San Diego Chargers:
Goal: After last season's disappointing record, our goal is to compete for the division crown and at least make the playoffs.
Projected record: 11-5 or 12-4
Offense: With one of the best passers in the league, a good receiving corps and effective pass protection, it will be hard to shut down our offense - especially because it's really difficult to sack QB Houk. However, a new head coach, who likes to run the ball, combined with decent running backs, should yield a bit more balanced attack with the ability to exploit the opposition's weaknesses.
Defense: Not much was done in the off season to upgrade our defense. Nevertheless, a better than average front seven will pose challenges to our opponents' offense. As a result, our secondary, led by S Woodward and underappreciated CB Hummel, will be challenged. So far this season, our opponents are averaging 51 passes a game - but completing only 47%. It's going to be a long season for our DBs, but with the acquisition of CB Wampler from division rival Denver to bolster our ranks, hopefully we're up to the task.
Special Teams: Our top-notch punter and FG kicker will help to pin our opponents and score field goals when the offense stalls.
Overall, we're better than average, but a bit below the elite teams in overall talent. But we're deep and, at least for now, very hopeful.Denver Broncos:
When new ownership took over for the NEW Orange Crush, no one in the organization knew what to expect and what hopefully is on the horizon. "We are going to bring respectability to the franchise. We will make whatever changes are needed to make us competitive not just tomorrow, but for 10 years done the road. We are in a tough division in Paydirt and we need to function with that mindset, said new ownership." They did not waste time making a statement. In a few short weeks they have added 20 new players via free agency and made 2 trades adding youth and draft picks, while cutting needless salary.
The offense will be punished this season. The line is strong, but the absence of big time playmakers will be a problem. The will find out what QB Willie Lewis is made of. The organization is happy with the youngster at QB and have talking about possibly giving him a long-term deal.
On defense ownership has already made it known that SS John Mullins is a main stay. The other young defensive standout is LB Gerald Perotta, but sources say he will possibly be moving in a trade soon. They have signed some youth, but unless development happens quickly most will not be here in a few seasons.
The goal for the 1974 in Denver is survival to fight another day, but they would be happy with 5 wins setting the franchise record.Miami Dolphins:
The 1974 Season is going to be my first year as the GM of the Miami Dolphins in the Paydirt Football League.
My initial expectations for this season were really low. The salary cap situation and the talent on the roster claimed that I needed to start a rebuilding in Miami. After dumping some bad contracts, the dead cap started to hit. In the Training Camp, I didn't have much luck with the development of my rookies.
Offense: The Miami Dolphins' offense have some light and shadows. On paper, the Dolphins have two good-but-not great QB's in Douglas Festa and Rickey Fisher. After preseason, I decided that Rickey Fisher, a 2nd year young player would be the starting QB. He is supposed to be my future franchise QB of this team, so I wanted to give him the most reps that I could. After 3 games and 8 interceptions later, the Fisher experiment failed so Douglas will take the starting spot. He is an above-average QB with low accuracy (something that I hate on QB's) but can extend plays with his speed.
The RB position is not the strongest group of the roster. I really lack elite talent here. Frederick Webb, a speedster who went from WR to RB, will get the most carries.
On the other hand, the WR group is by far the strongest unit on the roster. With Bobby Lopez and Louis Martinez, I got two of the top WR's in the league. The depth is deep with players like Harry Holder or Gary Vincent. My starting TE will be Reddick, a veteran player who still has some fuel left.
The offensive line in general is awful in pass protection but will get the job done in the run blocking. Some atrocious contracts didn't allow me to make a total rebuilding in the unit.
Defense: We'll start with the D-Line group. My starting DE's are Edward Hart and Charles Sadler. They can get to the quarterback but will struggle stopping the run. The problem comes when you see the non-existent depth in the position. Same goes for my DT's, with Hector Hammonds being a top DT but after him the talent goes down.
