Archive for the ‘USC’ Category

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To the Hawai’i fans present at Aloha Stadium: A Clarification

September 5, 2010

Dear Hawai’i fan holding the sign U Suck Cheaters,

Gee how creative you are. Jumping on the bandwagon of people lambasting a team that had nothing to do with the Reggie Bush-Lloyd Lake fiasco of 2004-2006. You do realize that in 2004 Matt Barkley was in 8th grade, right? That he and his fellow teammates were not members of the USC Football Team yet and wouldn’t be for many years?

You also do realize that Reggie Bush’s family getting all those shady benefits from the super shady Lloyd Lake had nothing to do with the Trojan football team’s on field success, right? You do realize that Reggie’s parents living in a house in San Diego that they didn’t pay for didn’t have any bearing on all the passes Matt Leinart completed, all the runs Lendale White had, all the catches Patrick Turner pulled down, right?  None of it had any bearing on Reggie Bush’s on-field performance, either.

In fact, an argument could probably be made that with all the shady shit going down in Reggie’s family at the time, he was distracted. Maybe without all of that, he’d have been even better. Maybe if all of that hadn’t been going on he would not have tossed that pass off to someone who’d never carried a ball before in the 2006 Rose Bowl National Championship Game vs Texas. Maybe, but we’ll never know.

NCAA rules say a player must complete three years before becoming eligible for the NFL draft. So Reggie would have been at USC, would have been the truly breathtaking player he was, and we still would have won all those games — whether or not Reggie and his family violated NCAA rules by taking money from Lloyd Lake.

So let me just spell it out for you, misguided Rainbow Warrior: USC did not cheat. Reggie Bush cheated. Reggie Bush’s step-father cheated. And unfortunately, kids that were in 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th grade when all of that happened are paying the price.

If you want to point a finger somewhere, I suggest you go to a New Orleans Saints game and heckle Reggie Bush. Legions of Trojan fans would love you forever if you did that.

Smooches,
Gridiron Goddess

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Watch This Space…

September 3, 2010

I have a rant I need to post about the Hawai’i fans AND a rant to SC fans who are whining about our (inexperienced) defense but both will have to wait until after work. It’s a WIN people, be happy.

Be HAPPY.

More later–

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Week 1 CFB Picks

September 2, 2010

Football Fiends!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!! College football is back and with it, Gridiron Goddess’ CFB Picks. Straight Picks, no spread (tho I might do both as the season progresses, we’ll see). The first couple of weeks there will appear to be a lot of gimmes, given certain school’s propensities to schedule FCS and/or cupcake teams (Georgia, I’m looking at you).  However, it was just 3 years ago when Michigan opened their season with a stunning loss to Appalacian State. So anything can happen. (That said Louisiana-Lafayette and Appalachian State are about as different as Florida and Wazzou, for instance.)

Gridiron Goddess’ Week 1 College Football Picks

USC over Hawaii

Miami over Florida A&M

Nevada-Reno over Eastern Washington

Arizona over Toledo

Penn State over Youngstown State

Iowa over Eastern Illinois

Georgia over Louisiana-Lafayette

Mizzou over Illinois

Oregon over New Mexico

UCLA over Kansas State

Notre Dame over Purdue

Cal over UC Davis

Virginia over Richmond

Stanford over Sacramento State

Wisconsin over UNLV

Boise State over VA Tech

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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The Most Arrogant Shit Ever. (via Lost Angeles)

September 1, 2010

Football Fiends — or should I say FELLOW TROJANS–

Check out this most excellent rant by fellow Trojan Lost Angeles.

He is So Right.

Kiffin is a CLOSER. And that is why I have faith that this season will kick ass even with the sanctions.

Fight On!

