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Old 01-20-2023, 06:21 PM   #751
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: The 53 Merchantmen for 2112

The 2112 roster is set, the final cutdown decision have been made.
At mid-pre-season, CB Corwin Drake, G Tutan Shapiro and LT Jordan Puckett were released. Undrafted rookie Puckett was a longshot to begin with. Shapiro may have hoped he'd move up in the hierarchy after the departure of C Roman Gillespie, but two rookies were more impressive in training camp and pre-season. Drake may come as a bit of a surprise, having been our punt returner last season, but rookie WR Rodolfo Lane will play that role on top of becoming our new WR2 (or WR1 even?).

Today the decision was made that RB Angel Hammond, FB Thurman Chachick and WR Kyle Belton won't make the team. It was quite the twisting and turning, but I decided to keep RB Bennett Holmes as our second special teamer out of the backfield, as well as our RB4, while other young wide receiver seem to be more useful. Belton's route running and special teams skills are too limited to have a shot at the WR4 role or WR5 role.

It also meant good news for a couple other players that were on the bubble: QB Bart Tanner, aforementioned RB Bennett Holmes, WR Hunter Tuitele, WR Kai Cote, WR Jaylen Gearhart, DE Steve Aber, DT Francisco Blades and CB Kent Wodarz. A bit of a spoiler that is, but here's our list of 53 for 2112.


Quarterbacks
40/40 QB Harrison Singleton (+2/+2 pre-season)
15/35 QB Bart Tanner (rookie, +2/+3 camp, +1/+7 pre-season)
15/15 QB Drake Bishop (-1/-1 pre-season)
Singelton is still our starter, but Tanner has shown quite the upside. Bishop has to stay as the mentor for Tanner and is our better kick holder, but won't be guaranteed to be on the active roster this season as our punter is capable of being the holder as well.

Backfield
40/45 RB Renaldo Billodeaux (+1/nc camp)
40/40 FB Kenneth Holse (+3/nc camp, nc/-2 pre-season)
40/40 RB Sherman Ward (fa signing, =9/-9 pre-season)
35/35 RB Cary Delgado (-1/-1 pre-season)
15/15 RB Bennett Holmes (-7/-7 pre-season)
Billodeaux is the real deal, at least he was last season. Holse is a suitable, do-it-all fullback and special teamer. Ward will be the change of pace back and our premier kickoff returner. Delgado remains to be the third down back. Holmes will be demoted to just a special teams role.

Tight ends
60/60 TE Ted Gordon
35/35 TE Garrett Alcala (-7/-7 pre-season)
25/35 TE Arnie Huffman (rookie, +3/-2 camp, nc/+3 pre-season)
20/30 TE Kyle Upshaw (+3/nc camp)
Gordon is the man, Alcala lost more of his route running, but will help boost cohesion as the TE2. Huffman is potentially an excellent route runner and fair run blocker, whilst being an improvement to the special teams group. Upshaw will be stuck as the inactive emergency TE4.

Wide receivers
70/70 WR Jessie Vertelney (+1/+1 pre-season)
50/75 WR Rodolfo Lane (rookie, +5/-1 camp, nc/-1 pre-season)
45/45 WR Preston Gray (+1/+1 pre-season)
35/35 WR Jaylen Gearhart (+4/nc camp, -9/-9 pre-season)
25/25 WR Kai Cote (-8/-8 pre-season)
15/20 WR Hunter Tuitele (rookie, +2/-1 camp, nc/-1 pre-season)
We should be good to go here, with quite possible the best WR duo in the league. Where have we seen that before and how little has it brought us in the past? Still, it should be a fantastic situation. Gray remains to be a solid WR3 for short routes. Gearhart has turned into a slightly different kind of player, has yet to make his first catch or see action on special teams, but I still believe in his talent. Cote will be a WR5/special teamer, Tuitele our kick off return alternate. But really, Vertelney and Lane, I really hope we can split the targets even and not too lopsided between them and the guys around them to finally make something good of our passing game.

Offensive Line
70/70 RT Ivan Dole (-4/-4 pre-season)
60/60 C Zane Chaplain
55/55 G Brett Stickney (-4/-4 pre-season)
55/55 G Andres Uwaezuoke (-1/-1 pre-season)
45/45 RT Clayton Bernstein (fa signing, -6/-6 pre-season)
30/40 G Jose Bryant (rookie, +3/nc camp, -1/-6 pre-season)
30/30 LT Harold Gruenwalder (-3/-3 pre-season)
15/40 C Russell Mahoney (rookie, +5/nc camp, -1/-4 pre-season)
Losing Earl McBirney was huge, but we hope to have found a suitable replacement in Bernstein. Worst case scenario, our excellent scrambling quarterback will scramble a bit more. Dole ios our run blocking anchor on the outside, Chaplain and the guards on the inside. If Bernstein gets tired or hurt, we might have to rely on good old Gruenwalder. Bryant hasn't shown longterm signs, but is still better than the guy we cut (Shapiro), whilst Mahoney gave us a mixed bag of signs.

Front Seven
70/70 DT Dwayne Downs (trade acquisition, -4/-4 pre-season)
70/70 DT Efrain Hutchins (-1/-1 pre-season)
60/60 LB Gus Coleman (-9/-9 pre-season)
55/55 DT Gabriel Morris
50/55 DE Calvin Buckley (+3/nc camp, +1/nc pre-season)
45/60 DE Lonnie Wynn (rookie, +5/-3 camp, +1/-3 pre-season)
45/45 LB Xavier Hoover (-1/-1 pre-season)
45/50 DE Steve Aber (+4/nc camp, -2/-2 pre-season)
40/50 DT Francisco Blades (+4/nc camp, nc/+1 pre-season)
40/45 LB Bobby Diaz (+3/nc camp, =2/+5 pre-season)
40/40 DE Christopher Wrighster (+3/nc camp, +3/+1 pre-season)
25/50 LB Nicholas Giles (rookie, +5/nc camp, nc/+5 pre-season)
35/35 LB Avery Distel
35/35 DE Howie Tucker
Despite our losses (DE Bernard and LB Hastings), this group looks fine. We have an awesome DT trio, which means we can run havoc all day long from that position, whilst we have sufficient support guys to deliver pass rush pressure or support the run stopping. In the linebackers group, Coleman is the sure thing, with Diaz our best pass defender and Hoover and Giles likely to divide playing time between them, whilst Distel might have to make a switch from pass rusher to pass defender.

Secondary
45/45 S Dan Peterson (+1/+1 pre-season)
45/45 S Noah Matthews
45/45 CB Evan Merrell (fa signing, -3/-3 pre-season)
40/40 CB Joel Delgado (-4/-4 pre-season)
40/40 CB Byron Sokol
35/35 S John Aponte
35/35 CB Skip Horner (+1/+1 pre-season)
25/45 S Joe Ramsey (+5/nc camp)
30/30 S Craig Clancy (+1/+1 pre-season)
20/30 CB Kent Wodarz (rookie, +3/nc camp, -1/-1 pre-season)
Sure, nothing spectacular here, but I have to trust the man-to-man experts Merrell, Sokol and Delgado, whilst the rest of the bunch are all zone defense specialists. We have plenty of interceptions forcing players as well here, so I'm not surer why we shouldn't feel like we can improve on our lackluster performance in pass defense last season.


The other stuff
85/85 K Oscar Harrington (-7/-7 pre-season)
60/60 P Tyrus Johnston (+1/nc camp)
20/20 LS Wayne Brewer
We have a kicker: the best out there, he was 80 for 80 last season. We have a promising punter and a long snapper. Yay.


So, yeah, I think we have a strong team. Secondary may lack an obvious star, but otherwise we have more than just a good bunch of support guys, we have plenty of guys that can make a difference.

The biggest question could be what kind of Singelton will show up: the reliable one that went 26-14 in the first two and a half seasons, or the turnover machine that went 6-10 last season. I hope 2111 was the outlier and we get to see the playmaker that he was earlier on. No more excuses, he's got to make it happen, or he'll have to look over his shoulder and wonder whether he'll get benched the way he was promoted to being our starter back in his own rookie season.

Merchantmen, get ready for the new season, we can do this, make me proud!
__________________
* 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
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Old 01-21-2023, 09:28 AM   #752
TheseBoots
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Great write up as always. I enjoy following this dynasty very much!

You wrote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIJB#19 View Post
... we ended up at almost $14M under the cap, which is a terrible cap situation. It sounds good, but it means that we didn't move enough cap costs for 2112 forward to 2111

Can you explain what you could have done to move cap costs forwards?
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Old 01-26-2023, 12:40 PM   #753
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheseBoots View Post
Great write up as always. I enjoy following this dynasty very much!
Thanks! Glad your enjoying it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheseBoots View Post
Can you explain what you could have done to move cap costs forwards?
Sure. Late in pre-season, I will usually extend contracts to the marginal starters, premier backups that are out of contract in the next season. When tight on cap, it's better to give them what they want, but when I have a lot of additional cap space (I had quite a bit this season), I will rework the requested contract with basically the same salary in every season, which often means some of the money that was requested for the next season has been moved forward to the current season. I was going to pay up either way (extending now or signing said player in the next off-season), by paying up now, it means I pay more up front and have it count to the current year, not spread out over all years like with a signing bonus.
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:16 AM   #754
TheseBoots
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIJB#19 View Post
Thanks! Glad your enjoying it.

Sure. Late in pre-season, I will usually extend contracts to the marginal starters, premier backups that are out of contract in the next season. When tight on cap, it's better to give them what they want, but when I have a lot of additional cap space (I had quite a bit this season), I will rework the requested contract with basically the same salary in every season, which often means some of the money that was requested for the next season has been moved forward to the current season. I was going to pay up either way (extending now or signing said player in the next off-season), by paying up now, it means I pay more up front and have it count to the current year, not spread out over all years like with a signing bonus.

Yeah, I get you. It's a subtle move but useful as this money otherwise just does nothing (except improve bottom line, I guess).

Can you save big money like this or - seeing as you mentioned marginal starters and premier backups - or is this the kind of move which is overall shifting a few millions at most between seasons?

Last edited by TheseBoots : 02-02-2023 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 02-02-2023, 01:08 PM   #755
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheseBoots View Post
Yeah, I get you. It's a subtle move but useful as this money otherwise just does nothing (except improve bottom line, I guess).

Can you save big money like this or - seeing as you mentioned marginal starters and premier backups - or is this the kind of move which is overall shifting a few millions at most between seasons?
It's usually give or take the cap figure of one marginal starter / key backup. It's not much, but all the little things can help.
__________________
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* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 02-02-2023, 01:14 PM   #756
MIJB#19
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Busy weeks, I'll try to get a recap of the first 2/3rd of the regular season written in de weekend.
__________________
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* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 02-05-2023, 06:55 AM   #757
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Flipping the coin, 2112 so far

Time has flown, we've already reached week 12 of the regular season. After a shaky start and a temporary quarterback switch, we're right in the mix of the playoffs teams in the AOC. Let's take a quick look back at our first 11 games of the 2112 regular season.

Week 1 at Paris
After a 17-game winning streak against the Musketeers, it finally came to an end. We had our chances to extend this streak, but while Paris scored 3 touchdowns from their red zone visits, we settled for field goals in our first 3 visits and also gave up a 76-yard pick six and a kickoff return touchdown. Rooke QB Bart Tanner came in late to brush up the humiliating score with his first career touchdown pass. QB Harrison Singelton threw for 217 yards and 1 interception, Tanner threw for 78 yards and 1 touchdown. WR Jessie Vertelney had 119 yards receiving, TE Ted Gordon 1 receivng touchdown.
16-35 loss

Week 2 at Outer Banks
No way around it, we were outmatched and got fleeced by the Ospreys' young QB. In return, QB Harrison Singelton got silenced, throwing for just 89 yards and 1 interception. Our only touchdown was an interception return by CB Evan Merrell.
16-27 loss

Week 3 at Orlando
We started the game well, but as soon as the Talons got their engines running, even a couple of missed field goals couldn't stop them from catching up, while a couple of late game interceptions turned it from a tie game into a 3-score loss. QB Harrison Singelton threw for 220 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for a touchdown, TE Ted Gordon had a receiving touchdown.
17-34 loss

Week 4 vs San Antonio
And then we finally got our first home game of the season and bounced back, big time. Although it was still close by half time, as we were trailing by 4 points then, the defense stood up in the second half and shutout the Tidal Force that half, while our own offense, in particular the running game, kept going well. QB Harrison Singelton threw for 147 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, but also ran for 1 touchdown. RB Cary Delgado ran for 2 touchdowns, RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for 163 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown. Rookie WR Rodolfo Lane scored his first receiving touchdown.
38-21 victory

Week 5 no game

Week 6 vs Atlanta
Based on our dominance in this game (in particular holding the Vipers to 111 yards passing and just 3.0 yards per pass play), this should have been a cakewalk victory. But with our lack of ability to get into the end zone from the red zone, combined with a 92-yard pick six, this game was still tied when we drove into their red zone late in the fourth quarter. QB Harrison Singelton threw for 228 yards and 2 interceptions. RB Renaldo Billodeaux had 1 rushing touchdown.
20-13 victory

Week 7 at Fort Wayne
Our visit to the Fury resulted in one heck of a game for the neutral football fans. The lead in the game went left and right and this was clearly destined for a last to score wins scenario. And it did, as QB Harrison Singelton found WR Rodolfo Lane for 20 yards and TE Ted Gordon for 14 yards, whilst a Fury penalty stopped the clock for us with no time outs remaining K Oscar Harrington converted the 42-yarder to flip it from a 1-point loss into a victory. Singleton threw for 338 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Gordon (twice) and Lane scored the receiving touchdowns.
24-22 victory

Week 8 vs Paris
Highly motivated to avenge the week 1 loss, we struggled to keep the Musketeers in check. Despite dominating the field position battle, our sudden big play ability resulted in a lopsided time of possession figure as Paris had possession of the ball for more than 40 minutes, while we were below 20 minutes. But our efficiency was slightly better. Even though we gave Paris chances to comeback from behind late with a late interception and a missed field goal. Their Hail Mary attempt came short and we held on. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 142 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. WR Rodolfo Lane and TE Ted Gordon split the receiving touchdowns again, RB Cary Delgado and RB Sherman Ward split the rushing touchdowns.
28-27 victory

Week 9 at Houston
Then, after a 4-game winning streak, Merchantmen management did something silly an decided to bench the quarterback. Rookie Bart Tanner came on and got eaten alive by the Mustangs, completing just 14 of 34 passes for 136 yards and 5 interceptions. The reason to bench QB Harrison Singleton, the interceptions, was clearly not just on him. The Mustangs were basically gifted their second victory of the season, while the Merchantmen may have thrown away a winnable game whilst actually virtually holding the last wild card to the playoffs in the AOC.
6-19 loss

Week 10 at Bordeaux
QB Harrison Singelton returned to the starting lineup and threw for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns without interception to guide his team to a convincing victory. WR Rodolfo Lane was on the receiving end of 2 touchdowns, while RB Sherman Ward ran for a couple. LB Bobby Diaz accounted for a 86-yard interception return touchdown.
38-14 victory

Week 11 vs Gothenburg
And then came the big test, against the Giants, at home. We marched into a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but saw the Giants get close in the second quarter, us still leading 14-10 at half time. With 13 more unanswered points, including a 56-yard field goal, the Giants took a 2-score lead as we went into the fourth quarter trailing 23-14. Things went back and forth, but helped by the fumbling Giants, right after the 2-minute warning, we thought we had kicked into 27-26 a lead for the victory. Despite the defense standing strong, a Giants 56-yard field goal with 30 seconds remaining flipped it into a 29-27 deficit. QB Harrison Singelton completed a Hail Mary from our 34-yard line to WR Jessie Vertelney for 50 yards and following time, with 3 seconds to go, K Oscar Harrington converted the game winning 33-yarder. Oranje Haven figuratively exploded, a sensational victory was achieved over our Swedish division rivals. Singelton threw for 282 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. WR Rodolfo Lane caught the receiving touchdown, RB Renaldo Billodeaux and RB Sherman Ward ran for a touchdown.
30-29 victory

Week 12 vs Capital City
Our luck didn't run out in our visit to the Blues as a missed extra point in the final 2 minutes of the game put the final score on the board. Earlier this game, WR Rodolfo Lane scored an 80-yard punt return touchdown, while LB Bobby Diaz scored a 60-yard interception return touchdown. Late in the game at the end of a 13-play 98-yard drive, QB Harrison Singleton found Lane for a short touchdown, taking the lead for the first time in this game and it turned out to be just enough. Singelton threw for 179 yards.
24-23 victory


European Division
1. Gothenburg 9-2
2. Maassluis 7-4
3. Bordeaux 5-6
4. Paris 2-9

Lo and behold, we're in the first wild card spot on tie-breakers ahead of the 7-4 Tucker Tigers. 6-5 Harlem and a foursome of 5-6 teams are on our tail. Gothenburg is on pace for home field advantage.

Half of our losses have come to the teams of the virtual #1 and #2 draft picks. 4 of our victories were by just 1 or 2 points. We're currently getting outscored by our opponents by 7 points... It's a weird season. Despite the wins, I'm not feeling like we're in control when we win these games. Heck, Singelton is on a 7-game winning streak, but his td:int ratio is 10:10 in those wins. Perhaps he watches too much Alfred Hickman highlight reels from our only IHOF Bowl winning season. Remember, Hickman then was 27:28 in that figure during the regular season, had 12 games with 2+ interceptions, in particular the 9-game stretch from week 11 through the conference semi finals. Let's not forget that we never missed the playoffs with Hickman under center, despite my hate:love relationship with his interception proneness...

Anyway, that was 56 seasons ago. We're in 2112, roughly 2/3rd into a regular season where we're struggling, yet mostly winning. Our cohesion in the passing game is hurting and I suspect it's part of the reason Singleton is struggling more than he has in the past. On the O-Line, we reinstalled LT Harold Gruenwalder over off-season signing RT Clayton Bernstein. The latter is livid over playing time, but the man has to understand that he's sitting behind a left tackle that hasn't given up a sack in 8 starts so far this season.

We might not spreading around the ball enough in the passing game to truly take defenses ff guard. Singleton is clearly dangerous against any team to go out for a long run, forcing them to keep an eye on him, but he might want to us to call more throws into the direction of our solid WR3 Preston Gray and our reliable backfield receivers FB Kenneth Holse and RB Cary Delgado. Our big-play WR4 Jaylen Gearhart hasn't even been targeted.

All things considered, we're somewhat lucky to be in the mix, but I want us to stick with a one game at a time approach. Sail on, Merchantmen, winds have been strong this season, but we're still on course.
__________________
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 02-05-2023 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 02-11-2023, 06:24 AM   #758
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2112, playoffs or not?

The season has progressed and we've reached the back end of the regular season. We're red hot, 7-1 in the last 8 games, with our sole loss coming in a game where I benched QB Harrison Singelton. 5 more games are in the books, including back to back games of the week against the #1 seed bound Texas Sharks and Gothenburg Giants. So, how'd that go?

