ESPN’s NFL Insiders debuts today (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2) with host Suzy Kolber and NFL information experts Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen and Bill Polian. The new one-hour weekday show will feature a group of former pro football executives and well-respected news and information purveyors discussing top stories and breaking news.
Front Row caught up with some of the newer faces who will be regular contributors to NFL Insiders to get their thoughts on the off-the-radar storylines they are watching closely entering the 2013 NFL season.
Jarrett Bell, USA Today Sports NFL columnist
If the St. Louis Rams can continue the progressive building they did last year when everybody assumes the NFC West is going to be decided by the San Francisco 49ers or the Seattle Seahawks.
Adam Caplan, Sirius/XM Radio host
After a horrific 2-14 in 2012 (tied for worst in NFL), the Chiefs have added plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, and the additions of a re-energized head coach in Andy Reid and an upgrade at quarterback in Alex Smith can’t be underestimated. Don’t be surprised if the Chiefs challenge for a wild-card spot.
Billy Devaney, former St. Louis Rams general manager
Seeing how the Saints defense plays this season — it set records last year, and not the kind you want. Head coach Sean Payton is back, so the offense should return to normal. Were the problems last year because of the scheme, or is the defense getting old and lacking playmakers?
Ashley Fox, ESPN.com senior NFL writer
How patient will Eagles fans be with new coach Chip Kelly? I think they understand it is going to take Kelly time to implement his system with players he selects, but how patient will they be when it only took Andy Reid one season to turn the team around?
Dan Graziano, ESPN NFC East writer
With so much talk about how defensive coaches are working to stop the read-option, I’m more interested in seeing what the new offensive-minded coaches coming into the league have in mind for new offensive trends. I’m looking specifically at guys like Chip Kelly, Marc Trestman, Rob Chudzinski.
Louis Riddick, former NFL scout and director of player personnel
The effect that the addition of Gregg Williams will have on the improvement of the Tennessee Titans as a defense and as an overall team.
Phil Savage, former Cleveland Browns general manager
The Steelers’ inability to run the ball a year ago – they finished 26th in the league, averaging 96.1 yards per game. They’ll have two new young running backs, Jonathan Dwyer and rookie Le’Veon Bell. If they can re-establish the run, that gives them balance and they can become a legitimate threat again.
Field Yates, ESPN Insider and ESPN Boston writer
How three teams – Dallas, Buffalo and New Orleans – adjust to new defensive coordinators because it represents a big shift from their philosophies in 2012.