NFL Nation: On the Radar 52010 AFC

On the radar: Brodney Pool

May, 20, 2010
5/20/10
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NFC On the Radar: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

Yoohoo. Over here. Don't forget this guy.

[+] EnlargeBrodney Pool
Ron Chenoy/US PresswireThe Jets acquired safety Brodney Pool during the offseason.
His name's Brodney Pool, and he plays safety for the New York Jets.

So many of the Jets' offseason acquisitions roll off the tongue. LaDainian Tomlinson, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, Jason Taylor. With the focus on those decorated newcomers, Pool largely has been forgotten.

He shouldn't be an afterthought.

The Jets are expecting a big year from Pool, a sixth-year pro the Cleveland Browns parted with over concussion concerns. The Jets signed him to a one-year contract worth about $1.3 million and view him as an upgrade to Kerry Rhodes, whom they traded to the Arizona Cardinals for a fourth-round draft pick this year and a seventh-rounder next year.

"Brodney will play the run better," Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine told ESPNNewYork.com. "I think he's a better tackler. I think he'll stick his face in there more than Kerry."

Pool, the 34th overall draft choice in 2005, was plagued with concussion problems in Cleveland. He was diagnosed with at least four of them and, after intercepting four passes in 11 games, spent the final five games last year on injured reserve.

But the Jets' medical staff determined Pool also gets migraine headaches that might have made the situation seem worse than it really is.

Now we know why the Jets didn't identify safety as a need position entering the draft.

If Pool can stay healthy, he could have more of an impact on the Jets season than any of those other big-ticket arrivals.
NFC On the Radar: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

[+] EnlargeTrindon Holliday
Bob Levey/Getty ImagesTrindon Holliday's speed has impressed coaches during OTAs.
While he was at LSU, Trindon Holliday didn’t get enough touches. When he did, he was feared in space because of his blazing speed. A little guy, he could also be hard to see.

It wasn’t hard for the Texans to see his value.

The sixth-rounder’s been impressive in early action with the Texans as OTAs have gotten under way. The Texans have some fast skill players, but Holliday’s feet and speed have stood out. And not just on special teams.

“He’s been impressive, and I think everyone knew he was a returner and that’s why we drafted him, but he’s held up outside, too,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “So we’ll see.”

Andre Johnson’s supporting cast at receiver can be productive, but the Texans will find room for Holliday on the field if they see ways to get him in space and believe he can be reliable. That could cost David Anderson or Jacoby Jones some touches.

But it’s very intriguing to imagine Johnson clearing out some defenders and Matt Schaub finding Holliday a few times a game on offense.
NFC On the Radar: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

[+] EnlargeEric Berry
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty ImagesEric Berry is just one of three Chiefs rookies from the SEC expected to make an impact.
While I was at our meetings in Bristol last week, I had the opportunity to catch up with Chris Low, our outstanding SEC blogger.

We had plenty to discuss. I will be covering several of the players who starred in the SEC last season after the AFC West went SEC-heavy in the draft.

Three of the players who dominated our conversation were the first three picks of the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City took Tennessee safety Eric Berry in the first round at No. 5 overall and then took Mississippi running back/receiver/returner Dexter McCluster and Alabama cornerback/returner Javier Arenas in the second round.

If Low’s thoughts are any indication, the Chiefs will be very happy with these players. Low thinks all three will be NFL standouts.

Low said that Berry, McCluster and Arenas are all very fast, productive and bright. Expect plenty of playmaking from a trio expected to make immediate contributions.

Berry should start. McCluster will be a slot receiver and returner. Arenas will be the nickel cornerback and probably return kicks as well.

Let’s face it: The best college football in the country is played in the SEC. The best players reside in that conference. I think we are going to see Kansas City begin the transformation to respectability on the strength of these three excellent draft choices.

On the radar: Browns' offense

May, 20, 2010
5/20/10
1:00
PM ET
NFC On the Radar: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

Delhomme
Al Pereira/Getty ImagesDelhomme will likely lead an offense that is a hybrid of the West Coast and Patriots' systems.
How will the Cleveland Browns' offense look in 2010?

At this point, it's anyone's guess.

Cleveland's offensive scheme is "constantly evolving," according to Browns head coach Eric Mangini. The lack of success -- the Browns were ranked last in total offense last season -- combined with the addition of influential team president Mike Holmgren have resulted in an exchange of ideas of how to run things more efficiently.

Holmgren is a firm believer in the West Coast offense, which has led him to three Super Bowls as head coach of two franchises. But Mangini and current Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll are coaching the team and believe in the New England Patriots' system, where they worked up the ranks and also won Super Bowls.

By the end of training camp, Cleveland probably will have a blend of the Patriots' system mixed with some West Coast principles.

"There's been an influx of ideas between the new people of the organization," Mangini explained. "There's been an influx of ideas with offseason studies and things that we liked from other teams that they did ... Now it's a function of trying to figure out where does it fit."

One key to making it all work will be veteran quarterback Jake Delhomme, who signed as a free agent from the Carolina Panthers.

Delhomme is learning a new system in Cleveland this season. But it's not completely foreign because he knows the West Coast portion of the scheme from the time he spent with the New Orleans Saints under former assistant Mike McCarthy, who is now the head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

"I think I have a very good background in it," Delhomme said. "Some of the plays, Seneca [Wallace] and I will speak some of the West Coast language, because it's very similar to the system he ran in Seattle and what I ran with Mike."

Cleveland's offense looked dominant during Wednesday's organized team activities that were open to the media. Both Delhomme and Wallace made several nice throws for big gains against Cleveland's defense.

It's early, but perhaps that's a small sign that Cleveland's offense has the potential to improve in 2010. Considering last year's ranking, the unit has nowhere to go but up.

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