It’s been seven long months since the Pittsburg Steelers’ Super Bowl victory to the beginning of the 2007 season. Key free-agent signings and the 2006 draft picks have built up the suspense for the upcoming season. Every organization trying to outbid each other to sign that missing piece. Teams trying to draft that one player who can lead the future of the organization. However, three teams in particular made off-season moves that caught my attention, and one team that failed to make a move.
After being suspended from Philadelphia halfway through last season, speculation began regarding where Owens would eventually end up began. Terrell Owens finally signed a three-year $25 million deal with Dallas back in March.
It’s no secret owner Jerry Jones is determined to bring the Cowboys back to the glory days of the early 1990’s, but is signing T.O. a sign of desperation or an act of sheer genius? The same man who once disrespected the star on the 50-yard line of Texas Stadium is now being depended on to help lead the offense. However, Owens’ talent is not what’s in question as he’s had six 1,000-yard seasons in his 10 year career and was on the verge of making it seven had it not been for last year’s suspension.
Owens, whose locker room antics have been put into the spotlight, has held personal disputes with quarterbacks Jeff Garcia and Donavan McNabb. Expect close media attention to the Bledsoe-Owens relationship as well as head coach Bill Parcell’s handling of Owens.
It will be interesting to see if Owens can duplicate his past seasons or flounder in an offense he is not used to.
Dallas also managed solid draft picks adding Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter to fill in the missing void in the 3-4 defense Dallas shifted to last year.
Notre Dame tight-end Anthony Fasano should fit in perfectly with Dallas, which plans on running two-tight end formations.
New stadium and key additions in the off-season give the Cardinals a new look for 2006.
Edgerrin James headlined the key acquisitions of the Cardinals this past off-season. The Cardinals ranked dead last in rushing yards in 2005 and the addition of a player of James’ caliber should be a huge boost.
The Cardinals still have a less than ideal offensive line but James brings balance to a team that led the league in passing yards in 2005. With defenses worrying about containing wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, James could have a productive year against defenses that have to pull back to help in pass protection.
New Orleans Saints
Possibly looking at a two-running back offensive system, the Saints, who were in the middle of the pack in rushing yards last season, return Deuce McAllister from a season-ending injury in 2005. The Saints also nabbed Reggie Bush in the draft adding depth to the position.
The loss of wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth is a huge blow for the New Orleans passing game reducing possible targets for newly acquired quarterback Drew Brees. Stallworth was traded to the Eagles for middle linebacker Mark Simoneau in an attempt to solidify the defense. The weight of the passing game is on Joe Horn’s shoulder, who is coming off his worse season as a Saint.
The Texans made a questionable decision in passing up on Reggie Bush.
Projected starting running back Domanick Davis was placed on the injured reserve and will miss the 2006 season.
The Texans’ decision to pass up on the projected #1 pick has come back to haunt them.
The Texans managed to add Ron Dayne to an experienced young backfield, but even with the signing of Dayne, the Texans still lack a proven running back. Dayne averaged his highest yards per carry last season with Denver, but yet again how many running backs flounder in the run-heavy Bronco offense.