Week 13 vs Rochester
A phenomenal performance by the defense, combined with a reborn QB Harrison Singleton resulted in perhaps the most convincing victory of the season. We were leading 37-0 when the Razorbacks finally came onto the scoreboard with a 4th quarter field goal. Singleton threw for 309 yards and 3 touchdowns, spreading them over WR Rodolfo Lane (2 touchdowns) and WR Preston Gray. WR Jessie Vertelney had 134 receiving yards. RB Sherman Ward and RB Cary Delgado split the rushing touchdowns.
37-6 victory

Week 14 vs Texas
The game of the week series between Texas, Gothenburg and Maassluis began in Maassluis. The visit of the Sharks to Oranje Haven resulted in a very even matched game, loaded with all kinds of drama. We jumped to a 10-0 lead and held onto 10-6 at half time. Then RB Renaldo Billodeaux fumbled the ball in our own half in our first possession of the second half and right after Texas took a 13-10 lead after their first touchdown of the game. Things went back and forth until Texas was driving down field for a 2-score lead. An interception by CB Evan Merrell at our 2-yard line turned out to be the momentum flip as we responded with a 9-play 78-yard drive, including a 50-yard long bomb throw by QB Harrison Singleton to WR Jessie Vertelney and a 4th down touchdown pass to WR Rodolfo Lane to level the score 20-20. An interception with 41-yard return by CB Joel Delgado near midfield in the final minute helped setup a potential game winning field goal. K Oscar Harrington converted a 35-yarder and on their final play the Sharks saw their Hail Mary attempt get batted down. Singleton threw for 194 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Lane an TE Ted Gordon split those receiving touchdowns.
23-20 victory

Week 15 at Gothenburg
Trailing by 2 wins, but on a 9-1 spree, we felt like we could put up a fight at the Giants. They were still feeling sore about their dramatic loss in Oranje Haven earlier on (a game that could have gone either way) and were highly motivated to not only beat us, but also clinch the division title. To be frank, we were never really into the game and despite holding the Giants quarterback to 127 yards passing, 4 missed field goals and 2 missed extra points by supposedly the best kicker in football (apparently our K Oscar Harrington is still the man) helped us from getting completely humiliated and just getting a normal clobbering. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 157 yards and 4 interceptions. We scored no touchdowns.
6-25 loss

Week 16 at Moontown
In what looked to be an exciting game where we bounced back from an early 20-3 deficit, into trailing just 20-16 at half time, the story of the game turned out to not be the final score. Halfway into the third quarter, on a seemingly standard 2-yard run play, QB Harrison Singleton twisted his leg and was carted off with a seemingly very serious knee injury. Rookie QB Bart Tanner was brought on and contributed with the game's second interception thrown that got ran back for a touchdown. At the end of the game, the home team had scored on an offensive fumble return touchdown, two pick sixes and 3 field goals. Singleton threw for 164 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, while Tanner threw for 82 yards and 1 interception. TE Ted Gordon was on the receiving end of Singleton's touchdown passes.
22-30 loss

After the game, the bad news arrived: QB Harrison Singleton had to go into MCL Knee Surgery and is estimated to be out for roughly 9 to 10 months, which likely means he'll miss the start of the 2113 season as well, providing he wants to work his ass of to come back and will still be as good as we know him to be.

Week 17 vs Bordeaux
Still bummed over the loss of Singleton, we signed a promising rookie, that by a flurry of miscommunication issues ended up being active for the game, while some usual special teams stand outs were inactivated. The visiting Vineyards had their own quarterback drama, losing their starter as well to injury and estimated to be out throughout the playoffs. Our situation was simple: win and we'd still end up as the #5 seeds. Lose and we'd need help from either Toronto to beat Harlem or from Augusta to beat Tucker. Bordeaux would need both on top of beating us to grab the final wild card. Whatever it was, despite that our defense sacked the Bordeaux fill-in 9 times, he also completed 25 of 39 passes for 446 yards to guide his team to victory. Our QB Bart Tanner threw for 277 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. TE Ted Gordon was on the receiving end of our only touchdown of the day.
19-27 loss

European Division
1. Gothenburg 14-2
2. Maassluis 9-7
3. Bordeaux 9-7
4. Paris 3-13

We took second place on strength of victory tie-breaker. Our wins over division winners Gothenburg, Texas and Fort Wayne were far superior over Bordeaux' wins as the best team they beat was us. The same tie-breaker put as far ahead of Harlem as well, they also won only 1 game against a playoffs making 9-7 team. Gothenburg earned the #1 seed in the playoffs, Paris the #1 pick in the 2113 draft, which they won't be able to use as they traded it to the Chesapeake Chitterlings. If they keep it, it will be the first time in IHOF history the Chitterlings use the #1 overall pick. It leaves the Giants as the only team to have never held the #1 overall pick (including that we lump together franchises that had name changes in the first 30ish seasons of the league).

The good news was that the Toronto Lake Monsters in their hunt for the #2 seed and a bye week demolished the Harlem Apollos 62-7 and we piggybacked on it into the playoffs! We'll be visiting the Orlando Talons, who ended the Tucker Tigers' streak of division titles at 22... The Tigers still made the playoffs as the #5 seeds and will visit the Fort Wayne Fury. But we will be without our starting quarterback, while our center Zane Chaplain is still out with tonsilitis, which makes me skeptical about whether we can make some noise. It doesn't mean we won't try, though!
__________________
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 02-11-2023 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 02-11-2023, 07:00 AM   #759
TheseBoots
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Congratulations on making the playoffs, MIJB, but that injury to Singleton is brutal! Can you switch to a run-based game around your backup, or will you just air out and let the dice roll how they do? Seems tricky when one of your big strengths is the passing game.

From reading your reports and watching some of the videos out there it's clear that Gothenburg are an absolutely brutal winning machine with insane consistency. What's the secret to their success do you think? Anyway, I'm hoping for a season where you take the division in the near future =)

Last edited by TheseBoots : 02-11-2023 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 02-11-2023, 12:31 PM   #760
MIJB#19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheseBoots View Post
Congratulations on making the playoffs, MIJB, but that injury to Singleton is brutal! Can you switch to a run-based game around your backup, or will you just air out and let the dice roll how they do? Seems tricky when one of your big strengths is the passing game.

From reading your reports and watching some of the videos out there it's clear that Gothenburg are an absolutely brutal winning machine with insane consistency. What's the secret to their success do you think? Anyway, I'm hoping for a season where you take the division in the near future =)
Thanks. Despite our history and tradition, it's only the 3rd time in the last 20 seasons we made the playoffs, but somehow I think this team is less deserving than we've been half of the 17 seasons we didn't make it. I do think we're a playoff caliber team, with Singleton that is.

Interesting questions. I tend not to want to go too much into detail, some of the competition in IHOF reads along and it could give them more of an advantage over me than vice versa. But I'll nevertheless try to elaborate a bit.

I think Singleton (as is his stand-in Tanner) is such a powerful scrambling QB that he makes for an additional running threat and somewhat turns the balanced offense into more running than passing anyway. The OC is run-oriented (Smashmouth type), but I'm always wary for overdoing things and know my biggest shorting coming: game planning. It's not my thing and all I know is I'm barely better at it than the seemingly completely random AI. Missing our center also makes it unrealistic to shift to heavy running, that's a crucial position for a good running game. It's not surprising our running game has been below our standards over the last couple of games. Tanner is a unexperienced version of Singleton, in theory Tanner should be able to play like Singleton did as a rookie.


The current owner of the Gothenburg franchise (Julio Riddols) no doubt is the reason why Gothenburg thrives and has turned the European division from Maassluis dominated to Gothenburg dominated. He seems to have game planning figured out and makes the difference there between our two franchises, whereas I somehow have lost a step in that area while the average level of game planning in IHOF has clearly increased.

Julio Riddols more so than me gets the best out of limited players, in part because (I think) he takes the time to craft and redo his game plans during the season, almost from game to game. That's something I feel like I'm too limited in to understand game mechanisms enough to make it work for me. It can do wonders to check on opposing teams' tendencies to do crazy stuff like running a lot out of a 104 formation, which then becomes very easy to counter, but you'll have to be 100% convinced your opponent does it all the time. I think he's capable of doing that as well.

I'm sure we'll win a division at some point again. Becoming the third franchise with 1000 regular season wins is a realistic goal for the 2113 and 2114 season, we're at 980 now. And it's a challenging one as well, because the Kansas Creationists (and predecors) have caught up and are at 981 wins now. Although it's a bit of a silly comparison, because we're only 1 of 4 franchises that had the same ownership since the beginning and 2 of them are lightyears ahead of us, and the fourth even further behind us than we're behind Tucker and Chesapeake. Fairbanks has the same owner since opening day 2004 as well, but that owner switched placed with non-playing commissioner for a short period of time.
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Old 02-13-2023, 09:13 AM   #761
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General Manager Notes: 2112's wild Wild Card game

Week 18 at Orlando
Down our quarterback, I tempered my expectations and felt that we might come home from a serious drubbing in Orlando. At the same time, I should feel quite good about the team we put together and if QB Bart Tanner could go through the game mistake free, we might actually be able to put up a fight.

Orlando scored quickly on their first possession, which got me very much scared this could turn into a blowout. But on our own first possession, helped by a 38-yard kickoff return, we didn't need to gain too many yards and we did just enough to keep the chains moving and see RB Renaldo Billodeaux run it in from 6 yards out for a 7-7 tie game. A sack by rookie DE Lonnie Wynn focred 3 and out, giving us hope we could stand our ground from time to time. After we got stopped quickly as well, Orlando saw their running back com up with a big 23-yard run to set up field goal for a 10-7 lead after the first quarter.

After a slow but steady drive, we tied it up again, but found ourselves completely off guard on the ensuing kickoff return, allowing a 91-yard touchdown. After several three and outs, Orlando was deep inside their own red zone and after their quarterback appeared to get his passing game going, his second attempt of the drive got picked off by S Craig Clancy. QB Bart Tanner connected on a key third and long with TE Garrett Alcala, converted a short one with a scramble and then tied the score 17-17 with a short pass to wide open WR Preston Gray. A defensive stand gave us the ball back, but as we were driving for a lead taking field goal, Tanner's pass got picked off and returned deep enough to set Orlando up for a 20-17 lead at half time.

We came out of the break looking bland, but on Orlando's first possession our young defensive ends strip sacked the their quarterback, our S Dan Peterson picked up the scattering ball and got it to midfield. Supported by a long run from RB Sherman Ward, QB Bart Tanner found WR Jessie Vertelney and fellow rookie WR Rodolfo Lane for long enough throws to set up the 20-20 tying field goal. After long, yet inefficient drive from Orlando, we did just enough to end the third quarter barely inside Orlando's half with a fresh set of downs.

After three no-gainers of plays, we were sadly forced to punt to pin Orlando deep. They responded with 31-yard and 37-yard passing plays, eventually resulting in a touchdown. The missed extra point made it 26-20 for Orlando, giving us a little bit more hope this wasn't going to end there and then. Another strong kickoff return from RB Sherman Ward brought us near midfield and helped by an unneccessary roughness penalty, we came close enough to converted a 42-yard field goal for a 26-23 trailing score. We stopped Orlando on their next drive, but ended up pinned at our own 1-yard line. After three short plays, we were forced to punt and gave up a 17-yard return that helped set up Orlando's field goal for a 29-23 lead. With 1:55 remaining and having spent all our time outs on on that last drive, a deep kickoff placed us at our own 25-yard line. We went for a risky play right away and QB Bart Tanner's pass got picked off. Orlando ran one more play, but after they earned a new set of downs, victory formation was there.

QB Bart Tanner threw for 181 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. WR Preston Gray was on the receiving end of the touchdown, RB Renaldo Billodeaux accounted for our running touchdown. Somehow we stayed in the game, despite allowing 19 of 25 passes to get completed and giving up 5.44 yards per run, it felt like the kickoff return touchdown and field goal swinging interception at the end of the first half did us in. Field position and just enough third down conversions kept us in it.
23-29 loss


And that wraps up our 2112 season. A strange season, where we started 0-3, then got red hot by winning most of our games by 3 or less points, including coin flip wins over Gothenburg and Texas, to end the season with another 3-game losing streak, in which we lost our QB Harrison Singleton to a career threatening knee injury. It foreshadows a tough decision to make in the off-season, once we know how long Singleton will be out: do we search for replacement, or will we give the keys to Bart Tanner until Singleton returns. If he returns, or returns looking able to play at his old level.

We'll be roughly $40M over the cap, not accounting for the draft picks. Just 7 players are out of contract going into the off-season. Obviously emergency signing QB Cory Backer is one of them. FB Kenneth Holse, TE Arnie Huffman, kick return alternate WR Hunter Tuitele and CB Kent Wodarz will be restricted free agents and likely to have low demands. DT Dwayne Downs was a one-year rental, but if the cap space is available, we might try to bring him back. LT Harold Gruenwalder is the most interesting case. He was pushed into the starting lineup due to newly signed RT Clayton Bernstein's inability to play left tackle well and Gruenwalder surprised the football world with 0 sacks allowed in 494 passing plays, whilst not turning out to be the weak link in the running game. If Gruenwalder doesn't return, his agent's salary demands could be too rich for all 32 IHOF franchises, quite possibly forcing him into sitting out the season. Imagine that...

I also fear for QB Drake Bishop to retire, as he was active in just 1 regular season game, despite that last season he proved to be crucial for K Oscar Harrington as his kick holder. RB Bennett Holmes could be another suspect for retirement. But that's something to wait and see, after the remainder of the playoffs has played out.
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Old 02-17-2023, 10:11 AM   #762
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Nice write ups as always and I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions knowing that other IHOF GM's read along. I was aware of that risk when I commented so I probably should say next time don't worry about answering until the season is over =)

Despite being a starting QB down it turned out to be a game which could have gone either way until that late, late pick.

Thanks also for the small history lesson. Typically Fairbanks would go on to win the bowl of course!
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Old 02-18-2023, 04:40 AM   #763
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General Manager Notes: 2113 begins

Some of our preparation to 2113 started during the playoffs. After we got knocked out by the Orlando Talons in a could have should have game. But before their luck ran out in the next round as they lost on a miraculous Hail Mary touchdown pass by the Toronto Lake Monsters, who went on to humiliate the Gothenburg Giants in Gothenburg 37-6 and in the IHOF Bowl ran out of luck as well, falling 20-13 against the Fairbanks Northstars, a team that went in to the playoffs with a 9-6-1 record and a -12 points differential. Anyway, we signed a couple of young guys that would be restricted free agents in the early free agency period: RB Korey Burnett, WR Edgar Horn, C Duane Ondre, LB Charles Wintch and S Tanner Phillip. Burnett played in 15 games for the Colorado Cutthroats in 2111, Ondre in 1 games for the Houston Stallions that season. The others are void of any playing experience in IHOF.

Our cap situation is doable. We're $40M over the cap, but almost $57M if we add in the most expensive 4 draft picks in of the 6 we have in hand. With 47 players signed, it means we have can get to the 53-men roster with just using the picks and not signing any free agents. Which won't do though, as we have a 12 free agents listed as on roster. I'm confident I can work out renegotiations to get us under the cap at the start of free agency, a cap out of our most expensive player WR Jessie Vertelney would save roughly $30M in cap costs. I will also have to look at the 16 players in the final contract year, I need to figure out which are worth locking up through 2114 or even beyond. QB Drake Bishop, RB Bennett Holmes, TE Garrett Alcala, G Brett Stickney and DT Gabriel Morris are amongst that bunch and being in their 30s, they are candidates for a wait and see, or the other way around, might want to extend to keep them from retiring.

There are two major roster spot situations to address: quarterback and left tackle. I elaborated on that after our loss in Orlando and the situation is unchanged.

QB Harrison Singleton is estimated to miss the first 22 weeks of the season, which adds up to all of pre-season and the regular season. I'd love to see him back for the playoffs, but we'd actually have to find a suitable replacement to get there and if we do, it wouldn't make sense to hand the keys to a rusty Singleton after his replacement got us that far.

LT Harold Gruenwalder is a free agent and coming off his best season ever. Every other team in the league would only see him as backup material in a pass heavy offense, but if he doesn't crash in pre-season, he's worth keeping as our man on the left side of the line. RT Clayton Bernstein has flopped as a LT alternative, but he's still signed for 3 more seasons and after he started in the last 4 games due to injuries on the line, he came around and went from demanding a trade to being just 'disgruntled'.

All things considered, an interesting off-season coming up, where I hope we can build on a strange yet hopeful 2112 campaign towards ending the Giants' domination of the division and hopefully getting things done in the playoffs.
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Old 02-24-2023, 12:32 PM   #764
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General Manager Notes: 2113 Draft and other stuff

The big pieces of the off-season have finished and we got out of it without much special to report on. That is to say, what is special in the off-season? A fancy top5 or draft pick usually is and so can be a free agent signing.

Let's start with the stuff that's always neat: the draft. We went into it with six picks, being down our 6th round pick for the rights to DT Dwayne Downs as a one-year rental. I decided that I wasn't too keen on the prospects left for the 2nd and 3rd round and swapped both for the Brooklyn Fightin' Bums 2nd round pick next draft and a 7th rounder this draft. That left us with 5 picks for the 2113 class, not counting the soon to be arriving undrafted rookie signings.

Pick 1.22 - LB Jorge Mayes
Planning ahead here as LB Gus Coleman is entering his 11th season. He might be not much more in potential than our 4th round pick last season (LB Nicolas Giles), but there might be nothing wrong to play them both, eventually. Mayes is a run stopper and zone defender with endurance. That's good enough for me. Worth a 1st round pick though? He feels like more of a 2nd round pick at the moment, despite his 30/70ish scouted ratings.

Pick 4.21 - DT Garrett Theurer
This pick somewhat crossed the free agency signing, which I will elaborate on later, making it a bit less likely Theurer will have a shot at making the 53-men roster, but we'll have to trust our staff regardless. Run defense, pass rush, play diagnosis. This kid can play 2 out of 3 downs. He arrives looking 25/50ish.

Pick 5.22 - LT Kristopher Harmon
It will come as no surprise that I was looking for a left tackle project after we lost LT Earl McBirney last season and as of this pick had no "I'm back" from LT Harold Gruenwalder either. If Harmon improves upon his initial looks, he'll be a worthy successor to Gruenwalder. Harmon arrived looking 25/50ish.

Pick 7.10 - QB Shawn DeLay
Clearly, a 10/40ish graded player can't be ready to quarterback a playoffs caliber team, but with QB Harrison Singleton out and the verdict far from out yet on QB Bert Tanner, picking up another project in the 7th round can't be a huge mistake.

Pick 7.22 - P Zack Lestage
Do we need a new punter? Maybe, maybe not. P Tyrus Johnston is barely a top10 player at his position, so taking a shot at the best of this rookie class late in the 7th round is worth it. We should hope Lestage will improve on his 40/50ish early impression.


Aside from the draft, the most surprising move was bringing DT Dwayne Downs back for another season, this time getting a 1-year $22.7M contract, which means we signed the top player from the Grey Sheet. So, yay. But it's quite telling no other team should even the slightest of interest in Downs and to be fair, we offered him the absolute minimum he was willing to consider midway through the early free agency.

LT Harold Gruenwalder signed a cheep 2-year deal, but I felt he deserves to stay and only in Maassluis can play up to starting quality with his cohesion boost.

Other than those two, we re-signed all the unrestricted free agents that we had on roster last season or signed to a future contract in the post-season. We'll lump QB Corey Backer into that pile as well.

That and we extended the contract of WR Jessie Vertelney through 2117. He better start posting 1,500-yard seasons. He barely got past 1,000 yards last season and didn't score a touchdown at all. Yikes.

Oh yeah, DE Howie Tucker decided to hold out. Which is a shame, because I was going to make him an offer during the pre-season anyway. I decided to make him a worthy offer before training camp, to talk him out of it.
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Old 02-25-2023, 04:50 PM   #765
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General Manager Notes: 2113 training camp with 70 men roster

DE Howie Tucker signed a new 3-year deal, quickly ending his hold out. Believe it or not: I offered him less than I likely would have during the pre-season action. He accepted the offer; jolly good, sir.

We signed QB Dakota Peterson from the Rochester Razorbacks. Their starter the last two seasons and previously the Snapfinger Jazz backup for 4 seasons. His production through the air is somewhat underwhelming, but at this point we have to consider a 45/45ish ball thrower with decent enough sense rush ability, running legs, timing and whatnot a pleasant placeholder for Singleton at $7.5M per season for 2 seasons.

We added up to 70 by signing 5 undrafted rookies: C Leonardo McConnell, DE Erick Carlin, DT Viking Wedderburn, DE Jamie Coffey and DE Leslie Kelly. The last two will be asked to bulk up and make a switch to defensive end. C McConnell is 20/35ish, DE Carlin 25/35ish, DE Coffey 20/45ish, DE Kelly 25/30ish and DT Wedderburn 25/40ish.

It means we go into camp with 6 quarterbacks (including QB Harrison Singleton), 5 running backs, 1 fullback, 4 tight ends, 7 wide receivers, 4 centers, 3 guards, 2 left tackles, 2 right tackles, 1 kicker, 2 punters, 8 defensive ends (excluding LB Avery Distel), 6 defensive tackles, 7 linebackers, 5 cornerbacks, 6 safeties and 1 long snapper. It will quite the challenge to trim down to 60 just based on training camp results. Although it should be obvious that the surplus position groups are the most likely spots to trim down...

