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TABLE OF CONTENTS
September 02, 2002 | Volume 97, Issue 9
Despite losing a defensive stalwart, Philly expects nothing less than a Super Bowl visit
•Last year the Eagles couldn't play much man-to-man on passing downs because they lacked depth in the secondary. But with first-and second-round corners Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown likely to...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Eagles
With a hot rookie and a handful of veteran pickups, talk is of getting back to the playoffs
•Darren Woodson, a five-time Pro Bowl player at strong safety, will operate more like a free safety. Woodson estimates that fellow safety Roy Williams will creep toward the box to support the run...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Cowboys
Can a little Shockey treatment from a rookie tight end toughen up a soft offense?
•The volume's lower and the playbook thinner since defensive coordinator John Fox left to become coach of the Panthers. Coach Jim Fassel believes that Fox's schemes had players reading too much...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Giants
New coach Steve Spurrier is sure to be the most-watched rookie in the NFL this season
•When the Redskins imported free-agent Pro Bowl linebacker Jessie Armstead to play over the tight end, the move freed LaVar Arrington to be more of a pass-rushing threat than he was last year,...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Redskins
Newly arrived bad boy Terry Glenn is healthy and wealthy, but is he finally wise?
•Darren Sharper, who already was one of the game's best free safeties, will take on the job of being the secondary's emotional leader. For 12 years that role was filled by LeRoy Butler, the...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Packers
The outlook will be positively bullish if quarterback Jim Miller can raise his game
•Look for second-year running back Anthony Thomas to display more versatility. Although last season he rushed for 1,183 yards, he caught only 22 passes, primarily because third-down back James...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Bears
Coordinator Willie Shaw has put some teeth in one of the league's worst defenses
•After years of running three-wide-receiver, one-back sets, the Vikings will use a two-tight-end formation more often, helping quarterback Daunte Culpepper with his reads and opening up the...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Vikings
September 02, 2002
Back to SchoolYour Can't-Miss Games list for the college football season (COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW, Aug. 12) missed big-time! I read and reread the list several times—wait, let me check...
September 02, 2002
A reinforced defense will have to hold the line while it waits for the offense to get in gear
•With the retirement of Stephen Boyd, Chris Claiborne becomes the starter at middle linebacker. Playing in the middle at USC, Claiborne won the Butkus Award in 1998. He was versatile enough to...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Lions
A change of scenery has Jon Gruden and Michael Pittman on the Super Bowl track
•The Bucs lost middle linebacker Jamie Duncan, who signed with the Rams, but they weren't that sorry to see him go. Sixth-year veteran Shelton Quarles was ready to move over from the strong side....
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Buccaneers
Get set for the Michael Vick era, as the supertalented quarterback assumes command
•New owner Arthur Blank has visions of a packed Georgia Dome. Season-ticket deals have dropped to as little as $100, sparking a 98.5% rise in sales, and the Falcons have peddled 10,000 end-zone...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Falcons
Easygoing running back Deuce McAllister has to be a hard man to bring down
•Most agree that All-Pro tackle Kyle Turley's move from the left to the right side will be seamless—even though he replaces seven-time Pro Bowl right tackle Willie Roaf, who signed with the Chiefs...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Saints
New coach John Fox has made some welcome changes, but expect the same old results
•John Fox is getting all the pub, but his hiring of Jack Del Rio, the Ravens' highly respected linebackers coach last season, as defensive coordinator will prove just as crucial to Carolina's...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Panthers
Don't expect last season's Super Bowl loss to slow the game's most potent offense
•Brace yourselves: Mike Martz has a new toy, and it should come with a warning label for opposing defenses. Second-year tight end Brandon Manumaleuna, a 6'2", 288-pound bull, has good hands and...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Rams
With the coach and the star on the same page (sort of), things are in place for a title run
•When you play the Rams twice a year, you can't have too many quality corners, so even though the 49ers got good play last year from Ahmed Plummer and Jason Webster, they used their first-round...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the 49ers
A lot about the team is new, but is it improved? An early injury may serve as an omen
•With quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn moving up to the coaching booth, Mike Holmgren now relates his plays directly to the quarterback, which, says Trent Dilfer, "is a great change. Mike coaches the...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Seahawks
A new-look secondary is of primary concern for a team moving to a pass-happy division
•In free-agent signee Freddie Jones, the Cardinals feel they have a big-time tight end for the first time in 28 years. Though Jones struggled last year in San Diego, Arizona hopes it signed the...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Cardinals
