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7 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ...

Jeff Sciortino

1. OUR E.R. SEASON IS OVER.
"Last year the training room embodied Murphy's Law—our offensive line alone was a disaster. Orlando Pace went down, then Mark Setterstrom, Adam Goldberg and me. Then Marc Bulger started getting buried. Every Monday, he looked like he'd been in a car wreck. Those injuries made us conservative, but coach Al Saunders, our offensive coordinator, has a big package of plays, and this year we're going to run them all. Now that our line is healthy, we can give Marc time to go deep. It's going to be fun."

2. OUR ATKINS SEASON IS STARTING.
"We're all watching our weight, trying to get into shape. Dustin Fry used to be able to put away the most, but now he's on a serious diet. Brett Romberg can eat salad the fastest. He loads up on lettuce at every meal, and you turn around and it's gone. He shovels it down. Crazy."

3. OUR FOOT SOLDIERS GOT BETTER...
"Our new kicker, Josh Brown, killed us when he was on Seattle. When I found out we'd signed him, I was so excited. People don't realize the importance of kickers, but he's going to make a huge difference for us."

4. ... BUT COULDN'T GET STRANGER.
"For reasons unclear, fantasy NASCAR is huge among our kickers. They pick drivers every week and have a points system. I don't know how it works, but they always bicker over who has who. And they keep trying to get other guys to join them. Setterstrom finally broke down recently."

5. TRY GETTING PAST WILL WITHERSPOON. SERIOUSLY, TRY.
"Spoon is slippery and fast and hits hard for someone that quick. With him, we have the speediest linebacker crew I've seen. And now that our defensive line is stronger, our linebackers will be able to make more plays. Our defense took a lot of flack last year, but the truth is, they kept us in games. Our offense killed us. We couldn't score enough to win."

6. NO MORE HOOPS FOR US.
"We love basketball, but last year Adam Carriker rolled his ankle. After that, they forbade us from playing five-on-five, which is a shame. We'd be going at it all the time if we could."

7. WE END THE SEASON OUR WAY. "Three of our last four games are against division rivals. It's a great way to pick up ground and battle to the finish. If we stay healthy, a playoff spot is ours for the taking."