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KICKOFF ACC

PHOTO COURTESY OF DUKE

ACC Preview . . . . . . . . . 3 NC State . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 North Carolina . . . . . . . . 6 Duke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Wake Forest . . . . . . . . . . 9 Virginia Tech . . . . . . . . 11 Team Schedules . . . . 13,16 ACC Helmet Schedule . . 18

CONF. USA East Carolina . . . . . . . . 20 PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTH CAROLINA

CIAA Preview & Schedule . . . 22

NFL

PHOTO COURTESY OF ECU

Weekly Schedule . . 24-25 Carolina Panthers . . . . 26 NFL Preview . . . . . . . . . 28

DISTRIBUTION

WRBZ-AM 850 • WDNC-AM 620 • Raleigh, NC 919-875-9100 • 850thebuzz.com • 620thebull.com

PRINTING

Theo Davis Sons Inc • Zebulon, NC • 919-269-7401 • theodavis.com

DESIGN

Jessica Wucki McMullin • Peoria, IL • jwucki@comcast.net

PHOTOGRAPHY

Greg Myers • www.gregmyersphotography.com


PHOTO COURTESY OF FLORIDA STATE SPORTS INFORMATION

Want to know why teams from the Big XII, SEC and Southern California are always rated at the top of the national polls? Whether it was Colt McCoy at Texas, Sam Bradford at Oklahoma, Chase Daniels at Missouri, Mark Sanchez at Southern Cal or Tim Tebow at Florida, the great teams all have high caliber quarterbacks. The ACC? Not so much. While there were other factors keeping the league from being a national player over the last few seasons, the average play at the quarterback position was likely the biggest reason that by the middle of October, the ACC was MIA in the BCS conversation. Maybe that’s starting to change. The league is going to have a lot more experience at the position, and only one school, Boston College, will definitely go with a newbie. The reigning first-team all-conference QB Russell Wilson, only needs to stay healthy to give N.C. State a chance to win the Atlantic Division. The schedule sets up nicely for the Wolfpack as well, with an Ohio State-like eight home games. A 10-win season is very much within reach for Tom O’Brien’s team, especially if the O-Line comes together. On the other side of the standings, Virginia Tech is hoping that this is the year that QB Tyrod Taylor finally gets it: better decision-making, more accurate throws, and more consistent play. If he does, and the Hokies young defense comes together, Tech and State could meet twice this year. They’ll see each other the Saturday before Thanksgiving in Blacksburg, and could very well reconvene three weeks later in Tampa. Of course, Florida State and Wake Forest might have something to say about the outcome of the Atlantic. The Seminoles are counting on greatly improved play from QB Christian Ponder to lead the ‘Noles back to the conference championship game for the first time in four years. In Winston-Salem, Jim Grobe’s team has the luxury of having a fourth-year starter taking snaps. It’s been a while, but Riley Skinner has an ACC Championship under his towel. The Demon Deacons will also have an experienced O-Line that gets back former all-conference tackle Chris DeGeare from academic suspension. The toughest challenge in the Coastal division should come from Georgia Tech. First year coach Paul Johnson won nine times, including a stunning win at Georgia, and says that this year’s team is better suited to his version of the spread. Star RB Jonathan Dwyer is back, and Josh Nesbitt returns at quarterback. If Nesbitt is just a little more efficient as a passer, Tech’s offense is going to be next to impossible to contain. North Carolina is going to have a super defense, but offensively they have to replace WRs Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Tate and Brooks Foster or QB T.J. Yates will find the going rough. Elsewhere around the league, even the teams that don’t scream “contender,” have experience at quarterback. Thad Lewis (Duke) and Chris Turner (Maryland) have roughly five years of starting experience, combined. Even at Clemson with Willy Korn, and Miami with Jacory Harris, there are quarterbacks in place that have had at least some success. What it all boils down to is likely to be more of the same, and unless Virginia Tech wins their opener in Atlanta against the Crimson Tide and adds another 10 along the way, we’re in for the same ACC jokes at the water cooler this season. - By Adam Gold

ACC PREVIEW

PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE KNACHEL

03


PHOTO COURTESY OF PEYTON WILLIAMS

INSIDE THE WOLFPACK

Stadium: Carter-Finley Stadium (55,571) Head Coach: Tom O’Brien (3rd yr) 2008: 6-7 (4-4 ACC),Tied #3 in Coastal Div Overall Coaching Record: 86-59 Last Bowl: 2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl, Lost to Rutgers 23-29 Returning Starters: 7 offense, 7 defense

NC STATE

PHOTO COURTESY OF ERIC WILSON

OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK Based on the results from last season, it would be easy to over-simplify. If All-ACC QB Russell Wilson is healthy, chances are good that NC State will win or at least put up a good fight. If Wilson is out with an injury (he missed all or part of four games), it’s a guaranteed loss. Yes, the drop-off in production was that dramatic once backups Daniel Evans or Harrison Beck entered the game. This season, Pack fans shouldn’t have to fear the worst if/when Wilson gets hurt, thanks to backup Mike Glennon. While the quarterback position will receive the most attention, NC State will have a strong running back tandem with Toney Baker and Jamelle Eugene. Owen Spencer could become a favorite target if he overcomes the dropsies. DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK LB Nate Irving suffered a broken leg and a collapsed lung after a car accident in late June. Along with DT Alan-Michael Cash, and DE Willie Young, Irving was supposed to be part of a defensive turnaround in Raleigh. The Wolfpack may be able to overcome his absence, but the program can’t shake the injury curse. BEST CASE Wilson completes every game. The Wolfpack won’t go undefeated, but they have a serious shot at the Atlantic crown. Winning in college football is not brain surgery: Strong QB play directly correlates to success. WORST CASE Wilson gets hurt and Glennon turns out to be another interception waiting to happen; There isn’t enough duct tape to keep the O-line together.

