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Old 06-13-2008   #1
Lucky
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Default Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

From his blog in the Chronic:

No shockers here, and some of these guys have had good seasons already.

I can't come up with 10 off the top of my head, but here are some offensive players I like to make a step up in '08.

1. Jacoby Jones - Despite his fabulous preseason as a rookie, it was unlikely a Division II player would make an impact in his 1st season. But with a year and another offseason under his belt, I expect Jones to make a real impact as both a punt returner and receiver in his 2nd season. He's the type of player who can turn a routine play into a long score, and the Texans will need that to make that next step as a playoff contender.

2. Stacy Andrews - It's hard to call a guy drafted in 2004 a "breakout player", but Andrews was a project pick that looks to be bearing fruit. Andrews moved from guard to Right Tackle last season, replacing an injured Willie Anderson. That move looks to be permanent and Andrews size and athleticism should help improve a sub-par Bengals running game.

3. Anthony Gonzalez - The former Buckeye was drafted as the future replacement at WR for long time Pro Bowler Marvin Harrison. With Harrison's injury plagued '07 season and criminal investigation over a shooting in Philly, the future may be now. I could see Gonzalez doubling his '07 output of 37-576-3.

4. Richie Incognito - Incognito has been bitten by injuries thus far in his career. But a move back to Center, where he played injury free in 2006, could lead Richie to have a breakout season. His combination of strength and quickness could propel Incognito to the upper echelon of NFC Centers. If he can stay on the field.

5. Kevin Kolb - I'm not predicting that Kolb will beat Donovan McNabb for the Eagles starting QB spot. I am predicting that McNabb won't last the season, and Kolb will take the reins a year earlier than Andy Reid had envisioned. Kevin doesn't have McNabb's once powerful arm or elite athleticism, but he's accurate with the ball and has enough improv in his game to be a success in the Eagles offense.

6. DeAngelo Williams - After sharing the load with DeShawn Foster his first 2 seasons, Williams has the Panther RB job to himself. With a renewed emphasis on the running game, and a healthy Jake Delhomme back at QB, look for DeAngelo to go over the 1000 yard mark for the 1st time, and help Carolina back into playoff contention.

7. Matt Schaub - Despite missing all or part of 8 games due to injuries, Schaub finished 13th in passer rating, and in the top 5 in completion % and yards per attempt in his first year as a starting QB. All this while missing his top WR, Andre Johnson, for several games and being handcuffed with a moribund rushing attack. Although Schaub suffered only 16 sacks, he took several big shots during the season. Offensive line guru Alex Gibbs was brought on to revitalize the Texans rushing attack, and cut down on the mental mistakes that caused Matt to take those big hits.
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Last edited by Lucky; 06-13-2008 at 02:29 PM. Reason: misspelled "improv" Doh!
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Old 06-13-2008   #2
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

I think Bowe should be #1

I always thought Cutler looked a little lathargic, but I guess now I know why...

I don't know what he'll look like this upcoming season though...Wasn't too high on him at first, but I wanna see what he does now that he's been diagnosed and treated...
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Old 06-13-2008   #3
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

WOW on the Kevin Kolb prediction. Do you think McNabb is traded at the beginning of the season?
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Old 06-13-2008   #4
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

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WOW on the Kevin Kolb prediction. Do you think McNabb is traded at the beginning of the season?
No, I just don't think he's healthy enough to make it through the year. He's been banged up for the past three seasons, and is sitting out the offseason workouts due to "tendinitis" in his throwing shoulder. When healthy, McNabb has been one of the better QBs in the league. But his body is much older than his age (31) and I just think his time in Philly is about over.
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Old 06-13-2008   #5
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

I agree that when Kolb gets a shot, I think he'll run with it. He has the #1 trait you want in a QB - smarts.
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Old 06-13-2008   #6
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

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WOW on the Kevin Kolb prediction. Do you think McNabb is traded at the beginning of the season?
Who knows? I would doubt it though. I will say that I saw a picture of him from training camp and dude had put on a few pounds to say the least. He may work himself into better shape but with the tendinitis, you just don't know what you are gonna get from the guy in 2008 and beyond. If they were smart they would try and unload him to Chicago or Minnesota.
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Old 06-13-2008   #7
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
I agree that when Kolb gets a shot, I think he'll run with it. He has the #1 trait you want in a QB - smarts.
I have no doubt that once Kolb gets his shot he will run with it. Just was not sure it would be this year. Of course if McNabb does go down again his time in Philly will be over.

I was a huge fan of his at UorH and I thought enough of him to say he could get drafted in the 2nd round. I also wanted the Texans to take him prior to the Schuab deal.
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Old 06-13-2008   #8
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post

6. DeAngelo Williams - After sharing the load with DeShawn Foster his first 2 seasons, Williams has the Panther RB job to himself. With a renewed emphasis on the running game, and a healthy Jake Delhomme back at QB, look for DeAngelo to go over the 1000 yard mark for the 1st time, and help Carolina back into playoff contention.
I take it you don't see Jonathan Stewart getting the lion's share of carries this year in Carolina?
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Old 06-13-2008   #9
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

You know that LZ is a real football guru when his top "10 offensive breakout players" includes 3 offensive lineman, and guards no less and not the "glamor" OLine position of LT. I'm a big LZ fan for just that reason and quite a few others to be sure.
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Old 06-13-2008   #10
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