The Most Arrogant Shit Ever. USC football kicks off tomorrow.  If you are a Bruin, if you are hater, it’s a good time to leave this blog.  It’s about to rain propaganda in here.  Get your poncho, fools.  Tomorrow, the season that never was kicks off and the world will be wondering will it be a shit show, shit shower, shit storm, shit tropical storm or full blown shit hurricane.  Trojan fans need to know how to feel about life after Pete Carroll, life after sanctions, life wi … Read More

via Lost Angeles

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The Official Gridiron Goddess 2010 Pac-10 Preview: Part 2

September 1, 2010

Getting it in just under the wire!!! FOOTBALL SEASON STARTS TOMORROW! OMG, Thank You gods of football for seeing us all safely through another long, long, long offseason.

The 2010 Pac-10 Preview: Conclusion

by Gridiron Goddess

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS

Washington State. (What you can’t see is me shaking my head.) Well, I am not the first writer/blogger/fan to say this: They cannot get any worse. They really really can’t. There are 120 FBS football teams and last season the Cougars ranked 119th in total offense and 120th in total defense. Pitiful doesn’t even begin to describe the team they fielded last year in Pullman.

Last year’s Wazzou offensive line gave up 53 sacks.  I’m thinking sophomore QB Jeff Tuel has to be suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome from all the times he went down last year. They did win ONE game last season, so I suppose the Cougars COULD get worse this year, but that is just beside the point.  It has to get better for Alumnus and Coach Paul Wulff. He took over in December 2007 and this year’s team will FINALLY contain players he recruited.

All eyes will be on Washington State this year, will this be the year the pathetic program finally turns around and contends for at least the middle of the Pac-10 pack?

Not this year. Look for Wazzou to improve a bit on both sides of the ball, but still finish dead last in the Pac-10.

Washington State opens its season at Oklahoma State on Saturday, September 4th.

ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS

Dennis Erickson would appear to be on the hot seat, wouldn’t he? I mean he has all this talent, and each year the Sun Devils are SUPPOSED to contend for the Pac-10 crown and then… they fall apart. They implode. They self-destruct. (Shall I twist the knife in a little further Pat? Remember 1987? USC 55 – ASU 0. But I digress ;-)…)  Surely Erickson’s Sun Devils will have to improve on last year’s 4-8 record for his job to be secure.

This offseason, one of ASU’s issues was at quarterback. As in, who would the Sun Devil starting QB be. They waited until August 31st to name Michigan transfer Steven Threet the 2010 starting QB. Threet started eight games at Michigan in 2008 before transferring. Coach Erickson has not ruled out sophomore Brock Oseweiler seeing playing time at QB. Now doesn’t that just make you want to strangle him ASU Fans? Stop being so wishy-washy, pick a QB, pick a game plan and fricking STICK WITH IT. Erickson doesn’t seem able to just stick with a plan at ASU and that lack of consistency has been apparent in the on field results.

But hey- Threet also seems to suffer from this disease of indecision. ASU is his third school. He spent the Spring of 2007 at Georgia Tech before transferring to Michigan in 2008. At Michigan he was the leading passer in 2008, but he was not a good match for RichRod’s offense. So maybe this will be a match  made in heaven. A union of commitment-phobes.

My prediction is that only Wazzou will finish lower in the Pac-10 than Arizona State. And next season the Sun Devils will have a new coach.

Arizona State opens their season at home against Portland State on Saturday, September 4th.

UCLA BRUINS

Rick Neuheisel (and his big giant forehead) enters his third season as head coach of that team in Westwood. Their 2009 offense was ranked 88th in the nation. But let’s not forget this is a team that has been beset by QB injuries so severe it is almost comical. (OK, Let’s be honest, it IS comical for Trojan fans.) Even this season is not without injury, as QB Kevin Prince has a torn back muscle from camp that is still on the mend. Neuheisel and former SC assistant coach Norm Chow are installing their version of the Pistol offense in Westwood this season, which should prove to be a good move for the Bruins.  Prince will be backed up by sophomore Richard Brehaut with junior college transfer Darius Bell sitting on the third string. Bell is a more athletic QB who seems to be what UCLA needs for their new offense. Anyway, the point is, remember when UCLA lost two QBs in one pre-season practice? They’ve learned from that, and it shouldn’t happen again this year.