- By Joe Ovies

WOLFPACK 2009 SCHEDULE 09.03 South Carolina 09.12 Murray State 09.19 Gardner Webb

09.26 Pittsburgh 10.03 @ Wake Forest 10.10 Duke

10.17 @ Boston College 10.31 @ Florida State 11.07 Maryland

11.14 Clemson 11.21 @ Virginia Tech 11.28 North Carolina

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NORTH CAROLINA 06

PHOTOS COURTESY OF NORTH CAROLINA

INSIDE THE TAR HEELS

Stadium: Kenan Memorial Stadium (60,000) Head Coach: Butch Davis (3rd yr) 2008: 8-5 (4-4 ACC), Tied #3 in Coastal Div Overall Coaching Record: 63-33 Last Bowl: 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl, Lost to West Virginia 30-31 Returning Starters: 7 offense, 9 defense OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK Can T.J. Yates make it through the season healthy? After playing through a shoulder injury his freshman year and missing most of 2008 with a broken bone in his foot, Yates could break out this season. That’s important to a team that will be inexperienced outside. The Tar Heels lost their three best receivers (including first-round pick Hakeem Nicks) from last season, returning only junior Greg Little. Few teams in the ACC match North Carolina’s backfield depth. Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston, UNC’s primary ball carriers in 2008, return for their junior years, and redshirt freshman Jamal Womble may be the most talented back on the depth chart. With three offensive linemen returning, UNC has the foundation for a strong offense. DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK With nine starters returning, and All-ACC candidates at every level, defense will be UNC’s backbone. The D-Line, led by tackles Cam Thomas and Marvin Austin, returns in full force. LBs Bruce Carter and Quan Sturdivant were ball hawks on a defense that finished eighth nationally in interceptions in 2008, and they figure to build on that success as juniors. The key on defense will be whether UNC gets improved play at the corner opposite Kendric Burney, and if a capable replacement for Trimane Goddard emerges at strong safety. UNC’s defense must force turnovers to be successful, and that will be hard to do with a shaky secondary. BEST CASE Yates jells with the new receivers, and the defense plays 60 minutes per game instead of 55. The Tar Heels will challenge for the Coastal Division title. WORST CASE UNC struggles to develop a consistent running game which leaves the defense exhausted, and the Tar Heels hover around .500. - By Bomani Jones

TAR HEELS 2009 SCHEDULE 09.05 The Citadel 09.12 @ Connecticut 09.19 East Carolina

09.26 @ Georgia Tech 10.03 Virginia 10.10 Georgia Southern

10.22 Florida State 10.29 @ Virginia Tech 11.07 Duke

11.14 Miami 11.21 @ Boston College 11.28 @ NC State


DUKE

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DUKE

INSIDE THE BLUE DEVILS

Stadium: Wallace Wade Stadium (33,941) Head Coach: David Cutcliffe (2nd yr) 2008: 4-8 (1-7 ACC), #6 in Coastal Div Overall Coaching Record: 48-37 Last Bowl: 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl (now Outback Bowl), Lost to Wisconsin 20-34 Returning Starters: 5 offense, 5 defense OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK The fate of Duke’s offense hinges on the improvement of QB Thaddeus Lewis and of the continued improvement of an O-line that grew by leaps and bounds last season. Senior RB Re’Quan Boyette will return after missing 2008 with an injury, to provide support for Lewis, the second-team All-ACC quarterback last season. The Blue Devils will have to replace first-team All-ACC receiver Eron Riley. If the Blue Devil players can perform, one can comfortably assume that head coach David Cutcliffe, one of the top offensive minds in college football, will maximize their abilities. DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK Last season’s Blue Devil defense was better than expected, but it lost six starters to graduation. Mike Tauiliili and top pass rusher Greg Akinbiyi must be replaced. However, the team’s best professional prospect, Vince Oghobasse, returns to anchor the D-line. The thing to watch for this season is whether the defense has the depth to compete against ACC competition for four quarters. If Duke can get more from its reserves, it can improve on last season’s performance.

