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Old 06-07-2019, 09:37 AM   #201
revrew
Team Chaplain
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Season 6 Statistical Season Recap
*Previous season in parentheses

Team Passing: 9th (18)
Team Rushing: 31st (23)
Total O: 20th (24)
Team Scoring: 23rd (20)
Team Pass D: 1st (11)
Team Rushing D: 18th (11)
Total D: 1st (8)
Team Scoring D: 22nd (3)
Turnover margin: 19th (15)

*Major point to note: The Dragons were #1 in the NFL in yards allowed, but 22nd in points scored against. A LOT of defensive TDs scored on us this year.

Individual top performances:
Passing: Dakota Corriveau, 67%, 3355 yards, 17TDs, 16INTs, 85.7 rtg
Rushing: Drake Boyette, 432 yds, 3.46 ave, 3 TDs
Receiving: Lois Forbes, 106 catches, 1386 yds, 7 TD, 10 drops (all career highs)
Tackles: SS Mitch Plante, 94 tackles
Sacks: DE Ricardo Heuring, 15.5 sacks, 14 hurries; Elias Reese, 12.5 sacks, 17 hurries, 24 knockdowns
PassD: SS Mitch Plante, 6 INTs, 13 Pdef, 88.7 PDPct; FS Gerald Barnes, 4 INTs, 9 Pdef, 86.9 PDPct

**SS Mitch Plante, All-Pro, 1st team; DE Ricardo Heuring, All-Pro, 1st team

Team profit: $44.2 M (48.7 M)
Attendance: 100% (99.5)

POST SEASON:
Minnesota Vikings won the NFC title, but lost in the Super Bowl.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:38 AM   #202
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
BEGIN SEASON 7

Retirements:
OG Burt Taylor retires as the franchise's all-time Pancake and KRB leader.

Free Agency recap

Released:
FS Herb Dallesandro (32/32), who never really recovered from injury
CB Mitch Wells (32/32), who has faded badly at 31 yo

Extensions of note:
DE Elias Reese 67/67 (25yo) signs a very team-friendly deal
DT Donovan Maloney 50/50 (26) signs a very team-friendly deal
TE Kelvin Satterfield 56/56 (27yo)
WR Louis Forbes 61/61 (26yo)
WR3 Robbie Thompson 46/46 (25yo)
SS Mitch Plante 76/76 (27yo)
P Rick Clark 66/66 (29yo)

New signings:
OT Myron West 51/51 (26yo) signs shockingly cheap. May well take over at RT.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:17 AM   #203
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
ESPN Draft Profile: Des Moines Dragons

With a good blend of veterans and rising young pieces, the Des Moines Dragons are a team built to win now. But there are a few glaring weaknesses on the roster preventing the former NFC champs from getting back to the big game. Chief among the roster holes is runningback, as the Dragons desperately need to score more points, while taking pressure off their turnover-prone quarterback. The team could use a shutdown corner to pair with its elite safety tandem and needs depth at defensive tackle and offensive guard.

Unfortunately for the Dragons, their Iowa-only policy in the draft will prevent them from addressing their top weaknesses. Iowa high schools and colleges aren't producing elite talents at positions of need for the Dragons.

Assuming Des Moines' sticks to its policy, here are players expected to be potential draft targets for GM Jack Ledger:

1st Round:
DE Bo Tremmel, Iowa – Defensive end isn't a position of need for Des Moines, but Tremmel does fit the Dragon mold perfectly. At 6'4" and 281 pounds, he's a beefy, athletic freak in the mold of current Dragon pass rushers Elias Reese and Ricardo Huering. Tremmel, however, doesn't have the elite twitch speed of a top-10 prospect, so the Dragons might be able to trade down and still land him.

1st/2nd Round:

WR/RB Carlton Agree, Oklahoma State – Agree is the one player we're most curious about. A high school running back out of Wilton, Iowa, the 6'1" Agree switched to wideout at OK State. But despite elite athleticism, Agree never became a polished route runner. Where he falls in the draft depends on how teams view this project player, and with the Dragons in desperate need of a running back, will they go after him and roll the dice on converting him back into a feature back? If so, the Dragons may need to pull off a trade, because he'll be a hot commodity at the top of the second round.

