Chicago Bears: If you were drawing up plans for an experienced but diverse backfield, you could do a lot worse than modeling after the Bears. Starter Matt Forte is a shifty off-tackle runner and one of the NFL’s top pass-catching running backs, a collection of skills that will fit neatly into new coach Marc Trestman’s offense. Forte has caught 267 passes since his career started in 2008, the third-most in the NFL by a running back over that stretch.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills have one of the NFL’s strongest duos in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. They complement each other very well. Spiller is a dynamic home run hitter, while Jackson runs hard between the tackles. Both players are also versatile enough to catch out of the backfield. Former Bills head coach Chan Gailey could never figure out how to effectively use both players.
In this ESPN Insider piece, Matt Bowen identifies two NFC North players among five projections of second-yearmen destined for breakout years. You’ll need an Insider subscription to read the entire post, but I can sneak you the gist of it below. Just don’t tell anyone else.
Chicago Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery
Bowen snippet: “As a rookie, the wideout struggled at times to create separation at the top of the route stem (break point) versus tight coverage.
For the second time in five years, the New York Football Giants are world champions! Now the original network broadcasts of the Giants’ entire 2011 playoff run are yours to own in this exciting four-DVD set – New York Giants: Road to XLVI. All the big moments from the Giants’ thrilling playoff ride are here – from the stifling 4th-down stands against Atlanta, to the stunning Hail Mary reception in Green Bay, to the special teams heroics in San Francisco, to the crowning glory of the Giants’ brilliant final drive against New England in Super Bowl XLVI. It was a season to be savored for the Big Blue faithful. Over these four games, New York captured the imagination of an entire nation and their story became a new chapter in the championship history of the NFL’s flagship franchise. New York Giants: Road to XLVI is a must-have for any Giants fan.
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But let’s take a look back at the “Show and Prove” Class of 2012 and see if they flopped or graduated with flying colors.
New England Patriots
No. 1: LT Nate Solder, New England Patriots
What he must prove: “Solder has huge shoes to fill,” I wrote before the 2012 season.
Offensive mastermind led Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl wins in late ’90s
In 2012, the Saints’ defense fell apart during a season marked by suspensions for the bounty program run by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. In 2013, one Saints player says, they’re going back to that old Gregg Williams mentality. Minus the bounties, of course. Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins says new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is…
Rams tight end Lance Kendricks is sitting out Organized Team Activities with a knee injury. Coach Jeff Fisher announced that Kendricks had been dealing with knee issues this offseason and ultimately a knee scope. Fisher said Kendricks is doing well, but he is not participating in OTAs as he rehabs. A 2011 second-round draft pick,…