With a new offensive coordinator style, it will be even more challenging to rework our game plan on offense.

Which sums up basically the action post draft and before training camp.
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Old 02-25-2023, 05:32 PM   #766
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Kerry Lewis added to Merchantmen Ring of Honor

Long overdue. 2046 IHOF Legend of the Game Kerry Lewis has been chosen to be the 100th addition to the Maassluis Merchantmen Ring of Honor. Football fans with a sense of history have lobbied for Lewis before, but it wasn't until now that the committee has caved in and accepts that the IHOF's all-time leader in games played deserves this spot. His name will be revealed on the ring during the pre-season week 2 home game against the reigning IHOF champion Fairbanks Northstars.

Although listed as a quarterback, Kerry Lewis joined the Merchantmen in 2029 with the intent to be their new kick holder and only third string emergency quarterback in the process, behind eventual Hall of Famer "Rusty" Harrison and career back Tracy Kerr. For 14 seasons, Lewis was the holder of kicker Charles Anthony, the all-time Merchantmen leader in field goals and points scored and in the latter the IHOF's all-time leader as well. When Anthony retired in the 2043 off-season, Lewis held the ball for Mack Heatherley for a season and 3 more for Marvin Creekmur.

Lewis was part of the franchise in a timeframe where the team made the playoffs for 9 seasons straight from 2035 through 2043, highlighted by an Atlantic Ocean Conference Championship in 2039 and subsequently lost IHOF Bowl. Curiously he was called upon just twice to play his natural quarterback position, leading his team to a 16-7 victory in week 17 of the 2037 season over the Bordeaux Vineyards when the #2 seed was already locked up and once more 2 seasons later late in a blowout loss at the Tucker Tigers.

Lewis' reputation as a holder was undisputed, best in the business. His iron man reputation is a result of playing in 287 regular season games and 17 playoffs games. If it wasn't for a shutout loss in week 9 of his rookie season where he didn't get onto the field, he would have accumulated 300+ straight games played.

But amidst a franchise with so many big names over 109 seasons of football, season after season he was an afterthought for the Ring of Honor. Until now, 66 seasons after his retirement. For a franchise that clamors to have a tradition of strong special teams units, it's about time Lewis joins the list, 3 seasons after Charles Anthony was added, which was also long overdue. Kickoff specialist Al Bettis and return specialists Jack Money, Scott Dupuis, Mark Perkins and most recently Calvin Maxwell also made the ring, most of them decades after the fact.


The full list of 100 names in the Ring of Honor
QB Louie Flannery*, "Rusty" Harrison*, Jay McGee, Bryson Chow*, Lester Lowe, Alfred Hickman, Ellis McAllister, Kerry Lewis
RB/FB Randy Harris, Stanley Givens*, Darrin Keegan, Harold Riley, Norbert Talley*, Fernando Scott
FB Albert "The Shovel" Shalon, Gilbert Taliancich
TE Jim Reiser, Jorge Jurevicius, Emmanuel Forbes, Monty Elliot
WR Bryce Ewald, Alfredo Bass, Gabe Springer*, Freddie Upshaw, Terry Thomason, Terry Haskell*, Jack Money, Kai Oburn, Riddick Stanley*, Scott Dupuis, J.R. Mills*, "Theo" Bondy*, Mark Perkins, Ed Schulz, Vinny Buysse, Calvin Maxwell
C Brant Heinrich, Shawm Hudspeth, B.J. Samuels, Cristian Sampson, Zack Whelan, Tom Anaya*, Butch Pearson
G Casey Kappers, J.J. Reilly, Ricky Castillo, Bryant Huffman, Carlos Webb, Michael Szott
OT "Indestructible" Ivan Jacques, Kerry Zumdahl*, Roman Torrez, Scott Null, Oscar Meadows*, Louie Murray, Nathan Hadinger, Howard Humphrey*
K Al Bettis, Charles Anthony
DE Broderick Amadro, Jordan St. Pierre, Daquan "Da Machine" Strugielski*, Arnie May, Richie Piotte*
DT Charles Gomez, Andy Cottle, Dennis Lucas*, Brian Lincoln, Shaun "The Behemoth" Hartman*, Preston Urquoila, Glen Stiegler, Darien Fletcher
LB Cody Cluff, Bernie Surry, Mike Kershner, R.J. Knight, Fred McCorkle, Daniel "Double D" Duncan, Wesley Devine*, Jeremiah Collier, Edward Ross*, Gabe Hamilton, Antoino Battle, Craig McCorkle*, Glenn Brewer, Brandon Brady
CB Tai Wayne, Randall Allen, Everett Heiser, Peter Tucker*, Kirk Hitchcock*, Ernie Grant
S Lincoln Gilmore, Eddie Cole, Jimmy Chellino, Perry Walker, Thurman Hopper, Devon Farrell, Bart Guthrie*
* IHOF Hall of Fame enshrined
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Old 03-14-2023, 04:22 PM   #767
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General Manager Notes: 2113 Pre-Season Roster Set

Training Camp has finished and we told 10 players they won't make our pre-season roster. It's sad, because I saw upside in at least half of these kids. But we'll have to abide to the roster size limits and we'll still have an excess of 7 players to the regular season roster limit.

We released 7th round rookie QB Shawn Delay, last season's emergency signing QB Corey Backer, big-play WR Edgar Horn, undrafted rookie C Leonardo McConnell, 2112 5th round pick C Russell Mahoney, undrafted rookies DE Erick Carlin, DE Leslie Kelly and DT Viking Wedderburn, special teams expert LB Charles Wintch and finally 2112 undrafted rookie CB Kent Wodarz.

It wasn't even like they all had a bad training camp, Mahoney, Kelly and Wodarz were amongst the 11 players that made good progress. I'll list all the players that went +3 or better on the 1-100 scale by my staff.
QB Shawn DeLay +3
QB Bart Tanner +3
WR Rodolfo Lane +5
C Russel Mahoney +4
C Duane Ondre +6
LT Kristopher Harmon +3
P Zack Lestage +3
DE Erick Carlin +3
DE Lonnie Wynn +4
DE Jamie Coffey +5
DE Leslie Kelly +4
DT Francisco Blades +3
DT Garrett Theurer +5
DT Viking Wedderburn +3
LB Jorge Mayes +7
LB Nicolas Giles +5
CB Kent Wodarz +4
S Joe Ramsey +4

On the 60 men roster is QB Harrison Singleton. He's listed out for 22 weeks, which should keep him sidelined until roughly the start of the playoffs. Rest be assured, he won't see the field until he's cleared, there won't be any rushing him onto the field while almost ready. But it will mean we'll go into the regular season with 6 inactive players on the roster on top of the 46 active players. We'll see in a day or so where we stand as the re-assessment of mid-pre-season will be clear.
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Old 03-15-2023, 10:57 AM   #768
TheseBoots
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I'm curious - from a game mechanics perspective - is there a risk that Singleton comes back considerably weaker? And if so, how risky do you believe it is? He's basically been out for a year by the time he should return, right? So hopefully not too much time to degrade.
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Old 03-15-2023, 02:15 PM   #769
MIJB#19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheseBoots View Post
I'm curious - from a game mechanics perspective - is there a risk that Singleton comes back considerably weaker? And if so, how risky do you believe it is? He's basically been out for a year by the time he should return, right? So hopefully not too much time to degrade.
We won't know until he's fully recovered. I'm expecting something along these lines:

Singleton will be listed as "out" until roughly week 10 or 12.

From there on he'll go somewhere from doubtful or questionable to probable. Eventually he'll be back to 100% in week 17 or thereabouts, at which point we'll know whether this injury cost him a ratings hit.
If there is a hit, we'll see a different player, but it's not carved in stone, neither do I know which ratings will or will not take a big reduction.
If, big if, there is no hit, Singleton will be rusty.

The really tricky part is whether or not to actually put Singelton on the field once he hits "doubtful" (or questionable or probable), because with these kind of injuries the risk of reinjuring are almost a guarantee (hence risking another season on the sidelines and what not). So, it's a no brainer to me, whatever happens, Singelton won't make it to the active roster unless he's 100%.

And that trickiest part of that: it will mean I need to keep my roster legal at all times, because if I miss an injury elsewhere on the team, or somehow end up with 45 active, the AI will goof around and activate Singelton no matter what, risk him getting on the field, reinjure himself and quite likely destroy his career.


Some people might throw Singleton on injured reserve at this stage already, but I'm going to try to stay optimistic and hope to see him return to 100% in time to start in the playoffs or earlier if we get lucky with his recovery. If by miracle we'll end up in the bowl game and Singelton is not yet 100%, there and then we'll have a decision to make, but to be fair, if we make it that far, would it make sense to bench the QB that got us there?
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Old 03-18-2023, 08:41 AM   #770
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General Manager Notes: Down to 53 for 2113?

Yesterday was the second cut down day. Without hesitation, we released 7 players to set a 53-men roster for the final 2 pre-season games. We split the first two beating the IHOF Champions Fairbanks Northstars 16-9 in Oranje Haven, while we followed up with a 33-28 loss at the Kansas Creationists.

The seven players released are RB Korey Burnett, G Jose Bryant, P Zack Lestage, DE Jamie Coffey, DT Garrett Theurer, S Joe Ramsey and S Tanner Phillip.

RB Burnett didn't play in the first pre-season games, but the lack of regression with the returning guys from last season at RB meant that there was no reason to replace any of them, making Burnett the 5th wheel.

G Bryant lost the roster spot battle for the 8th O-lineman to rookie LT Kristopher Harmon.

P Lestage looks like he's IHOF caliber, but our 3rd-year Tyrus Johnston is holding up in ability and potential as a top10 guy. I will keep my eyes open for a top5 guy, but for now Johnston is the best we can get. Lestage is now amongst 6 punters that are on the open market and seriously deserve a roster spot. Although, Lestage is about 32nd in ability, so it could be tough for him.

DE Coffey is now the most talented pass rusher on the open market. But we have so much similar guys on team already, with more years on roster. It just wasn't meant to be, I guess?

DT Theurer took a hit in potential in pre-season, according to my staff. It's too bad, I had good hopes for him. He's still decent backup material, but he wasn't going to play on our rotation behind 4 clearly better guys.

S Ramsey felt like a tough decision, he was the last man out. Reality is that we used him just twice in his first 2 seasons. So unless I could find an active roster spot for him, there was no way it would make sense to keep him, other than for injury replacement reasons or if one of the veteran safeties would have fallen apart, which didn't happen.

S Phillip lost the battle for the kickoff returner spot to RB Sherman Ward and in particular WR Hunter Tuitele. Phillip seems to have better potential, about to be better than both right now, but I decided against Phillip. This kid should make a roster spot elsewhere, it was a disgrace he sat without a roster spot elsewhere in the league all of last season.

We'll head into our final pre-season games now and start the talks with players out of contract next season. We have roughly $23.5M to work with and the most expensive player to talk with will be TE Ted Gordon, a proven 900-yard receiver.


This all also means QB Harrison Singleton did not get placed on injured reserve, we'll keep him inactive until he's ready to return at 100%. Only if the recovery ends up taking longer, we will reconsider late in the season. For the starting quarterback gig for the regular season, it's on between QB Bart Tanner and QB Dakota Peterson. In early pre-season action, Tanner got sacked a lot, while Peterson didn't get sacked and actually used his legs better than Tanner. I haven't made up my mind on this quite yet.
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Old 04-02-2023, 06:51 AM   #771
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Singleton returns to practice
Maassluis Merchantmen quarterback Harrison Singleton has returned to the practice field. After a grueling knee injury suffered in a week 16 loss at the Moontown Darksiders, Singleton had been sidelined. This week, he was cleared to return to joining the team during practice sessions. The Merchantmen medical staff upgraded Singleton's injury status from 'out' to 'probable'. But Merchantmen management has been clear about when and where Singleton will return to the starting lineup. General manager M.IJ.B. was clear: "Singleton won't join the active roster until he's upgraded to 100%." The medical staff projects a recovery maybe just in time for week 17's home game against the Paris Musketeers. Until then, Bart Tanner and Dakota Peterson will remain the viable options at quarterback.
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Old 04-02-2023, 07:31 AM   #772
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General Manager Notes: 2113, a lost season

I have no way to make things sound better than they are, we're near the bottom of the league after 12 weeks of action and it's quite clear that we're incapable of doing anything remotely close to what this bunch of players should be capable of.

I could try to motivate myself to recap every single game we've played so far, but it would be a depressing story as we started the season with a 3-game losing streak (23-27 vs Gothenburg, 14-26 at Frederick, 20-34 at San Antonio) and followed it up with a shocking 27-19 win vs Tucker, pathetic losses at Augusta (21-42) and Paris (10-21), a miraculous 20-18 win vs Snapfinger, hopeless losses at Bordeaux (21-42), Orlando (17-40) and Gothenburg (23-44) and an overtime 31-28 win vs Brooklyn. Curiously, we're 3-1 in home games this season, but our 0-7 record on the road makes it all moot.

I've flipflopped between QB Bart Tanner and QB Dakota Peterson. Tanner started in week 1, Peterson in week 2 through 7, then Tanner from week 8 through 12. Peterson has clearly been more prone to pass rush pressure. The offensive line has proven to be too weak to give the quarterbacks time, both struggle to complete 50% of their passes and float around 200 yards per game.

The ineptitude of our passing game has in no way been saved by our state of the art receiving group. WR Jessie Vertelney has 49 catches for 642 yards, without a single touchdown. WR Rodolfo Lane has 43 catches for 562 yards, with 8 touchdowns. TE Ted Gordon keeps getting in the way or making the safe target catches with 68 receptions for 711 yards. The rest of the bunch, let us not even talk about them.

Amidst this, RB Renaldo Billodeaux is on pace for a "Pro Bowl" worthy set of stats, averaging nearly 5.5 yards per carry with 4 100-yard performances and 8 touchdowns in 11 games. Yes, we're still a running team, but apparently even more so after switching from a "Smashmouth" type offensive coordinator to a "Balanced" type.

The defense and in particular the pass defense has played disappointing. We're not just last in yards per game allowed, but also in yards per pass attempt. And the pass rush is far from impressive, closer to a failure for what these guys' skills are than playing up to par. Overall, well, a unit we can't be proud of.

The special teams unit is doing somewhat fine. I guess.

European Division
1. Gothenburg 7-3-1
2. Bordeaux 7-4
3. Paris 3-8
4. Maassluis 3-8

Yeah, we're at the bottom. The division title is mathematically out already, because Gothenburg and Bordeaux still face one another in week 17 and both already have tie-breakers secured over us. Bordeaux will still be the team to surpass for the final wild card. Or we're going to need another kind of miracle, which would require the 8-3 Tucker Tigers to lose all of their final 5 games. Obviously we'll try to play spoiler to Bordeaux once they visit us, after all, we have 4 home games remining in the bottom 5, but even if we go undefeated in that final quintet, it's very unlikely.

Oh well, I might refocus on the return of Singleton in one of the final games. I'm still cautious, but so far the forecast is he'll be able to play up to the same level as before his injury. And all that with his contract year coming up in 2114...
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Old 04-04-2023, 03:53 AM   #773
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*Oof* Tough, tough season =(

Some small silver linings in the apparent return of Singleton as a capable player (fingers crossed...) and a higher than usual draft position
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Old 04-07-2023, 11:36 AM   #774
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General Manager Notes: Worst season ever avoided, barely

A dreadful season has come to an end. In a season where we got outscored by our opponents by 110 points over 16 games, it required a couple of blowout victories over our French division rivals to keep it north of our -122 figure in the 2102 season. It was still our 3rd ever with -100 or worse. "Dreadful" indeed.

That was a bit of a spoiler on our final games. In week 13 we managed to lose a home game to Harlem 35-23 despite picking their quarterback off 5 times. We followed up with a hard fought 29-22 loss at Chesapeake and in week 16 we lost 28-7 at home against Williamsburg. We wrapped around that unwatchable home game with solid 34-10 and 41-21 wins against Bordeaux and Paris. Beating Bordeaux required us 3 interception return touchdowns, whilst the week 17 victory saw QB Bart Tanner achieve his first 300-yard performance, leaning heavily on WR Jessie Vertelney's 149 yards receiving, his second best in 5 season with us.

European Division
1. Gothenburg 10-5-1
2. Bordeaux 9-7
3. Maassluis 5-11
4. Paris 4-12

Bordeaux would have still missed the playoffs had they beaten us in week 15, which is a tiny solace to what otherwise was a bit of a turnaround season for the Vineyards. Gothenburg lost crucial home games in the middle of the season to Tucker and Augusta, which dropped them to the #3 seed, although the Giants might put it all on their week 17 loss at Bordeaux. Despite our pathetic showing, we still didn't finish last in the division.

People in and around Indianapolis would have cheered for their team to fail even harder, but that's just not our attitude. We'll get the 7ht overall pick in the 2114 draft as well as a yet to be determined how high or low first round pick from Orlando.

Sadly QB Harrison Singleton didn't recover in time to get to play this season, but the outlook for now is he'll be as good as ever. Which is bad news for QB Dakota Peterson and QB Bart Tanner, as this should mean their demotion to playing for second fiddle in the next off-season. But with their respective bottom of the league passer ratings, they should be happy to still be in the league next season, they had the luxury to team up with the most talented wide receiver duo in the league right now and possibly in Merchantmen history.

RB Renaldo Billodeaux finished the season with 1,338 yards and 10 touchdowns without a single fumble. He was a rare bright light on our offense. Although WR Rodolfo Lane might be worth mentioning somewhat as he is quickly turning into one of the best punt return specialist in the IHOF ever.

The defense was plain and simply Merchantmen unworthy. The team finished last in sacks with just 20. The final stretch was just acceptable enough to finish below 400 yard per game allowed, but we still finished last. And the points allowed figure swung to Paris because of the head-to-head beating we gave them in week 17, or we would have "earned" another last place.

So, yeah, all in all, a season we shall try to forget as quickly as possible.

Is it 2114 already? Not yet, we'll have to sit out the playoffs first...
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Old 04-21-2023, 04:39 PM   #775
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Merchantmen Retirement Wave 2114
The 2114 IHOF off-season was unkind to the Maassluis Merchantmen. No less than 4 players to remember announced their retirements from football. 34 seasons of service accounting for 592 games played stepped away.

TE Garrett Alcala retired after 12 seasons in Maassluis. A high 2nd round pick in 2102, Alcala jumped into the starting lineup right away. Initially mostly as a blocker, but eventually his role in the passing game grew, resulting in a 14-touchdown season followed up by a pair of 100-catch seasons, including a 1,059-yard figure in 2106. With 688 receptions for 7,090 yards and 53 touchdowns, Alcala set new all-time highs for a Maassluis Merchantmen tight end. Alcala retires after 194 games played, all for the Merchantmen.

G Brett Stickney left the Merchantmen after 12 seasons. A 4th round pick in 2102, Stickney was a starter from day one on the team and only injuries ever kept him off the field. Reliable in both the pass protection and paving the way for the running backs, Stickney was a lineman the offense could depend on. Stickney steps away after an injury crippled 2113 season, putting 185 games played for the Merchantmen as his final tally.

RB Bennett Holmes retired after 11 seasons in Maassluis. A 3rd round pick in 2103, already as a rookie, Holmes was a member of a two- or three-headed rotation. Usually Holmes was listed as the starter, at least on paper. Stuck in the timeshare, despite consistently racking up 5.0 yards per carry seasons, his sole 1,000-yard campaign was in his 8th season with the Merchantmen. That season (2110), Holmes defied all scouting reports, while widely described as over the hill, he had a sensational 5.33 yards per carry. With 7,216 rushing yards, 34 rushing touchdowns and a 4.8 yards per carry average, Holmes certainly belongs amongst the list of legendary Merchantmen ball carriers, especially considering his (for a Maassluis running back) unprecedented 180 games played.

