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17 year old Cale's very opinionated view on everything sports.

Posts Tagged ‘Warrick Dunn

NFL Season Preview: #8 Atlanta Falcons

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Overview: The Falcons were another team clouded in mystery last season. They had no quarterback after the departure of QB Michael Vick to jail, and had released RB Warrick Dunn. Atlanta then drafted QB Matt Ryan, and signed RB Michael Turner to replace them, and these two players helped lead the Falcons to an 11-5 record and a division title.

Offseason Moves: On offense, the Falcons added a load of new targets for QB Matt Ryan. Most notably, TE Tony Gonzalez was acquired in a trade from the Chiefs. Atlanta also signed WRs Marty Booker and Robert Ferguson. On the defensive side of the ball, the Falcons began adding through the draft, selecting DT Peria Jerry in the first round. Atlanta also signed LBs Mike Peterson, Jamie Winborn, and Tony Gilbert.

Upcoming Season: With a stronger offense, and a more experienced quarterback in Matt Ryan, the Falcons look ready to explode this season. QB Matt Ryan has a complete passing game with deep threat WR Roddy White, and the intermediate with TE Tony Gonzalez. The passing attack is balanced out by RB Michael Turner, who had a career season last year. On defense, a revamped line backing core and solid defensive line have Atlanta looking strong. The secondary can be questionable at times, but should hold up as the Falcons could have one of the best teams in the NFL.

Player to watch: RB Michael Turner took his workload to new heights lastMichael Turner season. Previously a backup in San Diego, Turner had 376 carries in ’08, which of course, results in taking 376 hits. People are questioning whether Turner will hold up this season, and the Falcons are talking about targeting the 325 carry range. Look for Turner to produce about the same as last year, knowing that the Falcons are a run first team.

Prediction: 10-6, 1st in NFC South

The Falcons have a tougher schedule this season, but have a better team than last season. It should balance out, and result in the Falcons going deep into the playoffs.

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NFL Season Preview: #26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Overview: The Bucs were 9-3 and in prime position to make the playoffs at Week 13 of the ‘o8 season. Fumbling down the stretch, Tampa Bay lost their last four games, including an absolute upset to Oakland, to go 9-7 and be eliminated from the playoffs.

Offseason Moves: Tampa Bay, in a surprise move, fired longtime head coach Jon Gruden, and replaced him with Raheem Morris. Sticking with the theme of change, the Bucs let QBs Jeff Garcia and Brian Griese walk, and released WR Joey Galloway, RB Warrick Dunn, and LB Derrick Brooks. In with the new, the Buccaneers drafted QB Josh Freeman in the first round, and traded for TE Kellen Winslow from Cleveland. Of course, Tampa Bay wouldn’t be complete without a quarterback competition, so they signed QB Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown. The Buccaneers also added RB Derrick Ward and LB Angelo Crowell to the mix.

Upcoming Season: The Bucs have made a lot of changes, and a lot will depend on the QB play, and consistency, which is something they had neither of last year. The defense appears to be the strength of this team, but it doesn’t appear that the offense is together yet.

Player to watch: Since I believe that Tampa Bay will not throw QB Josh LeftwichFreeman into the mix right away, look for QB Byron Leftwich to win the job and impress. After being released by the Jaguars, and being the backup for the Steelers, Leftwich showed signs of being him old self. With the starting job in Tampa, and some decent weapons in WR Antonio Bryant and TE Kellen Winslow, Leftwich could have a twenty TD season.

Prediction: 5-11, 4th in NFC South

The Bucs just have too much uncertainty, and are in too tough a division to have a good season. Plus, they play the AFC and NFC East, which easy games are few and far between.