As most NFL teams go through their final OTAs and minicamps this week, they will certainly focus on their main positions of weakness in order to figure what to do before training camps begin next month.
There are 28 teams working out this week, 24 in minicamps that are mandatory for veterans to attend and four in voluntary OTAs (Organized Team Activities). After this week, teams will not practice until training camps begin during the third week of July.
Meantime, teams can figure how they might best address those positions that are of most concern. According to a survey of Sports Xchange correspondents covering each team, the most popular positions of weakness across the league are defensive back, a worry for 10 teams, and the offensive line, which is a key problem for eight teams.
And then there is the big D in Dallas, where the inability to stop offenses is so complete that the whole defense is worrisome.
Here is a closer look at the weakest positions for each NFL team as analyzed by correspondents for The Sports Xchange:
--INSIDE LINEBACKER: Losing Karlos Dansby in free agency was hard enough. Now the Cardinals are without Daryl Washington for the whole season on suspension. Those two inside linebackers never came off the field a year ago and head coach Bruce Arians said they "led the National Football League in the linebacker coming free last year," referring to the number of times they went unblocked on a play.
Although Arians attributed that to the coaching of Todd Bowles, somebody still needs to make the strategy work. Dansby had 135 tackles, four interceptions and 6.5 sacks and Washington added 81 tackles in 12 games, three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. That's a lot of production.
Kevin Minter, one replacement, played one defensive snap a year ago as a rookie. Larry Foote, signed after being released by the Pittsburgh Steelers, is smart but it's fair to wonder how much game he has left.
--OFFENSIVE LINE: The Falcons have a revamped offensive line and hope it will improve on last year's horrid performance -- 44 sacks allowed and only 77.9 yards rushing per game, worst in the league.
The new line features 2014 first-round draftee Jake Matthews at right tackle along with free-agent signee Jon Asamoah at right guard, Sam Baker back from knee surgery at left tackle and Justin Blaylock at left guard. At center there is a battle between Joe Hawley and Peter Konz.
Matthews has impressed quarterback Matt Ryan, who said, "When you watch him, when he knows what he's doing, he's incredibly athletic."
--OFFENSIVE TACKLE: Right offensive tackle is an unproven spot where 2013 fifth-round draft pick Rick Wagner is currently the starter. He is competing with Ryan Jensen for the starting job.
Wagner struggled in limited action last season and allowed three sacks to Denver Broncos outside linebacker Shaun Phillips in his first NFL game. If Wagner proves he's capable of holding down the position, the Ravens won't have to seek a veteran blocker to upgrade the position or shift Kelechi Osemele from left guard.
--QUARTERBACK: Buffalo used the 16th pick of the first round in the 2013 draft to select EJ Manuel, and they made him the starter at the beginning of training camp. Once veteran Kevin Kolb was lost for the year due to a concussion, there was never a doubt who the starting quarterback would be on opening day.
But Manuel couldn't stay healthy and he played only 10 games due to separate knee injuries. So nobody is sure whether he is truly the Bills' quarterback of the future. And if he gets hurt again, the Bills have one of the worst backup situations in the league -- journeyman Thad Lewis, who won two starts last season, is No. 2, and undrafted second-year man Jeff Tuel is battling another journeyman, Dennis Dixon, for third string.
--WIDE RECEIVER: Although there are issues on the offensive line and defensive backfield, despite quarterback Cam Newton' optimistic pronouncements, the Panthers do not have a proven No. 1 or No. 2 receiver.
First-round pick Kelvin Benjamin clearly has the most talent, but he will likely have growing pains throughout his rookie season. Veterans Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood provide a solid presence, but it is hard to see them as more than a trio of No. 3 receivers. More names include Tavarres King, Marvin McNutt and Brenton Bersin, but no one knows if any will emerge as legit options.
--SAFETY: The Bears are hurting at both safety spots. Former Giant Ryan Mundy has been steady enough that coaches are keeping him on the field the longest. The team is playing a regular rotation of safeties with the first team now and last week gave rookie Brock Vereen a chance with the first unit. The fourth-round pick from Minnesota is lining up at free safety, while Mundy was at strong safety.
With Chris Conte (shoulder) and Craig Steltz (torn pectoral tendon) still recovering after surgeries and unable to practice, Mundy, Vereen and M.D. Jennings get the first-team reps.