Bloodied but unbowed, as they say, I will take another whack at spotting the fairest of the EFL — this time looking at the class of ’05 as this weekend’s season openers loom. But I’m not going to compound a likely useless exercise by attempting to do expert commentary on each team like last year. The only team I’ll say more than a few words about is Delaware.
Central Divisionlst: Philadelphia Lakers — Renewed Brett should take them Favre.
Northern Divisionlst: Albany Racers — Corey Dillon will be MVP candidate.
Southern Divisionlst: Pittsburgh Ironmen — Found winning formula last year.
For wildcard I’ll pick Syracuse.
So what about those Cherries? Even if Lee Evans pans out as a decent replacement for Bobby Shaw, they still seem a little short on quality receivers. And I don’t think it’s a given that LaDainian Tomlinson will average six yards a carry again. John Kasay will probably miss a few 40s-length field goals — unlike last year.
The Delaware defense should be a little better. The move of Terrell Suggs from the line to linebacker opens a starting spot for Bryce Fisher, a good rusher. So last year’s paltry sack total of seven is exceedable. With Lito Sheppard emerging as a potential all-star, the defense probably won’t miss Champ Bailey too much. The linebacking corps has excellent depth.
The wildcard for Delaware, of course, is Drew Brees. If he’s able to make the offense productive with the receiving corps he has to work with then he will indeed have proved himself to be the quality quarterback the front office thinks he is. If not opponents might not need many points to outscore the Cherries.