My LB unit is the strongest one in the defense. My 2018 1st Rd pick Frank Hudson will be the starting WILL. Jason Key will be my starting MLB and Robert Ballesteros will be my starting WILL. They have great speed with good tackling and coverage ability.
And to put an end, if I had to describe my CB corps with one word would be atrocious. All my CB's lack speed and M2M Coverage ability. I'm sure I will struggle to stop the passing game. The safeties won't be the solution either.
So in general, I think I lack elite talent in too many positions to think that I can compete in the league this year. Hopefully I can steal some wins, especially against my divisional rivals. In the next offseason with more cap space and 6 Draft picks in the first three rounds, I will try to improve the roster as much as possible.Cleveland Browns:
The Browns made some major changes this offseason by changing the entire coaching staff just a few seasons removed from an undefeated season. Hopefully these changes will play big dividends as the GM works on finding players that are a better fit for the new scheme. The draft didn't go well as the volatility ratings killed our top picks. Several trades were a part of the overhaul as well. Most changes came on the defensive side as the offensive core remains intact and the Browns added highly rated WR Estes from Seattle. Hopefully these changes are just tweaks to put the Browns back at the top instead of the start of a full blown rebuild.Cincinnati Bengals:
Bengals expect to miss out on the playoffs even though we will be 11-5. We upgraded the Dline through FA and the draft. We expect to have a decent offense but defense will suffer due to crappy LBs. We have a good core of QB, RBs, WRs and one decent CB.Dallas Cowboys:
Tom Landry had a strategy, he never rebuilded, he simply reloaded!
It's hard to follow those footsteps of a giant of a man, when we currently don't even have a team worth reloading from, but, on a positive note, we will try to build thru the draft, which is the only positive as of right now for the Cowboys, and thats our future picks.
This isn't a sad story, but the hard truth, and thats how we intend on dealing with and building our direction, .....dealing with the hard truth.
Every GM knows that it's no easy task in creating a solid ground and working your way up, it's a process that takes time, and isn't done overnight, especially, the condition that this team was in (both financially and personnel) when I inherited it!
But I'd rather not make up excuses and expect sympathy, it's not the Cowboy way, sympathy makes us weaker as a team, instead, I'd rather focus on the hard truth and challenge it head on like a battering ram.
We will build thru the draft, starting with prospects who can provide us with depth, from the depth we'll work our way up by eventually chasing after those elite superstars!
You see, the problem with importing superstars now is the positional area would be lopsided, meaning that 1 guy may make a difference, but if he's doing the majority of the workload then it won't work as a team effort, also, superstars don't come cheap either, so I'm always watching the cap space. And lastly, superstars get older year after year, so why warm up your dinner when you aint ready to eat it yet! Time is also a burden!
So building thru the draft, signing low key FA's, would be a start!
I expect a lot more output from my guys this year, it will be tough however since our previous coach retired last season, so new coach, new approach! But that shouldn't set us back at all, coach Woodard has an incredible football mind, I totally confide in him.
Plus our personnel has changed dramatically, so it'll be a new experience for everyone!
Offensively we have improved somewhat, by addressing our biggest need we brought in rookie sensation QB Kline, who'll eventually lead this team to championships as our franchise guy!
WR core will develop in time, as will the TE's.
We needed a running game desperately, so we acted in the draft, only time will tell how RB Lisk will do, and our OL is pretty good.
On the flip side is where we saw the biggest changes, pass rush needed to be addressed, and so we did just that in the draft, I have high hopes for our rookie linemen, the interior should rise to the occasion with the acquisition of DT Thompson.
Our mid field is pretty sound, not elite, but stable enough!
And finally, our DB's saw a major change and upgrade from last season, starting with our 2 rookies who'll become elite eventually, we picked up Ratcliff on a trade, so we have a speedier and better bunch of guys there, I think our safeties (FA signings) are doing a lot more than we expected them to, Amos Williams and Glenn Harris have done really well thus far, so we were fortunate there, just one less worry!
