The hardest thing to figure about the 2004 season is the impact of the NFL's desire to enforce contact or interference penalties after five yards.
It will be interesting to see how they call things.
Illegal contact after five yards is a minor penalty compared to pass interference further down the field after the ball is released.
And I'm sure the officials will be looking for every opporunity to enforce the rules during the pre-season and early in the regular season.
Will they stick to it?
Some groups are simply more leniant than others, so it's hard to say how things will play out.
Originally Posted by LeonDixson
Poor Mario Edwards. He won't even be able to look at a WR based on how the refs singled him out last year.
I'm thinking that Hunter may do all right since he has the size to bump the WR in the first five yards and has the speed to keep up with them beyond five yards.
Rio should be a lot safer in Tampa's cover two than he would be in Dallas' man schemes.
Edwards would be an even bigger target if he were still with the Cowboys.
Pete Hunter has the size and speed, he also appears to be a more physical player than Edwards was, IMO.
The only question with Hunter is can he handle the mental side of the game?
Can Pete use proper technique in coverage and take good angles to the ball carrier?
Hunter's already shown mental toughness by successfully playing through a broken arm last year that contributed to him giving up several big plays.
That's a comforting thought, playing across form Terence Newman, Hunter will give up his share of plays.
I expect he'll make more plays in return than Edwards ever did, Rio simply doesn't have a nose for the ball.
That should help make the defense, and the team in turn, better this year.