QB: Not much to worry about here, other than, can Luck keep avoiding that critical season ending hit and how much better will he be in year #4
RB: The best situation since the glory days of the Edge, Gore will surprise alot of people on just how good he is going to be this year, the only questions are who are the backups going to be and in what order
* Many people forget how good Ballard was his rookie year, avg. 70 yds/gm, for the last 11 games of the season when he was getting most of the reps-which would be a 1,000 (+) season for a full 16 games
TE: Both Fleener and Allen healthy for a full year is the hope, even though Swoope has shown potential, don't see him getting many reps, this year
WR: LOADED!! More on that later
OL: Some things never change- for the past 10 (+) years, it's been the most glaring weakness on the team and continues to be, have no clue why a former starter who is going to be paid a boatload of money would be cut when this issue has been going on for YEARS!!! The Tackle spots appear to be solid, the interior? I guess the hope is somebody can play Center and out of the long list of potential Guards, at least 2 of them can get the job done, but that has been the mindset for many years and has yet to materialize, I do think the line will be better than it has been in recent years, but not sure if it's going to be good enough
summary: It has been said that you can't have too many good players, not sure I am on board with that (100%) I expected Moncreif to have a breakout season and really thought Carter was going to bring alot to the team...now we have Johnson and Dorsett added to the mix, to go along with the #1 WR in Hilton and 2 very good tight ends, that's 7 quality weapons, with 5 linemen, a QB and a RB, that leaves 4 spots, so about half of those weapons will be sitting on the bench, most of the time, don't see how that is overly productive, the key is, and always will be balance.....if you are overloaded at 1 position and weak, at another, that balance is not there, doesn't mean it's a bad thing necessarily, but it means, the team is not going to be as strong as it could be, with balance. There is a fine line between good and great and a playoff team and a championship team and those little things can be the difference between just making it there and winning
DL: much like the O-line, this group has been a weakness, to a lesser degree, for years. Jones has got to be healthy, for at least, most of the year and somebody has got to step up and be a force in the middle, if this defense wants to get where they want to go, that has to happen, if it doesn't it's going to be more of the same-again. The 2 rookies and a few years of experience for the younger players who have yet to step up, does provide some hope.
LB: LOADED! There are 4 very good players all competing for reps at OLB (Mathis-Cole-Newsome-Walden) and the hopes that Werner, will at some point, live up to his first round ability and 3 very good players competing for reps at ILB ( Jackson-Freeman-Irving), we can only hope that Mathis returns to form, maybe not quite the player he was, but at least, close to that.
DB: The CB position is in good shape, with Davis and and Toler, if Toler can stay healthy and be more consistent, they would be a very good duo. The question is who will be the other starter beside Adams.....Geathers or Lowery and are either of them good enough to be a solid player, not much depth in this group either, so an injury could be very impactfull
ST: Doesn't get much better than 3 pro bowlers, there has been a lot of options added to mix to compete for the returner, so hopefully letting Cribbs go won't come back to haunt them, he was the first legit returner this team has had in a long time.
Summary: This is still the same team that it has been for the past 2 decades, very good offense and try to be good enough defense. this is a much better team than it was a year ago and the 2 teams that always seem to be there (*s and Broncos) are not as good as they once were, this team is most likely, barring too many major injuries, the class of the AFC, but the class of the NFL, as of now , resides in the NFC, so getting to the AFC championship ( and winning) is certainly doable, but winning the Super Bowl, isn't going to be as easy, alot of things will have to fall into place, mainly the O-line has got to be at least solid and alot of players on defense, have got to step up and as always, avoid too many critical injuries................it can happen............
Any time you have an elite QB, you will win alot of games and you will be in the postseason, how far you go and if you can win it all, depends on many factors and it's those little things that seperate the teams that get there and the teams, that hold up that trophy.