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    • michael89156

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      Who's the Talk of Every NFL Team's Offseason so Far? By Russell S. Baxter , Featured Columnist Jul 2, 2014 talk_zpsfb175969.png Associated Press Who's been the talk of every NFL team this offseason? It's anyone's call.     We are going to have a little fun here.When it comes to the National Football League, who doesn’t love a good ranking or list? Just about anything that we can rate from No. 1 to No. 32 becomes a much-discussed topic.But what if the talk is in regards to the talk?Here is every team’s most talked-about subject in terms of a player or a coach. Yes, there was a temptation to list an owner or two (you know who they are), but we opted to make this as simple as possible with an emphasis on the product on the field.In some instances, it may have been just one or two eye-opening moments. In others, a person may have been surrounded by a lot of chatter over the past six months or so. And in other cases, it may be just recent conversation and observations from both OTAs and/or minicamps. Not surprisingly, there are numerous rookies on the list.Be it positive or negative, each person on this list has earned a little bit of the limelight this offseason.Is there a definitive answer here as to who is the biggest subject of discussion? Of course not, and a topic doesn’t get more subjective than this one...especially when the talk is just talk.talk1_zps5c9f70a2.pngAtlanta Falcons: RB Devonta FreemanThis past season, no team in the league ran the ball less often and for fewer yards than the Atlanta Falcons. The reasons were numerous, and philosophy certainly played a part in the game plan.But things figure to be different for Mike Smith’s club in 2014. Veteran Steven Jackson will look to rebound from an injury-shortened season, Jacquizz Rodgers will return and the team added a little insurance policy during the draft.When asked about the most interesting training camp battle surrounding the team this summer, Falcons writer Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com had this observation:“Although there will be plenty of competition among Falcons linebackers, I’m turning my attention to the running backs. Steven Jackson is the starter. He turns 31 next month and probably has one good season left in him—but if he is slowed by nagging injuries, the Falcons will turn to someone else. They drafted Devonta Freeman in the fourth round with thoughts of grooming him as the three-down back of the future. If he looks as good in pads as he did in shorts, Jackson might have a battle on his hands…"There’s plenty of potential when it comes to Devonta Freeman, who could team with Jackson and Rodgers and jump-start Atlanta’s woeful running game. With a rejuvenated ground attack, perhaps there will be playoff talk again when it comes to the Falcons.talk2_zpsacc07da1.pngCarolina Panthers: QB Cam NewtonSince his arrival in 2011, it’s safe to say that the Carolina Panthers have pretty much been Cam Newton’s team.This past season, the Pro Bowl signal-caller seemingly took a back seat to the league’s second-ranked defense. But when the dust cleared for the NFC South champions, Newton enjoyed his best season to date, completing 61.7 percent of his passes, throwing for nearly twice as many scores (24) as interceptions (13) and rushing for 585 yards and a half-dozen touchdowns.Still, the talented quarterback wound up having surgery on his left ankle. What will that mean in terms of training camp and preparation for the 2014 season? Injury expert Stephania Bell of ESPN.com spells it out:“Newton underwent a procedure to stabilize the lateral ankle, something that proved necessary after his ankle didn’t respond to conservative treatment. In fact, Newton’s ankle had been increasingly problematic for some time; surgery and rehab may ultimately enhance his mobility. Newton has shown positive signs of recovery since coming out of his walking boot, including doing some side throwing during organized team activities with Panthers first-round draft pick Kelvin Benjamin. By training camp, Newton’s activity should increase substantially, and there should be no physical limitations as the season rolls around".The key word there is limitations. The Panthers will have numerous new looks at wide receiver, including first-round draft choice Kelvin Benjamin, as well as a very revamped offensive line.Meanwhile, Newton hopes to be good as new this fall. And "new" will be the perfect word to describe the Carolina offense in 2014.talk3_zps154ca1ee.pngNew Orleans Saints: TE Jimmy GrahamThe title of the slide says it all.You say to-may-toe. I say toe-mah-toe.Pass-catcher Jimmy Graham says he's a wide receiver. The New Orleans Saints and the National Football League say he's a tight end.It appears that, on Thursday, according to Adam Schefter and Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, we will find out what an arbitrator has to say on the matter of the Saints’ designated franchise player in 2014.A wide receiver commands a higher tender than a tight end, hence the dispute. Graham totaled 86 receptions for 1,215 yards and led the entire league with 16 touchdown catches in 2013.Where he lines up on the field has been the hot topic.Where he winds up in terms of his NFL future is the even bigger issuetalk4_zps65e5f6c6.pngTampa Bay Buccaneers: Head Coach Lovie SmithThings just haven’t been the same for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since Jon Gruden was the team's head coach for seven seasons from 2002 to 2008.Now, the franchise is on its third head coach in six years. But instead of giving Raheem Morris and Greg Schiano their first shot at leasing an NFL club, the Buccaneers have turned to a face that used to grace the sidelines for the team as an assistant: Lovie Smith.This offseason, new general manager Jason Licht signed free agents like Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner, defensive end Michael Johnson, quarterback Josh McCown, left tackle Anthony Collins and center Evan Dietrich-Smith. It’s been a happier time for a club that's finished last in the NFC South in each of the past three seasons.But it was the addition of Smith that has the team and fans feeling optimistic in 2014. He’s an experienced head coach who led the Bears to Super Bowl XLI, forging an 84-66 record (including playoffs) from 2004 to 2012. He and coordinators Jeff Tedford (offense) and Leslie Frazier (defense) hope to put it all together in a division where no team has ever won back-to-back titles.That puts the Bucs, as well as the Falcons and the Saints, right in the thick of playoff talk.For every team....link

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    • Anonymous

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      Seems right to me, he’s still my favorite addition of the offseason.

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    • Anonymous

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      Who's the Talk of Every NFL Team's Offseason so Far? Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Head Coach Lovie Smith

      Only because he got tired of Mike Williams stealing the headlines from him.

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