I spent 3 sessions at training camp and learned a lot.
1) Brayton is a beast. He and Peppers look like 2 towers on the ends. He's also fast and strong.
2) Brown is really fast and should put defenses on their heels. A pass rush with Brown/Brayton/Lewis/Peppers could become feared throughout the league. Charles Johnson is good too. With Peppers back, we have potentially one of the best D-Line's in the league for the next few years as long as we can sure up a run-stuffer when teams start cutting solid players.
3) The secondary should be a huge upgrade to last years. We have heard a lot about Captain but let's not forget an improved Marshall, and Sherrod Martin to go along with our 2 stars in Gamble and Harris
4) We have some BEASTLY linebackers. Beason is going to keep getting better. Also look out for Conner (#57 i think). He looks really good too.
5) Fiametta was a steal. He is going to learn from one of the best in the league in Hoover. We also have 2 legit Fullbacks now and we can do some running packages with 2 FB's and DeAngelo to create 2 holes and a "pick and choose" decision by the RB. Also I should point out that Fiametta practiced a lot of catching screens. I would look for that in the playbook around mid season.
6) While I'm pulling for Jarrett to mature into a legit number 2 receiver (dude is bigger than I thought he was!), also watch out for Monk and Kenneth Moore. Both look really legit.
7) Jake Delhomme is still around the 10th best QB in the league and is in a class by himself compared to Moore/McCown. Jake's health is of paramount performance, right next to the O-Line. During the passing drills he is so much more accurate than the other QB's it's not even funny. Couple that with the respect that his teammates give him and the trust he shares with Smith/Moose, he is going to have another solid year.
8) Along with QB's, I hope in some way, shape, or form we keep Cantwell. He slipped to undrafted and while he looked nervous, he could be someone to keep on a practice squad and could become a really good QB. Before his senior year he was projected to go like 3/4th round so maybe he can regain his form. He's got really good height too!
9) I think the O-Line depth will be a non issue. I think they will actually be better than last year. Key players to stay healthy are Gross and Otah. Gross should be fine. Otah should be even better this year and he is one HUGE dude. As for the back-ups: they have a chance to keep learning from some of the best, not to mention the O-Line we have in large part was drafted and molded by us and for us. I have faith we can replicate that with the rookies and inexperienced guys we have now.
10) Ron Meeks is going to make us again a top 10 and potentionally top 5 defence. His presence on the field was like having a commander-in-chief out their preparing his troops. Let's face it. While we lost to Arz with 6 turnovers by Jake, let's not forget that our defense looked clueless in that game and I'd argue was never good enough to win us a super-bowl anyways.
This year should see the offense improving ever so slightly (expect is to be about the 25-30ppg we had the last 8 games of the year while our defense takes a complete 180 from its falter last year so long as we can stuff the run up the middle.
GO CATS!!! This year we will beat the snot out of the big market east teams!!!