UCLA’s version of the Pistol offense is the Revolver, which looks to make use of a revolving QB plan – at least in the opener against Kansas State. Depth on the O-Line will be an issue for the Bruins with some academic ineligibility and injury issues hitting their bench. Oh and don’t forget the player (Xavier Su-a-Filo) who is on a LDS Mission. The starting five must stay healthy or Prince is in trouble.

On another note, UCLA has new road jerseys this year. Gone is the effeminate powder blue, replaced with navy blue (the stripes and numbers).

I’m thinking its a 7 win season for the Bruins.

UCLA opens its season at Kansas State on Saturday, September 4th.

CAL GOLDEN BEARS

Well Cal opens their season against powerhouse UC Davis, so that tells us a lot. I’m sorry, but I have no patience for big teams that schedule cupcakes. And plenty FBS teams do. (SEC I am looking at you. Try scheduling Ohio State instead of Louisiana-Monroe for f’s sake. But I digress… again…) Anyway, back to Cal.  Cal’s QB is Kevin Riley and he is the key to their success. When Riley is on, Cal wins. When Riley is off, Cal falls apart. And consistency has never been Kevin Riley’s strong suit.  Wide receiver was one of the weak spots on last year’s team and was a big factor in Riley’s lack of consistency.  True freshman wideout Keenan Allen could go a long way towards bringing some much needed consistency to Riley’s offense. Allen is the most highly-rated recruit Coach Tedford has ever had.

Of course, Cal’s running game has a huge hole where first round draft pick Javid Best used to run his plays. Shane Vereen is another running back out of Berkeley who looks to fill Best’s shoes for the Golden Bears.

Cal also has some mental weak spots. They were blown out five times last season and when they get too far down, the mistakes grow even greater and build upon each other until they have a near disaster on their hands. This also speaks to some offensive consistency. That WILL go a long way to healing what ails Tedford’s Golden Bears.

Defensively, Cal was decent against the run in 2009, but struggled against the pass. Cal has one of the best linebackers in the Pac-10 in Mike Mohamed, but the other three LB spots in the Bears’ 3-4 D are green. Time will tell, I suppose.

Cal opens the season at home against UC Davis on Saturday, September 4th.

WASHINGTON HUSKIES

Make no mistake, USC will be out for revenge on October 2nd at the Coliseum. Last season’s shocking loss to the Huskies at the hands of former USC Assistant Coach Steve Sarkisian HURT, y’all.  But that aside, let’s give Coach Sark a big round of applause. In 2008, UDub went 0-12 and last season they went 5-7, which by any other standard would not be a good season but after the slide into the depths of suckitude the Huskies had been on for a number of years, 5-7 was something to celebrate.

We will know soon if the 2010 Huskies will be an even better team as they open their season at BYU. Talk about trial by fire. But then, Washington is not one to schedule patsies even in their down years.

QB Jake Locker is making a run for the Heisman and the hype alone should do a lot to elevate this Husky team and make them hungry for wins. The team returns all five starters on the offensive line – led by all-conference candidate Jermaine Karse. Sophomore Chris Polk started last year at tailback, wide receiver and defensive back and was the first freshman in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards.  All reports on the Husky defense are that they were a pleasant surprise in training camp.

2008 was rough and had Coach Sark not gotten in there and turned it significantly around, things could have been bleak for years for the Huskies. After last season, they know how to win. And last season many of their seven losses came by just a few points. This year, they will know how to close the gap and the Huskies should be bowl eligible for the first time since 2002 at season’s end.

Washington opens its season at BYU on Saturday, September 4th.

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The Official Gridiron Goddess 2010 Pac-10 Football Preview: Part 1

August 30, 2010

PAC 10 Preview 2010

by Gridiron Goddess

The long, cold, dark days of the off-season are almost over. And what an off-season it’s been! NCAA Sanctions (ugh), coaching defections, quarterback scandals; a new commissioner and expansion have all been news stories this spring and summer.

