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With the start of training camps imminent, I decided to take a step back and examine some of the question marks facing each team as they report. There were scores of personnel and coaching changes that will give teams a new look entering the '05 season, not to mention the number of rookies who will contributing from the first day of workouts.

This week, I'm going team-by-team through the issues, trials and tribulations of the teams in the AFC. Will the champions be able to overcome the loss of both coordinators? What do Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning do for an encore? And, what impact does Ricky Williams have in Nick Saban's NFL debut?

Let's take a look.

New England Patriots

  • Despite the return of 19 starters, what impact will the departures of coordinators Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel have on the chemistry in New England as they prep for their third straight title run? Will Bill Belichick calling plays on offense detract from game management?
  • Now reunited with his college QB, will David Terrell finally break through after four mediocre seasons with the Bears?
  • Which tight end will be Brady's top target in the red zone, Daniel Graham or the up-and-coming Ben Watson? Or will they both be fantasy favorites like the combo of Marcus Pollard and Dallas Clark a year ago?
  • Will emotional leader and top playmaker Tedy Bruschi return to the field? The depth in the defensive backfield has been addressed. But if Bruschi does not return, who steps into his role and how does it impact the middle of the defense?

New York Jets

  • How will Chad Pennington's surgically repaired shoulder hold up? Can he be counted on for a full 16-game schedule?
  • How much will new coordinator Mike Heimerdinger's spread offense cut into Curtis Martin's touches? Will Derrick Blaylock get the PT and touches that the departed LaMont Jordan craved?
  • Despite 90 catches in '04, Laveranues Coles scored just one TD. Will his return to the Jets disprove the old adage that "you can't go home again" and make him a fantasy sleeper?
  • And, what about Justin McCareins, a popular sleeper in '04 whose average per catch dropped over four yards from 2003. Does Pennington help him regain his nose for the end zone?

Buffalo Bills

  • Drew Bledsoe is gone, replaced by second-year QB J.P. Losman. Is Losman ready to assume the reins and lead this offense?
  • Willis McGahee was brilliant in one-half of a season. Will his body hold up over a full season of pounding? If he should miss any time, which of the quartet of Joe Burns, Shaud Williams, Lionel Gates or ReShard Lee will assume the starting role?
  • Will Josh Reed be able to hold off the charge of the speedy rookie Roscoe Parrish for the third receiver role?
  • How much will the loss of Pat Williams from the defensive line affect the run defense (only three players topped 100 yards against the Bills last year)?

Miami Dolphins

  • How will Nick Saban's coaching style translate to the NFL? Will the Dolphins resemble Steve Spurrier's Redskins before its done?
  • Who wins the QB job, A.J. Feeley or Gus Frerotte? And will it matter for the fortunes of Chris Chambers and Marty Booker?
  • How quickly will the revamped defense gel? With as many as six new starters, Saban will be relying on them to get things settled quickly to aid the new-look offense.
  • Will Ronnie Brown become a premier back out of the gate? Will Saban let him?
  • And, of course, how will Saban and company utilize the rejuvenated Ricky Williams? Does he make it a platoon system or will Williams pilfer Ronnie Brown's goal-line opportunities?

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Does Bill Cowher open up the offense to Ben Roethlisberger in his second year and allow him to throw downfield more frequently?
  • Will the offensive line continue to punish opposing defenses without Keydrick Vincent and Oliver Ross?
  • How will the running backs split opportunities this season? Will Duce Staley have the opportunity to finish his own dirty work, or will Jerome Bettis continue to pile on touchdowns?
  • The 6-foot-5 rookie from Virginia is intriguing, but how much will TE Heath Miller factor into the offense? Likewise, how will the Steelers utilize 6-foot-4 wideout Fred Gibson?
  • The offense averaged a ridiculous 34 minutes of possession last year. Should the offense fail to generate such drives this year, will the defensive backfield be able to hold up?

Baltimore Ravens

  • The Ravens bolstered the receiving corps with the additions of Derrick Mason and rookie Mark Clayton. Will their additions be enough to make Kyle Boller a threat?
  • Will Todd Heap be healthy? He missed a total of 10 games last year, frustrating owners who snagged him early in the draft.
  • With all of the off the field distractions behind him, can a focused Jamal Lewis make a run at his ridiculous 2003 season totals?
  • Can the defense stay healthy and continue to terrorize opposing quarterbacks? Will Rex Ryan's attacking style catapult them to an even higher level of fantasy dominance?

Cincinnati Bengals

  • All the pieces are in place to make Carson Palmer a superstar in Cincinnati. Will he be able to match his second-half pace of 2.2 touchdowns per game over a full season?
  • Will his new long-term contract propel Rudi Johnson to new heights? And, if he should be forced to miss any time, will second-year back Chris Perry be ready to go?
  • The Bengals are enamored with rookie WR Chris Henry. Will his emergence send Kelley Washington and Peter Warrick out of town?
  • How will the Bengals adjust to improve a run defense that ranked 26th in the NFL last year, keeping Carson Palmer and the offense off of the field?