In contrast, DT Dwayne Downs played just 2 seasons in Maassluis. A #4 overall pick in 2101 for the Capital City Blues, Downs was a monster defensive tackle. After 10 seasons without playoffs football, the Toronto Lake Monsters hauled Downs as a free agent, helping them back into the playoffs. It turned out to be a 1-year stint as he was subsequently traded to Maassluis in 2112, where he also helped his new team make the playoffs. Last season Downs signed a new 1-year deal, for a 2nd and apparently final season with the Merchantmen. As a 6-time All IHOF selection, Downs might end up in the conversation for Hall of Fame accolades.
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Old 04-21-2023, 04:50 PM   #776
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Singleton signs new 3-year deal with Merchantmen
QB Harrison Singleton and the Maassluis Merchantmen today agreed terms on a new 3-year contract. Not counting the annual contract restructures, Singleton had reached the final season of his big 5-year contract signed in 2110, which came right after his first one and a half seasons as the starter. Following the grueling knee injury that side-lined Singleton for the entire 2113 season, the Merchantmen made no secret of wanting to lock up their franchise quarterback.
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Old 04-21-2023, 05:08 PM   #777
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John Aponte leaves Merchantmen for Colonials
Today the Williamsburg Colonials announced the signing of S John Aponte. The experienced and elite zone defender decided to turn down a contract offer from the Maassluis Merchantmen, where he had played all 8 of his IHOF seasons after being one of their 7th round picks in 2106. Aponte had been a starter from day one and leaves the Merchantmen after 131 games, never missing any.


Steve Aber signs with Ospreys
The Outer Banks Ospreys signed DE Steve Aber as a free agent. After 5 seasons with the Maassluis Merchantmen in a backup role, Aber spreads his wings in hopes to finally get a chance to show the football world he's got what it takes to be a premier pass rusher. Aber was a starter in several of the Merchantmen's sensational victories over the last 4 seasons, yet he never won team management over and was active in only 3 regular games in the last 3 seasons.


Merchantmen won't re-sign Sherman Ward and Freddie Burnham
Today the Maassluis Merchantmen have decided to not offer a new contract to free agents RB Sherman Ward and LT Freddie Burnham, while they will make an offer to CB Kent Wodarz. For Ward this ends the stint in Maassluis after 2 seasons as the team's kickoff returner and change of pace ball carrier. Burnham was a late season signing as injuries kept piling up on the Merchantmen offensive line. Wodarz returned to Maassluis late last season after he was a training camp casualty earlier in his second season in Maassluis. Wodarz already turned down a contract offer from the Merchantmen when he still had restricted status, hence it's unclear at the moment whether Wodarz desires to stick around or hope for a bigger contract elsewhere.
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Old 04-22-2023, 10:34 AM   #778
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General Manager Notes: 2114 training camp roster ready!

Our training camp roster is set. I've decided to not go over the top and bring the maximum of 70 players to camp, offering contracts to 10 free agents and seeing us sign 9 of them, to make for 61 players on team. That excludes RB Sherman Ward and LT Freddie Burnham (both are still with us as free agents), but they will not go along. It means we'll have to make just 1 release after camp and prior to pre-season action.

I've put QB Dakota Peterson in the trade block as I fully expect us to go with QB Harrison Singelton as our starter and with QB Bart Tanner in the backup role, ahead of kick holder Drake Bishop.

I'll list the 61 players by position group and elaborate on our off-season movements below each group. I can't truly forecast which players will make the 53-men roster eventually, after all, pre-season craziness has yet to take place.

Quarterbacks
45/45 QB Dakota Peterson
40/40 QB Harrison Singleton
20/35 QB Bart Tanner
10/10 QB Drake Bishop
Same group as the end of last season. The main change is Singelton returning to the team from injury and signing a contract extension. Both Peterson and Bishop are in the final year, Bishop will get an extension in pre-season. Peterson will be on the trade block.

Backfield
50/50 RB Rusty Kemp
45/45 RB Renaldo Billodeaux
40/40 FB Kenneth Holse
35/35 RB Cary Delgado
30/40 RB Edwin Erickson
25/35 RB Tommy Tasker
There are 3 new names here. Kemp is a 6th year veteran free agent signing, Tasker a 7th round rookie and Erickson an undrafted rookie. RB Bennett Holmes retired and RB Sherman Ward has been left unsigned. Kemp is an elite special teamer while also bringing along very good hole recognition, third down running, punt returning and blitz pickup skills. Tasker thrives from his breakaway speed and blitz pickup, while Erickson leans on hole recognition, breakaway speed and special teams ability.

Tight Ends
60/60 TE Ted Gordon
25/55 TE Corbin Robbins
35/35 TE Juan Brady
35/35 TE Arnie Huffman
20/25 TE Kyle Upshaw
Robbins was our top rookie pick at #19 overall, while Brady joined as a 12th year veteran to mentor him. Some claim Robbins was the second best at his position, but my staff disagreed and prompted me to pick him over the higher graded tight end. This fills the void of losing our all-time leading receiving tight end Garrett Alcala. Having Gordon and Robbins gives us plenty of opportunity to throw even more out of multiple tight end formations. Brady brings enough special teams skills, route running and run blocking ability to make him good enough for the 46-active slots.

Wide Receivers
75/75 WR Rodolfo Lane
70/70 WR Jessie Vertelney
45/45 WR Preston Gray
30/30 WR Jaylen Gearhart
15/35 WR Maurice Sweeney
25/25 WR Kai Cote
15/20 WR Hunter Tuitele
Sweeney was a 7th round pick this draft, exclusively for his kickoff return ability, at which our staff expects him to be top20 already and potentially close to the top5. Lane has improved into best in business, wouldn't it be nice to actually see hm play up to it and get above his personal bests of 59 receptions and 757 receiving yards? Maybe Lane and Vertelney just needed to stick around and get Singelton back on the team to finally let the cohesion kick in?

Offensive Linemen
70/70 RT Ivan Dole
60/60 C Zane Chaplain
55/55 G Andres Uwaezuoke
25/75 LT Dan Clancy
45/45 RT Clayton Bernstein
25/45 G Kristopher Harmon
30/40 C Duane Ondre
20/45 G Alfred Pearsall
25/25 LT Harold Gruenwalder
Clancy was our pick at #24 overall and I truly hope his excellent pass protection skills will come true. Pearsall was an undrafted rookie signing, leaning towards a run blocking type. Grunewalder and Bernstein will likely battle for the mentor role for Clancy, although I could see us using Bernstein as our second guard.

Defensive Linemen
70/70 DT Efrain Hutchins
55/60 DE Lonnie Wynn
55/55 DE Calvin Buckley
45/50 DT Francisco Blades
40/40 DT Gabriel Morris
40/40 DE Christopher Wrighster
35/35 DE Howie Tucker
20/40 DE Ernest Frias
Frias is an undrafted rookie. We lost Dwayne Downs to retirement, a huge gap on the line. I may need to keep an eye open for a half-decent veteran that could step in here, as Hutchins, Blades and Morris is a little bit thin to get through the season. We also lost DE Steve Abner to free agency, a player I almost forgot that he was actually on our team, despite that he was a very reliable pass rusher when we had to use him due to injuries and stuff.

Linebackers
55/65 ILB Jorge Mayes
55/55 ILB Gus Coleman
40/40 ILB Xavier Hoover
40/40 OLB Bobby Diaz
30/50 OLB Nicolas Giles
35/35 OLB Avery Distel
25/40 OLB Raymond Casper
15/30 ILB Jimmie Poole
Casper and Poole are undrafted rookie signings. Casper is a special teamer with pass rush strength and play diagnosis, but is too small to switch to defensive end. Poole is a special teamer with pass rush technique and zone defense skills, but he's undersized to make a switch to defensive end. Key here is for Giles and Mayes to really get to their potential and start anchoring this defense.

Secondary
45/45 S Dan Peterson
45/45 CB Evan Merrell
45/45 S Noah Matthews
45/45 CB Byron Sokol
35/35 CB Skip Horner
35/35 CB Joel Delgado
20/40 S Joe Hamblin
25/30 CB Kent Wodarz
20/35 S Peter Hinsley
25/25 S Craig Clancy
15/25 CB Seth Hook
We lost S John Aponte to free agency, despite that I tried to re-sign him. Hamblin, Hinsley and Hook are all undrafted rookie signings. Hinsley is a zone defender. Hook is a special teamer with some man-to-man and bump and run potential. Hamblin is a run stopper and punishing hitter with some zone defense potential. It is what it is, I suppose? Until I ever re-figure out how defense works, this very talented bunch will not play up to their ability and finish last in passing yards allowed.

Special Teams guys
65/65 P Tyrus Johnston
85/85 K Oscar Harrington
20/20 LS Wayne Brewer
A fine group, with Harrington elite and the other two above average compared to their counterparts elsewhere in the league.
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Old 04-27-2023, 08:19 AM   #779
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General Manager Notes: And then there were 53
Yup, we've already trimmed down the roster. Almost, that is.

Training 2114 was slightly underwhelming. The list of players that made a strong impression wasn't as large is I could have hoped. At the same time, we've climbed back to the top of Mount Cohesion, which means we're a relatively old team with players that have little room of improvement. So, which players did make a good impression?
QB Bart Tanner, rookie TE Corbin Robbins, C Duane Ondre, rookie G Alfred Pearsall, rookie LT Dan Clancy, DT Francisco Blades, LB Jorge Mayes, LB Nicolas Giles, CB Kent Wodarz and rookie S Peter Hinsley.

Rookie S Joel Hamblin made too little progress to make our pre-season team. But he wasn't the only player to know for sure he won't make the 2114 team, as we releases 6 players after the first two pre-season games: rookie RB Tommy Tasker, TE Kyle Upshaw, WR Hunter Tuitele, G Kristopher Harmon, rookie LB Jimmie Poole and rookie CB Seth Hook. QB Dakota Peterson will not make the team either, he'll move to the Orlando Talons to improve from QB3 with us to QB2 with them.

The unexplainable mess of pre-season was unkind to RB Cary Delgado, FB Kenneth Holse, veteran signing TE Juan Brady, WR Hunter Tuitele, WR Jaylen Gearhart, RT Ivan Dole, K Oscar Harrington, DT Francisco Blades, DT Gabriel Morris, LB Avery Distel, CB Evan Merrell and S Craig Clancy. In practice, most keep their projected role on the team, except for Delgado (demoted to inactive mentor), Tuitele (cut in favor of rookie WR Maurice Sweeney) and Morris or Blades. We need to keep our eyes open for an improvement at our DT rotation.

The remainder of pre-season will be mostly used to lock up potential free agents. QB Drake Bishop, TE Arnie Huffman, WR Kai Cote, RT Ivan Dole, LB Avery Distel, LB Bobby Diaz and CB Skip Horner have been part of the first swing. RB Renaldo Billodeaux and P Tyrus Johnston have to re-evaluate their player agents' as their mathematically challenged assistants turned down the kind of contracts they usually prefer over high bonus deals. How about that.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot we actually played a pair of exhibition games. The first one saw the magnificent return of QB Harrison Singleton, as he completed 8 for 8 for 102 yards, 1 touchdown and a perfect passer rating against the defending NAC champion Hanalei Dragons. With Bart Tanner under center, we struggled in the second half, but so did the opponents as we ended up winning 24-13 with the half time score also being the end of game score.

In our first pre-season game at home, we beat the Kansas Creationists 16-10 in overtime, with RB Renaldo Billodeaux running the game winner in. QB Harrison Singelton somewhat struggled in his first on the field action in Oranje Haven after the horrific knee injury that sidelined him all of last season, but the connection with WR Jessie Vertelney looked smooth. Now, if only Singleton could jell with league best WR Rodolfo Lane and the tight end duo, we should be in for a fantastic season.
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Old 05-07-2023, 07:56 AM   #780
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General Manager Notes: Yikes, we're in a tough division

The 2114 season is underway and the Merchantmen have played quite so-so-ish. In contrast, the rest of the division has steamrolled through the first 5 weeks, only tripping over fellow European Division teams, making for an incredible situation where a winning record could still put you in last place. How did we arrive there?

Week 1 vs Bordeaux
The official return of QB Harrison Singleton saw him shine like in his early seasons. Singleton threw for 238 yards, 2 touchdowns and ran for 52 yards on top of it. He found WR Rodolfo Lane for 130 yards and a touchdown, while TE Ted Gordon hauled in the other touchdown. Newly signed former Bordeaux RB Rusty Kemp accounted for 2 rushing touchdowns, while RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for 117 yards.
Result: 43-27 win

Week 2 at Hanalei
A visits to the reigning NAC Champions saw us choke an early 17-0 lead based on interceptions from our defense on the Hanalei Dragons first two drives. Hanalei bounced back taking a 19-17 lead, but as our offense finally got rolling, we turned it into a 31-19 lead late in the 4th quarter. It wasn't enough as three straight drives saw QB Harrison Singelton turn the ball over, resulting in 22 unanswered points. Singelton threw for 279 yards with touchdowns to TE Ted Gordon and WR Jessie Vertelney, while RB Rusty Kemp ran for one and CB Evan Merrell returned an interception for touchdown.
Result: 31-41 loss

Week 3 vs Orlando
With a struggling Talons coming to Maassluis, there was some optimism in upsetting them. Despite our field position domination, a couple of interceptions thrown by QB Harrison Singleton kept things close. The Orlando offense woke up in the fourth quarter, tying the score with 40 seconds to go, but on our final drive, we decided not to play for overtime and Singleton found WR Rodolfo Lane for a Hail Mary 42-yard touchdown pass to grab an unlikely victory. Singleton threw for 287 yards and touchdowns to WR Jessie Vertelney and aforementioned game winner to Lane, for him adding up to 105 yards receiving. RB Rusty Kemp added a couple of rushing touchdowns to the tally.
Result: 35-28 victory

Week 4
We had once again the way too early bye week. It is what it is, we'll always have to deal with it.

Week 5 at North Plainfield
Rarely have we beaten the North Plainfield Plague while we were having a good start to the season and it turned into yet another disappointment. Losing the turnover battle 5-1, even our impressive red zone defense was insufficient to overcome all the giveaways. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns, one each to his duo TE Corbin Robbins and TE Ted Gordon, the latter on a 127-yard performance for the day.
Result: 20-30 loss

Week 6 vs Rochester
And then we bounced back, at home, again. The visiting Razorbacks were an opponent to fear, but for the first time this season our pass defense seriously showed up and held them to 38 net yards on 31 passing plays, averaging to a 1.23 yards per pass attempt average. In particular CB Evan Merrell was on fire, accounting for 1 interception and 2 forced fumbles (sadly neither turned into a turnover). The final score was still closer than needed to be, as the Razorbacks managed to score on a safety and a kickoff return touchdown. QB Harrison Singleton was underwhelming with 160 passing yards and 1 touchdown to WR Rodolfo Lane. RB Renaldo Billodeaux scored his first 2 touchdowns of the season.
Result: 25-21 victory

European Division standings
1. Paris 4-1
2. Gothenburg 4-2
3. Maassluis 3-2
4. Bordeaux 3-2

After week 5, the division was 11-2 in non-divisional games, with us accounting for both losses. In week 6, all three rivals lost and we jumped back into the race. I mean, with 5 rounds of divisional games still to be played, let alone 5 or 5 more games outside it, this is by no means a guarantee to end up in a strong division with 3 playoffs tickets and a last place winning record team.

With 3 wins at home and 2 losses on the road, we really have no idea what to think here. In particular QB Harrison Singleton has once again been the hit-or-miss version of himself and not the stellar game manager that he was in his frist 3 seasons. Quite the pity, as I was so happy about his recovery from the knee surgery and offered him a new semi-expensive contract. Sooner or later, we'll have to decided whether we see more upside in QB Bart Tanner, who is in his 3rd season now and needs to get on the field to develop. It might be a game plan problem, but that makes no sense given how well Singleton did early on with a similar game plan and with an inferior receiving group (no offense meant to our clearly over the hill veteran legends WR Calvin Maxwell and TE Garrett Alcala).

Next up the biggest test so far as the Toronto Lake Monsters will come to the city. Oranje Haven will be sold out once again, no doubt.
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Old 05-11-2023, 04:14 PM   #781
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Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: It's Tanner Time

We're rolling on, but things are not quite going as you might expect. We lost DT Efrain Hutchins to a concussing against Rochester in week 5, while both QB Harrison Singleton and RB Renaldo Billodeaux dropped out against Toronto in week 7.

Week 7 vs Toronto
A big test against the virtual top seeds in the conference. QB Harrison Singleton had a crucial role with ill timed turnovers. We'll never know what could have been, but despite losing the turnover battle 4-0, we still managed to win the field position battle, which is quite improbable and proves we can play ball with the top teams. Singelton threw for 236 yards and a touchdown to TE Ted Gordon, with had 114 yards receiving while WR Rodolfo Lane had 108 yards receiving. RB Rusty Kemp added another pair of rushing touchdowns. But as the turnovers piled on, so came the injuries to Singleton, prompting the return of QB Bart Tanner.
Result: 21-42 loss

Week 8 vs Paris
There's no denying this: we completely blew Paris away. They dropped back to earth harder than I've seen teams fall back in quite some time. We outgained them 468 to 187 in total yards, overcame 3 interceptions thrown and still managed to almost shut them out, if it wasn't for their sole field goal with 5 minutes to go. Their bust-or-not quarterback managed to stay mistake free, but also got pulled and saw his back up play things out against our kick holder third string ball thrower. Humiliation at it's best or worst. QB Bart Tanner threw for 226 yards with 2 touchdown passes, while QB Drake Bishop threw for 1 touchdown. WR Rodolfo Lane had 122 yards receiving with 1 touchdown, TE Ted Gordon and RB Rusty Kemp also caught a touchdown pass. Undrafted rookie RB Edwin Erickson ran for 2 touchdowns.
Result: 41-3 win

Week 9 at Harlem
We followed up with a bit test at the Harlem Apollos and albeit we allowed touchdowns on their first two possessions, QB Bart Tanner and the guys around him played solid enough to make up for it with ball possession drives. Tanner threw for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns, both to WR Rodolfo Lane, who gained 145 receiving yards in the process.
Result: 24-21 win

Week 10 at Bordeaux
The stomping of the French teams continued with a quite surprising easy win at the Bordeaux Vineyards. We seriously expected them to avenge the week 1 loss, but their defense really let them down. Or our offense is seriously getting pumped up, with QB Bart Tanner leading the way with 365 yards passing and 2 touchdowns to WR Rodolfo Lane, who in the process gained 176 yards. Undrafted rookie sensation Edwin Erickson ran for 128 yards and 3 touchdowns, all three scores in the first quarter. The offense stopped at 554 total yards, a figure I seriously thought we should be capable of, but haven't gotten really close to. Not to mention that until this game, I was still on the fence about whether Tanner is truly more promising that QB Harrison Singleton. The switch might be more final now than it was last season, I think it's Tanner Time.
Result: 38-12 win


European Division
1. Gothenburg 7-2
2. Maassluis 6-3
3. Paris 4-5
4. Bordeaux 4-5

Take away the pounding we gave the French teams and they're still combining for 1 win over .500, but the early season tight race could be headed for a two-horse race. One that gets a serious showdown in the next round of games, in an undeniable game of the week: the Merchantmen at the Giants.

The quarterback situation might be a non-situation now, the injury to Singleton may be a blessing in disguise for the team. The luxury at the running back position is more puzzling. Erickson has been amazing in the absence of Billodeaux, but our #1 rusher is fully recovered for the game in Gothenburg, while Kemp is a touchdown machine. Rodolfo Lane has risen to the top and at least for a week, he'll be called the leading receiver in the IHOF. Ted Gordon is also on pace for a 1,200-yard kind of season. Now imagine Jessie Vertelney actually improving from his 4 catches for 46 yards per game and this offense could challenge for one of the most productie Merchantmen offenses ever. 400+ yard per game offense are rare in Maassluis, it happened in 2058 and 2059 (when QB Lester Lowe was at his peak), 2077 (when QB Sammy Erickson threw for 4,731 yards with 2,228 to WR J.R. Mills) and 2078 (the one-season rental QB Bennett Morris' season). All of which were phenomenal fun offenses to watch.

But, this might be the jinx of jinxes and make this team drop hard in our next game, which for decades has been our hardest game of the season. Our last two wins in Gothenburg were in 2103 (11 seasons ago) and 2087 (27 seasons ago). We played a strong game at the NAC Champions in week 2, maybe we can do the same at the AOC and IHOF champions in week 10. I won't count on it, but this team has been amazing at times. So, why not?
__________________
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 05-11-2023 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 05-19-2023, 05:15 PM   #782
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Playoffs?