08

BEST CASE The Blue Devils, fueled by a confidence they didn’t possess during the Ted Roof era, are competitive in every game and move closer to their first bowl game since the 1994 season. WORST CASE Lewis goes down early with an injury, and last season’s improvement looks to be an aberration. Duke goes back to being the laughingstock of the conference. - By Bomani Jones

BLUE DEVILS 2009 SCHEDULE 09.05 Richmond 09.12 @ Army 09.19 @ Kansas

09.26 NC Central 10.03 Virginia Tech 10.10 @ NC State

10.24 Maryland 10.31 @ Virginia 11.07 @ North Carolina

11.14 Georgia Tech 11.21 @ Miami 11.28 Wake Forest


INSIDE THE DEMON DEACONS

Stadium: BB&T Field (31,500) Head Coach: Jim Grobe (9th yr) 2008: 8-5 (4-4 ACC), #3 in Atlantic Div Overall Coaching Record: 87-77-1 Last Bowl: 2008 Eagle Bank Bowl, Won over Navy 29-19 Returning Starters: 9 offense, 4 defense

OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK The good news for Wake Forest is that nine starters return on offense, including four-year starting QB Riley Skinner. The bad news is that those guys were part of an anemic unit that only produced 308 yards per game in 2008. Unlike previous seasons under head coach Jim Grobe, the Demon Deacons were subpar along the O-Line. Should the line open holes for junior Josh Adams and give Skinner time to throw downfield, the Deacs should certainly improve from last season’s showing.

WAKE FOREST

PHOTOS COURTESY OF WAKE FOREST

DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK The proof of Grobe’s success at Wake Forest is how much must be replaced on defense. The nation’s leading team in interceptions must replace top-five NFL Draft pick Aaron Curry, All-American DB Alphonso Smith, and five other starters. If the new Demon Deacon defense cannot produce turnovers like last year’s, Wake will struggle. Because of Grobe’s system of redshirting nearly every incoming freshman, experienced players will replace those departed. How good are those experienced players? Only time will tell. BEST CASE The new starters on defense pick up where guys like Curry and Smith left off, and Josh Adams looks more like he did as a freshman than as a sophomore. Skinner is able to lead the Deacs back to the ACC Championship. WORST CASE The Demon Deacons can’t force turnovers, forcing their low-risk offense to mount long drives and their defense to withstand them, and Wake is stuck in the middle of the pack in the ACC. - By Bomani Jones

DEMON DEACONS 2009 SCHEDULE 09.05 Baylor 09.12 Stanford 09.19 Elon

09.26 @ Boston College 10.03 NC State 10.10 Maryland

10.17 @ Clemson 10.24 @ Navy 10.31 Miami

11.07 @ Georgia Tech 11.14 Florida State 11.28 @ Duke

09


INSIDE THE HOKIES

Stadium: Lane Stadium (66,233) Head Coach: Frank Beamer (22nd yr) 2008: 10-4 (5-3 ACC), ACC Champions Overall Coaching Record: 219-112-4 Last Bowl: 2009 Orange Bowl, Won over Cincinnati 20-7 Returning Starters: 8 offense, 7 defense OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK As a freshman, Darren Evans rushed 1,265 yards for a school-record. In combination with redshirt freshman Ryan Williams, the Hokies should continue to pound the ball. However, it will be the growth of QB Tyrod Taylor that will ultimately determine whether or not Virginia Tech aspires for something bigger than just another ACC Championship. No splitting the snaps, No saving for next season. It’s Taylor’s job outright, but can he produce?

VIRGINIA TECH

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DAVE KNACHEL

DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK “Enter Sandman,” basketball coach Seth Greenberg lamenting the bursting of his NCAA bubble, and a tough-as-nails defense are sure things in Blacksburg. Remove Macho Harris and Orion Martin from your “guys I need to know” list, and replace them with DE Jason Worilds and S Kam Chancellor. BEST CASE The ACC hasn’t had a strong national contender since Florida State had QB Chris Weinke. Almost 10 years later, Virginia Tech is getting consideration as a dark horse. Naturally, the Hokies won’t do it with any sex appeal. It won’t matter to the reputation starved followers of the ACC: Just win baby. WORST CASE An Alabama debacle knocks the Hokies into a tailspin; Ask Clemson how it worked out kicking off the season in the Georgia Dome. - By Joe Ovies

HOKIES 2009 SCHEDULE 09.05 Alabama @ Atlanta, GA 09.12 Marshall 09.19 Nebraska

09.26 Miami 10.03 @ Duke 10.10 Boston College

10.17 @ Georgia Tech 10.29 North Carolina 11.05 @ East Carolina

11.14 @ Maryland 11.21 NC State 11.28 @ Virginia

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09.05 09.12 09.19 10.03 10.10 10.17

William & Mary TCU @ So. Mississippi @ North Carolina Indiana @ Maryland

10.24 10.31 11.07 11.14 11.21 11.28

Georgia Tech Duke @ Miami Boston College @ Clemson Virginia Tech

PHOTO COURTESY OF JIM DAVES

MARYLAND 09.05 09.12 09.19 09.26 10.03 10.10

@ California James Madison Middle Tennessee Rutgers Clemson @ Wake Forest

10.17 10.24 11.07 11.14 11.21 11.28

Virginia @ Duke @ NC State Virginia Tech @ Florida State Boston College

10.24 10.31 11.07 11.14 11.21 11.28

Clemson @ Wake Forest Virginia @ North Carolina Duke @ USF

PHOTO COURTESY OF GREG FIUME

ACC SCHEDULES

VIRGINIA

MIAMI 09.07 09.17 09.26 10.03 10.10 10.17

@ Florida State Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech Oklahoma Florida A&M @ UCF

PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI

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ACC SCHEDULES

BOSTON COLLEGE 09.05 09.12 09.19 09.26 10.03 10.10

Northeastern Kent State @ Clemson Wake Forest Florida State @ Virginia Tech

10.17 10.24 10.31 11.14 11.21 11.28

NC State @ Notre Dame Central Michigan @ Virginia North Carolina @ Maryland

PHOTO COURTESY OF BOSTON COLLEGE

FLORIDA STATE 09.07 09.12 09.19 09.26 10.03 10.10

Miami Jacksonville State @ BYU USF @ Boston College Georgia Tech

10.22 10.31 11.07 11.14 11.21 11.28

@ North Carolina NC State @ Clemson @ Wake Forest Maryland @ Florida

PHOTO COURTESY OF FLORIDA STATE SPORTS INFORMATION

CLEMSON 09.05 09.10 09.19 09.26 10.03 10.17

Middle Tennessee @ Georgia Tech Boston College TCU @ Maryland Wake Forest

10.24 10.31 11.07 11.14 11.21 11.28

@ Miami Coastal Carolina Florida State @ NC State Virginia @ South Carolina PHOTO COURTESY OF CLEMSON

GEORGIA TECH

16 09.05 09.10 09.17 09.26 10.03 10.10

Jacksonville State Clemson @ Miami North Carolina @ Mississippi State @ Florida State

10.17 10.24 10.31 11.07 11.14 11.28

Virginia Tech @ Virginia @ Vanderbilt Wake Forest @ Duke Georgia

PHOTO COURTESY OF GEORGIA TECH


Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder Sat. Oct. 17, 4 pm & 8 pm

Spencers: Theatre of Illusion Sun. Nov. 15, 4 pm

Dr. Etta (Family Specialist) Fri. Jan. 22, 8 pm

Blues Bash V: Soul Mates Featuring Eric Bibb and Ruthie Foster Fri. Feb. 26, 8 pm

Destino

Sat. Feb. 13, 8 pm

John Pizzarelli Fri. Mar. 26, 8 pm

Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Review Tickets and Information:

theclaytoncenter.com (919) 553-1737

Sat. Apr. 10, 8 pm

Season Tickets On Sale August 19. Individual Show Tickets On Sale August 27.


EAST CAROLINA

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ECU

INSIDE THE PIRATES

Stadium: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (43,000) Head Coach: Skip Holtz (5th yr) 2008: 9-5 (6-2 C-USA), C-USA Champions Overall Coaching Record: 63-45 Last Bowl: 2008 Liberty Bowl, Lost to Kentucky 19-25 Returning Starters: 8 offense, 8 defense OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK QB Patrick Pinkney was granted a sixth year of eligibility, which is a bonus for the Pirates, but bad news for Rob Kass. The former backup will look to change positions, a la Marcus Stone at NC State. Josh Jordan, a redshirt freshman with a big arm, will be on the depth chart as the go-to guy, should Pinkney get hurt. Injuries were an issue last season for East Carolina. With all the offensive talent returning in Greenville, the sky is the limit if everyone can stay healthy. The wide receivers are experienced and talented, and the running back position is deep. DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK Last season, the Pirates ranked among the nation’s top 30 in scoring defense (21.1 ppg), most passes intercepted (22), most turnovers gained (33), red zone efficiency defense, and first downs allowed (16.6 fdpg). Returning eight starters, East Carolina’s defense will continue to be strong. The only real weak spot is at LB. The Pirates have contenders for the position, but who will dominate?

20

BEST CASE A trip to a BCS bowl. Skip Holtz stays another year. WORST CASE The veteran defense naps again at the wrong time (hello, NC State); Team doesn’t learn to finish. - By Joe Ovies

PIRATES 2009 SCHEDULE 09.05 Appalachian State 09.12 @ West Virginia 09.19 @ North Carolina

09.26 UCF 10.03 @ Marshall 10.10 @ SMU

10.17 Rice 10.27 @ Memphis 11.05 Virginia Tech

11.15 @ Tulsa 11.21 UAB 11.28 Southern Miss


CIAA CONFERENCE 22

INSIDE THE CIAA

The Shaw Bears have taken over where NCCU left off, as the CIAA’s team to be reckoned with. The Bears closed out the season with a dominating 36-7 win over Elizabeth City State University in the conference title game, en route to their first ever back-to-back CIAA titles. While a 3-peat is on the horizon, it will be a steep hill to climb without DL Louis Ellis leading the charge. For the second year in a row, Ellis was named the CIAA Defensive Player of the Year, while leading the conference in tackles for loss. Ellis was also named The Pigskin Club of Washington James Guy Tyson 2009 CIAA Player of the Year, for the second straight season. Ellis was the main cog in a Bears defense that ranked first in the nation in Total Defense. Raymond Williams should allow Shaw’s campus to remain optimistic, as the RB/KR and All-CIAA 2nd teamer will be back this fall. One program looking for a fresh start is Johnson C. Smith University, who named Steven Aycock as the 20th Head Football Coach in Golden Bull history. JCSU hasn’t posted a winning record since 2006, when they advanced to the Pioneer Bowl with a 7-4 mark. Don’t be shocked if Elizabeth City State vies for its second straight trip to the finals. The Vikings will sorely miss CIAA Offensive Player of the Year, QB Curtis Rich, but CIAA Coach of the Year, Waverly Tillar, has weapons coming back. With Rich gone, Tillar must shore up a defense that ranked 8th in the conference and 64th nationally in Total Defense last season. ECSU has some promise to improve its defense, especially if the four freshmen who were named to the CIAA - By Mike Stangl All-Rookie Defensive Team can continue to improve.

