Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Tension is rising...
Pre-season is here!
It's been a weird week, with a busy draft, trading our first round picks at the last possible moment for future picks. We signed a bunch of guys to join us for training camp, which means we'll have some decision to make even before the pre-season action starts. I made it even harder on me by signing three more undrafted rookies for the pre-season roster: defensive end Wally Carter, kicker Zachery Gardner and fullback Kelly Sinclair. Carter has special teams skills, Gardner could be an elite kickoff guy and Sinclair, well, he's an uncharacteristic fullback, with hole recognition, route running, special teams skills and a far too low run blocking ability to my liking.
So, they joined the training camp roster, which means we had 67 guys walking around: 6 quarterbacks, 6 running backs, 3 fullbacks, 5 tight ends, 7 wide receivers, 3 centers, 3 guards, 3 offensive tackles, 2 kickers, 1 punter, 5 defensive ends, 5 defensive tackles, 6 linebackers, 9 defensive backs and 2 long snappers. And next would traditionally be my breakdown of the roster and how all these kids did in camp. Why yes, I would and shall.
Quarterbacks first, as always. A big bunch and boy, the young kids are probably all mostly worthless. We're going to wish we didn't release Brandon Bell at some point this season. Moe Sheldon (45/45) went through camp without progress, backup Francisco Farley (+1/+1 to 35/35) did make some progress. Nate Marek (+1/0 to 15/25) will be our new kick holder. The other three kids won't even make the pre-season roster. Bert Martin (+2/0 to 15/30), Donald Bauer (+2/-1 to 10/25) and Nathaniel Ellison (+1/0 to 5/25) are just not worth hoping they'll make an unexpected splash in pre-season. Or maybe they are, but I've decided to not wait for it to see them become legendary. They won't.
Running backs then. Francisco Patter (55/55) continues to be the main guy, Reggie Thongchanh (35/35) our change of pace guy. For now, as there's some reason to think about their roles. Trey Beyer (+2/0 to 40/45) was good in limited action last season. Seth Moore (+1/0 to 35/35) had an underwhelming camp, I was hoping for him to be a realistic RB2, which based on his breakaway speed he sure is. A season to learn the system and jump into action next season? Asher Ford (20/20) might make the roster again as a special teamer. Patrick Joseph (+2/0 to 35/35) still looks similar to Beyer, but it's unlikely we will bring more than four of them into the regular season.
Fullback Clay Brosseau (40/40) will continue to be the man. Tracy Rhodes (+3/0 to 20/40) had a fine camp, but I don't see us keeping more than one guy at this position. Kelly Sinclair (unknown progress to 15/35) will get a look in pre-season, but I doubt we'll give this guy a roster spot for the regular season.
Tight end Clarence Gore (+3/-1 to 50/50) quickly became one of my favorite tight ends last season and I suspect he's got more upside that what the scouts tell us now. Clay Gaynor (55/55) will continue to be the second receiving option and a blocking alternate. Jeffery Blake (40/40) should continue to be our run blocker, with Renaldo Crawford (30/30) the second option. Jessie Taylor (30/30) had his chance, but I've already made up my mind: he won't be on our pre-season roster.
Wide receivers Theodore Bondy (70/70) became a mentor and the kids took some advantage of it. Rickey Lyle (+3/0 to 30/50) and George Stuckey (+4/0 to 40/45) continue to be promising. Branden Sandlin (40/40) should be on thin ice, but given his cap hit for 2093, he's virtually immune to release and given his cohesion value a fair option for our WR2 role. Harris Wilkerson (40/40) is the special teamer, Santiago Messenger (30/30) our kickoff returner and rookie Mark Perkins (+2/+1 to 20/25) will likely become our punt returner. Which doesn't mean this is a done deal, 7 receivers is a little bit much for a 53-men roster...
Center Butch Pearson (65/65) is welcome back after an injury plagued season, Brady Burke (+4/0 to 25/35) and Lewis Azzolini (+4/+1 to 25/30) will get pre-season to fight for the backup role. Michael Szott (70/70) and Andre Watson (45/45) are our guards, Hayden Gaylor (+2/-1 to 35/45) will be their backup, it'll be interesting to see where his ceiling will be. Nathan Hadinger (60/60) and Howard Humphrey (70/70) will continue to be quite possibly the best tackle duo we ever saw, Chase Springer (40/40) will have to settle for a backup role with us as well.
The defensive line saw Gene Kondovski (55/55), Archie Exner (45/45) and Tony Whiting (30/30) look over their shoulders to see youngsters Lewis Shanks (+4/0 to 25/35) and Trent Donovan (+3/0 to 25/30) make good progress. One of those two will make the team, that's for sure, and I'll have to consider about giving him playing time, or flipping around the rotation to make this a seven-men rotation. Defensive tackles Darien Fletcher (65/65) and Jumbo Mojica (55/55) are the primary duo, but A.J. Ritt (35/35) and Kurt Ackerman (30/30) have the pass rush technique to toss them in there on passing downs. Rookie Cole Gunn (+5/0 to 30/40) made exception progress, which could actually threat the young ends Shanks and Donovan for the eight spot on the line, or even one of the veterans...
The linebackers sextet is still Brandon Brady (75/75), Clayton Jackson (50/50) and Daquan Espino (55/55) on the defense, Brant Rayburn (40/40), Alec Palmer (25/25) and Trenton Prescott (+3/0 to 20/30) the special teams guys.
The secondary is unchanged and I hope it will remain that way, hoping pre-season won't be unkind. Kirk Hitchcock (65/65) and Jackie Richardson (70/70) are our elite cornerback duo, Ted Frias (45/45) our main backup, Jessie McNeil (35/35) might lose the nickelback role to Adam Harmon (+3/0 to 35/40) this season. Devon Farrell (+6/0 to 55/65) should continue to grow into an elite safety, with Chuck Murray (40/40) as his running downs side kick and either Riddick Newsome (25/25) or Jon Brotzman (+3/0 to 30/30) the passing downs free safety and the other possibly the dimeback.
Doug Guynes (55/55) will continue to be our punter, Mark Giles (75/75) our kicker, Zachery Gardner (unknown progress to 25/30) was neat to look at, but won't make the team. I suspect Bryce Kerney (20/20) will continue to be our long snapper, Johnny Terrell (20/20) will get pre-season to show he's better than the veteran.
Two days of waiting to see what these guys will really look like for the 2092 season, two more days...
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail