ON THE RISE
Lane-clogging DT Kris Jenkins, who tore his right ACL in Week 1 last season, is
back at full speed.
Top-notch defense now has rookie Devin Hester (six kick-return touchdowns in
college) to bolster a weak return game (one touchdown in '06).
Koren Robinson, 26, blossomed (26.0 yards, one TD) in his first year as a
kick-return man last season.
Aging defense struggled through first half of 2005 (27.5 PPG) and lost
linebacker Willie McGinest to free agency.
Defense is bound to struggle as new coach Eric Mangini implements his 3-4
system, which doesn't suit their personnel.
This was the NFL's second-worst scoring defense in '05; Martz-less offense will
keep that unit on the field even more this year.
A bust last season, they'll benefit from adding free-agent DE Darren Howard (3
1/2 sacks in 12 games for the Saints last year) to an injury-depleted line.