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Established veterans returning to their previous star form -- we don't see it occur often, but when it does, it's a huge boost for any team. Which players who labored through tough, relatively unproductive seasons last year are aligned to rebound in 2023? 

Before I begin, I did not include players who simply were injured for all or most of 2022. I'm not copping out like that. These are players who struggled for other reasons. Alright, let's get to the list. 

Damien Harris

Damien Harris
BUF • RB • #22
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In Harris' second and third seasons in the NFL, he averaged a meaty 4.8 yards per tote on 339 carries. He was jumped by the younger Rhamondre Stevenson on the running back depth chart in New England and only logged 106 rushes in 2022. While never an ultra-elusive or super-powerful back, Harris' yards-after-contact figure in 2023 was 3.05 yards, nearly identical to his 2020 average when he set a career-high in total yards per carry (5.0). He joins a Bills team that's emphasized the fortification of its offensive line by signing Connor McGovern, David Edwards, and Brandon Shell in free agency along with the selection of mauling second-round pick O'Cyrus Torrence out of Florida. 

Harris will be a welcomed addition to a club that's needed a thicker, North-South runner with some pop through the hole. He'll return to his 2020-2021 form and, remember, in that 2021 campaign, he scored 15 touchdowns during the regular season. The former Alabama star won't reach that total again, but nearing double-digit scores is not out of the question. I'm serious. 

Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks
DAL • WR • #3
REC YDs699
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This is a gimme. Cooks had his lowest amount of catches (57) and receiving yards (699) since his rookie season on a brutal Texans team in 2022, and he was rewarded for his three years being criminally underrated in Houston by getting moved to the Cowboys, one of the major contenders in the NFC, this offseason. 

You are not going to believe this, but Cooks still isn't 30! Feels like he played with like Joe Horn back in New Orleans, doesn't it? He'll turn 30 in September and has plenty of juice in the tank. While many of his advanced metrics like yards after the catch per reception and yards per route run were unsurprisingly down in 2022, he was still his usual beastly self in contested-catch scenarios, winning on more than 55% of them, an impressive number for any receiver and a monster figure for a wideout of his size. 

Still capable of exploding off the line, running quick-breaking routes and getting vertical, Cooks will begin as a clear No. 2 to CeeDee Lamb in Dallas and pop as the most productive pass catcher on a few occasions during his first season with Dak Prescott throwing him the football. He'll eclipse 1,000 yards receiving in 2023.  

Chandler Jones

Jones was a disappointment in his first season with the Raiders. No way around it. Was he downright awful? No. And it was a late-season surge that indicates Jones can still bring it with arguably the most diverse pass-rush move arsenal at the edge-rusher spot in football. Remember, we've seen a litany of once dominant pass rushers thrive well into their 30s, and Jones just turned 33.  

In his first 10 games with the Raiders a season ago, Jones registered a mere 19 pressures. Woof. Then he went on a tear with 28 pressures in his final five contests, including a two-game stretch with 19 -- eight against the Seahawks and 11 against the Chargers! The Raiders drafted Jones' eventual heir apparent in Tyree Wilson, who has to improve his get-off in the NFL, but has comparable freaky traits to Jones and will draw attention Then there's obviously Maxx Crosby, who, to me, is a superstar. Jones will enter a season not the clear focal point of opposing offensive line's game plans. He'll take full advantage of that unprecedented scenario in a rebound 2023. 

Devin Bush

I still believe in Devin Bush. He was too good before his 2020 knee injury. Yes, I'm fully aware that three years ago in the NFL is essentially equivalent to three decades in real life, but I'm trusting his natural athleticism -- and assuming it's of course fully back after that injury -- his long-standing tackling prowess and Pete Carroll's scheme/coaching in predicting this resurgence. 

In what everyone -- including Bush -- knew was a lame duck final season at Pittsburgh last year, the former first-round pick only missed three tackles on 659 snaps. Dude wraps up! As is the case with the majority of linebackers, Bush in coverage was average at best, and at times a liability. He wasn't dreadful. That's important. Playing behind what should be a bolstered pass-rush unit in Seattle, Bush should get more opportunities to make plays on footballs thrown on hurried tosses from opposing quarterbacks. Playing next to Bobby Wagner will be a godsend for the uber-talented, highly aggressive Bush. I know the Seahawks love him, but I won't be stunned when Bush outplays fellow former first-rounder Jordyn Brooks in 2023. I'm that into Bush's career revitalization with Carroll.