USC won’t be playing in a bowl game for a couple of seasons, unless they successfully appeal the sanctions. Lane Kiffin may want to rethink his son’s name of Knox now that he is once again a son of Troy. Jeremiah Masoli is no longer quacking like a duck, having been dismissed from Oregon. New Pac-10 Commish Larry Scott has hit the ground running. For a few moments we were almost the Pac-16 with Colorado, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State as a part of our conference of champions. In the end though, only Colorado lept at the chance to join the Left Coast’s Premiere Athletic Conference. Soon after Utah left the MWC, a conference they’d long since outgrown, to join the new Pac-12.

How the conference will be divided, where the championship game will take place, etc are all yet to be determined and the topic of interesting debates. Myself, I’m a fan of the North/South division with California, Stanford, USC, UCLA, AZ and ASU in one division and the Washingtons, Oregons, Utah and Colorado in the other division. This keeps traditional rivalries like the Civil War, Apple Cup, Cal-Stanford and USC-UCLA in place for yearly matchups. That seems the most logical to me, and yet, that is not the setup that has hit the rumor mill.

For the 2010 season we’re still the Pac-10, so let’s get on with it and pardon me if I can’t muster up my usual enthusiasm. I am sure you understand why. It’s been a rough spring and summer for USC fans. I am sick of all the speculation and talk about USC’s sanctions. I am ready to just PLAY already and see how it all shakes out.

USC TROJANS

This is a hard one to call folks. Of course USC has talent. And I do think the coaching staff will turn out to be insane. Forget what everyone says about Lane Kiffin. With Monte, Coach O and Kennedy Pola (who is Troy Polamalu’s uncle) – how can we go that wrong? Sure there are the sanctions. The loss of scholarships. The transfers and releases from letters of intents. The behavior issues (as of today Freshman safety Patrick Hall has been suspended indefinitely). USC is going to lack their trademark depth for a few years. And that is troubling, to say the least. Especially once injuries are factored in.  In fact, Coach Kiffin now has the Trojans practicing NFL style – as in tackling is a scrimmage only event. As he said, the team just can’t risk injury like it could in past years. They are basically playing with an NFL roster rather than the larger roster an NCAA team is permitted to have.

Matt Barkley showed remarkable poise and leadership as a freshman last year and he’s back and a year older. That can only be good. He’s got the exceptionally seasoned Mitch Mustain behind him on the depth chart. Fullback Stanley Havili is back, a senior and will be a key factor in Barkley’s passing game. Havili is a fifth year senior and the most experienced member of the Trojan offense.  Marc Tyler is getting the start at RB vs Hawaii.

In terms of the SC defense, the front seven are the experienced group, with the secondary being the less experienced players.  Senior cornerback Shareece Wright will be joined by freshman cornerback Nickell Robey and sophomore safeties T.J. McDonald and Jawanza Starling. This is, per the usual, a gifted group. They just lack USC’s usual depth and they will have some growing pains. Whereas USC’s offense has struggled at times in the last two seasons; we’ve been able to rely on our defense when it counted. This year, it may be the offense we rely on while the defense gets its engines all firing in the right direction.

Oh and by the way, USC still hasn’t lost a game outside of the Pac-10 since 2002 and it won’t be happening this year either.

The key to the Trojans’ success in 2010 begins and ends with Matt Barkley. And this Trojan Alum happens to think if the success of our program is in Barkley’s hands, then we’re in good shape.  A pal in Vegas told me the odds on USC are for a 10 win season. So come on Trojans, let’s give them an 11 or 12 or 13 win season just to show them what we’re made of. Pride. Heart.  Spirit. Let’s show them that the USC Football team embodies all the qualities of an ideal Trojan: Faithful, Scholarly, Skillful. Courageous and Ambitious.

USC opens its 2010 season on Thursday, September 2nd @ Hawaii.