Our punter who we drafted had a good preseason, and continues to do progress in ST.
All in all, I thought our offseason was pretty fair, and quiet, as I said, no need to rush into signing superstars yet.
Finally I'd like to say that my goal, or our goal as a team is simple and will happen, and that is when we can shout out with pride those famous beautiful words "HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS"Seattle Seahawks:
It’s no secret that Seattle is planning on a repeat championship. After winning last years league championship the Seahawks have only gotten better. The offense lost WR #4 Thomas Estes, and QB #3 Douglas Socha. The offense added WR #3 Michael Lokken, WR #5 Joseph Neri, C #2 Freddie Shaw, and C #3 Allen Webb. Hopefully the offense can improve upon our 34.9 PPG from last season. The defense saw more changes as they lost Elmer Cousins RDE #2, Ryan Lutz RDE #3, Derek Rhodes LDE #2, Roger Williams DT #4, and Mark Ball WLB #1. That was a lot to lose, but all those players were just backups except for Ball, who was replaced by our biggest offseason acquisition so far Karl Johnson WLB #1. We also added Frank Chase RDE #2, and 3 other depth defensive lineman. The defense is not set in stone yet and may have a few changes on the way. It’s hard to find holes on this team, as many of the backups would be starters on the other teams. I know I must keep improving this team, because Washington is never far behind. Of course, GrandadB and his Packers are sure to make some trouble in the playoffs as well. My intention is to go 16-0 and take home another super bowl championship. I have already beaten both the teams I lost to last season, and my schedule is much easier than it was in the previous season.Arizona Cardinals:
The Arizona Cardinals are in serious rebuild mode. Now that their cap is under control it's time to start the building process which started with the 1974 draft.
With their 1st round selection the decided to start on defense by picking CB Michael Goodwin. Goodwin had a good pre-season with a 37.5 catch allowed %, 3 knockdowns and 15 tackles.
There next 2 picks were used on offense with selections of WR Jorge Goforth and C joshua Williams. The Cards added speedster WR Floyd Sutliff in the 5th round who can complement both WR Thomas Hill who Arizona picked up in FA late last season and rookie Goforth who will see action in the #2 wideout position.
The Cards have a veteran QB in Cunninham and a veteran offensive line with exception of Williams who will start at center. Their RB's are a committee tandem of John McMahon and James Cleveland. They will also use WR/RB speedster Justin Taylor who they also picked up in FA late in the season. He is a converted RB and will see time at WR.
Arizona's defense has a lot of building to do. They have a nice LB corps with Siefert, Thomas and Fonseca and Goodwin in the secondary. The rest of em are a patched together group to get them through the season.
Outlook for 1974
Don’t expect much out of the Cardinals but they may give a team a headache once in a while. Interim GM Beercloud plans to turn the team over to a suitable GM at the end of the year.Carolina Panthers:
The Panthers looked prepared to make a run at the postseason even with a tough division. The offense seems to rely on the arm of 2nd year QB Robert Thompson. I feel like I’ve been able to surround him with a serviceable offensive line and some great weapons such as the 1974 1.1 draft pick WR John Huff. As for the defense they look to repeat as one of the best in the league as the secondary was bolstered with 1974 1.2 draft pick CB Darren Pace. Some key acquisitions besides the already announced 1.1 and 1.2 pick were LDE Derek Grose, WR Alex Bishop, WR Jacob Bowen, and a LB duo of Nawrocki and Renfro. Hopefully this group of players can help push the Panthers not only into the playoffs but all the way!Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
After massively overachieving in `73 by winning 7 games with average players and cast off free agents ,I`m expecting 4/5 wins this season at best.
The draft was not a success in Tampa and I don`t think we will move forward as a team until we get strength in depth in really every position on the field.
I`m optimistic in the short/long term we`ll have a good team in Tampa, but the foundations need to be put in place first, and slowly building in a division with Carolina & New Orleans is tough.