CIAA 2009 SCHEDULE AUGUST 27

Albany State vs. Chowan University East Stroudsburg vs. Virginia Union

AUGUST 28

Lincoln vs. Cheyney

AUGUST 29

Johnson C. Smith vs. West Va. Tech Catawba vs. St. Augustine’s Elizabeth City vs. Shaw Virginia State vs. Livingstone UNC Pembroke vs. Fayetteville State Bowie State vs. Slippery Rock

SEPTEMBER 5

Shaw vs. Bethune-Cookman Shepherd vs. Bowie State New Haven vs. Lincoln Charleston vs. St. Augustine’s College Elizabeth City vs. Johnson C. Smith Catawba vs. Fayetteville State Chowan vs. Old Dominion Virginia State vs. Norfolk St.

SEPTEMBER 6

Virginia Union vs. Central St.

SEPTEMBER 12

OCTOBER 10

St. Augustine’s vs. Mars Hill Southern Va. vs. Lincoln Fayetteville State vs. Bowie State Virginia Union vs. Old Dominion Chowan University vs. Brevard Lincoln vs. Virginia State Johnson C. Smith vs. Edward Waters Tusculum vs. Elizabeth City

Virginia Union vs. Lincoln Bowie State vs. Elizabeth City Chowan vs. Livingstone Johnson C. Smith vs. St. Augustine’s St. Paul’s vs. Virginia State Shaw vs. Fayetteville State

Fayetteville State vs. St. Paul’s Livingstone vs. Bowie State Shaw vs. Lincoln Virginia State vs. St. Augustine’s Chowan vs. Elizabeth City Virginia Union vs. Johnson C. Smith

St. Paul’s vs. Bowie State Lincoln vs. Elizabeth City St. Augustine’s vs. Livingstone Fayetteville State vs. Johnson C. Smith Shaw vs. Chowan

SEPTEMBER 19

SEPTEMBER 26

Lincoln vs. Livingstone Chowan vs. Virginia Union Shaw vs. Bowie State Elizabeth City vs. St. Augustine’s Virginia State vs. Fayetteville State St. Paul’s vs. Johnson C. Smith

OCTOBER 3

St. Augustine’s vs. Shaw Virginia Union vs. St. Paul’s Elizabeth City vs. Virginia State Bowie State vs. Lincoln Livingstone vs. Johnson C. Smith Fayetteville State vs. Chowan

OCTOBER 15

Virginia Union vs. Virginia State

OCTOBER 17

OCTOBER 24

Livingstone vs. Shaw Elizabeth City vs. St. Paul’s Bowie State vs. Virginia Union Virginia State vs. Lincoln St. Augustine’s vs. Fayetteville State Johnson C. Smith vs. Chowan

OCTOBER 31

Johnson C. Smith vs. Shaw St. Augustine’s vs. Chowan Elizabeth City vs. Virginia Union Lincoln vs. St. Paul’s Fayetteville State vs. Livingstone Bowie State vs. Virginia State


2009 NFL WEEK 1

THURSDAY, SEPT. 10

Tennessee at Pittsburgh

8:30 pm

Miami at Atlanta Kansas City at Baltimore Philadelphia at Carolina Denver at Cincinnati Minnesota at Cleveland N.Y. Jets at Houston Jacksonville at Indianapolis Detroit at New Orleans Dallas at Tampa Bay San Francisco at Arizona Washington at N.Y. Giants St. Louis at Seattle Chicago at Green Bay

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

Buffalo at New England San Diego at Oakland

7:00 pm 10:15 pm

SUNDAY, SEPT. 13

MONDAY, SEPT. 14

WEEK 7

SUNDAY, OCT. 25

WEEK 3

SUNDAY, SEP. 27

Carolina at Atlanta Minnesota at Detroit Cincinnati at Green Bay Arizona at Jacksonville Oakland at Kansas City New England at N.Y. Jets New Orleans at Philadelphia Houston at Tennessee St. Louis at Washington Tampa Bay at Buffalo Seattle at San Francisco Pittsburgh at Chicago Cleveland at Denver Baltimore at San Diego N.Y. Giants at Dallas

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:05 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

Cleveland at Baltimore Pittsburgh at Cincinnati Washington at Detroit Jacksonville at Houston San Francisco at Minnesota Atlanta at New England Kansas City at Philadelphia Green Bay at St. Louis N.Y. Giants at Tampa Bay New Orleans at Buffalo Chicago at Seattle Tennessee at N.Y. Jets Denver at Oakland Miami at San Diego Indianapolis at Arizona

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:05 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

