American Way: Which are the most explosive NFL players this season?
Jim Rome: Rams' running back Marshall Faulk is a straight-up stud. But without question, Vikings' receiver Randy Moss is still the most explosive player. In a league of athletic freaks, he's the freakiest guy - the most spectacular player. On defense, Ravens' linebacker Ray Lewis is just plain scary. He's sideline to sideline, an absolute terror on the field.
AW: What are the stories you'll be watching when football season kicks off?
JR: I just think there are so many compelling players - like rags-to-riches story Kurt Warner, a good guy you can rally around - as well as issues all across the board. I want to see if there's going to be somebody who does a Eugene Robinson on the biggest stage leading up to the biggest game of their lives. I want to see if any players are going to commit murder or get into a hot tub and have sex with their babysitter. So I look forward to everything on and off the field.
AW: On the field, who's got game in the NFC?
JR: I love Tampa Bay. They've got a monster defense. On offense, they got the trigger guy they needed, quarterback Brad Johnson, and a pretty good running attack. I would go out on the limb and say the only thing stopping them is expectation and injury. The Rams can compete, as long as Warner stays healthy and Faulk is dominating. They reloaded on defense. They're got a very hungry, proud team, and they want back the championship.
AW: And in the AFC?
JR: I like Baltimore and until somebody takes away their championship, they're still the team to beat. I love their defense, and they proved that you don't need a John Elway playing quarterback to win.