Isabella Marie Swan, a brunette girl who sees herself as simple, ordinary, plain, outcast and different, moves out from her mother’s roof in the sunny Phoenix to Forks, Washington which she hates because of its climate and bitter memories of her parent’s separation. Here she stays with her father, Charlie Swan, the town’s chief police, whom she is not really closed to. this move was to give her mother Renee more time and freedom to spend with her new husband.
At the first day of school, instead of being outcast and hated as she expected, she was fondly received by everybody. The male hormones lined up for this beautiful new girl in school and even girls wanted to be friends with her. well, everybody except this tight ensemble of cool-to-be-true Cullen siblings who sat at the coolest table in the cafeteria whom Bella describes as perfect-looking models waiting for their photo shoot. Their skin, their eyes, their mystery – they who look so similar yet so different. They pair themselves – Rosalie and Emmette, Alice and Jasper – and then the devastatingly and inhumanly beautiful bronzed-hair Edward.
Incidentally, they sat as partners in their biology class. at their first class together, Bella was offended by Edward’s apparent avoidance at her as if she smelled different that he has to sit very far from her and his chair angled against her. and she overheard him convincing the teacher to change his Biology class schedule. this brought a new wave of insecurity to the already-insecure Bella.
Days passed, Bella noticed Edward being absent and wondered if it was because of her but dismissed it immediately by assuming she is no one important to him in any ways. upon his return, Edward made amends to the new girl for being unfriendly. through days of altering friendliness and smugness from Edward, Bella felt a pulling force toward him that he is different. nobody can’t be that gorgeous like him, she says. his hair’s casual disarray, his perfect crooked smile, his sculptured nose – just too beautiful for a human. his chalky-white skin, his eyes that change colors from golden honey to pitch black, his cold-as-ice hands – just too mysterious to be a human. She started dreaming of him every night.
Every curiosity in Bella’s mind was triggered when one rainy school morning; Edward did something out of the ordinary. Due to the slippery road brought by the heavy rain, a van lost control and was about to smash Bella to death when far from a distance, Edward came to her side and rescued her. She swore she saw Edward pull the van away from her single handedly. but he insisted otherwise.
She eventually found out from a family friend, Jacob Black, about the treaty in their land involving legends of vampires and protectors and gave her self conclusion that Edward is a vampire.
During a girls’ night-out, Bella got lost in the strange town of Port Angeles and was again almost close to her death because of this group of serial killers chasing her. between fear and thoughts of self-defense, Edward’s silver Volvo screeched tires to rescue again. In spite of knowing he is a vampire, Bella mysteriously trusts him and feels safe with him. She gets in the Volvo finding the furious Edward staring at her would-be attackers. then when Edward was calmed by Bella, they went to a restaurant where they spilled out all the beans. He told her though that his family don’t feed on human blood only on wildlife – vegetarian vampires, he jokes. He also can hear people’s thoughts except Bella’s; a mystery to both of them. Edward himself feels that his secrets are safe with Bella.
Since then, they have been inseparable. Edward picks her everyday from her home and off to school together they go. They spend the lunch together, sits close during Biology class, he watches her sleep to guard her, she meets his family, they spend the unforgettable time in the meadows where he shows how his skin glistens like diamonds when sun reflects on it; she loved him even more – a set of motions settled in place where none of Bella’s other admirers can not insert. Edward told her why he acted the way he acted during her first day in school – her blood smelled TOO sweet for him to resist. and when he heard her speak his name in sleep, he was fighting over ethics, moral and nature on how he felt – he loved her ever since.
The conflict starts when a trio of nomad vampires arrived in the peaceful town of Forks – James, Laurent and Victoria. James wanted Bella’s blood and the Cullen family would stop at nothing to keep the beloved human of their son and brother. but because of James’ trap, Bella was bitten by James and both releasing venom into her body and leaking great amount of blood from her. Edward saves her life again in time and together with Emmette and Jasper, killed the lethal vampire James. Edward sucked out the venom from Bella’s system just in time not to spread enough to make her a vampire.
Then after the turmoil, they were safe again at Forks. They went to their prom. Since then, Bella had made clear to Edward her desire to become a vampire. They went outside their prom dance floor, and out in the darkness, Edward reached for her throat while Bella anticipated for a life with her beautiful vampire – forever.
The top of NFL analyst Peter King’s list of the NFL’s top 50 free agents looks about as expected, with Peyton Manning, Mario Williams, Cortland Finnegan and Carl Nicks occupying the first four spots.
But Dallas fans will have to wade far down the list to find a player from their favorite team, with WR Laurent Robinson checking in as the Cowboys’ first addition at No. 39.
Robinson, 26, is ranked as the seventh-best receiver in the free agent class by King, behind Vincent Jackson (No. 7), Brandon Lloyd (No. 16), Pierre Garcon (No. 23), Marques Colston (No. 27), Reggie Wayne (No. 29) and Mario Manningham (No. 33). two other receivers — San Francisco’s Josh Morgan (No. 46) and new Orleans’ Robert Meachem (No. 47) also made the cut.
Robinson will be the Cowboys’ top priority within their own free agent crop after he broke out in 2011 with 858 yards and 11 touchdowns in just 14 games.
King also included two other Cowboys on his list. P Mat McBriar — the only special teams player to make the cut — is ranked No. 45 despite suffering a leg malady that caused a drop of more than four yards in his punting average last year. S Abram Elam, who King describes as a “smart, active safety who can start [and] be a good leader” rounds out the list at No. 50.
Projected Record: 9-7
Seattle hopes to rebound from a disappointing 2009 season. Veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck appears to be healthy and the Seahawks have also hired head coach Pete Carrol from USC to run things on the sidelines. those two factors alone should be enough to put the Seahawks back in contention in a mediocre NFC West.