Okay, the season is shaping up to be a good one. Still, second place behind the Gothenburg Giants, but with 2 games remaining against them, there was every reason to think the division title was still possible, at the very least mathematically speaking. But a loss in Gothenburg would drop us behind 2 wins and as I mentioned in my previous update, a visit to Gothenburg was up next for us.

Week 11 at Gothenburg
Boy, oh boy, did we let ourselves down in this game. We actually played kind of quite well, but QB Bart Tanner threw no less than 6 interceptions and saw his sidekicks lose 2 of 3 fumbles. Add in an unimaginable 2 kickoff return touchdowns allowed by what should be the best special teams unit in the league and you have to understand there's only just as much as a defense can do is keeping the Giants offense to 2 touchdowns and 3 field goals. The running game was invisible as Tanner was forced to throw a lot, throwing for 246 yards and running for a touchdown. Third string QB Drake Bishop threw a touchdown pass to WR Jessie Vertelney in garbage time. THe score board showed a scoring deficit, no lies.
Result: 14-37 loss

Week 12 vs Oakland
The best remedy to a painful loss is going to your own home stadium and putting up a fight against an opponent that could be considered to be the better team. It turned out the Black Panthers came to Maassluis to display one of their sloppiest performances in a decade. Or maybe we also deserved some credit with outstanding defensive play and an offense that played their hearts out, scoring touchdowns on our first four possessions. QB Bart Tanner returned to turnover free game management, throwing for 186 yards and 3 touchdowns, wit a pair to WR Jessie Vertelney and one to TE Ted Gordon. RB Rusty Kemp ran for 2 touchdowns, while rookie sensation RB Edwin Erickson ran for 123 yards, including a phenomenal 54-yard touchdown.
Result: 42-7 win

Week 13 at Fort Wayne
In season like these, the Merchantmen have a knack for pissing away games at struggling teams, which was certainly the right description for QB Ellis Cushman's Fury and their 1-10 record going into this game. The stud quarterback didn't play all that bad even, but the Merchantmen were more solid all around as QB Bart Tanner threw for 222 yards, a touchdown to WR Jessie Vertelney and pounding one own his own as well. Rookie RB Edwin Erickson was brought back to earth on 13 carries for 22 yards showing, but with the likes of TE Ted Gordon gaining 112 yards receiving, the offense showed their ability to make up for struggling others. The end result was a save and sound victory.
Result: 26-17 win

Week 14 vs Fairbanks
With the visiting Northstars struggling after a strong start to their season, the defense put another impressive game on the field. The visiting offense never got far from the 50-yard line, while we made the best of the positive turnover battle. QB Bart Tanner threw for 196 yards, with a touchdown to WR Rodolfo Lane and yet another running touchdown. RB Renaldo Billodeaux scored the other offensive touchdown, showing he was rightfully returning to the starting lineup ahead of the rookie RB Edwin Erickson.
Result: 24-3 win

Week 15 at Paris
Despite that we managed to overwhelm the Musketeers most of the game, our offense struggled to get points on the board. With just over a minute remaining, Paris scored their first touchdown of the game after a long drive that started right after QB Bart Tanner got picked off in the their end zone while we were driving for the game clinching touchdown. They failed on their two-point conversion, but they did recover the onside kickoff and we were in for a nail biting final minute. The defense came up strong to end it there and then. QB Bart Tanner threw for 307 yards with a touchdown to TE Ted Gordon, while RB Rusty Kemp ran for a touchdown.
Result: 17-12 win

Week 16 at Colorado
And then the wheels came off, in terms of that we somehow failed to put a passing game on the field. Sure, losing WR Jessie Vertelney at the eleventh hour to an appendectomy was tough, but we should have plenty enough left to make up for it. QB Bart Tanner threw for just 180 yards in 53 passing plays, getting held without a touchdown, although he did run for a score. As did RB Renaldo Billodeaux on his 132-yard performance.
Result: 20-33 loss

With a 10-5 record going into the final game of the regular season, we knew we were in a win is in modus and could otherwise sneak in if the Snapfinger Jazz would complete their late season collaps (after a 9-2 start) with a loss at the Tucker Tigers. The bad news, we were up against the Gothenburg Giants, albeit at our own place. The good news, they might rest a player or two after having locked up the #1 seed in the AOC with their 13-2 record.

Week 17 vs Gothenburg
A final showdown to the regular season as we turned the game of the week into a sensational one. Gothenburg showed up, eager to win another game, but so did we, as our offense played their hearts out and the defense with the knives between the teeth. G Andres Uwaezuoke got ejected from the game early on for unsportsmanship conduct, DT Efrain Hutchins was carted off while playing like this was the last game of his career (I hope not, he's way too young) and one of the Giants offensive linemen was carried off with a concussion.
We stormed to a 14-0 lead, but just as easily saw the Giants level things in the second quarter after a very short field following Bart Tanner's first interception. The second half turned into an all or nothing party, as neither punter got a chance to show their skills. Every drive ended with a touchdown, a successful field goal or got cut short by an interception. The Merchantmen today were better at this and slowly but steadily we gained and increased the lead.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 269 yards, with touchdown passes to WR Preston Gray (twice) and RB Renaldo Billodeaux, whilst Tanner also ran for a touchdown. Billodeaux ran for 111 yards, showing once again how crucial it is for the Merchantmen offense to stay unpredictable.
Result: 40-30 win

Playoffs baby!

European Division
1. Gothenburg 13-3
2. Maassluis 11-5
3. Paris 7-9
4. Bordeaux 6-10

Gothenburg steamrolled through the regular season, we were actually the first team this season to score more than 26 points against them. They earned the #1 seed on head-to-head win over the equally impressive 13-3 Toronto Lake Monsters. Just behind them are the 12-4 Tucker Tigers, our next opponents. The Tigers actually had to win their last game to avoid missing the playoffs (with an 11-5 record), as they held the 10-6 Snapfinger Jazz outside the playoffs. Also making it in the AOC are the 9-7 Houston Mustangs and 11-4-1 Augusta Greenjackets, the later are on a sublime 10-game winning streak as they will travel to Houston to keep that going.

The NAC wasn't just a punch of pushovers, as the 12-4 Chesapeake Chitterlings, 11-5 Texas Sharks, 11-5 Kansas Creationists and 10-6 Hanalei Dragons all went through a strong regular season campaign. They were joined by the 9-7 Capital City Blues and the 9-5-2 Oakland Black Panthers, who will face division rivals Hanalei again after a much needed week 17 victory at them.

So, we return to the playoffs once again, for the third time in 5 season. Despite that QB Bart Tanner didn't put much more impressive passing numbers on the field than QB Harrison Singleton did, the little things added up just enough for Tanner to go 8-2 in win/loss while Singleton went 3-3 as a starter. Tanner threw for 2,544 yards, 15 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and ran for 5 touchdowns. Singleton threw for 1,449 yards, 10 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and didn't run for a touchdown.

Our running game was one key to our success as we finished the regular season with league leading 5.08 yards per carry. RB Rusyt Kemp ran for 832 yards (4.81 avg) and 10 touchdown, RB Renaldo Billodeaux for 739 yards (5.13 avg) and 4 touchdowns, and RB Edwin Erickson for 405 yards (6.33 avg) and 6 touchdowns. Erickson earned the Dogbytes Offensive Misfit Toy Rookie of the Year honors.

The receivers group was both impressive and still somewhat underwhelming for what they should be capable of. WR Rodolfo Lane had 87 catches for 1,354 yards and 9 touchdowns (whilst also being the league's best punt returner), TE Ted Gordon had 114 catches for 1,227 yards and 7 touchdowns, WR Jessie Vertelney had 55 catches for 724 yards and 6 touchdowns, rookie TE Corbin Robbins had 31 catches for 399 yards and 1 touchdown. Gordon and Lane are both in the running for All-IHOF accolades.


But that's all the past now, we're moving on into week 18, the start of the playoffs, the wild card round. We'll be visiting the Tucker Tigers, the most successful franchise in the IHOF and the team we have by far the worst winning percentage against. Our last two encounters with the Tigers were both impressive victories, but we actually haven't played at Venable Stadium since 2005. Our last victory there was in 2087, 27 seasons ago.

So, let's bring out all the clichés and tells us why we actually do stand a chance and might come up with an upset victory. I can't think of any that quickly, but we have reason enough to think we have what it takes to pull it off. So, make it happen. Go Merchantmen!
__________________
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 05-19-2023 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 05-20-2023, 03:50 PM   #783
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Background Information: The inactive squad and the new arrivals

"Why is this player on the team?"
One fellow IHOF general manager once said something along those lines, pointing out that an important part of roster management is having a plan for every single one of the 53 roster spots. Now, I know I've been said to be one of those kind of general managers, but sometimes I wonder myself: am I, really? So, as it got me thinking, I decided to take a look at the current roster of 53 (yay, we actually have only 53 and no extra's due to injured reserve long term troubles) and look at two groups of players. The first being the group of players that joined the team in 2114 and the second being the group of players that spent (most of) the regular season on inactive. I'll start with that second group.


The inactive seven

RB Cary Delgado
Delgado lost the third down back role to new signing Rusty Kemp, but he was still capable of mentoring our undrafted rookie Edwin Erickson. He was also our backfield leader, although I honestly don't pay much more attention to this than trying to avoid conflicts.

TE Juan Brady
The plan was to make Brady an active backup, but he ended up being an inactive mentor to rookie first round pick Corbin Robbins. In case of injury, which always is tricky at tight end, he'd have been a worthy replacement for the special teams duties. And like Delgado, Brady is a position group leader.

WR Jaylen Gearhart
He was bound to ride the bench, but ended up on the inactive group lacking special teams skills. Freaky enough, we had to activate him in the last two games and in his seventh season on roster had his first receptions. How about that.

LT Harold Gruenwalder
The explanation repeats, Gruenwalder was on the team to mentor rookie Dan Clancy. And in case of injury emergengy, I wouldn't feel all that bad if Gruenwalder and his cohesion would be forced to play a game.

LB Gus Coleman
This was the shocker, at mid-season I decided to bench our richly rewarded legend after 10 seasons as our starter and last season's share time role. We have better pass defenders and run stopper and Coleman has no place on the special teams squad. He was still able to mentor second-year pro Jorge Mayes.

LB Raymond Casper
This was a tough decision as Casper could be a promising run stuffer, albeit undersized to play on the defensive line. His special teams skills were too little still to onto the field there, but next season his chance will come. If he gets re-signed.

CB Kent Wodarz
A solid enough zone defender and ok-ish special teamer, but I'm not confident enough in Wodarz to let him play. He's locked up for another season. We might need him if S Craig Clancy decides to retire or undrafted rookie S Peter Hinsley doesn't want to re-sign. Hinsley's emergence as a worthy nickel and dime formation zone defender was part of the reason.



The new arrivals for 2114

RB Edwin Erickson
The undrafted rookie emerged as a worthy replacement for Renaldo Billodeaux. For a short while, I thought he was solid enough to become the starter now, but that makes no sense just yet. Erickson is on a 1-year deal and giving him too much playing time makes him unaffordable, even as a restricted free agent. But more importantly, Billodeaux is still more developed and skilled in every aspect. Erickson is a younger version of him, he was rushed into action and was supposed to jell with the team for a season or two, like we usually do with time-share running backs.

RB Rusty Kemp
Unlike the rookie Erickson, Kemp was forced into action because veteran Cary Delgado hit a wall in pre-season. Kemp didn't and got promoted from just special teams duty to also being our third down back and our change of pace guy. He scored 11 touchdowns, he aced it.

TE Corbin Robbins
We didn't really need a new TE2, but then there was this kid available in the draft and I figured: why not? We threw the ball 3.5 times per game to him, he made about 2 catches per game. We use a lot of multiple tight end formations, so it makes sense to have a second solid player at his position.

TE Juan Brady
I talked about him already. He spent the season mentoring Robbins.

WR Maurice Sweeney
This kid was our new kickoff returner. He didn't wow, but he's still green and should be able to reach the 30-yard per return figure we desire to see from him.

G Alfred Pearsall
In a way it was too bad we failed to make him play more on the special teams unit, as is usually the plan with our backup linemen. He did have a mentor in Andres Uwaezuoke, but I decided to make him play a backup role and play our backup RT Clayton Bernstein at left guard.

LT Dan Clancy
Promising pass blocker, he had to play and so he did. Knowing O-line stats are more of a team performance than individual, the kid allowed only 3 sacks in 619 pass plays. That's outstanding.

DE Ernst Frias
Initially he was only on our goal line personnel, but at mid-season as we had to readjust over Efrain Hutchins injury, I gave more place on run-oriented formations.

LB Raymond Casper
I talked about him already.

S Peter Hinsley
This undrafted rookie took his chance and I fully expect him to be a sought after player in post-draft free agency if we decide to not reward his season with a big contract, as I fully expect his agent to demand important backup role money. And we'll give him $5M per season if that's what they want. This kid will be the replacement of John Aponte (he signed with the Williamsburg Colonials in the off-season) that we needed.



So, that's some background information on why these guys were still on our team. And why they will be on the team in the next 1 to for 4 weeks...
__________________
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 05-20-2023 at 06:33 PM. Reason: minor error fix, nothing worth reading this edit reason text
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Old 05-26-2023, 03:02 PM   #784
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: One And Done

2114 has ended. The IHOF Bowl was the other night and our rivals from up north lost a defensive battle to the Chesapeake Chitterlings 21-17. Nope, we didn't make the big game. Gothenburg beat Tucker in the AOC Championship game. Which is a spoiler about what happened to us in the playoffs.

Week 18 at Tucker
I took the liberty to call one or two games in the regular season the worst of our season. In fact, I think there was only one true beatdown, the loss at Colorado. The other losses we could link prominently to our lack of ball protection as fumbles and interceptions were all over our offense.
Not so much in this game at the Tucker Tigers. We were dreadful defensively, allowed the Tigers to gain 538 total yards, down 21-0 nothing before the first quarter was over. That's nowhere even close to how reliable our defense has been in the regular season. Thankfully we had an offense capable of sniffing at 400 yards and even putting 40 points on the board against Gothenburg. But that offense wasn't present in Tucker either. We scored one lowzy touchdown and our kicker that gets twice the money the second highest paid kicker gets missed the extra point. We also lost the turnover battle 3-0, but that was far from the reasons, as 2 of our turnovers came in garbage time and with QB Harrison Singelton back under center after we decided to yank our better quarterback in a must win game.
QB Bart Tanner threw for 157 yards, including a 72-yarder to TE Ted Gordon. Our running game was actually solid, but somehow we chose to call a pass about 3/4th of the time. That's no Merchantmen football...
Result: 6-34 loss


On the roll over of seasons, we received the news of 3 players retiring from football that were on our roster last season.

TE Juan Brady spent just 1 season with us, inactive, mentoring our first round rookie TE Corbin Robbins.

CB Evan Merrell stepped away after 10 seasons floating around in the AOC to 3 different teams. Orlando was his first stop after they selected him in the first round of the 2105 draft. His ability to play football took a sudden nose dive in pre-season 2107, which led to Orlando letting him walk after a decent 2108 campaign. He signed in Gothenburg for 3 seasons and after that he moved on to our team. He played 47 games with the Orlando Talons, 41 with the Gothenburg Giants and 50 with us. His retirement was quite sudden after a strong season with 5 interceptions and 18 defended passes. Quite the bummer for us that he's leaving us after that.

And then there was a serious big name retirement.

LB Gus Coleman, our high 2nd round pick in the 2103 draft spent all 12 of his seasons in IHOF with us. He played in a rotation role as a rookie, but from his second season he was an every down man for 8 straight seasons. Then age happened and younger guys took over step by step, until Coleman became an inactive backup late last season, making miss a game for the first time in his career. The final tally? 191 games played, 8 seasons with 100+ tackles (he ranks 5th all time with 1203 tackles for us), 35 interceptions (6th all-time amongst all Merchantmen players. 5 time All-IHOF selection, twice a 2nd teamer. Yeah, was a mirage of what he used to be, but we can't forget that he was a key player in our turnaround back into a contender at times as we reached the playoffs 4 times during his tenure.


So, into the future we go now. By virtue of trades, we're going into the draft with the #13, #23, #24, #55 and #56 picks heading our 10-pick load. We're going into free agency with 42 players signed and just $2.5M over the cap. RB Edwin Erickson, G Alfred Pearsall, DE Ernst Frias, LB Raymond Casper and S Peter Hinsley are restricted free agents after their undrafted rookie season. LT Harold Gruenwalder chose to not retire, we might try to bring him back for another season, although we have another mentor for LT Dan Clancy on team already. C Duane Ondre will likely be a hot commodity in free agency. DT Francisco Blades might be demanding too much money for any other team out there even looking at him, unless they like his zodiac sign.

So, that's our wrap of 2114 and the introduction to 2115. Here we go!
__________________
* 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
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Old 05-27-2023, 05:52 AM   #785
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Merchantmen retirement stories
During the average IHOF off-season, roughly 800 football players or hopefuls announce their retirement from football. Some after highly decorated seasons, receiving news stories in several media. Others were already stuck in anonymity after they didn't find a roster spot in what supposed to be their rookie season and step away unnoticed. The Maassluis Merchantmen have a tradition of giving players that made some impact for the team to get a bit of a farewell call. Even if they didn't retire officially as a Merchantman. Here's a shout out to 6 players that didn't make the headlines.


Abraham Desimone
Linebacker Desimone was the Merchantmen's first selection in the 2100 draft, being taken in the middle of the third round. After a situational role as a rookie, he became an all downs starter in his second season and remained to be so for 7 straight seasons. In 2108 the decline kicked in as his role shifted to mostly passing downs. In 2109 he signed with the Williamsburg Colonials as a free agent after his player agent demanded all downs rewards. In 2110 Desimone got severely injured and missed most of the regular season. In 2111 he returned in a time share role, but in the 2112 off-season he didn't survive the 53-men cuts in Williamsburg and got no other interest. He retired in the 2113 off-season, having 146 games played for the Merchantmen on his resume, once earning All-IHOF second team honors.

Darnell McKie
Tight end McKie rolled into the Merchantmen roster as an undrafted rookie free agent signing in 2102. He was active in all 16 games that season as the TE3, but it was in 2014 when he made some moderate impact on the team, becoming a reliable third and short and goalline situation target. In 2105 he dropped to fourth string and after unexplainable regression in his ability, he never got back to his 2104 form and the downfall kicked in. In 2111 the unavoidable happened as McKie was released in the pre-season cutdown wave to 53. He got a short stint with the Toronto Lake Monsters, signing with them in the post-season, but after he didn't get a contract in the 2112 off-season, McKie retired officially in the 2113 off-season. His resume in Maassluis shows 94 games played, with 5 of his 6 touchdowns scored in the 2104 regular season and playoffs.

Gino Shea
K Shea was taken high in the third round of the 2098 draft. Despite being clearly an IHOF caliber kicker, in 2101 he couldn't come to an agreement with the Merchantmen on a contract extension, prompting his departure as a free agent in 2102. Shea moved on to the Chesapeake Chitterlings, where he got to play in his first IHOF Bowl right away, albeit losing to the Toronto Lake Monsters. In 2108 came the highlight of his career, winning the IHOF Bowl with Chesapeake. The next off-season he didn't find a new team after his contract had expired, until Toronto picked him up in week 13 of the regular season. In 2112, still with Toronto, he played and lost in his third IHOF Bowl. In 2114 he was cut shortly after a 42-21 victory with the Lake Monsters in Maassluis and he didn't get a third chance elsewhere. This off-season he announced his retirement from football after 17 seasons, having played 270 football games in IHOF, with 64 of those for the Merchantmen.

Jimmy Summers
Punter Summers was a third round pick in 2099 for the Arizona Miners, where he stayed for 6 seasons. After getting cut in the 2105 pre-season, he got quickly picked up to punt a season for the Houston Mustangs. In 2106 Summers signed a 3-year deal with the Maassluis Merchantmen in late free agency and in 2108 signed an extension through the 2110 season. After the Merchantmen picked punter in the 2111 draft, Summers was signed at the 11th hour by the Tucker Tigers and lost the IHOF Bowl with them. In 2112 the Bordeaux Vineyards signed him. In the 2114 off-season Summers announced his retirement from football. His resume shows 82 games played for the Merchantmen.

