among them are Jason Taylor (Akron), Jerry Rice (Delta State), Mark Duper (SW La.), John Offerdahl (Central Michigan, I think), and we can go on...
 

IceStorm

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Lets be careful though, there are always surprises each year. i.e. Patriots

So who knows. But I do agree with his assessment of the Dolphins with the addition of Norv, Ricky, and a healthy team. Not to much to stop us besides ourselves.
 

IceStorm

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As for the Yikes (vikes), I hope they swallow it. I never did like that little cry baby of an individual. If Moss doesn't want to play as a team, he can just follow Cris Carter.
 

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I like it but I really hope they don't pick us to go to the Super Bowl. With the Rams being the exception last year, it seems as though experts picking preseason SB participants is a jinx...either that or I'm just blowing things out of proportion and being way too supersticious. :lol: :D
 

dolphan39

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very believable - not to mention the inevitable Wanne as Coach of the year and Rick as Exec of the year.
 

ckparrothead

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Lets just hope that we're as good on the field as we are on paper. Stuff can fall apart real fast. I don't think we're really in danger on offense of becoming stale. The offense is just starting to come into its own with some legitimate talent.

But the defense, we may not see the same D as we are use to depending on injuries and how the Larry Chester-Daryl Gardener experiments work out.

Now that the Jets drafted Bryan Thomas, Shawn Ellis has been turning it up and now looks pretty good they say. Now what're they gonna do with Thomas? Trade him?
 

Dajesus

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Originally posted by Expo88
I like it but I really hope they don't pick us to go to the Super Bowl. With the Rams being the exception last year, it seems as though experts picking preseason SB participants is a jinx...either that or I'm just blowing things out of proportion and being way too supersticious. :lol: :D
I really wouldn't call NFL insider an expert. They are the equivalent of 16 year old girls gossiping in the cafeteria. They have started more rumors than the whole cheerleading squad in my 4 years of highschool. Not to mention there must be some Dolphin fans among them because they always bash the Jets and praise Miami.

Am I the only one that sees Dallas as the Ravens of last year, and the Redskins of the year prior? Sure Williams was a great pick, but how many game breaking safetys are there in this league? Glover is comming off an off year, Hardy hasn't played in a full season in 2 years, and Westbrock well lets just say the Lions didn't even want him. Emitt is old and can not be an every down back by any means. Ismail and Galloway have both underacheived in Dallas, and now both over 30 they will find it hard to get back half the form they have lost. Even if they could still be great who would get them the ball? Carter will lose the job to a guy that hasn't thrown a football in 4 years, and he is atleast 2 years away from having a shot. Hambrick and Bryant will be the bright spots of this clouded offense, but I don't expect them to shine to brightly in the domintaing defensive NFC east. One last thought on their offense, and all that really needs to be said...they have put all their hope in Bruce Cosslet, Bruce fing Cosslet.
 
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