Indianapolis at Miami

8:30 pm

Carolina at Dallas

8:30 pm

MONDAY, SEPT. 21

WEEK 8

SUNDAY, NOV. 1

MONDAY, SEPT. 28

WEEK 9

SUNDAY, NOV. 8

Chicago at Cincinnati 1:00 pm Green Bay at Cleveland 1:00 pm San Francisco at Houston 1:00 pm San Diego at Kansas City 1:00 pm Minnesota at Pittsburgh 1:00 pm Indianapolis at St. Louis 1:00 pm New England vs. Tampa Bay (in London, England) 1:00 pm Buffalo at Carolina 4:05 pm N.Y. Jets at Oakland 4:05 pm Atlanta at Dallas 4:15 pm New Orleans at Miami 4:15 pm Arizona at N.Y. Giants, 8:20 pm

Denver at Baltimore 1:00 pm Houston at Buffalo 1:00 pm Cleveland at Chicago 1:00 pm Seattle at Dallas 1:00 pm St. Louis at Detroit 1:00 pm Minnesota at Green Bay 1:00 pm San Francisco at Indianapolis 1:00 pm Miami at N.Y. Jets 1:00 pm Oakland at San Diego 4:05 pm Jacksonville at Tennessee 4:05 pm Carolina at Arizona 4:15 pm N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia 4:15 pm

Washington at Atlanta Arizona at Chicago Baltimore at Cincinnati Houston at Indianapolis Kansas City at Jacksonville Miami at New England Green Bay at Tampa Bay Carolina at New Orleans Detroit at Seattle San Diego at N.Y. Giants Tennessee at San Francisco Dallas at Philadelphia

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:05 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

Philadelphia at Washington 8:30 pm

Atlanta at New Orleans

BYE: Cincinnati, Kansas City, New England, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

Pittsburgh at Denver

8:30 pm

MONDAY, OCT. 26

BYE: Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, Seattle, Tennessee

WEEK 13

THURSDAY, DEC. 3

MONDAY, NOV. 2

8:30 pm

WEEK 14

THURSDAY, DEC. 10

MONDAY, NOV. 9

BYE: Buffalo, Cleveland, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Oakland, St. Louis

WEEK 15

THURSDAY, DEC. 17

N.Y. Jets vs. Buffalo (Toronto) 8:20 pm

Pittsburgh at Cleveland

8:20 pm

Indianapolis at Jacksonville 8:20 pm

Philadelphia at Atlanta Tampa Bay at Carolina St. Louis at Chicago Detroit at Cincinnati Tennessee at Indianapolis Houston at Jacksonville Denver at Kansas City Oakland at Pittsburgh New Orleans at Washington San Diego at Cleveland Minnesota at Arizona Dallas at N.Y. Giants San Francisco at Seattle New England at Miami*

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

New Orleans at Atlanta Detroit at Baltimore Green Bay at Chicago Seattle at Houston Denver at Indianapolis Miami at Jacksonville Buffalo at Kansas City Cincinnati at Minnesota Carolina at New England N.Y. Jets at Tampa Bay St. Louis at Tennessee Washington at Oakland San Diego at Dallas Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants*

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

Dallas at New Orleans

8:20 pm

Baltimore at Green Bay

8:30 pm

Arizona at San Francisco

8:30 pm

Chicago at Baltimore New England at Buffalo Arizona at Detroit Cleveland at Kansas City Atlanta at N.Y. Jets San Francisco at Philadelphia Green Bay at Pittsburgh Houston at St. Louis Miami at Tennessee Oakland at Denver Cincinnati at San Diego Tampa Bay at Seattle Minnesota at Carolina*

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:05 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

N.Y. Giants at Washington

8:30 pm

SUNDAY, DEC. 6

MONDAY, DEC. 7

24

WEEK 2

SUNDAY, SEPT. 20

SUNDAY, DEC. 13

MONDAY, DEC. 14

SATURDAY, DEC. 19 SUNDAY, DEC. 20

MONDAY, DEC. 21


SCHEDULE WEEK 4

SUNDAY, OCT. 4

WEEK 5

SUNDAY, OCT. 11

WEEK 6

SUNDAY, OCT. 18

Detroit at Chicago Cincinnati at Cleveland Oakland at Houston Seattle at Indianapolis Tennessee at Jacksonville N.Y. Giants at Kansas City Baltimore at New England Tampa Bay at Washington Buffalo at Miami N.Y. Jets at New Orleans Dallas at Denver St. Louis at San Francisco San Diego at Pittsburgh

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:05 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

Cincinnati at Baltimore Cleveland at Buffalo Washington at Carolina Pittsburgh at Detroit Dallas at Kansas City Oakland at N.Y. Giants Tampa Bay at Philadelphia Minnesota at St. Louis Atlanta at San Francisco Houston at Arizona New England at Denver Jacksonville at Seattle Indianapolis at Tennessee

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

Houston at Cincinnati Detroit at Green Bay St. Louis at Jacksonville Baltimore at Minnesota N.Y. Giants at New Orleans Cleveland at Pittsburgh Carolina at Tampa Bay Kansas City at Washington Philadelphia at Oakland Arizona at Seattle Tennessee at New England Buffalo at N.Y. Jets Chicago at Atlanta