Daniel Shapiro
S Shapiro played 36 games for the Maassluis Merchantmen in the prime of his football career. After 4 seasons with the Atlanta Vipers, the 2101 first round pick forced becoming a free agent in 2105 after holding out for 6 weeks in 2104. The Merchantmen went through the same headcase situation in his third season in Maassluis (2107), when he held out through week 8. The Fairbanks Northstars signed Shapiro in 2108, where he hung around until they cut him right before opening day 2112. Shapiro didn't get a new chance.

Tommy Tasker
Running back Tasker's career in the IHOF was short, almost non-existent. The breakaway specialist with receiving skills was taken by the Merchantmen in the 7th round of the 2114 draft. Albeit not surviving the roster cuts for the regular season, the Merchantmen were hoping to have a training camp roster spot for Tasker for a second chance, although they didn't opt to offer him (or anybody else) a future contract in the playoffs.
__________________
* 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
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Old 05-30-2023, 03:48 PM   #786
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIJB#19 View Post
Merchantmen retirement stories

Gino Shea
K Shea was taken high in the third round of the 2098 draft. Despite being clearly an IHOF caliber kicker, in 2101 he couldn't come to an agreement with the Merchantmen on a contract extension, prompting his departure as a free agent in 2102. Shea moved on to the Chesapeake Chitterlings, where he got to play in his first IHOF Bowl right away, albeit losing to the Toronto Lake Monsters. In 2108 came the highlight of his career, winning the IHOF Bowl with Chesapeake. The next off-season he didn't find a new team after his contract had expired, until Toronto picked him up in week 13 of the regular season. In 2112, still with Toronto, he played and lost in his third IHOF Bowl. In 2114 he was cut shortly after a 42-21 victory with the Lake Monsters in Maassluis and he didn't get a third chance elsewhere. This off-season he announced his retirement from football after 17 seasons, having played 270 football games in IHOF, with 64 of those for the Merchantmen.

I have been all over the place with kickers in this league, in my (gulp) 120+ seasons in this league. I think for a long stretch I committed to spending the absolute minimum at the K position, and signed a new undrafted rookie each season. I committed to one guy with a funny name for a 17 year career and he's among the all time league leaders in some stats. And more recently I have mostly plunged for value among veteran free agents, signing and re-signing K Gino Shea for several seasons with my Chits, including the bowl win seven years back. Part of his place in my memory is that his name triggers an earworm song that made mention of Chilean strongman Pinochet by name, so I end up muttering "Hey Mister Gino Shea" in tune, in my head when I see him on screen and get a snicker out of it, because my mind just loves fake/parody song lyrics.

Anyway... good on you, Mister Gino Shea.
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Old 06-01-2023, 03:33 PM   #787
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuikSand View Post
in my (gulp) 120+ seasons in this league.
We can relax for a bit here, we're only in the 112th season of IHOF football.
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Old 06-01-2023, 07:35 PM   #788
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
ah, right, not a math guy here
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Old 06-02-2023, 04:51 AM   #789
tzach
High School JV
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
gino shea was pretty good for toronto while it lasted -- but a guy similar to him but some 15 yrs younger was available. that's how it goes in football.
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Old 06-03-2023, 05:44 AM   #790
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Let's blame it on the player agents, again

QB Bart Tanner has announced to hold out. And so have DE Lonnie Wynn and LB Bobby Diaz. Their player agents are total morons, they should know by now that players like these (starters in the final year of contract) three would always get a contract extension offer in pre-season from us. Diaz' demands are fair and if it wasn't for that toll of an agent, we would have made him a better offer than requested. Same story on Tanner. My plan is to lock him up for 3 seasons, one more than their request. Wynn's demands are ludicrously exorbitant. He's requesting the kind of money that neither fits with his ability nor with his playing time and role on the team, let alone his good, but far from great statistics.

My main concern for now is finding the right contract for WR Rodolfo Lane, also in his final year. His demands are obviously insane ($70M per season), but it's not absurdly more than what we're offering WR Jessie Vertelney. The later and TE Ted Gordon signed a restructured longer contract, which gives us just enough cap room to make Lane an offer.

The biggest challenge after that is finding the right way to free some money up for aforementioned Tanner and Diaz. One way would be to restructure the deal with QB Harrison Singleton. Which will be tricky and kind of illogical as he's getting the second highest cap figure on team while likely to be our backup of Tanner in the upcoming season. Releasing Singleton will clear about $22.7M, which would put us in a spot where we're looking for a new backup QB. Restructuring the Singleton deal with an additional year could clear about $7.5M, a cap out roughly $10.5M. The conundrum really is: do we feel okay paying $25M to our backup quarterback, knowing he'll be demanding a trade by the end of the season if he doesn't get forced into a lot of action because of an injury to or terrible performance by Tanner.

The cap situation is very whacky at the moment. We're about $18M under the cap, with 53 signed (including 3 hold outs) and projected to be roughly $165M under next season. A truckload of that will be spent on WR Lane, but that still leaves us with about $80M to work on extensions. And we're going to have to with 22 players in the final contract year. It's an unusual situation for the Merchantmen. Obviously, I want to extend them all, but most of these players will also require a small investment from this season's cap. In other words, we have enough cap space next season to keep many of those players, but lack the space this season to make it happen. I mean, I doubt we have obvious dead weight hanging around on the team. I did re-sign backups DT Francisco Blades and RB Edwin Erickson to relatively cut friendly new contracts, which could combine to another $7M to work with, but clearly I hope to keep them on the team for the upcoming season.


The draft and pre-draft free agency have ended now. Aside from our usual wave of contract renegotiations with the expensive players, we managed to re-sign second year G Alfred Pearsall, LB Raymond Casper, DE Ernest Frias, RB Edwin Erickson and S Peter Hinsley. C Duane Ondre and DT Francisco Blades were unrestricted free agents and give us depth at their positions. We didn't sign anybody from other teams. LT Harold Gruenwalder is still a free agent, we hope to sign him to a cheap minimum deal in time for training camp as I don't expect to see him get playing time on the team, but it's better to have him as our 9th lineman for pre-season as his cohesion value makes him more useful than most others on the market.


I'll try to elaborate more on our draft picks after we filled our training camp roster with undrafted rookies. For now, I can tell you we ended up using all three first round picks in their own slots and traded away everything else, except our seventh round pick. We took CB Clyde Monds at spot 7.24 after we spent the #13 on WR Rufus Montgomery, #23 on DT Carlos Fisher and #24 on G Herb Nieves. I think Monds could help in our run defense. Fisher is an all around DT, but we'll still need a third DT next to Fisher and DT Efrain Hutchins to give the two studs some time to catch their breath. G Nieves should be our new left side guard. Montgomery was the surprise here, being the first WR taken this draft. He was the top WR on our board, despite that the league scouting had him listed as the 10th best or there about. Anyway, it will mean we'll have to work on a game plan with 5 1st round pick targets, which hopefully will be what we needed to finally unleash both WR Vertelney and WR Lane. But more on that later, probably.
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* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 06-04-2023, 06:12 AM   #791
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: the 2114 undrafted rookies

The rest of the league is paying more attention. For the first time in quite some seasons a good number of undrafted rookies that I made an offer to, decided to sign elsewhere for a much better offer. Sure, I'm a little bit of a lowballer, but we're never offering just the rookie minimum salary at this stage of the season. Curiously, we missed out on all the offensive players we targeted. Who did we sign? K Zack Beard, P Nicolas Webb, LS Roderick Kaeding, DE A.J. Dunn, DT Bryan Lomax, CB Asher McElroy, CB Enrique Carlixto and S Donovan Soriano. Soriano will be switched to cornerback.

LB Bobby Diaz signed a 5-year contract, ending his holdout already. We made an generous offer to QB Bart Tanner and even a fair one to DE Lonnie Wynn to persuade them into ending their holdout and stick with us. WR Rodolfo Lane signed an absurd $361M for 5 years deal, costing us $44.6M this season and $84.5 in each of the next 4 seasons. Imagine capping that out a couple of times and he'll add up to a cap figure of over $100M... We capped out QB Harrison Singleton, but is basically means that if Tanner ends his hold out, Singleton will be an expensive backup in 2115 and a free agent in 2116. If Tanner doesn't end his hold out, well, I guess it's Singleton's team again, which would be a curious change of events... I've publicly shown my adoration for Singleton and my displeasure in how he turned into a turnover machine.

Okay, so, what are those rookies like?

WR Rufus Montgomery (25/55) appears to be very underrated and we have reasons to expect to see him rise upwards from the current evaluation. Clearly his route running potential (70ish) will be crucial for this to be a hit or miss. Montgomery shows getting downfield ability combined with avoiding drops and solid enough endurance to be a serious addition to the receivers group and should give us the liberty to spread the targets over 3 WR rather than 2.

G Herb Nieves (40/65) seems to be trending downwards, which would suggest he was a wasted first round pick. His run blocking is underwhelming, which would make him a bit of a misfit and could result in last season's undrafted rookie G Alfred Pearsall betting a shot at breaking into our starters, unless RT Clayton Bernstein shows he can still play for another year.

DT Carlos Fisher (25/65) appears to be green, yet likely to end up as advertised. He brings in awesome pass rush technique (100), run defense (80) and enough endurance to let him play on a majority of defensive formations.

Undrafted DT Byron Lomax (30/50) looks a bit underrated and looks to have the pass rush strength and run defense combination to actually have a shot at making the 53-men roster.

Undrafted DE A.J. Dunn (15/25) has some pass rush technique and is a bit of a punishing hitter, but at the moment he looks like a post training camp casualty.

CB Clyde Monds (25/45) could be a bit overrated. He clearly lacks man-to-man coverage ability, making him useless for passing downs. He might turnout to be our new kickoff returner, which I didn't have in mind when I picked him, but his special teams skills otherwise seem to be below sticking around for a double role. He might turn out to be a good option for stopping the run, but his zone defense is kind of lacking as well. Maybe he should only be used in a bump and run role.

CB Enrique Carlixto (10/30) seems to be a very overrated, but he still might be a better special teams and run defense option than Moulds.

CB Asher McElroy (25/45) could be underrated and turn out to be a fine addition to the team. He's got the ability to force turnovers and on top of having decent coverage skills, isn't total void of run defense ability, which is a problem for several of our veteran corners.

CB Donovan Soriano (20/40 as a safety) has a nice combination of special teams skills, nose for interceptions and okay potential in run defense. Like some of the other rookies, he does lack the coverage skills, other than bump and run, to fit on our pass defense formations.

LS Roderick Kaeding looks like he'll be a top5 long snapper. That would be nice, because our veteran LS Wayne Brewer is a notch below that at top10ish. I mean, it's just a long snapper, but we've got to offer that overpaid kicker of ours (K Oscar Harrington) the snapper and holder that eliminate any possible complaint.

K Zack Beard (25/50) might be underrated, but other than being about $30M cheaper than our veteran K Oscar Harrington, his skills aren't eye popping exceptional.

P Nicolas Webb (45/50) might be a bit overrated, we'll have to evaluate that at mid pre-season, if he looks okay in training camp. At least he's got the power (Snap!), but he doesn't look like he's going to be a worthy replacement for P Tyrus Johnston and might push me into extending Johnston's contract for at least another season after this one. I hoped to grab the best punter of this class with our 3.24 pick, but the Hanalei Dragons were ahead of us with the 3.6 pick and grabbed underrated P Luis Newman.

Will we stick at the 61 players (including 2 holdouts) for training camp? Probably not, I figured we have a little bit of roster space to offer some leftover undrafted rookies a training camp spot, as well as making LT Harold Gruenwalder a final take it or leave it offer. No other team in the league would have any better use for him than an inactive mentor, for us he could provide just enough cohesion to be better than an off the street free agent if our stud LT Dan Clancy gets hurt.


So yeah, that's where we're at. We likely got two good players out of the 3 first round picks. But training camp and especially the pre-season mess have yet to come. And once we've reached that point, it's time to look at the bunch of last year of contract players and figure out which of them deserve some of the roughly $16M of cap room we have available right now to persuade them into signing an extension rather than hitting the open market in the 2115 off-season..
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* 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

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Old 06-05-2023, 05:18 PM   #792
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Annoying agents and extra rookies

We ran into a wall on the negotiations with the agents of QB Bart Tanner and DE Lonnie Wynn. I thought we made them a generous and a fair offer respectively, but apparently they felt indifferent. We're going to get back to the table, but for Wynn this could end up being a take it or leave it situation. For Tanner, our goals are clear, he's our starter. Locking him up for 3 seasons at under $15M each would be swell.

Talks with LT Harold Gruenwalder failed. We made him a final one-year bonus free minimum salary offer. Yes, that's low, but we know that no other team is going to sign him and he would have had a longshot at the 53-men roster. It's just sad to see a guy need to walk off like this after 180 games for us, including his incredible comeback of the year worthy 2112 season with 0 sacks allowed in 13 starts.

On the low end of the roster, we signed 6 more undrafted rookies, giving them a training camp spot and a reasonable shot at a pre-season spot as well. FB Taylor Sawyer, TE Richie Osborne and TE Julian Steen will quite likely even have a shot at the 53-men roster. WR Axel Saycocie is quite the longshot given our grown group, while CB Howard Carlson and S Frederick Harmon joined an already very crowded secondary.

Osborne, Saycocie, Carlson and Harmon were all amongst the bunch of players that made decent progress. They were amongst the likes of TE Corbin Robbins, C Duane Ondre, G Alfred Pearsall, K Zack Beard, LB Raymond Casper, CB Enrique Carlixto, CB Asher McElroy, CB Donovan Soriano and S Peter Hinsley. The real stand outs in terms of progress this training camp were pretty much the guys we expected (or at minimum hoped) to see from: WR Rufus Montgomery, G Herb Nieves, LT Dan Clancy, DE Ernest Frias, DT Carlos Fisher and LB Nick Giles. No progress was reported on QB Bart Tanner, clearly a result of skipping camp.

I've already made up my mind on which 7 players won't make the pre-season roster. We will still be very deep in quantity on the defensive line and the secondary, while we're also going to take 8 wide receivers into the pre-season madness.

But the core of business for the next day or two is getting QB Bart Tanner on team. I hope he understands that he's got a unique opportunity to work with the same guys for another season, with the addition of WR Rufus Montgomery, who's continuing to look better and better day after day. It almost makes me regret putting $166M of cap space next season on the duo in front of him. Providing they prove to be worth starting ahead of him...
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* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 06-09-2023, 12:34 PM   #793
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: The 52 for 2115
Wait, what? 52?

DE Lonnie Wynn is still holding out, but after early pre-season action, I've made up my mind for the upcoming regular season. The roster is set. Unless Wynn finds a new home through trade. But the main thing is that he'll be the 53rd player as soon as he ends his hold out. We won't have or make the cap room to offer him the absurd money his agent out of the blue started demanding at mid-pre-season.

QB Bart Tanner singed a new 2-year deal on the day of our first pre-season game. We quickly activated him and he saw action in the two pre-season games, having a key role in the 33-13 come back from behind win over the Frederick Red Menace. Tanner scarcely played on the road in our 21-13 win at the Capital City Blues, QB Harrison Singleton guided the team well, whilst the defense kept them outside our red zone all game long.

So, who are our 53 men?


Quarterbacks
40/40 QB Harrison Singleton
35/40 QB Bart Tanner
10/10 QB Drake Bishop
New: none
Left: none
Tanner is our guy. Singleton can play too, but we've seen too much turnover issues with him in the last 3 seasons. Bishop is our kick holder, when we have an active roster spot for him.

Backfield
50/50 RB Rusty Kemp
45/45 RB Renaldo Billodeaux
30/35 RB Edwin Erickson
30/30 FB Kenneth Holse
New:
Left: RB Cary Delgado (released)
We're going with the same group as last season, basically. It was clear last season that Kemp jumped into the third-down back role ahead of Delgado. Together with Billodeaux it proved to be an elite tandem in the IHOF. Erickson showed to be a solid alternate for Billodeaux.

Tight Ends
55/55 TE Ted Gordon
40/55 TE Corbin Robbins
35/35 TE Arnie Huffman
25/30 TE Richie Osborne
New: Osborne (undrafted rookie)
Left: TE Juan Brady (retired)
Gordon exploded last season, turning from a 900-yard into a 1200-yard receiver, while Robbins has everything in him to be such a player, if it wasn't for Gordon being here too. I'll try to work Robbins into more targets and slow down a bit on Gordon to save him from overloading him. Huffman barely got targeted last season, but he's got the route running and courage to make catches over the middle. Osborne snuck into the team as I want to go into the season with 4 tight ends.

Wide Receivers
70/70 WR Jessie Vertelney
65/65 WR Rodolfo Lane
35/60 WR Rufus Montgomery
35/35 WR Preston Gray
20/30 WR Maurice Sweeney
15/15 WR Kai Cote
New: Montgomery (1st round rookie)
Left: WR Jaylen Gearhart (released)
It was with pain in the heart to release veteran Gearhart after so many seasons, especially after he finally got his first catches late last season. But the arrival of Montgomery was the obvious cause for it to happen. Lane took a step back in his athleticism, but remains to be a solid player. Combined with Vertelney and the quickly rising Montgomery, we have a phenomenal duo turning into a fantastic trio. Gray continues to be a solid WR4, Cote a special teamer, Sweeney our excellent kickoff returner.

Offensive Line
55/75 LT Dan Clancy
60/60 RT Ivan Dole
55/55 C Zane Chaplain
45/60 G Herb Nieves
45/45 G Andres Uwaezuoke
45/45 RT Clayton Bernstein
30/50 G Alfred Pearsall
35/35 C Duane Ondre
New: Nieves (first round rookie)
Left: LT Harold Gruenwalder (unsigned)
Clancy and Dole continue to be a solid tackle duo, Clancy as our excellent pass protector and Dole as the running game anchorman. Chaplain is our center, but at guard I'm not quite convinced yet who of the other linemen should play opposite of veteran Uwaezuoke, all four other linemen have their strengths and weaknesses. Gruenwalder will get his next moments in the spotlight next pre-season when he's the likely new addition to our Ring of Honor.

Defensive Line
70/70 DT Efrain Hutchins
60/60 DE Lonnie Wynn
50/50 DE Calvin Buckley
30/65 DT Carlos Fisher
45/45 DT Francisco Blades
35/50 DT Bryan Lomax
35/35 DE Christopher Wrighster
30/40 DE Ernest Frias
25/25 DE Howie Tucker
25/25 DT Gabriel Morris
New: Fisher (first round rookie), Lomax (undrafted rookie)
Left: none
It's rare for us to take 10 defensive linemen into the season, not even counting LB Avery Distel, but yet here we are. Distel will be the placeholder, kind of, until Wynn ends his hold out. Morris is still here as a mentor, his playing days are clearly over. Blades looks to be surpassed by rookie Lomax, but it will be a game day decision, or close to anyway. Tucker lost some of his speed, which is another reason to shift things around a bit and he might not get a contract extension either. Hutchins and Fisher are stalwarts, Frias a running downs expert, Wrighster the technical rusher, Buckley the strength guy.

Linebackers
65/65 LB Javier Mayes
40/40 LB Xavier Hoover
40/40 LB Bobby Diaz
40/40 LB Nicholas Giles
35/40 LB Raymond Casper
25/25 LB Avery Distel
New: none
Left: LB Gus Coleman (retired)
One man down, a big one, but he was out of the active roster from midway through the season already. Giles took a hit in his agility and speed, which could cost him quite some playing time to Hoover, although both will be running downs guys. Diaz is a passing downs guy, Mayes the do-it-all. Casper will start inactive again. Distel will likely fill in for the hold out Wynn on the defensive line.

