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Diner morning news: Teams that need a boost

To make a run, these 14 clubs must look to improve. Michael Lombardi

Print This October 15, 2009, 10:29 AM EST

QUOTE: “Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.” -- Orison Swett Marden

I always talk about teams making 10 player moves -- some big, some small -- from the time camp starts and into the season to improve and get them over the top. Now, as we get closer to the trading deadline, we’ve focused on what players might be traded -- but what do teams that have a chance to make a legitimate run have to do?

Four clubs -- the Giants, Vikings, Saints and Colts -- look like complete teams, and their success will be tied to staying healthy and having their best players continue to play their best. So there’s not much they can do right now to improve their chances. But there are several other teams that need to try and do something to separate themselves from the pack. If your favorite team isn’t listed below, then it’s my belief they’re playing for next year, no matter what trade they make.

Here’s a breakdown:

Atlanta: The Falcons need a ton of help on defense, especially on the defensive line, but I doubt they can swing a deal. They loved Glenn Dorsey of the Chiefs when he came out of LSU, and some in the organization even preferred him over their own quarterback, Matt Ryan. Even if they still love Dorsey, it would be hard to think a trade could be worked out. Dorsey was a high pick, and I can’t imagine the Chiefs parting with him for less than a first-rounder. I also can’t imagine anyone paying that high a price.

Arizona: With the change of emphasis from running to passing, the Cards might not need anything to improve besides their protection for Kurt Warner. They could use a better left tackle, but where do you find those in October?

Chicago: Forget Terrell Owens of the Bills. The Bears need another corner who can play man-to-man defense. This too is very hard to find at this time of the year, but it’s worth a call to Houston to see if Dunta Robinson is available. I highly doubt it, but you never know. Tampa might part with Ronde Barber, but does he solve Chicago’s problem?

Cincinnati: When do the Bengals ever trade? They could use a tight end, but there are few available. Normally, they just play the hand they’re dealt, good or bad, and this year I expect nothing to change.

Dallas: The Cowboys also need to find a corner, but I doubt they’ll be very active in the next five days.

Denver: The Broncos don’t need anything on offense that they don’t already have. At some point they might have to replace guard Ben Hamilton if he continues to play as he did Sunday against the Vince Wilfork of the Patriots. They could always use another defensive lineman, but those are hard to find this time of year. Doubt they can make a trade.

Green Bay: The Packers need to get in line to find help on the offensive line with the other teams looking for the same. They could use another rusher, but who’s going to trade one of those? They’re the only team with the cap room to even discuss Julius Peppers with the Panthers.

Miami: The Dolphins need to find another wide receiver, but I doubt they’d have interest in Terrell Owens. Roscoe Parrish would help, but the Bills aren’t going to help their rivals.

New England: The Pats could use a running back and have the assets to call St. Louis and check on Steven Jackson. But I doubt this happens, more because the Rams are unwilling to make a move.

New York Jets: They already solved their big need at wide receiver. Get ready, Browns fans. What Braylon Edwards displayed Monday night is going to happen the rest of the year. He knows the system, as we predicted here at the Post, and he made an immediate impact. All for basically a third round pick.

Philadelphia: Could use more rush and a middle linebacker who can be a thumper. Kirk Morrison of the Raiders makes sense, but I doubt anyone can make a deal with the Hotel. Interestingly, Morrison was the second linebacker picked from San Diego State in the 2005 draft. The first was Matt McCoy by the Eagles, who have since waived him.

Pittsburgh: The Steelers have wide receiver Limas Sweed to dangle, but I doubt he can bring anything of value if traded. Aaron Smith’s injury is a concern for their defensive line because he’s one of the best run stuffers in the league.

San Diego: The Chargers need help on defense, especially a pass rusher. Not many of those available, but they have Shawne Merriman, who, when healthy, can do the job.

San Francisco: The 49ers need to get Michael Crabtree ready to go; maybe he can give the offense a boost. I doubt they’ll be active on the trade front.

Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi

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