- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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BOTH HEAD coach Marvin Lewis and receivers coach James Urban have said that they see Simpson's emergence in the final two games of 2010 (18 catches, 247 yards, 3 TDs) as a sign of things to come. Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens are gone, meaning Simpson will be in starting lineup. The main concern is whether Cincy has the QB to get Simpson the ball.
11 Sam BRADFORD
THE TWO rookie QBs besides Bradford to start 16 regular-season games and pass for more than 3,000 yards? Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan. New offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels loves to throw, and the Rams drafted solid pass catchers in Lance Kendricks and Austin Pettis. If Steven Jackson's decline continues, more of the offense will go through Bradford.
12 Montario HARDESTY
HARDESTY WAS arguably ahead of Peyton Hillis on the depth chart last preseason before an ACL injury ended his rookie year 10 days before the 2010 season. His recovery has progressed to the point that the Browns' brass sees a two-man backfield (but the knee is still worth monitoring). Hillis struggled in the second half of '10 following his surprisingly strong start.
13 Jared COOK
TWO FACTORS work in Cook's favor heading into this season: 1) A rookie QB's favorite target is often the tight end (Jake Locker may be handed the reins) and 2) New offensive coordinator Chris Palmer plans to use more two tight-end sets. Last year's starter, Bo Scaife, is gone, and Cook, at 6' 5", 248 pounds with good hands and excellent speed, is a worthy replacement.