In the NFL, there is always a list of players that come back after subpar seasons to light it up the following year. Most of those players either are coming off an injury, move to another team that fits them as players better, or just finally “gets it” within the team and system they are in. Below are a list of players we think will be back in 2008, and these may be players that make it back to where they were, or players that make it there for the first time.
1. Marc Bulger QB Rams – Last season the Rams slumped to 3-13, and this after a coming off a strong end to 2006. Bulger had a tough time behind a line that was beat up by injuries most of the year, and by a running game that struggled with Steven Jackson hurt a good part of the year. While the Rams take a turn to get better in 2008, Bulger will too, and he should bounce back from his 07 season that saw him throw for 2392 yards, 11 TD’s and 15 picks.
2. Julius Peppers DE Panthers – Peppers all but vanished for the Panthers in 2007, putting up just 2.5 sacks and getting beat up by the media around the country for being a player that was nowhere to be found. He’s making the move to right end, which should help right off the bat, and the Panthers defense will look overall to be a much better unit in 2008, and with it Peppers could return to being a force on defense for the cats.
3. Laveranus Coles WR Jets – With an uncertain QB situation and some injuries to deal with, Coles was not the explosive player the Jets have come to count last year, as he slumped to just 55 catches in just a handful of games. With a better O-line, whoever is throwing the ball in the Big Apple will have more time to throw, and that should right away put Coles up above the 11.7 yards per catch average he had last year and six scores.
4. DeAngelo Hall CB Raiders – This is a classic case of a player moving to a new team with a new deal in hand, and having a big season. That’s what’s ahead for Hall, who will be as good if not better than the Pro Bowl form he’s shown in the past. The Raiders have some playmakers in their secondary, and Hall will fit the bill and be a big time player for them in 2008.
5. Frank Gore RB 49’ers – As the Niners had a tough 2007, Gore followed. He still ran for 1102 yards, but didn’t have that dominant season that the team and many around the league thought he would have coming of a big 2006 that earned him a huge deal. This is a case though of others playing better around Gore in 2008 as well. If the Niners do that, he’ll have a big comeback season.
6. Vince Young QB Titans – We’re on the Young bandwagon, and can’t believe that this guy will stay in rut that he was for a large portion of the 07 season. Let’s remember though, he was a big part of the reason why the Titans did make the postseason, and despite the only 9 throwing TD’s and 17 picks, he still has a special ability with his legs, and with the Titans growing as a team, Young’s third season in the NFL will by far be his best.