STANFORD CARDINAL

Will Jim Harbaugh’s Stanford Cardinal (why the singular, Stanford?) take advantage of USC’s sanctions and Oregon’s QB issues and win the Pac-10? Not likely. But you can bet your ass Harbaugh’s big fat mouth is telling his players that they are the team to beat. And let’s face it, confidence and swagger do count. The loss of Toby Gerhardt makes their running game a bit of an unknown, but QB Andrew Luck looks to make a Heisman bid of his own this season. Luck is projected to be a potential #1 draft pick in 2011, and with Gerhardt gone we’ll get a chance to see him truly shine.

I personally believe that Stanford minus Gerhardt will have a tough time matching last season’s eight wins. But they won six Pac-10 games last season, you’re thinking. Yes they did. However, their defense is fairly atrocious. Stanford’s 2009 defense was ranked 110th against the pass last year – this year’s squad has LESS experience. And look around the Pac-10 – a lot of Stanford’s opponents have offenses that will only be more potent than last year in their experience under center. It’s hard to think that Stanford will be as successful this year as they were last year unless their defense has improved dramatically.

That said, if they haven’t improved – there should be a number of high scoring QB shootout style games vs Stanford in the Pac-10 this year and those are ALWAYS fun.

Stanford opens the season at UCLA on Saturday, September 4th.

OREGON DUCKS

The Ducks have not had the easiest of off-seasons. When the 2009 season ended (and who can forget the Halloween smack down of my beloved Trojans?!), they looked to be sitting on top of the Pac-10 pile for 2010 with phenom QB Jeremiah Masoli under center. Yeah, not so much. A few months later and things look mighty different up in Eugene. Masoli is now at Ole Miss.

All spring and summer speculation about who the Ducks staring QB would be swirled around the blogosphere. Would it be senior Nate Costa? That seemed to be the logical choice, since he was experienced. Would it be sophomore Darron Thomas – he would seem the best choice if Coach Kelly were trying to recapture the lightning in a bottle that Masoli (and before him Dennis Dixon) was.

The Ducks are a veteran team, returning 18 starters for 2010. Running back LaMichael James looks to be a major force for the Oregon offense and their experienced O-Line will keep the new QB well protected in the pocket.  On defense, well the Ducks are not especially known for their defense though it is certainly serviceable and solid. With the insanely fast and powerful offenses the crew from Eugene has fielded in recent years – that’s what they’ve become known for.

The Ducks will be a contender in the Pac-10 and even with a new QB and all kinds of off-season drama, they are still the favored to repeat as Pac-10 champs.

Oregon opens its season at home against New Mexico on Saturday, September 4th.

OREGON STATE BEAVERS

Jacquizz Rodgers. Damn. He still sparks fear in the hearts of Trojans. Wily little motherf*cker. Hell of a player. Oh wait, there’s more to Oregon State than Quizz Rodgers? Alright then.

Sophomore Ryan Katz takes over as QB for the Beavers and has a cannon of an arm. Then, of course, there are the Rodgers brothers. Jacquizz ran for 1,440 yards and 21 touchdowns last year. Oh and he also had 78 catches for 522 yards and a touchdown as well. James, on the other hand, had 91 catches for 1,024 yards and nine touchdowns. Oh, and James is a frightening return man. Frightening if you’re the team on defense, that is. The O-Line returns four starters and should provide good protection for their new QB.

Oregon State is another Pac-10 school known for its explosive offense who is just average on defense. Last season the Beavers defense ranked 84th against the pass. They ranked 105th in sacks. That’s not too scary.

Oregon State opens their season against TCU at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, September 4th.

ARIZONA WILDCATS

Arizona under Mike Stoops has been quietly and gradually improving over the years. So much so, that The Wildcats could very well be a sleeper contender for Pac-10 champion in 2010. I would not be at all surprised if come January 2011, Arizona has turned in a 9 win season.

QB Nick Foles heads a Wildcat offense that returns much of last year’s squad. Foles took over the QB job during the 2009 season and went on to throw for 2,486 yards and 19 touchdowns while going 6-4 as the starter. All three of Arizona’s threatening running backs return for 2010. Nic Grisby is possibly the most talented of the group but  missed much of last season due to injury. Combined with Keola Antolin and Greg Nwoko, the ‘Cats are a threat with the run.  The Wildcats receiving corps is depleted this year; but Juron Criner looks to be the breakout star of the group of WRs left in Tucson.