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I take it you don't see Jonathan Stewart getting the lion's share of carries this year in Carolina?
Doh! I thought they took Otah. I read so many mocks, I can differentiate them from the real thing.
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Old 06-13-2008   #11
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

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Doh! I thought they took Otah. I read so many mocks, I can differentiate them from the real thing.

they mortgaged their future and took both otah and stewart

another guy i expect to have a good season:


steve smith, wr, giants: got alot of critical receptions in the playoffs last year.. eli seemed to trust him. with amani getting older, plax unhappy i think he'll get plenty of snaps
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Old 06-13-2008   #12
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

Since I am up here in Philly, I might be able to tell you guys a little more about how Kolb is doing then you might get.
Reid said Kolb will "battle" for the 2 QB spot. Don't beleive that. Kolb got most of the reps when they sat McNabb. He is the number 2 this season.
Reid also said that they are counting the number of passes McNabb throws, like a pitcher in baseball. Keep any possible problems with his arm from taking place.

I read that between the lines as meaning they want Kolb to work with the first string offense.
The "vol" camp ended today and this week Kolb received the majority of work with the first team offence vs the first team D.
They use this week to simulate division teams and the looks they get from them. Kolb got a good look as to what Dallas, Wash., and N.Y.have done against the Eagles and how to play against it.

I think personally, this is McNabb last year in Philly no matter what. McNabb will start and play the whole year if he can. But if Kolb is the QB they think he will become, they have to get him on the field in '09 and find out.
Both McNabb and Kolb will be UFR's in '10. If Kolb is the future in Philly, they will have to tie him up with starters money before the '10 season.
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Old 06-14-2008   #13
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

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Both McNabb and Kolb will be UFR's in '10.
Yeah, assuming the team doesn't exercise their option after 2009, McNabb will be a UFA for the 2010 season. Kolb is signed through 2010 and will be a UFA for the 2011 season.
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Old 06-14-2008   #14
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

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Yeah, assuming the team doesn't exercise their option after 2009, McNabb will be a UFA for the 2010 season. Kolb is signed through 2010 and will be a UFA for the 2011 season.
On the Eagles web site under " How long are the Eagles signed for" Kolb is listed as being a ufa in 2010. Other names for that year are, McNabb, Westbrook, and Akers.
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Old 06-14-2008   #15
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

I have to disagree with Bowe. Not because he lacks talent but who's gonna throw to him??
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Old 06-14-2008   #16
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

I'm going to go with a combo package. Look for Bryant Johnson & Alex Smith to have monster years.

I really wanted the Texans to sign Bryant Johnson during the off season, but they didn't. He's been playing behind Boldin & Fitzgerald the last 4 years & now he gets a chance to start opposite of Arnaz Battle with a promising young QB like Smith throwing him the ball. He's got great size at 6'3" 213lbs. & very good speed to go with his size.

On the defensive side, I'll go with Matt Roth of Miami. I read where they're testing him at OLB. I wonder if Parcells is having visions of DeMarcus Ware?
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Old 06-15-2008   #17
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

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Originally Posted by jgl35 View Post
On the Eagles web site under " How long are the Eagles signed for" Kolb is listed as being a ufa in 2010. Other names for that year are, McNabb, Westbrook, and Akers.
Here's the link to the Eagles web site where they list players contract length.

Quote:
Eagles Contract Lengths
2010 - QB A.J. Feeley, QB Donovan McNabb, RB Brian Westbrook, K David Akers, TE Matt Schobel, S Quintin Mikell, LB Stewart Bradley, RB Tony Hunt, TE Brent Celek, QB Kevin Kolb, DE Victor Abiamiri, P Sav Rocca, S Marcus Paschal, LB Akeem Jordan, LB Pago Togafau, CB Nick Graham, TE Kris Wilson
That means these players are under contract through the 2010 season. Kolb is currently in the 2nd year of his 4 year deal.
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Old 06-16-2008   #18
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

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I'm going to go with a combo package. Look for Bryant Johnson & Alex Smith to have monster years.

I really wanted the Texans to sign Bryant Johnson during the off season, but they didn't. He's been playing behind Boldin & Fitzgerald the last 4 years & now he gets a chance to start opposite of Arnaz Battle with a promising young QB like Smith throwing him the ball. He's got great size at 6'3" 213lbs. & very good speed to go with his size.

On the defensive side, I'll go with Matt Roth of Miami. I read where they're testing him at OLB. I wonder if Parcells is having visions of DeMarcus Ware?
Not to be an ass or anything, but what have you seen promising about Smith? From everything I've heard and read, he's in a competition for the starting position and Hill's been looking good.

IMO, Smith was overrated coming out of college and so far he's performed like it.
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Old 06-16-2008   #19
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

McNabb is fatter than ever. Seems like this may be his swan song and Kolb may be here sooner rather than later.

btw, he isn't wearing equipment...that is all him...boiler alert

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Old 06-16-2008   #20
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Default Re: Zierlein's 10 offensive breakout players for 2008

I will pick Texans Steve Slaton as a break out guy. His speed and not be "known" should give him advantage over defenses at least his first year. Our new scheme and improvements made at other O positions should benefit him. I'm not saying he will be the everyday starter, but should be a head turner when he gets on field. Here's hoping it is the defense turning heads as he blazes by into secondary.
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