Andrew Perloff of Sports Illustrated has some key questions each NFL team must address in 2006. For the Colts, Perloff seems to suggest they have found the answer to his key question:
Key question: Edgerrin who?
The Colts felt running back Edgerrin James was replaceable. Now they have to actually do it. A gambling Web site gave Colts running back Joseph Addai 5-1 odds to be Offensive Rookie of the Year. But Addai will have to really shine this offseason to beat out veteran Dominic Rhodes, who has proven he can get the job done.
So, Perloff seems to suggest the Colts will be just fine in 2006 with Rhodes and Addai running the ball. What does he think about the other teams? Here's a couple that caught my interest:
Key question: Has the destruction of the dynasty begun?
Remember how the mid-'90s Cowboys started bleeding talent to free agency and the Super Bowl runs abruptly stopped? It feels like that process is well under way in New England. There's been some grumbling from key players about losing veterans, and unless coach Bill Belichick imposes a gag order, it could continue this offseason.
Key question: What got into Hines?
Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward had some interesting words on coach Bill Cowher in this week's Sports Illustrated: "I don't have anything to say to him. After what he did to me, after how he treated me, no. The numbers I put up? The seasons I had, for them to keep on bringing in guys ... ?" Ward's a pro and this will blow over, but it should make for fun copy.
Losing Chris Pope, Jerome Bettis, and Antwain Randle-El will hurt Pittsburgh. Those three guys were key players in their championship run, and next year the Steelers will have the added pressure of repeating. Pittsburgh has traditionally thrived as the underdog, but tanked whenever they are favored. It should be interesting to see if they can bounce back from those player loses and win despite having that "champion" target on their backs.