"Aaron's having a heck of an offseason," Haslett said. "He's had a positive impact on our offensive players so far. He seems ready to take a big step forward."
The Saints have changed offensive coordinators, with Mike McCarthy now in San Francisco and Mike Sheppard being promoted from quarterbacks coach. The team also changed the offensive terminology, cutting down on the verbiage. Haslett said this should make it easier for the offense to get in and out of the huddle.
Brooks threw for 3,810 yards last season, with 21 touchdown passes. But the completion percentage of 57 percent isn't good enough, and he threw 16 interceptions. His passer rating was 79.5, which is way too low.
If the Saints can carry over their 2004 finish, they have a chance to be a playoff team and a division winner. But Brooks has to get his completion percentage up to 60 percent and his passer rating into the 90s.
Byron Leftwich, Jaguars
The joke around the Jaguars is that Leftwich played with one arm tied behind his back in 2004 since the offense rarely took shots down the field.
Leftwich simply laughs it off, but it was clear neither he nor his receivers were too happy about the offensive system last season, one that featured far more short throws than down-the-field attempts.
That displeasure helped facilitate a change at offensive coordinator, with Bill Musgrave out and Carl Smith coming aboard. Smith, who was a coordinator for the Saints under Jim Mora, comes from the college ranks, where he was quarterbacks coach at Southern California.
Smith has vowed to get the ball down the field, and the players, including Leftwich, have been raving about the new system.
"Love it, man," Leftwich said. "I love it."
Now it's time for Leftwich to take advantage. In his two years with the team, he has shown the ability to make the deep throws when given the chance. He had 40 completions of 20 yards or longer in 2004, but just seven of 40 yards or more. That has to be better, and it will be with the chances to do so.
Leftwich is a pure pocket passer, which means he needs time. The Jaguars line struggled to protect him at times last season and he took too many shots. He missed two starts because of injuries and didn't play as well when he returned as he did early in the year.
The ability is definitely there. Leftwich also had a knack for the late-game drive last season, dramatically pulling out victories with some impressive last-minute stuff. He completed 60.5 percent of his passes and threw 15 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. That ratio has to get better, and word is the Jaguars want it at 3-1, which would be a heck of a jump.
The coaching staff is convinced quarterbacks make huge leaps between their second and third seasons as a starter. If that happens for Leftwich, the Jaguars can be a Super contender.
The Bills are relying on a player who has thrown five NFL passes as their starting quarterback. For a team that has playoff-caliber talent -- just missing the postseason in 2004 -- that's a risky proposition.
But the Bills have two things going for them: They believe in this kid, and they watched what Ben Roethlisberger did for the Steelers last year.
The Bills thought enough of Losman to trade away their first-round pick this year to get the Cowboys' first-round pick in 2004 to take Losman, even though Drew Bledsoe was their quarterback.
Buffalo decided to release Bledsoe earlier this year because they believed Losman was ready to take over. The Bills ranked 27th in passing yardage last year, which isn't good enough.
Buffalo coaches think Losman is ready, which is why they don't consider this a risk. And so far there has been nothing but praise coming out of Buffalo from players and coaches. Losman has been working hard with quarterbacks coach Sam Wyche the entire offseason, his appetite for success said to be insatiable.
He also seems to have the swagger quarterbacks need. Remember, he told anyone and everyone he was the best quarterback in the 2004 draft in the months leading up to it. With Roethlisberger and Eli Manning having success as rookies, he has some catching up to do.
"They call me cocky and I've been criticized for it my whole life," Losman told the Buffalo media earlier this year. "But I'm just a confident kid who prepares extremely hard and extremely well. When it comes to football, I know exactly what I want to do. I guess that's why I maybe come across a little too confident at times."
If he's as good as he thinks, Buffalo will love this kid. If not, the ghost of Rob Johnson might be what they talk about.