Respect is hard to come by, but that suits the defending Super Bowl champs just fine
•The newest New England defensive wrinkle will be the Big Nickel, which features free-agent signee Victor Green and fellow safeties Tebucky Jones and Lawyer Milloy. The middle of the field will be...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Patriots
With Norv Turner and Ricky Williams on board, things are finally looking up on offense
•Mark Dixon, Miami's most consistent lineman the past four years, was moved from left guard to left tackle on Aug. 17, mainly because Jamie Nails has been performing so well. "The last time I...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Dolphins
Vinny Testaverde is fighting Father Time as he makes one more playoff push
•Chad Morton is 5'8", 195 pounds, with a 40 time of 4.4, a 425-pound bench press and a knack for making things happen. Last year, after coming from the Saints in a preseason trade, Morton was used...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Jets
An offense built around Drew Bledsoe should shine, but the defense still needs buffing
•The Bills are letting new middle linebacker London Fletcher run free to make plays, which is what he does best. "My last two years in St. Louis, I had to secure the deep middle in that Cover 2...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Bills
Tuned up and rarin' to roll, the Bus wants to complete the trip to the Super Bowl this year
•On passing downs the powerful and fast Kendrell Bell will shift from inside linebacker to right defensive end. A gifted pass rusher, he had nine sacks last season and was the NFL Defensive Rookie...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Steelers
A dash of Green with a touch of White should have the offense dressed for success
•Defensive end Courtney Brown and Tackle Gerard Warren won't be side-by-side attacking offensive lines this season. Brown remains at right end, but Warren, who in 2001 played on both the right and...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Browns
A newly ferocious defense is about to change the franchise's bungling image
•Wide receiver Peter Warrick will line up in spots other than the slot to capitalize on his explosiveness. He'll get more time on the outside in multiple-receiver formations, run more downfield...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Bengals
A new season means a new quarterback, and Chris Redman is as raw as they come
•A prototypical speed rusher in the 4-3 since he came to Baltimore in 1997, Michael McCrary moves to end in the Ravens' new 3-4. He'll face constant double and triple teams while pounding against...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Ravens
Injuries ruined 2001 for Eddie George, but he's back in form and ready to dominate again
•The secondary is getting help from an unexpected source. New starting linebacker Keith Bulluck, a backup his first two seasons, will stay on the field with middle linebacker Randall Godfrey in...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Titans
Tony Dungy's game plan: more simplicity on defense, fewer turnovers on offense
•Tony Dungy believes that a reason for the Colts' defensive struggles last year was an overworked starting front seven that played an average of 80% of the snaps. To keep defenders fresh and...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Colts
It's not quite a rebuilding year, but after salary-cap losses, youth will have to serve
•Last year coach Tom Coughlin delegated play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bob Petrino, with disastrous results. The Jaguars' offense ranked 20th in the league. Petrino's gone, and...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Jaguars
A veteran defense will be expected to carry the load in what figures to be a long season
•One of the Texans' biggest free-agent signings was linebacker Kailee Wong, who spent his first four seasons with the Vikings. Wong played on the outside in Minnesota's 4-3 during his first three...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Texans
The clock is ticking for an aging team that still carries a chip on its shoulder
•It always irked Al Davis that his beloved deep throw was virtually nonexistent in Jon Gruden's offense, so expect the Raiders to take more chances downfield. Because wideouts Jerry Rice and Tim...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Raiders
After a trying year for Brian Griese, his quarterback and leadership skills will be on trial
•By signing Lional Dalton to team with Chester McGlockton at defensive tackle, forming a 643-pound run-stopping duo, Denver was able to move the versatile Trevor Pryce (42½ sacks in five seasons)...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Broncos
September 02, 2002
Each Sunday in the fall, SI photographer John Biever is on the sidelines in an NFL stadium, trying to come up with one memorable image that will define the game he is shooting. He has proved to be...
A club beset by questions is counting on a Priest (Holmes) to deliver it from eternal limbo
•Weakness on the interior line last season forced right end Eric Hicks to concentrate on the run, and his sack production sank from 14 in 2000 to 3½. Hicks should return to form. Two rookie...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Chiefs
Marty Schottenheimer is inspiring a team that hasn't been to the playoffs since 1995
•Junior Seau may now be the team's slowest linebacker. New coach Marty Schottenheimer has plugged swift third-round draft pick Ben Leber into the outside spot opposite Seau, leaving the middle for...
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Chargers
September 02, 2002
September 02, 2002 | Stephen Cannella
Keeping Up with The JonesThe Twins are following their leadoff man, Jacque Jones, who's been a hit at the top