We’ve been mowing through the offseason with the best and worst, and to date covered each side of the offensive side of the ball, and have thrown out the five best defenses heading into training camp. Now we finish up our series with the five teams that we feel are going to have the worst defenses as training camp starts in the next few weeks:
1. Atlanta – The poor Falcons were not very good last season, and that fact will be the case again in 2008. In 07 they allowed 355.5 yards per game, and don’t forget they got rid of one of their best defensive players – CB DeAngelo Hall. They will count on 2nd round pick Curtis Lofton to play the MLB spot so Keith Brooking can move to his natural weak-side spot. SS Lawyer Milloy is winding down his career, and the team did next to nothing to improve the D-line. It’ll be a long season for the Birds.
2. Kansas City – In a full rebuild mode in KC, this unit is going to have its issues – again. They moved unhappy but sack happy Jared Allen, and hope that youth will be served on the line, and Glenn Dorsey will live up to the hype. We’ll see. In their 9-game losing streak last year, they allowed over 190 yards rushing in those games, and teams seemed to score in bunches. The starting secondary is old, and by the early to mid-part of the year there will be a lot of changes in this unit.
3. Detroit – The Lions allowed a whopping 377 yards per game last year, and they have plenty of question marks up and down the defense again this year. They traded Shaun Rogers, who underperformed to the Browns, and are counting on players like Cory Redding and pickup Chuck Darby to lead the D-line. They let LB’s Boss Bailey and Teddy Lehman go in free agency, and will have Ernie Sims, Jordan Dizon and Paris Lenon as the starters there. The secondary allowed passers to complete 70 percent of passes last year, a number they have to improve on in 08.
4. Miami – Sorry Fin Fans, the Dolphins D is going to be in a transition mode this season, and that means new coach Tony Sparano is going to have growing pains with this unit. There is talent here, as yougnsters Matt Roth and Quentin Moses should have time to develop on the line. They will miss the leadership of Zach Thomas, and the possibility of them moving Jason Taylor seems high still. The secondary has few playmakers, and the LB core needs more from mouthy Joey Porter and Channing Crowder, who needs to make more plays.
5. Cleveland – While the offense in Cleveland can score with the best of them, the defense still has work to do. This was an area the team looked to upgrade big time this offseason, which is why they traded for the Packers Corey Williams and Lions Shaun Rogers to help on the line. The secondary is a huge problem area, as they moved Leigh Bodden in the Rogers deal, and will need Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald to really step up. This unit can be better, but there’s still much to be concerned about here.