Player you’ll be buzzing about: RB Jay Ajayi — this is the easy choice, but Ajayi could wind up being the best Day 3 pick in this year’s rookie class, if his knee is healthy.
What to watch: The obvious name here is Ndamukong Suh. The man has the richest contract for any defensive player in the league and he’ll need to have an immediate impact. Of course, that’s virtually guaranteed, so watching as the Dolphins run competitions at running back, linebacker and defensive tackle should be more interesting in the end.
Most important position battle: Cornerback — Many will tell you cornerback is the most important defensive position, and the Dolphins need to determine a starter outside and inside. Brent Grimes is locked in, but after him there’s Jamar Taylor, Brice McCain, Will Davis and Zack Bowman all vying for playing time and starting spots.
This is Bell: He says he can, and so he does. With that boundless confidence, Bell has catalyzed the Steelers’ run of nine straight wins heading into the AFC title game Sunday in New England. This transformative season serves as a bold example of how to run the ball effectively — not to mention the textbook entry for how to rehabilitate a career.
Just six months ago, Bell’s recovery from two torn ligaments in his right knee and NFL substance abuse violations in back-to-back years had cast a pall over his future with the team, at least publicly. Media branded him a case study for how to blow impending free agency with off-field problems.
Now, 2,224 yards later, Bell’s status as a franchise cornerstone has no skepticism attached. “No question about it,” Steelers guard David DeCastro says. “He’s an awesome success story.”