Secondary
45/45 S Dan Peterson
45/45 CB Byron Sokol
30/45 S Peter Hinsley
30/45 CB Asher McElroy
35/35 CB Skip Horner
35/35 S Noah Matthews
30/30 CB Kent Wodarz
25/25 CB Joel Delgado
15/15 S Craig Clancy
New: McElroy (undrafted rookie)
Left: CB Evan Merrell (retired)
Several players took a step back, most prominently Peterson and Matthews, but in return it looks like Hensley and Wodarz are ready to jump into the zone defenders rotation. McElroy might turn out to be a running down corner option. Albeit the huge group that we took to camp and still into early pre-season action, only these 9 guys showed enough to make the team. Ideally we'll add one more guy here to have a bit more leeway with injuries, but it will likely depend on what will happen to DE Lonnie Wynn. Until then, Sokol will see Delgado return to the passing downs cornerback duo, while Peterson, Horner and likely even the almost-falling-apart Clancy will remain in the zone defenders rotation.

Special Teamers
75/75 K Oscar Harrington
65/65 P Tyrus Johnston
20/20 LS Roderick Kaeding
New: Kaeding (undrafted rookie)
Left: LS Wayne Brewer (released)
Harrington is still overpaid, but he's supposed to be the best in business. I wish the league allowed for having split duties for kickers like in the old Al Bettis days, because Harrington is only mediocre in that element. Johnston signed a new deal. Kaeding was a Misfit Toy discovery, apparently he's the third best guy in business, so: yay.


Well, that's where we stand now. Until the final two pre-season games have been played and we go into the late renegotiations phase, to lock up some of our players that are out of contract next off-season. S Dan Peterson, RB Rusty Kemp and RT Ivan Dole are the most prominent ones, but we also have to consider a talk with DT Clayton Bernstein, DE Howie Tucker, DT Gabriel Morris, CB Joel Delgado, S Craig Clancy and maybe DE Lonnie Wynn.

And then from here on less Wynn whining, more winning and winning.
__________________
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 06-10-2023 at 04:40 AM. Reason: cosmetics... okay, spelling error fix and a word replacement.
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Old 06-24-2023, 05:00 AM   #794
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2115 is not our year

Without going into the details of every single game so far, loyal readers probably already know that we're playing one of our worst seasons in quite some time. Given how little was changed from last season's team that played so well, it's sucking the enjoyment out of this game for me. Losing is okay if there are obvious reasons, but it's like the 2115 team is a completely different team from the one we fielded in 2114. I seriously hope it wasn't the switch of offensive coordinator, because then apparently he has broken our working offense and coincidentally infected the defense into pushover prone, while our special teams unit has dropped to barely above mediocre.

I'll make a write up at some point this weekend about our games so far after week 12's results are in, but don't get your hopes up on every single detail in all the games we played. The current team does not deserve any kind of praise or media attention. These guys have to play up to their ability and in particular our prima donna wide receiver duo has to stop counting their absurd piles of money and start playing up to it.
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Old 06-25-2023, 03:09 PM   #795
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2115, a step back; playoffs out of sight

The 2115 season is a train wreck of sorts. We're falling apart in terms of performance, the kind we've rarely seen before, except maybe when "The Lost Cause" and "Mr 50-50" were polluting our offense.


Week 1 vs Paris
We started the season with, on paper, the easiest game of the season. Au contrair. Paris outgained us 454-247 in total yardage won the turnover battle 3-1 and despite all that still needed two late game field goals to pull of the victory. Our leading rusher gained 31 yards. QB Bart Tanner threw for just 176 yards with 3 interceptions. Our touchdowns were a RB Renaldo Billodeaux run and a WR Rodolfo Lane punt return.
Result: 20-26 loss


Week 2 at Kansas
Facing one of the elite teams in the other conference, we were in for a pounding and it turned out to be one. We were outgained 458-245 with a 2-2 turnover battle. QB Bart Tanner was held to 138 yards passing with 2 interceptions. Tanner did throw his first touchdown of the season to WR Rodolfo Lane, while RB Renaldo Billodeaux accounted for a running touchdown.
Result: 17-30 loss


Week 3 vs Augusta
Despite losing the turnover battle 0-1, we outgained our strong opponents 342-269 in total yards. QB Bart Tanner threw for 195 yards , with a touchdown to TE Ted Gordon. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for our other touchdown.
Result: 20-10 win


Week 4
Our usual early bye week. DE Lonnie Wynn announced the end of his hold out. We'll see what his grudge will look like next off-season. For now, we'll be happy to have his skills back on the field.


Week 5 vs San Antonio
We played perhaps our best game so far, but losing the turnover battle 2-1 and allowing an 88-yard kickoff return, we wasted our chances basede on outgaining them 421-377. QB Bart Tanner threw for 348 yards, with a pair of touchdowns to TE Ted Gordon. RB Rusty Kemp scored a running touchdown. WR Jessie Vertelney gained 154 yards receiving.
Result: 24-31 loss


Week 6 vs Atlanta
Our streak of home games against fellow wild card hopefuls continued and we lost yet another one. We were outgained 445-243 in total yardage, lost the turnover battle 2-1 and needed all of our red zone defense to keep the Vipers from scoring more than 1 offensive touchdown. QB Bart Tanner threw for 175 yards with a touchdown pass to TE Ted Gordon. CB Byron Sokol had an 80-yard interception return early in the fourth quarter.
Result: 14-29 loss


Week 7 at Fort Wayne
Playing our easiest road game of the season, on paper, we once again did ourselves a disservice. We lost the turnover battle 5-1, which was enough to tilt the total yardage advantage (253-221) into a hopeless loss. QB Bart Tanner threw for 225 yards, with a touchdown pass to WR Jessie Vertelney.
Result: 7-16 loss


Week 8 at Paris
Fed up with QB Bart Tanner's pathetic play, I decided it was time to bring back the veteran QB Harrison Singleton. It resulted in a shock through the team, but initially didn't result in quality play at all. After going down 20-0 within 16 minutes, we somehow clawed our way back into the game and pulled a robbery of a comeback against one of the three worst teams in the league. We lost the turnover battle 5-4, got outgained 376-282 total yards, but with field position plays and a last minute 71-yard pick six, we turned a game that deserved to go into overtime into a two-score win. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 155 yards, with 3 interceptions and a touchdown pass to WR Rodolfo Lane. Singleton and RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran touchdowns.
Result: 37-23 win


Week 9 at Houston
Disappointed by QB Harrison Singleton's 4 turnovers, despite his victory we benched him in favor of QB Bart Tanner. This time it did result in on field performance, winning the total yardage battle 400-257, the turnover battle 2-0 and seeing their only points come from a single 55-yard field goal. QB Bart Tanner threw for 258 yards, with touchdown passes to WR Rodolfo Lane and a pair to WR Jessie Vertelney, who did so on a 116-yard performance. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for another touchdown.
Result: 29-3 win


Week 10 vs Bordeaux
Having clawed our way back into the wild card race, a win against our division rivals right in front of us could have helped the turnaround. But no, we lost the turnover battle 3-1 and got outgained 446-432 total yards against a second year quarterback that made his first career start in place of Bordeaux' injured starter Tyrus Dennis. QB Bart Tanner threw for 320 yards, with a touchdown pass to Jessie Verrtelney. RB Renaldo Billodeaux and RB Rusty Kemp both ran for a touchdown. Vertelney had 137 yards receiving, WR Rodolfo Lane 104 yards receiving. A rare performance by a duo that should be capable of making a 100-yard duo must less unique than it has been so far during their massively overpaid careers.
Result: 21-35 loss


Week 11 at Gothenburg
Expecting a loss in our toughest game on the regular season schedule, I still showed my disappointment in what was yet another pathetic performance by a team that has far too much talent to sit where we do right now. We got outgained 421-211 yards, actually won the turnover battle 2-1, but gaining 19 yards on 12 carries will just not do for any team. QB Bart Tanner threw for 210 yards, with a touchdown to TE Corbin Robbins.
Result: 7-34 loss


Week 12 vs Chicago
Just as I was about to proclaim I give up on this team, we out of the blue play up to our ability at last. We needed another train wreck of a first quarter, which we ended up trailing 17-0 after a pick six and an 83-yard touchdown pass. With 4 unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter, we bounced back, ending up at 3-3 in the turnover battle, but 428-285 in total yardage, earning a well deserved victory. Albeit we did need a 95-yard interception return touchdown by CB Byron Sokol to flip a potential victory sealing drive for Chicago into our go ahead score. QB Bart Tanner threw for 263 yards with 3 interceptions, but also touchdowns to TE Arnie Huffman and WR Rufus Montgomery. RB Renaldo Billodeaux scored two touchdowns on the ground. CB Byron Sokol's aforementioned big play was our other six-pointer.
Result: 37-27 win


European Division
1. Gothenburg 8-3
2. Bordeaux 6-5
3. Maassluis 4-7
4. Paris 2-9

The playoffs are far out of sight, with Houston (7-4) and Augusta (7-4) in the 6th and 7th place spots. I think the only thing we've got going for us if we catch up with them, is that we beat them both. Our remaining schedule is doable, playing at Rochester (3-8), vs Arizona (3-8), vs Gothenburg, at Iowa (3-8) and at Bordeaux. But it's very likely Houston, Augusta or Bordeaux will still end up better than 9-7, making all of this moot. Even Gothenburg could drop the next 4 and still secure finishing ahead of us with a week 17 win at Paris.

But an old saying has to get out again. We'll have to go back to the one game at a time approach. Try to do our best to win the next game and look no further than that. We'll take another look at all the scenarios once we head into week 17.

Do I know what little thing I did to cause the butterfly effect of seeing the whole team turn into a pile of [insert expletive of your choice]? No, I do not. I doubt it's the change of offensive coordinator. I doubt it's the departure of a handful of inactive backups. I doubt it's the arrival of the most promising wide receiver of the class of 2115. I doubt it's getting a better long snapper. I doubt it's because we re-signed QB Bart Tanner and WR Rodolfo Lane to new contracts. And I doubt it's because DE Lonnie Wynn help out for a couple of games early on.
__________________
* 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

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Old 07-02-2023, 05:16 AM   #796
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Back to Singleton

We finished the season with a strong serie of games, somewhat expected given that we had some good matchups. But it wasn't good enough, we still finished far away from the playoffs. But more on that later, first let's recap the last 5 regular season games, one by one.

Week 13 at Rochester
Sometimes a victory can just fall into your lap. Now, let's not talk this team down, but when you're 14-0 up after barely 2 minutes with just 1 5-yard play from scrimmage by your offense, it's clear that turnovers set everything up for it. A quick pick six and a fumble in opponents' territory can do that. We were 24-7 up after the first quarter and never looked back. Even when we switched quarterbacks, we kept on pounding. We outgained the Razorbacks 391-285 in total yards and won the turnover battle 4-1. Our average drive start was at our own 46-yard line, which makes it even more impressive to gain nearly 400 yards. QB Bart Tanner threw for 171 yards and 3 touchdowns, QB Harrison Singleton threw for 94 yards and 1 touchdown. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for 2 touchdowns, while the 4 receiving touchdowns were split amongst TE Arnie Huffman, TE Corbin Robbins, WR Rodolfo Lane and WR Jessie Vertelney. The latter had a 9-catch 169 yards performance.
Result: 52-13 win

Week 14 vs Arizona
Despite outgaining the Miners 468-364 in total yards and usually pining them back deep, we struggled to put points on the board. Perhaps a result of QB Bart Tanner's 2 interceptions thrown early in the game, both while we were moving into scoring position. It wasn't until the fourth quarter where we finally pulled off, sealing the deal with WR Rodolfo Lane's 77-yard punt return touchdown. Tanner threw for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns, flipping those to WR Rodolfo Lane, TE Corbin Robbins and WR Jessie Vertelney, with the latter gaining 111 yards receiving throughout the game. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for 105 yards.
Result: 13-16 win

Week 15 vs Gothenburg
And then came a do or die kind of game. Although the impossibility of catching the Giants (they went into the game 9-4, we 6-7 with inferior tie-breakers), to keep the slimmest of chances to make the playoffs, we needed to win this game too. Despite that we put up a fight early on, a pick six thrown by QB Bart Tanner and a 25-yard touchdown run getting called back (rightfully so because of a holding penalty), we went into halftime trailing 17-13.
The interception on our first drive of the second half apparently sucked the last bits of belief of the team in going places this season, as the Giants scored another touchdown on the ensuing drive and followed up with a 93-yard touchdown drive on their next possession. An end zone interception on Gothenburg's knock out drive brought back a little bit of hope, but it was just a little glitch. Eventually we found ourselves in a go for it situation on 4th and 24, where we didn't even call the kind of play that would be good enough to make a first down. Apparently the OC that managed to break an offense that was impressive last season, he really, really, really sucks.
The Giants outgained us 342-307 in total yards and won the turnover battle 2-1. Tanner threw for 211 yards, with no touchdowns. Our sole touchdown of the game was a run from RB Rusty Kemp.
Result: 13-34 loss

Week 16 at Iowa
With the season down the drain, we didn't drastically change our depth chart, except for one thing: reverting back to good old QB Harrison Singleton. Livid about his situation, combined with the fact that he did eek out a victory on his sole start this season, I figured "why not?" and it turned out to be a good decision. In the process, we spoiled Iowa's chances to make the playoffs. Singleton threw for 270 yards with 4 touchdowns, tossing those to WR Rodolfo Lane (a pair), TE Arnie Huffman and TE Corbin Robbins. RB Renaldo Billodeaux ran for 109 yards and a touchdown, WR Jessie Vertelney had 127 yards receiving. We outgained the Cobbers 465-318 in total yards with a 1-1 turnover battle.
Result: 38-13 win

Week 17 at Bordeaux
With the Vineyards also no longer in the running for the playoffs, while having secured second place on division record tie-breaker over us, all that was on the line was just pride. Their young quarterback torched us in Oranje Haven earlier on, but on his second clash with us, the defense was ruthless on him, picking him off 5 times and forcing him to fumble twice. We won the turnover battle 7-1. Our own offense struggled to gain ground, getting outgained 386-271 total yards. Helped by the turnovers, we kept in the game throughout and eventually a triplet of fourth quarter defensive touchdowns did make the difference. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 182 yards with a touchdown pass to WR Rodolfo Lane. CB Kent Wodarz, LB Bobby Diaz and CB Byron Sokol accounted for the defensive touchdowns. Sokol scored his third interception return touchdown of this season.
Result: 31-13 win


European Division standings
1. Gothenburg 12-4
2. Bordeaux 8-8
3. Maassluis 8-8
4. Paris 3-13

I could kick ourselves for losing the season opener at home to Paris (32nd in points allowed this season) and ater on losing at Fort Wayne (32nd in points scored this season), but even had we flipped those around, we still would have come a win short from the last wild card. The AOC was cutthroat at the top, with San Antonio missing the playoffs with an 11-5 record. elsewhere in the league, 4 division champions had a worse record than them. Kansas' victory over us in week 2 turned out to be a difference maker for them as they won their division in a four-way tie with all teams at a unbearable to watch 6-10 record. We went 3-0 against Kansas' division rivals.

So there we were again: an 8-8 team that outscored their opponents by 45 points. We did get outgained 357-338 on average in total yardage, while the special teams unit recovered in the second half of the season and we made up for that yardage difference in that area. A crucial statistic was our truckload of turnovers (34), which even our pick machine defense (4th in the league with 31 takeaways) couldn't overcome.

Our running game regressed, going from 147 to 120 yards per game and from 5.28 to 4.87 yards per carry. As did our passing game, dropping from 256 to 231 yards per game and from 6.87 to 6.36 yards per attempt.

Defensively, our should be solid pass rush dropped to below 20% in pass rush percentage. I can say this on and on, but that's just downright unacceptable for the kind of talent that's walking around on this team.

K Oscar Harrington scored the league lowest number of field goals. He shanked 2 field goals and missed - cut-his-overpaid-ass worthy - 4 extra points. I could tell how our individual players did, but after a disappointing season like this one, I don't want to applaud any individuals. As a team, these 53 players let me and especially themselves down.

Cutting down on turnovers might turn out to be the only solution. That suggest it's not just enough to bench QB Harrison Singleton, but his replacement QB Bart Tanner has shown that after his stupid hold out, he should now go punch his agent for not accepting a bigger long-term deal with much more guaranteed money, because Tanner might have had his final start in the IHOF in week 15 of this season. Don't be shocked if Maassluis closes the door on both Singleton and Tanner in the next off-season and enters the market for a new quarterback. Because with all the money spent on the talent at wide receiver on this team, no quarterback should be allowed to play as poorly as what we saw from this position last season.

Or was it all on the new offensive coordinator that turned an awesome offense in a dud?
__________________
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 07-02-2023 at 05:21 AM. Reason: cuz i can
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Old 07-10-2023, 09:14 AM   #797
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: The 2116 Off-Season begins

The 2116 season is on the horizon, but before we get there, we're expecting some waves and stormy weather on our journey. We made a far from unsurprising change in our staff, have a high number of retirements to handle and go into the off-season with our usual big figure voer the cap with a truckload of draft picks to work with. But first some other news.



WR Calvin Maxwell got induced into the IHOF Hall of Fame.

This has to sound like a no-brainer as Maxwell played 12 season for us, with 8 of those being a 1,000-yard receiver, with 5 of those seasons reaching 1,400+. When all was said and done, he ranked 2nd all-time for Merchantmen players in receiving yards, 4th in receptions and 5th in receiving touchdowns. On top of that, he ranks 1st in IHOF history in kick off return yards (amongst all 32 franchises) and 1st amongst Merchantmen players in special teams tackles. Sadly we had little succes winning games during Maxwell's tenure, as we made the playoffs just twice and won 1 division title (in 2104).



The off-season started with the no less than 5 retirement announcements.

RT Ivan Dole
Our 1st round pick 2104 was a day one starter and held on to being our right side offensive tackle for the full 12 seasons. From early on he was our best run blocker, most seasons being a guarantee for 30+ key run blocks. At the time of his retirement, he ranks 3rd all-time amongst Merchantmen player in key run blocks. Dole started in 189 regular season games and 6 playoffs games, missing just 3 throughout his career. His personal best season came in 2114 when he was picked as an All-IHOF second teamer with 40 key run blocks, 5 pancake blocks and just 5 sacks allowed. It wouldn't shock me if Dole ends up elected into the IHOF Hall of Fame.

DT Gabriel Morris
The #10 overall pick in the 2103 draft took the league by storm. As a rookie, Morris already recorded 6.5 sacks, but it turned out to be his highest number in 13 seasons of service in Maassluis. In 2014 Morris contributed with 24 hurries and 65 tackles, earning All-IHOF second team honors that season, but from there on the decline in production set in. Still, for 10 seasons straight, Morris was an undisputed starter and in 2113 and 2114 he stil got his fair share of playing time in rotation. Morris spent 2115 on the inactive roster, mentoring two promising rookies. His tenure in Maassluis and the IHOF at that ends after 188 regular season games played and 6 playoffs games.

S Craig Clancy
Picked up as an undrafted rookie, Clancy already was a starter in that 2104 season and remained to be in the big rotation across the secondary throughout. With 190 regular season and 6 playoffs games played for the Merchantmen, Clancy proved to be reliable and and undisputed member of the team.

QB Drake Bishop
Although initially a backup quarterback for the Harlem Apollos, after 5 seasons there, the once undrafted rookie was signed by the Maassluis Merchantmen. Although with a reputation of being excellent in avoiding interceptions, Bishop's role was clearly to be a backup with kick holding duties and later on as a mentor to the young prospects in Maassluis, like today's duo Harrison Singleton and Bart Tanner. Curiously, despite an 11-season tenure in Maassluis, Bishop wasn't undisputed as the kick holder of choice, occasionally sitting out games inactive as the punter of service took over the kick holding duties. As a result, Bishop walks away from football after a season with just 3 games played and remarkably coming short of 100 games for the Merchantmen with 89 regular season games and 4 playoffs games played.

LB Avery Distel
A 7th round pick in 2107, Distel was a longshot to make the team back them, turning out to be unable to make a true switch to defensive end. But despite those limitations, we threw him out there form time to time, even ignoring that he was a suitable passing downs linebacker as well with sufficient zone defense skills. Also being a member of the special teams unit, Distel was active in all games from mid-way into his rookie season, ending up at 135 regular season and 4 playoffs games played. His personal highlight may have been the 2109 season, when he lead the team with 6.5 sacks (which also is a sad testament to how dreadful the pass rush was that season).



