2008 was a great season for the NFL. The entire season was filled with drama and stayed competitive until the final week of the season. Some teams came from obscurity (Dolphins) and and some teams took a step back (Patriots). Here are the needs of all 16 AFC teams for the 2009 Off-Season. Let’s hope it’s very active and teams get what they need in the draft and free agency.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Offensive Line – “The Steel Curtain” was back on the defensive side of the ball, but the offensive line looked like tin foil. Big Ben needs to stay upright to stay healthy and lead this team.
Cleveland Browns – Defensive End – The Browns couldn’t get any pressure on the quarterback this season. They were decent on short yardage situations, but they gave up too many 3rd and long first downs.
Cincinnati Bengals – Cornerback – Teams lit up the Bengals secondary in 2008. Injuries plagued the team, but Ndukwe can’t be your best defender. They need to upgrade with more than one new face covering wideouts.
Baltimore Ravens – Wide Receiver – Baltimore took a step in the right direction last season by drafting Joe Flacco. He has a huge arm and can spread the field with long passes. They don’t have any deep threats on the team currently and it would even help their running game by signing an #1 receiver.
Indianapolis Colts – Defensive Tackle – This has been a need for the Colts for a few years. They have been taking their early draft picks on offense and taking fliers in the late rounds with DTs that don’t work out. They need to lighten the run-stopping load from Bob Sanders and get a large body to plug up running lanes.
Tennessee Titans – Wide Receiver – Whomever the quaterback is in Nashville next season, they need someone better than Justin Gage catching footballs. Bo Scaife is their best receiver and he’s a top-15 TE, at best.
Houston Texans – Defensive End – Mario Williams is a great pass rusher and they are very fortunate to take him over Reggie Bush and Vince Young. He is often double-teamed and they would could be a playoff team if they had a book-end pass rusher on the other side to help him out.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Defensive Tackle – In 2007, the Jaguars had one of the best defenses in the NFL. Marcus Stroud, left via free agency, and they Jaguars couldn’t stop the run. If Jacksonville is going to compete, they need a good defense. Their offense isn’t built to consistently score 30 points a game.
Miami Dolphins – Wide Receiver – Chad Pennington had a good season for the Dolphins. He deserves all the credit for their success. If you step back and realize Greg Camarillo was his #1 receiver for most of the year, it’s even more amazing.
Buffalo Bills – Quarterback – I’m not sold on Trent Edwards. I think he will be a decent quarterback eventually, but he needs more grooming. Dick Jauron has one more season in Buffalo and he needs to win or he’s out of there.
New England Patriots – Linebacker – Jerod Mayo will be a great linebacker for many years. Unfortunately for the Patriots, the rest of the linebacking corps has an average age of 38. If they sign a few linebackers and stay healthy, the Patriots will be back on top of the AFC East, if not the entire conference.
New York Jets – Quarterback – Brett Favre has a 10% chance he’ll be back and the Jets have to ask themselves if they even want him. Kellen Clemens is their next best option, but Matt Cassel could be a free agent and he could be a nice addition to open the new stadium.
Oakland Raiders – Offensive Line – After drafting many offensive linemen and none of them working out, Oakland has to get better fast. They spent a lot of money on JaMarcus Russell and he can’t live up to his potential if he is running for his life.
Kansas City Chiefs – Linebacker – I would have mentioned quarterback for Kansas City, but Tyler Thigpen started looking like Len Dawson the last half of the season. The Chiefs have to get better at linebacker to help their young defensive line out.
San Diego Chargers – Fullback – After letter Lorenzo Neal leave last off-season, the Chargers realized his worth during the 2008 season. L.T. didn’t look himself and needs a fullback to clear a path. If they sign a fullback, L.T. should go back to his normal numbers and scoring nearly 20 touchdowns a season.
Denver Broncos – Cornerback – Dre Bly and Champ Bailey looked good on paper, but when they are together on the field, it’s quite scary. The Bly/Bailey duo looked old when they faced better-than-average wideouts. If they get younger and faster at this position, it should help them out, but they clearly need much more help in a variety of areas.