The confetti is still falling, the street cleaners are still picking up trash after the parade, and Brandon Jacobs is still talking. Yet, there is no rest for the folks associated with the 32 teams of the NFL. Oh no, everyone is already looking for to the combine, draft, and free agency to ensure that at this time next year it is their city celebrating. So, what does each team need to do in order to get themselves to that point? Let's check it out going through each division, and in this edition we will start in the division that is home to the newly crowned NFL champions.
This is the only division that can boast having three championship teams. You have the Giants, the team fresh off of another Super Bowl title. Then there is the perennial off season champions, the Washington Redskins. Then there is the paper champions, the perennially underachieving Dallas Cowboys. Of course, the last two are said in jest....kind of.
Dallas: CB, DL, LB
There is a reason why the Cowboys ranked 23rd in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game last season. No one in the secondary could cover air, much less actual humans running around the field. Dallas has to find players who can cover receivers one on one to be effective in Rob Ryan's blitz heavy style. The folks in Big D also need to find a compliment to DeMarcus Ware. The man from Troy had 19.5 sacks on the season while the rest of the team only had 22.5. That simply is not going to get it done in a division with Michael Vick and Eli Manning taking snaps under center.
New York: RB, OL, CB
What do you get a team that has the Lombardi Trophy? For starters, the Giants are going to need to reinforce their backfield. Ahmad Bradshaw is a tough customer, but one has to wonder how long can his feet hold up with screws keeping them together. Also, Brandon Jacobs is due almost $5 million next season, and all reports are that he will not be back with the team. One of the enduring images of this playoff season was watching Eli shrug off defenders and pick himself up off the turf. Giants need to shore up the offensive line and protect their two time Super Bowl MVP QB. Also, the secondary should get a boost once the injuries heal but you can never have too much depth in the defensive back corps.
Philadelphia: LB, WR, OL
The Philadelphia defense was ranked 10th in the NFL last season, but that ranking does not tell the whole story. The unit was average, at best, against the run giving up over 112 yards per game on the ground. Hard to get an explosive offense such as Philly's on the field if you can't get the opposing team off the field. Finding a way to strengthen the linebacking crew will go a long way towards bringing that rushing average down. DeSean Jackson doesn't appear to be coming back to Philly so they will have to replace his production at some point. The Eagles biggest issue has been keeping their key players healthy. Michael Vick is crucial to the success of that team, and to ensure he stays healthy the team needs to get the offensive line in order. That unit gave up 32 sacks last season, including 23 sacks of Vick. Hard to keep a slender QB such as Vick healthy if you can't keep him upright.
Washington: QB, WR
Count me amongst the folks that actually believe Washington is not too far away from having a playoff caliber team. First mistake was believing that either Rex Grossman or John Beck could lead this team to a winning record. It would be a second mistake to compound things by not fixing that position. Whether it is a certain QB that has played for the past few years in Indy or through the draft, an upgrade is sorely needed. While they're at it, upgrade the pass catching crew as well. I like the defense in Washington, but if they wanted to add a lock down corner to play alongside DeAngelo Hall I'm sure no one would complain.
Be on the lookout for the next edition when we'll tackle another division and what those teams need to do in order to improve. Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out the Twitter page @WeathaManRuck and also the Facebook page "Tha Weatha Report".