Staff changes

Offensive coordinator Keegan Harper was hired by the Brooklyn Fightin' Bums as their new Head Coach. We considered this a blessing in disguise as I felt that Harper has somehow broken an offense that had been doing so well in 2114. As a replacement, we hired 38-year old Ryan Whalen, who prefers to play a Balanced style offense. Whalen was previously with the Orlando Talons, but they decided to fire Whalen after just 2 seasons.



Cap situation

We're heading into free agency and the draft with just 41 players signed, with 5 restricted free agents and DE Lonnie Wynn and RT Clayton Bernstein the obvious unrestricted free agents. We're $37M over the salary cap, with an expected cost of $41M of the 12 draft picks we're holding. But we've already gone through the first wave of renegotiations and are now at $69M under the salary cap.

Most notable is that we signed QB Harrison Singleton to a new 2-year deal. Apparently starting in the last 2 regular season games was enough to reconsider his angriness and made him willing extend his contract. Singleton now accounts for a $39M cap figure. QB Bart Tanner is again in the final year of contract and this time around is demanding a 5-year deal, averaging $47M per season, starting with a $36M cap figure this season. I'm skeptical and at the moment unsure whether I feel his worth that kind of money, especially on a 5-year contract. But it's "never in doubt" that he will holdout again in post draft free agency, so we'll have to make up our mind before the more logical pre-season's renegotiation wave.

So, that's where we're at. We've had one particular player that jumped up on our draft board as a worthy candidate for a top15 pick (we hold the #15 overall), but we have to keep in mind that although our staff is very good at scouting, their interviewing abilities are just 'good'. So, we'll see where that will bring us...
__________________
* 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

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Old 07-12-2023, 05:45 AM   #798
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: the 2116 off-season continues

Before we look into the state of our team, I've stumbled upon a couple of players that said goodbye to the game and didn't get noticed because they were not under contract anywhere in the IHOF last season.

LT Harold Gruenwalder
He joined us as a 4th round pick in 2102 and already as a rookie started 16 games for us, allowing just 4 sacks. Although he struggled to reach that high level in the following years, he remained the left tackle for a long time. When we drafted Earl McBirney in 2108, Gruenwalder kept the starting role that season, but in 2109 the change of tackle to place. After McBirney's departure in 2112, Gruenwalder was still around and called upon to protect the young scrambling quarterbacks on team. It was quite the success, posting a season of 16 starts without a single sack allowed, although he was snubbed from All-IHOF honors for lack of involvement in the running game. It was just one more season, as in 2113 he lost the starting role. In the 2115 off-season, Gruenwalder left Maassluis, unwilling to sign for veteran minimum salary, his agent not telling him no other teams were showing any interest in him. Gruenwalder played in 127 regular season games for the Merchantmen and in 5 playoffs games.

WR Jaylen Gearhart
He was a 2nd round pick in the 2108 draft for the Merchantmen. Albeit considered a bust of sorts, given that he was rarely used on the offense, for many years he was a member of the special teams unit. As late is in the next to last game of his 7th season in Maassluis, Gearhart made his first career catch. In the 2115 off-season, Gearhart was released to make room for first round pick Rufus Montgomery. After a season long waiting by the phone, Gearhart took the hint that his IHOF playing career was over. He played in 85 games for the Merchantmen in 7 seasons of service.

RB Cary Delgado
He was an undrafted rookie signing in 2108. Mostly used as a power back and third down receiving option, Delgado had his fair share of playing time from the second season and onwards. The arrival of Rusty Kemp pushed Delgado into an inactive backup role in 2114 and eventually he failed to make the regular season roster for 2115. Delgado played in 99 games for the Merchantmen, scoring 21 touchdowns.

S John Aponte
He was a 7th round pick in 2106 that ended up being an undisputed starter from the get go. An excellent zone defender who never missed a single game, Aponte was an important member to the Merchantmen defense, whilst also occasionally jumping onto the special teams unit. In the 2114 off-season, Aponte decided to take an offer from the Williamsburg Colonials over a stay in Maassluis. In 8 seasons in Maassluis, Aponte played in 128 regular season games and 3 playoffs games.


2116 Draft Update
We missed out on QB Zach Christianson, who was our #1 target, by one pick: the Williamsburg Colonials selected him at 1.14. Instead, we took CB Zachary Blair at the 1.15 slot, a kid we hope will prove to be the all downs shut down corner we've been missing for some time now. We traded away all 3 2nd round picks and are working the phones about the triplet of 3rd round picks.



Free Agency 2116

DE Lonnie Wynn
We re-hired DE Lonnie Wynn for a 4-year deal worth $40M. Yes, people, be amazed, that's $40M total, not per year. Remember how his agent's demands skyrocketed into wanting $140M over 4 years last season during his hold out? We even offered Wynn $98M over 4 years and got told it was too little. Well, well, well... Anyway, good to have Wynn stick around, he did prove to be one of our better pass rushers.

RT Edwin Northcutt
We hired a new right tackle to step into the spot that was wide open after Ivan Dole's unanticipated retirement. Northcutt is a run blocking expert and signed a 3-year contract worth $10M per season. We hope to re-sign RT Clayton Bernstein as a backup, or keep our eyes open for another backup option. We looked at the tackles in this draft class, but the most suitable options were all long gone by the time the 1.15 pick came on the clock.

Restricted free agents
DT Byron Lomax, TE Rich Osborne, LS Roderick Kaeding and CB Asher McElroy signed a new 2-year contract. All four were undrafted rookies last season on a 1-year deal then. We're still in negotiations with S Peter Hinsley. His demands are, understandably, higher after a season in which he was basically a starter for us. McElroy signed a rotation role contract, the other three signed minimum deals.
__________________
* 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

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Old 07-16-2023, 04:16 AM   #799
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: holdouts and new arrivals

The inevitable has happened: QB Bart Tanner has decided to hold out.

After a train wreck of a season, in which he threw 21 interceptions in 13 games, while dropping from a passer rating of 80.7 in 2114 to 70.2 in 2115 and while dropping from 5 to no rushing touchdowns, the kid thinks he did enough to get an upgrade from the $10.6M cap figure last season and the figure $12.7M he's due this season, to getting a new 4-year deal for roughly $44M per season. Is your agent insane? Have you not noticed you lost your starting job after such abysmal play? Bottom line, I think this is basically end of career for Bart Tanner. No other team in the IHOF will be interested to come close to such an offer. Impossible. Nor can we afford such a lunacy.

LB Jorge Mayes has jumped in on the "I want to get paid like a starting quarterback" mess. He's requesting a 5-year $165M deal, which is, to be fair, market value for a stud at his position. Is he a stud? He lead the league in tackles by a landslide. He also "lead" the league in catches allowed, which is one of those stats that sounds bad, but at the same time, is it really? Does it mean he was responsible for the completion? Or does it mean he was the first guy to arrive at the crime scene and make sure things wouldn't get out of hand? We've already offered him a $190M contract, which he declined. Yup, we offered $25M more, mostly in guaranteed money, yet the mathematically incapable agent of his turned it down. Sure, we get it, we're familiar with such incompetence.

We'll try to bring Mayes to his senses and get him to training camp. Tanner's case is a Ken Torphy, a lost cause. I don't see him coming back as our starter and odds are we'll be reverting back to QB Harrison Singleton. Unless we think we can find a way to spend the $27.6M of left over cap space on a quarterback that's fallen out of favor elsewhere in the league. We've had moderate success with that in the past...



The new arrivals
A grand total of 17 new players has reported for training camp in Maassluis. Veteran QB Blake Stai (scouted 15/15) was signed in case we find a young project worth mentoring, which sort of also applies to WR Antonio Price (40/40), whom we'll see as an alternative mentor for WR Rufus Montgomery in case we see WR Preston Gray as too expensive for a WR4 mentor role. I've already mentioned the signing of 31-year old RT Edwin Northcutt (45/45). He'll get some competition as RT Clayton Bernstein re-signed a 2-year deal in Maassluis.

Our rookie class consists of 14 kids, with 7 of them signed as post-draft free agents. RB Reggie Gretzky (30/35), WR Claude Nakis (15/20), K Carter Madison (25/35), LB Ezekiel O'Neal (25/45), LB Wendell Reynolds (20/30), CB Marquis Wolf (25/35) and S Adrian Kornegay (15/25) have signed a 1-year contract. With 65 players signed (including the 2 hold outs), we'll have to release some of them after training camp. Unless they all impress and make some of the selections obsolete.

Pick 1.15 CB Zachary Blair (30/60) scares the crap out of me. Yes, he looks promising and was a top5 prospect on our draft board, but we've already seen the league scouts report on him too, giving Blair much higher grades. That's an alarm bell going off, We might have picked the bust of the draft here... But being a first round rookie, he's unaffordable to be cut this or next season, because he's on a $30M signing bonus and releasing him now would give us $22.5M in dead cap space next season. I mean, that's all "if he sucks", let's hope he's truly somewhere in between the 60 and 70 overall grade...

LB Roy Finch (25/45) was our 5.16 pick. His best traits are his punishing hitting, run defense and special teams. He should blend in as a running downs option as well as a special teams replacement for the retired Avery Distel.

S Britt Schulz (15/25) was our 6.15 pick and all the signs are that he was an underrated prospect. In then end, he might just only be a very good zone defender, but a secondary can never have too many of those.

K Myles Washington (35/55) was our 7.12 pick and is meant to put pressure on veteran K Oscar Harrington to prove us he's worth being the highest paid kicker in league history. Washington's kickoff skills are even more lacking than Harrington's, which could lead us to sticking with the old guy. Unless undrafted rookie Cart Madison jumps ahead of them both.

QB Kent Figures (15/40) skipped the combine, but still scored a 46 in the Solecismic Test and with second best sense rush ability, he was worth a shot at pick 7.14. We interviewed Figures before the draft, but that came back inconclusive.

At pick 7.18 we took a flyer on CB Greg Bradley (15/30) and his punishing hitting and interceptions skills. If his man to man or zone defense skills improve, he'll have a shot at making the team.

At pick 7.27 we took S Cesar Welch (15/40). Another zone defender, with some run defense and paly diagnosis to boot. Which is much needed for a strong safety.

The already mentioned undrafted free agent signings all have their own specialties. RB Gretzky has the breakaway speed and hole recognition combination we have going around on our offense and also brings in third down receiving and special teams skills. WR Nakis is a kickoff returner with possibly just enough special teams upside. K Madison is a kickoff specialist. LB O'Neal is a special teamer, with play diagnosis, run defense and pass rush skills, but he's too small to move to defensive end. LB Reynolds is a punishing hitting special teamer. CB Wolf is a zone defender and nothing but. S Kornegay is a special teamer with zone defense ability.

We missed out on DT Drew McIntyre, a 20/50 rated pass rusher that was on our draft board in the top 15. So, why didn't we pick him? Well, we're so crowded already, even the retirement of DT Gabriel Morris and LB Avery Distel still keep us at 9 true defensive linemen. McIntyre took a cheaper contract in Orlando, but to be fair, their signing bonus was much more enticing than our prove it to get it approach.

We also missed out on power runner RB Bubba Darling and big play WR Mitch O'Neill, both signed in Frederick for a $1M signing bonus. Another big play WR Teddy Cornbower took a $11M signing bonus in Tucker. So it goes, the kid joins their heads or tails group (half of them make the team, the other half never play a down in the IHOF) of fast wide receivers that they usually spend their 2nd round pick on.


All in all, the new arrivals are underwhelming, which reeks of status quo, which in football actually means regression. My focus will now be getting LB Jorge Mayes willing to stay on the team and on the quarterback situation. Missing out on QB Zack Christianson (10/50) might turn out to be not all bad, but I'm not convinced Singleton or Tanner is capable of playing up to the early career promising play they gave us. I don't see any obvious trade targets, but in this league you never know, some teams out of nowhere ship their super star quarterbacks without trying to milk the market. Or maybe Figures turns out to be more promising than we can hope for now...
__________________
* 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
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Old 07-17-2023, 09:49 AM   #800
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Training Camp 2116

LB Jorge Mayes reported for camp. He signed a new 5-year contract with us, giving him a $25M signing bonus, a salary of $19M this season and $30M in each of the next 4 seasons.

QB Bart Tanner is still holding out and has skipped training camp. All signs are that QB Harrison Singleton will get this team back, something I did not expect at this stage of the season in 2115 and especially not when he went down with that career threatening injury.

So, we went through training camp and it makes sense to make a round up of the roster. Yet at the same time, people who now this game well, they know that after our first pre-season game, some players will magically become a completely different person, which could make this breakdown premature. But let's do it anyway.


Quarterbacks
40/40 QB Harrison Singleton
40/40 QB Bart Tanner
15/40 QB Kent Figures +2/+1 camp
15/15 QB Blake Stai +1/+1 camp
Pre-season cuts: none
53 Men bubble: Tanner, Figures, Stai
Underwhelming improvement by the rookie Figures, which makes it far less likely he's worth sticking around as a project for the near future. But if Tanner continues to hold out, we'll need a QB2 one way or another. Stai's stay is not per se based on keeping a project around, but when it comes down to the last spot, that's certainly something to consider.

Backfield
55/55 RB Rusty Kemp
45/45 RB Renaldo Billodeaux
35/35 RB Edwin Erickson +2/+0 camp
30/35 RB Reggie Gretzky +1/-1 camp
30/30 FB Kenneth Holse
Pre-season cuts: Gretzky
53 Men bubble: none
We gave the rookie Gretzky a shot at it, but he didn't wow and as such it's already over for him. We're expecting some regression for Billodeaux and Kemp, but we'll still expect to see these 4 guys make the eventual roster.

Tight Ends
55/55 TE Ted Gordon
55/55 TE Corwin Robbins
35/35 TE Arnie Huffman
25/30 TE Richie Osborne +4/+0 camp
Pre-season cuts: none
53 Men bubble: Osborne
Despite that Gordon showed he can be a 1,000-yard receiver, I'm higher on Robbins as a receiver and we'll likely give them both 100 targets again. Huffman has the route running and courage to make plays as well, so I might be foolish not putting him in as a primary or secondary targets in some formations. Osborne made good progress, but his job as the TE4 is not safe. I mean, if I see an upgrade on the open market, I made make a move for it, but we'll certainly go into the regular season with 4 tight ends and Osborne is for now that player.

Wide Receivers
70/70 WR Jessie Vertelney
65/65 WR Rodolfo Lane
50/60 WR Rufus Montgomery +5/+0 camp
35/35 WR Antonio Price
35/35 WR Preston Gray
25/30 WR Maurice Sweeney +2/+0 camp
20/20 WR Claude Nakis +2/+0 camp
15/15 WR Kai Cote
Pre-season cuts: Gray, Nakis
53 Men bubble: none
I need to find the right way to put Vertelney, Lane and Montgomery all in the mix with 120 targets. It's such a waste of cap money and talent not to use them properly. Price will make the team to mentor Montgomery and as the emergency WR3 in case one of the big3 goes out. Sweeney is our kick off return specialist, Cote a special teamer.

Offensive Line
75/75 LT Dan Clancy +7/+1 camp
55/60 G Herb Nieves +4/+0 camp
55/55 C Zane Chaplain
45/45 G Andres Uwaezuoke
45/45 RT Clayton Bernstein
45/45 RT Dennis Northcutt
40/50 G Alfred Pearsall +5/+0 camp
35/35 C Duane Ondre
Pre-season cuts: none
53 Men bubble: none
Bar pre-season non-sense, this will be our group for 2116. Clancy is the elite left tackle that we hoped him to be. Chaplain and Uwaezuoke are safe with their cohesion value. Northcutt will likely be our new run blocking right tackle. The second guard slot is still up for grabs for all of the other guys. Nieves looks like he has a small advantage, but he's not got this locked up.

Defensive Line
70/70 DT Efrain Hutchins
60/60 DE Lonnie Wynn
50/65 DT Carlos Fisher +6/+0 camp
50/50 DE Calvin Buckley
40/50 DT Bryan Lomax +3/+0 camp
45/45 DT Francisco Blades
35/35 DE Ernest Frias +1/-1 camp
35/35 DE Christopher Wrighster
25/25 DE Howie Tucker
Pre-season cuts: none
53 Men bubble: Blades, Tucker
Fisher and Hutchins could be the best duo in business. The tricky part with defensive tackles is that most can't be all downs players. Hence, we've got Lomax and Blades to play on some running downs, whilst some of the defensive ends could sub in on passing downs. Wrighster, Buckley and Wynn are the obvious pass rushing ends, with Tucker as the alternative. Frias is the run stopping end, which makes it likely he'll be on the field in some formations. Blades and Tucker are on the bubble as I'm not sure yet we're going to take 9 defensive linemen into the regular season. Taking 8 active looks like a bit too much already.

Linebackers
65/65 LB Jorge Mayes
40/40 LB Xavier Hoover
40/40 LB Bobby Diaz
40/40 LB Raymond Casper +3/+0 camp
40/40 LB Nicholas Giles
30/45 LB Ezekiel O'Neal +5/-3 camp
25/45 LB Roy Finch +4/+0 camp
20/30 LB Wendell Reynolds +3/+1 camp
Pre-season cuts: none
53 Men bubble: O'Neal, Finch, Reynolds, Casper
Locking Mayes up, means we've got no room for other expensive linebackers anymore. As such, we'll continue with using Diaz as our passing downs LB2 and put Hoover and Giles on running downs as the LB2 and LB3 around Mayes. Casper and Reynolds are special teams specialists, but so are Hoover, Diaz and O'Neal, which means the rookies are not likely to make the team. Finch and O'Neal lack zone defense ability, which means to make the team they have to prove to be an improvement over Hoover. They're close, but close is not quite good enough.

Secondary
35/60 CB Zachary Blair +5/+1 camp
45/45 S Dan Peterson
45/45 CB Byron Sokol
40/40 S Peter Hinsley +4/-2 camp
35/45 CB Asher McElroy +4/+0 camp
35/35 CB Skip Horner
34/34 S Noah Matthews
30/40 CB Marquis Wolf +4/+2 camp
20/40 S Cesar Welch +6/+1 camp
30/30 CB Kent Wodarz
20/30 CB Adrian Kornegay +2/+2 camp
25/25 CB Joel Delgado
15/30 CB Greg Bradley +3/+1 camp
15/25 S Britt Schulz +2/+0 camp
Pre-season cuts: Bradley
53 Men bubble: Kornegay, Wolf, Delgado, Wodarz, Schulz, Welch
Kornegay made the switch from safety to cornerback well, which seems to suit him a bit better anyway with his body frame. But the only reason he'll likely make the team is he's by far the best special teamer of this unit. Bradley still looks like nothing more than a punishing hitter, I just don't see how to justify keeping him. Blair didn't bomb, yet, so for now, he's going to be the other corner opposite Sokol. Hopefully Blair's endurance will allow for him to eventually be an all downs corner, which would be bad for McElroy or Wodarz. Peterson, Matthews, Horner and rookie Wolf are the undisputed guys to make the team. Delgado must not break, or face the consequences. Schulz and Welch are both promising, but I'd like to see a bit more proof of their respective signs of being underrated players. Wodarz is showing arthritis and it's going to be tricky for him to play football going forward. Putting him on injured reserve is something I'm seriously considering.

Special teamers
75/75 K Oscar Harrington
65/65 P Tyrus Johnston
40/55 K Myles Washington +3/+0 camp
25/30 K Carter Madison +3/-3 camp
20/20 LS Roderick Kaeding
Pre-season cuts: Washington
53 Men bubble: Madison, Harrington
Okay, it's less likely now, I already concluded Washington wouldn't be an improvement, but Madison might show just enough upside in pre-season to make us consider releasing the most talented kicker to ever play for the Merchantmen. Harrington's cap cost has decreased and we might find the $1.5M that we'll need to extend his contract into next season. But Madison will get a chance here, based on his kickoff ability. We might still think about the open market if we get tight on cap space. Johnston is safe for another season. Kaeding is to me our long snapper for the next 15 or so seasons. If we could offer him such a long contract at minimum salary now, I would offer it.


So, tricky quarterback situation, still some decision to be made in a crowded secondary and in the front seven there's also a player or two to not make the team. At least, that's where we are for the next day or two. Until we've played our first pre-season game at the Brooklyn Fightin' Bums.
__________________
* 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

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 07-18-2023 at 09:24 AM. Reason: had to redact the kicker story, we already released Washington
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