Breakthrough Players: Offense

Updated: July 15, 2003, 11:10 AM ET
By By Ryan Early | NFL Insider
Each season brings with it new stars to capture our attention and fascination. Some are easy to foresee, like Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, who burst onto the scene last year by making 12 sacks in his 12 games played. Others have stories and journeys that defy reason before they make it into the national spotlight.

Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox bounced around different teams and found himself out of football until his career was resurrected by the now defunct XFL. His strong play there gave him the backup job in Pittsburgh, where suddenly he found himself taking over for a benched Kordell Stewart and leading his team into the playoffs.

While it is impossible to predict a story like that, here are several players poised to emerge as headline makers in the 2003 season.