Continuing on with guest writer Travis Wingfield's off-season rankings, here is his second installment. To check out his first installment, click here. Onto Part II:
24. Pittsburgh Steelers- Mike Tomlin is just 34 years old and is entering his first year as a head coach in the NFL. He has quite an act to follow, stepping in after the position was manned for 37 years by just 2 men; Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher. The Steelers also lost both of their top assistant coaches in Russ Grim and Ken Whisenhunt to other jobs. Tomlin's first order of business was cutting their emotional leader, linebacker Joey Porter. I really question that move, as the Steelers only went on to draft a linebacker in the first round. Granted, Lawrence Timmons is a solid player, but Porter was a huge asset to the Steelers. All-pro guard Alan Faneca is on the fence and reportedly wants out. If they lose him, it'd be a huge blow to that offense considering they already lost Jeff Harting to retirement. They have stood pat for the most part this off-season, a team that just won a Super Bowl and then went 8-8, I don't know if that's a good thing.
Best add: Lawrence Timmons LB
Worst loss: Joey Porter LB
Outlook: 8-8. Last year was an aberration for Roethlisberger, but like the Jaguars, will have a tough time against the AFC elite.
23. Indianapolis Colts- Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne are all still there. These guys are the ones that make this team go and despite losing a load of key players from their Super Bowl team, they're still the Colts. Among the free agency casualties are Nick Harper, Cato June, Jason David, Montae Reager, Brandon Stokley and the man I felt should've been Super Bowl MVP, Dominic Rhodes. There were no big free agent signings but they did find their replacement for Brandon Stokley in the first round with Anthony Gonzalez.
Best add: Anthony Gonzalez WR
Worst loss: Cato June LB
Outlook: 10-6. Some key pieces are gone, but I don't think anyone in the AFC South is ready to challenge the Colts.
22. Kansas City Chiefs- Damon Huard got a big deal and Carl Peterson is playing cat and mouse with Miami GM Randy Mueller over former pro bowl QB Trent Green. Eventually Green will be out the door, ending a very nice career with the Chiefs. There are some moves I love and some moves I hate but the bad ones outweigh the good. The Chiefs lost another key offensive lineman to retirement as Will Shields decided to hang it up. Donnie Edwards and Napoleon Harris are great additions at linebacker and Dwayne Bowe was a nice draft choice to help a depleted receiving core.
Best add: Donnie Edwards LB
Worst loss: Will Shields OG (Retirement)
Outlook: 6-10. The Chiefs seem to be heading backwards. Can LJ carry it 400 times again? He might need to with that passing attack.
21. Washington Redskins- The team that is usually among the winners this time of year, the Redskins, decided not to be the huge buyers again. The Redskins cut ties with several of those players that were supposed to make them winners all those years. David Patten, T.J Duckett, Troy Vincent, Adam Archuleta and Derrick Dockery are all gone. Stepping in on the O-line is Jason Fabini and at LB is London Fletcher-Baker. Both are two additions that shouldn't be frowned upon. I like what the Redskins did this year, addition by subtraction, and refrained from over spending on big free agents. Although half of their draft had been traded away, they still netted, in my opinion, the best defensive player in the draft with Laron Landry.
Best add: Laron Landry S
Worst loss: Derrick Dockery OL
Outlook: 4-12. In the cellar of the NFC East again, I'm not yet sold on Jason Campbell.
20. Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins have ushered in a new era with brand new head coach Cam Cameron. He was immediately unpopular after selecting Ted Ginn over Brady Quinn in the NFL draft, but has played a pretty nice hand in the cap cutting of underachieving players. Miami made an outstanding defense even stronger with the signing of the hard hitting linebacker Joey Porter, who will provide a lightning fast pass rush opposite Jason Taylor. Miami selected John Beck to be the QB of the future in the 2nd round, but don't look for him to start right away. The biggest move is the one that hasn't been made yet with QB Trent Green. However, he should eventually be in aqua and orange and the starter next year. Some losses that will hurt are tight end Randy McMichael and punter Donnie Jones. Wes Welker is gone but Miami replaced him with a faster more electric player, and received a high round pick for Welker.
Best add: Joey Porter LB
Worst loss: Randy McMichael TE
Outlook: 9-7. Miami will surprise some people this year by contending for a playoff spot.
19. Baltimore Ravens- Baltimore hasn't quite overhauled the team, but there are a lot of new faces for the Ravens this year. Willis McGahee takes over at running back for Jamal Lewis, which is a monster upgrade, but the Ravens lost star linebacker Adalius Thomas. Tony Pashos, Edwin Mulitalo, and Ovie Mughelli are among other players that are in new cities, but Baltimore got some replacement help in the draft by selecting big Auburn guard Ben Grubbs in round 1. Yamon Figures is a lightning bolt receiver and return man that Baltimore drafted along with Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.
Best add: Willis McGahee RB
Worst loss: Adalius Thomas LB
Outlook: 11-5. I've got Baltimore and Cincinnati neck and neck in the AFC North this year.
18. Cincinnati Bengals- The M.O. this off-season for the Bengals seemed to be "stay out of jail." It's been over 3 months since a member of the Bungles has been behind bars and it seems they are setting a precedent. Losing Kelly Washington wasn't a huge deal until Cincinnati learned that Chris Henry would miss half of the season. The only big free agent note was losing big offensive guard Eric Steinbach to the cross state rival Cleveland Browns. Leon Hall and Kenny Irons were 2 big names selectedn as Hall will help a poor pass defense and Irons should take a decent load off of Rudi Johnson's shoulders.
Best add: Leon Hall CB
Worst loss: Eric Steinbach OG
Outlook: 11-5. I felt off-season issues and underachievement killed the Bengals last year. It should be a great race with them and the Ravens in the AFC North.
17. Houston Texans- This offense has been rebuilt from head to toe. Matt Shaub is the new quarterback, Ahman Green is the new running back, and Jordan Black is the new, big offensive tackle coming over from Kansas City. Dominick Davis and David Carr are gone and these moves are better for the two parties; Davis and Carr need a shot somewhere else because they weren't working out in Houston. Amobi Okoye was their first round selection, as he steps in with sophomores Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans on the defensive front. This team is headed in the right direction, just not there yet.
Best add: Ahman Green RB
Worst loss: David Carr QB
Outlook: 7-9. They are going through some growing pains, but this team is finally going the right way. A lot of this team's success hinges on the progression of Matt Shaub.
Up next: teams 16-9, coming June 5