The Pro Football Notebook

April 20, 2010 10:56 AM

Spring Overview: AFC East

The AFC East seems to be on a mission to import the problem children at wide receiver. The Jets just acquired Santonio Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP now in off-the-field trouble. And Miami traded for Brandon Marshall, who didn't play well with others in Denver. Those are just interesting soap opera plots in a division that's shaping up to be very competitive in 2010. New England is still the ruling power until proven otherwise, but they were very vulnerable down the stretch last year. Bill Belichick has responded by taking on increased responsiblity. The change at least disproves the notion that Belichick has lost the hungerm, with his three Super Bowl rings and undefeated regular season already part of his legacy. But even the best coaches can get it in spots where they bite off more they can chew, and this may be it for Belichick. The Patriots also

franchised defensive tackle Vince Wolfork, a move he was not happy with. How will that affect his attitude for the coming year.

The Jets may argue that New England is no longer the ruling power. They may have won the division, but New York won two playoff games to zero for the boys from Foxboro. They're now hoping they can get more big plays out of the offense by pairing Holmes with Braylon Edwards in the all-head case tandem. They added a more stable personality in LaDanian Tomlinson, who's no doubt anxious to show his old employers in San Diego they made a mistake in letting him go.

Miami cut ties with some veterans with noteworthy names--Chad Pennington, Jason Taylor and Joey Porter are no longer in South Florida. And they just dealt Ted Ginn to San Francisco. Buffalo's been pretty quiet so far, although that could change--Marshawn Lynch has trade rumors surrounding him. I don't see a lot of reason for excitement in the Bills.

Supposedly they had the opportunity to hire Marty Schottenheimer, but instead opted for Chan Gailey. Big mistake, meaning this franchise will remain faceless and dull for the foreseeable future. Perhaps until the seemingly inevitable move to Toronto takes place.

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