The Seahawks were able to pick up some key pieces in this years draft. Russel Okung looks like he is ready to step up and take the place of perennial all-pro tackle Walter Jones who retired this offseason. Earl Thomas is a ball hawking safety who will infuse youth and athleticism into a secondary that struggled last season. Golden Tate should provide another target for a Seattle passing game that had problems with injuries, consistency, and producing big plays. Running back Leon Washington, who was acquired in a draft day trade with the Jets, hopes to rebound from a lower leg injury and add some big plays to the running game and special teams.
Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill still provide experience and solid play from the linebacker spot. Second year linebacker Aaron Curry will need to continue to improve and become more of a leader on defense. Chris Clemons has big shoes to fill at defensive end to replace Patrick Kerney who retired this offseason. Lawyer Milloy, while experienced, is still a liability in coverage, so the development of Earl Thomas is critical to Seattle’s secondary.
There are a lot of questions around the Seahawks, but the division they play in gives them a certain margin for error. Seattle still has the most experienced quarterback in the division and with a few tweaks on defense I don’t see any reason why Seattle can’t win the NFC West.
Projected Record: 8-8
The Cardinals have won the NFC West for the past two seasons. However, the retirement of Kurt Warner makes the Cardinals vulnerable. Matt Leinart is under a lot of pressure to perform well this season. Derek Anderson was signed as a free agent to step in at quarterback if Leinart struggles.
Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston form one of the best wide receiving duos in the league. Beanie Wells will continue to get more carries this season as he showed the explosiveness and power that the Cardinals have been lacking in their running game in recent seasons. Tim Hightower also provides a nice change of pace for Arizona in the running game.
Although Arizona’s defense struggled in the playoffs last season, there is still reason to be excited about the Cardinals defense. Arizona spent their first round pick on nose tackle Dan Williams and their second pick on linebacker Daryl Washington. both are expected to contribute this year. Darnell Dockett continues to anchor the defensive line and shows no signs of slowing down. Free agent acquisition Kerry Rhodes is hoping to fill the void left by Antrel Rolle who left via free agency. Adrian Wilson is still one of the most physical safeties in the league and will continue to make receivers pay for going over the middle.
The defense has enough talent to create turnovers and make plays in stretches. However, like many defenses they play much better with a lead. The loss of Kurt Warner is huge for this team, not just from a production standpoint, but also from a leadership perspective. if Matt Leinart can fill that void the Cardinals have a chance to three-peat as NFC west champs. if not the Cardinals are looking at a.500 season.
San Francisco 49ers
Projected Record: 8-8
The 49ers got off to a fast start last year starting the season at 3-1. after the fast start they stumbled to an 8-8 finish. Injuries to offensive lineman Joe Staley, running back Frank Gore and inconsistency from the quarterback position (Shaun Hill, Alex Smith) were the main causes of the 49ers downward spiral of a year ago. this year the 49ers hope to return the postseason for the first time since the 2002 season.
The 49ers got young and talented on the offensive by selecting tackle Anthony Davis and guard Mike Iupati. Alex Smith has been named the starting quarterback and this is probably his last season to prove he is not a first round bust. Vernon Davis finally emerged as the play maker scouts predicted him to be when he first came into the league in 2006. Second year receiver Michael Crabtree should be more productive with a full training camp and off season mini camps under his belt. Frank Gore and Glen Coffee lead a 49ers ground attack that has to be effective to keep the pressure off of Alex Smith. The draft day trade for Tedd Ginn, Jr. will help bolster special teams.
Patrick Willis is the new Ray Lewis. Willis is an absolute tackling machine and his high intensity and determination rub off on his defensive teammates. The 49ers also added safety Taylor Mays in the draft. Although Mays stock slipped a bit because of his questionable pass coverage, I think head coach Mike Singletary will find a place for Mays aggressive hard hitting nature in the secondary. Takeo Spikes and Nate Clements are solid veterans who bring leadership and experience to a young defense.
The 49ers could be a true dark horse in the NFC West, and possibly the entire NFC, if they can get some consistency at the quarterback position. their defense and running game are already playoff caliber. I really want to pick San Francisco to win the NFC West but I think their issues at quarterback will have them on the outside looking in.
St. Louis Rams
Projected Record: 3-13
The Rams only tasted victory once last season, so there is nowhere to go but up. By virtue of their one win St. Louis used the first pick in the draft to select quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford missed most of his senior season due to an injury on his throwing shoulder. The key to the Rams long term success is to find a way to develop Bradford at a moderate pace without getting him hurt. Sounds easy, but when you pay someone 50 million dollars in guaranteed money development tends to get accelerated.
Trying to maximize their investment in Bradford, the Rams selected tackle Roger Safford to help watch his back. they also selected wide receiver Mardy Gilyard who adds some youth and quickness to a receiving corps that struggled to make big plays last year. Steven Jackson will get even more carries than he did last year as the Rams try to keep the pressure from falling onto their young quarterback. Donnie Avery and Laurent Robinson need to step up and stay healthy as they are the only receivers on the roster with more than two seasons of experience.
The Rams were able to resign free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe which helps out a young defense that needs leadership and play making ability. Chris Long needs to continue to improve and develop into the premier pass rusher the Rams thought they were getting when they drafted him in 2007. James Butler and Kevin Dockery are veterans that head coach Steve Spagnuolo brought in to provide on field direction and leadership to a defense that struggled to find an identity last year.
The Rams are young on both offense and defense with loads of potential on both sides of the ball. how this potential develops will ultimately decide the Rams long term success as well as head coach Steve Spagnuolo’s fate. this year however, expectations are still fairly low for the Rams. as long as they win a few games ( 3 or 4) and are able to develop Bradford I think Rams fans (and management) will be happy.