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:05 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

Green Bay at Minnesota

8:30 pm

N.Y. Jets at Miami

8:30 pm

Denver at San Diego

8:30 pm

MONDAY, OCT. 5

BYE: Arizona, Atlanta, Carolina, Philadelphia

WEEK 10

THURSDAY, NOV. 12

Chicago at San Francisco

8:20 pm

SUNDAY, NOV. 15

Atlanta at Carolina 1:00 pm Tampa Bay at Miami 1:00 pm Detroit at Minnesota 1:00 pm Jacksonville at N.Y. Jets 1:00 pm Cincinnati at Pittsburgh 1:00 pm New Orleans at St. Louis 1:00 pm Buffalo at Tennessee 1:00 pm Denver at Washington 1:00 pm Kansas City at Oakland 4:05 pm Seattle at Arizona 4:15 pm Dallas at Green Bay 4:15 pm Philadelphia at San Diego 4:15 pm New England at Indianapolis 8:20 pm MONDAY, NOV. 16

Baltimore at Cleveland BYE: Houston, N.Y Giants

8:30 pm

WEEK 16 FRIDAY, DEC. 25

San Diego at Tennessee, 7:30 pm

MONDAY, OCT. 12

BYE: Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Diego

WEEK 11

THURSDAY, NOV. 19

Miami at Carolina

8:20 pm

Indianapolis at Baltimore Washington at Dallas Cleveland at Detroit San Francisco at Green Bay Buffalo at Jacksonville Pittsburgh at Kansas City Seattle at Minnesota Atlanta at N.Y. Giants New Orleans at Tampa Bay Arizona at St. Louis San Diego at Denver N.Y. Jets at New England Cincinnati at Oakland Philadelphia at Chicago*

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

Tennessee at Houston

8:30 pm

SUNDAY, NOV. 22

MONDAY, NOV. 23

WEEK 17 SUNDAY, JAN. 3

Buffalo at Atlanta 1:00 pm Kansas City at Cincinnati 1:00 pm Oakland at Cleveland 1:00 pm Seattle at Green Bay 1:00 pm Houston at Miami 1:00 pm Carolina at N.Y. Giants 1:00 pm Jacksonville at New England 1:00 pm Tampa Bay at New Orleans 1:00 pm Denver at Philadelphia 1:00 pm Baltimore at Pittsburgh 1:00 pm St. Louis at Arizona 4:05 pm Detroit at San Francisco 4:05 pm N.Y. Jets at Indianapolis 4:15 pm Dallas at Washington* 8:20 pm

Indianapolis at Buffalo New Orleans at Carolina Jacksonville at Cleveland Philadelphia at Dallas Chicago at Detroit New England at Houston Pittsburgh at Miami N.Y. Giants at Minnesota Cincinnati at N.Y. Jets San Francisco at St. Louis Atlanta at Tampa Bay Green Bay at Arizona Kansas City at Denver Baltimore at Oakland Washington at San Diego Tennessee at Seattle

Minnesota at Chicago

* Note: Sunday night games in Weeks 11-17 subject to change.

SUNDAY, DEC. 27

MONDAY, DEC. 28

8:30 pm

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm 4:15 pm

MONDAY, OCT. 19

BYE: Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, San Francisco

WEEK 12

THURSDAY, NOV. 26

Green Bay at Detroit Oakland at Dallas N.Y. Giants at Denver

12:30 pm 4:15 pm 8:20 pm

Tampa Bay at Atlanta Miami at Buffalo Cleveland at Cincinnati Indianapolis at Houston Chicago at Minnesota Carolina at N.Y. Jets Washington at Philadelphia Seattle at St. Louis Arizona at Tennessee Kansas City at San Diego Jacksonville at San Francisco Pittsburgh at Baltimore*

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:05 pm 4:05 pm 8:20 pm

SUNDAY, NOV. 29

MONDAY, NOV. 30

New England at New Orleans 8:30 pm

POSTSEASON WILD CARD WEEKEND

Sat-Sun, January 9-10, 2010

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

Sat-Sun, January 16-17, 2010 CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Sunday, January 24, 2010 AFC-NFC PRO BOWL

Sunday, January 31, 2010 (Miami, FL)

SUPER BOWL XLIII

Sunday, February 7, 2010 (Miami, FL)

25


PANTHERS

INSIDE THE PANTHERS Stadium: Bank of America Stadium (73,298) Head Coach: John Fox (8th yr) Overall Coaching Record: 63-49 2008: 12-4 (1st in NFC South), Lost to Arizona Cardinals 33-13 in Divisional Playoffs PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CAROLINA PANTHERS