Middle/Late Rounds:

QB Lester Fox, Iowa – An athletic QB with a solid arm, but he's a 1-year starter and his field vision shows it.
DT Harris Fredrickson, Iowa – Harris has the size to fill a need position for Des Moines, but his film doesn't show him dominating the way an NFL DT should.
SLB Zachery Patmon, Iowa – A big linebacker with strength and speed, but needing polish. He should be considered an instant special teams contributor with some potential to develop.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.

Last edited by revrew : 06-10-2019 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:15 AM   #204
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
2031 Draft Coverage:

On draft night in balmy Los Angeles, California, NFL Commissioner James Gordon came to the podium twice to announce the Des Moines Dragons had made trades. The first trade came with Philadelphia, as the Dragons moved down a few spots in the first round and picked up an extra fourth rounder. The second trade came at a steeper cost, as the Dragons moved up several spots in the second round and picked up a 5th at the cost of a 2nd, 3rd, and that 4th rounder Des Moines got from Philly. In the end, it left Des Moines with 7 picks.

Those picks and comments from various gurus are below:

1.18 DE Bo Tremmel, Iowa

Mel Kiper: What you're getting in Tremmel is a strong, smart kid who knows how to push a tackle back into the box. He might have been a better fit in a 3-4 than in Coach O'Dea's 4-3, but with Huering and Reese already terrorizing quarterbacks in Des Moines, Tremmel will not only ensure the Dragons have great depth at a prime position, but I wouldn't be surprised if Des Moines lines up all three monster ends on the line at once on passing downs.

2.4 WR Carlton Agree, Oklahoma State

Todd McShay: Getting Agree as a project wide receiver makes sense for Des Moines. But I keep hearing these rumors that Agree might be converted into a running back. I have one word on that front: Don't. Agree is just too long of a strider now that he's been playing receiver. The running back days are gone. I don't care how desperate you are in the backfield, Des Moines. Don't do it.

4.12 DT Harris Fredrickson, Iowa

Daniel Jeremiah: Des Moines has put themselves over a barrel by having to pick Iowa players, but here's a fortunate bounce where the player available meets need. Fredrickson is a big body, single-gap player, and should provide good depth for the Dragon's 4-3 scheme.

5.4 QB Lester Fox, Iowa

Mel Kiper: Fox has the physical tools, a good athlete with a live arm. Whether he can develop his game and become a capable starter, however, remains to be seen. But the Dragons can drop him into the #3 or #4 spot on their depth chart and give him time.

5.11 SLB Zachery Patmon, Iowa

Todd McShay: I like this pick. Patmon is an NFL-caliber athlete, and getting him in the 5th round is a good value for Des Moines.

6.17 FS Junior Brechbill, Iowa State

Mel Kiper: Let me tell you what you're getting with Brechbill – a hammer, a head hunter, a safety who emphasizes the "bump" in bump and run. He has a history of injury concerns, but this late in the draft, Des Moines gets great value and upside.

7.16 RG Bert Emerson, Iowa State

Todd McShay: This feels like a need pick here. Emerson is undersized, short arms, and even though it's the seventh round, it looks more like Des Moines is trying to fill holes on the roster than drafting for talent.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:15 AM   #205
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Dragons Pre-Season Preview
Dick Grayson, sports reporter, Des Moines Register

The Dragons are thinking bounce-back after a disappointing 7-9 follow-up to their NFC championship season. Cutting down turnovers and opponents' defensive touchdowns would go a long way to helping with that, but so would developing a ground game, which has eluded Des Moines for years.

Training camp highlights

The biggest story out of training camp is watching former Oklahoma State wide receiver Carlton Agree play running back. In shorts, he looks smooth and fast, but there's still a great deal of controversy over whether this experiment will work in pads against full, NFL competition. Meanwhile, last year's 3rd rounder, RB Douglas Flagg, got most of the reps with the 1st team and is competing for the starting spot.

Fans attending camp at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, were also buzzing about second-year, second-string QB Julian Price. The former Hawkeye throws a beautiful bomb of a deep ball, and some are wondering whether the youngster has the QB acumen to match the obvious physical talent.

Fourth year WR Robbie Thompson has always had the speed, but his hands have looked particularly impressive in camp, becoming a more and more reliable target for QB Dakota Corriveau. He's gotten better and better each year – could this be a breakout season?

Training camp question marks

It has been said that when you have two starting quarterbacks, you have no starting quarterbacks – meaning a competition for the top spot is merely and indication of mediocre talent. Right now, I fear the same could be said for the critical Dragon runningback position, where Boyette has the experience, Flagg the surge, and Agree is the shiny, new toy. None of them, however, is blowing away the competition, and considering how bad Boyette has been in his career, that's not a good sign.