Arizona has had a stifling defense for a few years now. This year they come back with five of their starting front seven from a year ago lost to graduation and/or the NFL. Senior DE’s Ricky Elmore and Brooks Reed are back for 2010 and are quite simply the best defensive ends in the entire Pac-10. Not many offensive lines can match the size and power in these two Arizona players. Arizona also lost half of a very strong and consistent secondary, but look to reload with Trevin Wade and Robert Golden.

Arizona has not been to the Rose Bowl in 31 years. You can bet your ass the Wildcats have their eyes trained on that particular prize this season.

Arizona opens their season at Toledo on Friday, September 3rd.

Part 2 of The Official Gridiron Goddess Pac-10 Preview will be up Tuesday or Wednesday.

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Guest Post: Walker Sports 2010 AFC East Preview

August 30, 2010

2010 AFC EAST PREVIEW

By Dumont J. Walker III

The 2010 NFL season is getting closer everyday. We are in week 3 of the preseason and the opening day rosters are starting to take shape. Before we get ready to kick everything off on September 8, make sure to get your full NFL preview right here at Walker Sports. Today we are talking about the AFC East.

New York Jets The New York Jets are the center of the NFL universe right now. The Jets current stint on the HBO series ‘Hard Knocks’ is the most watched season ever for the hit show, and ratings will only increase as camp continues. Head coach Rex Ryan has pushed himself into the spotlight and is one of the most sought after coaches when the media is looking for a good sound bite. The Jets organization has let it be known, that anything less than a Super Bowl appearance would be a disappointment, and they love the pressure of those high expectations right now.

While the Jets defense is one of the best units in the NFL, with or without Darrelle Revis, in will be the maturation of their offense that are key if the Jets want to make the trip to Dallas for the Super Bowl. Mark Sanchez is entering his second year in the NFl, and he cannot afford to suffer from a sophomore slump. I will be the first to admit that Mark Sanchez outperformed my expectations last season. However, while the Jets were able to rack up wins in 2009, Sanchez’s stats remained very pedestrian. Sanchez was bailed out many times last season by a dominate running that that led the NFL is yards and carries. For any rookie quarterback, a reliable running attack is their best weapon. In 2010, the Jets will again turn to their ground game to churn out yards and be the engine to their offense. The key to the Jets offense will be the L.T. Shonn Greene is a reliable back and he game on strong at the end of last year and in the playoffs, but it was Thomas Jones who carried the team during the regular season. Greene, cannot be the only reliable back in the Jets lineup. L.T. finds his form, but if the past three seasons in San Diego are indication, this may not be an easy search. If the Jets fail to establish a reliable running game, they will be forced to rely on Mark Sanchez to make big plays, something he has never done in his college or NFL career. Not too many Super Bowl contenders want to place their offensive hopes on a quarterback with a QB Rating hovering around 70.

On defense, you know what you are going to get with the Jets. They brought in Kris Jenkins to play tackle, and if his knee is healthy that gives them a massive anchor in the middle of the line that should create plenty of holes for the linebackers to run through. If nothing else the Jets are very thin on defense, and they cannot afford to suffer any injuries. Right now the Jets defensive unit is still a premier unit in the NFL. With Rex Ryan calling the shots, the Jets will apply crazy amounts of pressure to opposing quarterbacks via elaborate blitz schemes. If there are breakdowns in the secondary, the Jets are good enough to skip on the blitzes and play a base defense and still shut down the majority of offenses in the league.

New England Patriots: I’m willing to announce it, as a matter of fact, I will shout it from the rooftops, the Bill Belichick, “I’m a genius” era is over in New England. Don’t believe me? Then think about this for a moment, the Patriots have not won a playoff game since 2007. Tom Brady was able to bounce back last season after suffering a season ending knee injury the previous year. Now it will be Wes Welker’s turn to return from knee surgery. While Randy Moss is still the big name receiver on the Patriots roster, it’s Wes Welker who is arguably the most important. With the way Welker has looked in training camp, it’s hard to believe he hurt his knee in January. The Patriots say he will be ready to go come September, but I have plenty of reservations of how effective Welker will actually be once the regular season kicks off. One interesting storyline on the offensive side of the ball for the Patriots is 2010 is a contract year from Tom Brady. Typically players put up big numbers in contract years, I’d venture out to say Brady will be out to prove a point in 2010, and show the NFL he is still an elite quarterback.

Defensively while Bill Belichick may not be the guru he once was a few years ago, he is still one of the best defensive minds in the game today. The Patriots will use multiple sets, and formations to bring pressure and attack opposing teams. The Belichick system of defense is based on confusion. He will rush linebackers and drop linemen, and vice versa. While teams are becoming more adept to this style of pressure it can still be very useful, especially when facing a team with a young quarterback or rookie offensive linemen.

The Patriots are not the team they once were, nothing has been the same since 2007, but they are still very dangerous. New England did win the AFC East last year, and they will not give up that crown without a fight. If nothing else, many of the players remember the glory days of this organization and they are willing to do anything to regain that swagger they had just a few years ago.

Miami Dolphins: I really like the Dolphins, and placing them third in the AFC East may be a bit disingenuous to them. This is an organization that has come a long way in a very short amount of time, and if things go their way they could be ready for a breakout year. Let’s start at quarterback. The Chad Pennington noodle arm era is over and Chad Henne is ready to step in and be the fulltime starter. This is good news for the Dolphins. Henne is a very competent quarterback who is capable of managing the game, and throwing the ball down the field to make plays should the situation call for it. You can expect Miami to explore the Wildcat offense some more in 2010 as well. The Dolphins have a slew of running backs, all of whom are becoming experts at running the Wildcat. Pat White should be back after suffering a nasty injury last season, welcome to the NFL. While it is doubtful the Dolphins will call on White to be a primary playmaker, he can step in and make plays as well as run various positions from the Wildcat formation. Finally the biggest upgrade to the Dolphins offense is the addition of Brandon Marshal. The disruptive receiver is one of the best in the NFL. Bill Parcells is still calling the shots in Miami and he knows how to handle diva wideouts. If Marshal remains focused and shows why he is one of the most feared receivers in the league he will add a big play element to the Miami offense that has not been there in years.

Make no doubt about it; this is a Bill Parcells team. The Dolphins are loaded with talent, they are all hungry and they have a chip on their shoulder. Like any Parcells team there are a few characters who may spend a bit too much time engaging in bad behavior off the field, but that can be forgiven if they perform on the field. 2010 is the third year under Parcells in Miami and he has used his executive power to build a powerful team that has gelled over time. Now is as good as any for the Dolphins to make a run for it.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills are becoming all too familiar with this spot at the bottom of the AFC East. While having a decent draft talent wise (C.J. Spiller). They didn’t address the obvious need on their team, which is quarterback. Right now the Bills have three quarterbacks on the roster, and all them of them should be playing 2nd or 3rd string to a real quarterback on another team. Also hurting the Bills offense is a complete lack of continuity on the offensive line. Last season every starter spent some meaningful time on the injury list. It will take time before this unit can gel into a cohesive unit that can play at an NFL level. That’s a situation to be in considering the AFC East is full of blitz happy teams like New England and the Jets. As far as receivers go, the situation is not much better. Lee Evans has shown glimpses of promise throughout his career, but he has yet to string together an entire season worth of quality performances. Outside of Evans the Bills don’t have a legit second receiver so it will be up to him to create any downfield threat.

It’s a transition year for the Bills and that will be shown on the field. They have a new GM, a new coach and a new 3-4 scheme on defense. This means there is plenty of room for error on this team. The good news is the Bills have loyal and devoted fans who will not abandon their team in a time of need. That’s a good thing, because there is a good chance the Bills finish with the worst record in the NFL this season.