OFFENSIVE OUTLOOK Panthers fans will have 42.5 million reasons to either love or loathe QB Jake Delhomme this season, after Carolina extended his contract with a new 5-year deal. Yes, that’s the same Delhomme that threw five interceptions in the 33-13 playoff loss to the Cardinals, his worst career start in the pros. The good news for Jake is that he has one of the best backfield tandems in the league with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Williams is coming off of a 1,515 yard season, which is the first for Carolina since Stephen Davis in 2003, including 18 touchdowns. Combine that with Stewart’s 836 yards and 10 touchdowns in his rookie campaign, and the Panthers boast a heck of a one-two punch. Thankfully for John Fox, all of the starters from last season’s O-line remain intact, so expect more of the same from, “Smash-and-Dash.” The receiving corps is led by Steve Smith, who had his best year since 2005 with 1,421 receiving yards. Muhsin Muhammad was a pleasant surprise racking up 923 receiving yards. If only Dwayne Jarrett can get it together. DEFENSIVE OUTLOOK A lot weighed upon Julius Peppers’ decision to play again in Charlotte. The four-time Pro Bowl DE turned a 180 on Marty Hurney and company, as he ended his holdout and free agent hopes, and signed the $16.7 million tender under the team’s franchise tag. Whether new DC Ron Meeks and new D-line coach Brian Baker made a difference is unknown, but Pep wanted to be positioned to reach his “full potential.” Jon Beason will continue to anchor the LBs. He followed up his brilliant 140 tackle rookie year with 138 tackles, 3 INTs and a Pro Bowl selection. Gone however, is DB Ken Lucas, the same player who suffered a broken nose after Steve Smith punched him in training camp. Coaches feel that Richard Marshall is more than up to task to take his spot. BEST CASE Fox’s running game is as effective as ever, allowing Delhomme’s passing attack to be a supplement rather than a staple of the offense. Peppers plays motivated, and helps bring along rookie DE Everette Brown, while the team works their way into the playoffs at 10-6.

26

WORST CASE The Panthers didn’t receive any scheduling favors from the league: Terrell Owens and the Buffalo Bills are the lone team Carolina will face that posted a losing record last season. Delhomme doesn’t help his cause out of the gate, and the fans in Bank of America Stadium boo him and the Panthers all the way to a record around .500. - By Mike Stangl

PANTHERS 2009 SCHEDULE 09.13 09.20 09.28 10.11

Philadelphia @ Atlanta @ Dallas Washington

10.18 10.25 11.01 11.08

@ Tampa Bay Buffalo @ Arizona @ New Orleans

11.15 11.19 11.29 12.06

Atlanta Miami @ New York Jets Tampa Bay

12.13 12.20 12.27 01.03

@ New England Minnesota @ New York Giants New Orleans


INSIDE THE NFL 28

2009 NFL Well, at least the Brett Favre drama won’t drag on all summer. Favre informed the Minnesota Vikings in late July that he would not be coming back this season after all – something about not being sure his tired body would hold up over a 16-game season. However, this is Brett Favre we’re talking about, right? I’ll believe he’s not coming back when the season ends and he’s still on his tractor back home in Mississippi. As for the Vikings, I hope head coach Brad Childress has a good time repairing the damage left by Hurricane Favre. How do you return to quarterbacks Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson after an entire summer of watching Brett Favre play catch with his high school buddies? Is it fair to question whether Tom Brady is completely healthy? Sure, he feels great, but the Patriots still have the same slow, aging O-Line and desperately need a healthy season from Laurence Maroney to take some pressure off. Now that Terrell Owens has found a place to live, can he co-exist in the Buffalo Bills’ locker room as the second wide receiver option? Will T.O. still be a good teammate when he’s catching three or four passes per game, while Lee Evans is the #1 target of Trent Edwards? While we’re in the AFC East, will someone please explain something to new Jets’ coach Rex Ryan? Until you win something, ANYTHING, you can’t talk smack about three-time Super Bowl champ Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots. It’s particularly stupid when you coach for a franchise that has won exactly one significant game in its history. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is probably more anxious for the 2009 season to start than anyone connected with the sport. Only then will Goodell be able to focus on the game, hijacking a Super Bowl for London, or trying to shoehorn two more games into the regular season schedule. Until then, he’ll have to concern himself with the league’s pending labor gloom and doom, which could result in a 2010 season with no salary cap and a 2011 season with no football, and how to deal with Donte Stallworth, Plaxico Burress and Michael Vick. Stallworth’s drunken driving episode that took the life of a Miami pedestrian has already landed him an indefinite suspension from the league and there is speculation that it could last the entire season. It’s hard to imagine Burress escaping the wrath of the commissioner as well, considering that he carried an unlicensed, loaded handgun into a New York City nightclub. He’s going to do time in jail. That’s a fact. Will Goodell allow him to play just because Plax’s lawyer has delayed the wheels of justice? It’s doubtful. The Michael Vick situation is easier for the commissioner. Vick served his time. Now let the individual teams decide whether they want to risk the public relations nightmare that will undoubtedly come with signing someone who thought it was a good idea to kill the family pet. Finally, we’ll have a case study in how to get a quarterback ready for the NFL. Matthew Stafford was the #1 pick in the draft, but is targeted to watch Daunte Culpepper for the first year. That worked in the case of Carson Palmer, who sat behind future Lions QB Jon Kitna for a year. But one can’t help but think that Culpepper will be so bad that Stafford could be playing by mid-season. In New York, Mark Sanchez hasn’t been named the starter – yet. But, he signed his contract in near-record time, and you don’t trade away as many live bodies and draft picks for a quarterback to not give him the ball. Good luck, Mark. Remember, they’re still the Jets. - By Adam Gold


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