Cleveland Browns

  • He's got the rings to gain instant credibility, but how will Romeo Crennel fare in his first year at the helm of a franchise? And how much will he be able to accelerate the rebuilding period in Cleveland?
  • Who wins the starting gig in the backfield, Lee Suggs or Reuben Droughns? And just where does William Green fit into the mix?
  • Trent Dilfer's last stretch of extensive playing time came in the Super Bowl season for the Baltimore Ravens, way back in 2000. How long does he run the show before Crennel lets Charlie Frye get his feet wet?
  • Will the addition of Braylon Edwards to the receiving corps allow Crennel to open up the passing game? Andre Davis and Antonio Bryant have long been on the "sleeper" radar for fantasy owners. Is this the year they truly wake up?

Indianapolis Colts

  • He signed his one-year, $8.1 million tender in mid-March, but there's still some question as to whether Edgerrin James will report to camp on time. Would his extended absence disrupt the Colts juggernaut or can Dominic Rhodes keep the line moving?
  • Will the departure of Marcus Pollard vault Dallas Clark into the elite class of fantasy tight ends, or will Ben Hartsock pilfer red zone looks?
  • Brandon Stokley was one of the darlings of the fantasy world in 2004. And though we know that Peyton Manning will throw for his share of touchdowns in '05, will the distribution be as equitable as a year ago?
  • When will the Colts' defense rise to the occasion to match the brilliance of the offense?

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Byron Leftwich played reasonably well for fantasy owners last season (though he was shut out twice against the Texans). Is this the year that he begins to shine with Carl Smith's vertical passing game?
  • Is Fred Taylor going to be able to shoulder the load for an entire season? If he should go down, will the Jags trio of inexperienced backs be able to provide seamless relief?
  • Is there anybody to step up in the receiving corps behind veteran Jimmy Smith? Will Ernest Wilford or Reggie Williams be the deep threat, or will former collegiate QB Matt Jones rise to the occasion?
  • The defense ranked 7th in the NFL at 17.5 points per game in 2004. Will the additions of Reggie Hayward and Marcellus Wiley push them into the elite class and the status of "must draft" this year?

Houston Texans

  • David Carr is a gamer, but how much more punishment can he absorb? Will the offensive line be able to protect him and move the chains?
  • Andre Johnson and Domanick Davis rank among the top players at their respective positions. Will a new option emerge this season for David Carr?
  • There are lingering concerns about the durability of Davis. Will Vernand Morency factor into the offense early, and how much of Davis' action will he steal?
  • Can the defense stay healthy and mount a consistent pass rush to improve upon the 23rd-ranked total defense from a year ago?

Tennessee Titans

  • Steve McNair struggled at the start of the '04 campaign before being sidelined by his sternum injury. Will he be ready to put those struggles behind him and get back to his MVP self?
  • Who will win the RB battle between Chris Brown and Travis Henry? Or will fans and fantasy owners be subjected to a committee situation?
  • Drew Bennett slides into the No. 1 receiver role with the departure of Derrick Mason. How will he handle double-coverage?
  • Will Tyrone Calico be able to stay healthy and become a dangerous deep threat?
  • The Titans lost Samari Rolle and Andre Dyson this offseason. Will Adam "Pac-Man" Jones' legal woes cause issues for the Titans secondary?

San Diego Chargers

  • How does Comeback Player of the Year Drew Brees follow up his outstanding 2004 campaign?
  • Will rookie receiver Vincent Jackson become a red zone threat will all attention focused on containing breakout performer Antonio Gates?
  • Will Reche Caldwell be able to return from a serious knee injury that ended a solid start to '04?
  • The Chargers were outstanding against the run last year (third overall), but when will the secondary catch up?

Denver Broncos

  • Will Jake Plummer mount a consistent attack this year, or will fans and fantasy owners continue to travel a rocky road with him under center?
  • Who will be this year's 1,000-yard rusher in Denver? Reuben Droughns rolled to a monster year in 2004. Will Tatum Bell hold back the challenges of Mike Anderson, Quentin Griffin, Maurice Clarett and Ron Dayne?
  • Will second-year receiver Darius Watts become a consistent playmaker to complement veteran Rod Smith and rising star Ashley Lelie?
  • Can Jeb Putzier become a bigger threat in the passing game, or will Stephen Alexander horn in on his action in the red zone?
  • What can Mike Shanahan and defensive coordinator Larry Coyer make out of a bunch of Cleveland castoffs? Can the defensive line stay healthy?

Kansas City Chiefs

Oakland Raiders

  • Which Kerry Collins will Raiders fans and fantasy owners see in 2005? Will they get the erratic Collins that tossed 14 picks in his first seven starts, or the one that closed with 16 touchdowns in his final seven games?
  • How will Randy Moss respond to a new QB and system in Oakland?
  • Will Ronald Curry be this year's version of Brandon Stokley as the No. 3 receiver in a potent offense?
  • LaMont Jordan finally gets his shot at being an every-down back in the NFL. How will he adapt to a new system?
  • The offense will put up points, but will the defense be able to stop anybody?
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