The same scenario is in play at cornerback, where the grizzled veterans are gone and none of their former backups look capable of filling their mentors' shoes.

Predictions

Easy prediction: The Dragons, for the 7th year in a row, fail to find a 1,000-yard rusher. Predictable prediction: The Dragons finish within a game or two at most of .500. Gutsy prediction: FS Gerald Barnes not only makes the ProBowl, but is voted 1st team All-Pro as the best safety in the NFL.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:28 AM   #206
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Season 7: Preseason results

Game 1 vs. Buffalo: Dragon defense is dominating, notching up 7 sacks, including 2 from the rookie DE Bo Tremmel, and pitching a shutout. Rookie RB Carlton Agree breaks a few long runs, but gets stuffed at the line as well, in this 13-0 victory.

Game 2 at the Raiders: QB2 Julian Price led an ineffective offense, but the Dragon secondary roared, led by CB Calvin Minnig, who knocked down 3 passes and a pick six on the way to a 16-8 victory.

Game 3 at Miami: WR3 Robbie Thompson continued what has been an outstanding preseason with 115 yards and a score, and RB Douglas Flagg has put together a couple of decent games, but the backup defense wasn't much to look at as the Dragons drop a 27-17 loss.

Game 4 vs. Kansas City: QB2 Julian Price was dreadful in this one, and RB Jimmy Perot may have signed his exit papers in a turnover fest that ended in a 31-13 loss.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:06 AM   #207
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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An interview with Dragons Head Coach Kevin O'Dea
Dick Grayson, sports reporter, Des Moines Register

The final preseason game is in the books, the last of the roster cuts have been made, and the first official depth chart of the season has been released. So I sat down with Coach Kevin O'Dea on the eve of his sixth NFL season as skipper of the Des Moines Dragons.

I asked him first about the crowded situation in the backfield. Running back Jimmy Perot was one of the team's final roster cuts, while last year draftee Douglass Flagg sits atop the depth chart, followed by rookie convert from wide receiver, Carlton Agree. I asked him what he's seen from Flagg and Agree in the preseason and how confident he is in Flagg as the starter.

"Carlton [Agree] has shown the kind of big-play ability for which we drafted him, but Flagg has demonstrated a better grasp of the offense and the vision needed to made consistent, positive runs," O'Dea said. "We're excited about where Agree is going, what he could develop into, but this preseason, we believe Flagg has earned the starting spot. We're going to move forward with Flagg getting the bulk of the carries and hoping to spell him with Carlton adding a spark."

But are either of them the answer to the Dragons' long-standing rushing woes?

"Neither have had the opportunity to prove it week in and week out," O'Dea replied. "But Flagg will get that chance, and I believe the skills are there to be an effective back."

It wasn't exactly a glowing endorsement, but it was at least a firm decision, which is more than the Dragons could boast last season.

Speaking of last season, the Dragons were streaky – dropping five games to start the season but winning the last three. I asked the coach which version of the Dragons fans could expect to see this year.

"Neither," was his reply. "Those last three games we won without scoring 20 points in any of them. That's a testament to how good our defense can be. But that's not the offense we're looking to put on the field. We have a veteran quarterback now, a receiving corps that may surprise some people … we plan to be better than the team that won those three games at the end of last season."
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.

Last edited by revrew : 06-19-2019 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:08 AM   #208
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Just outside Des Moines, IA
Season 7, Week 1: Chicago comes to town

One of the biggest storylines of the off-season has been the heated and public clashes between Chicago Bears Coach Sebastian Sweeney and their former No. 1 overall draft pick Grayson Shello (out of the University of Iowa). Shello, apparently, has struggled significantly with reading NFL defenses and making accurate throws, especially on third down. And the rumors out of camp are that the former Heisman finalist has not been putting in the work necessary to develop into an NFL QB. His rookie campaign, marked by a dismal 64.1 QBR, already has some wondering whether Shello was worth the hype.

Coach Sweeney, meanwhile, is a tough S.O.B. who won't tolerate a prima donna and isn't afraid to bark about it. His heated interchanges with the "golden boy" Shello were the stuff of SportsCenter.

Then came the stunning news – Coach Sweeney has actually benched Shello. Made him a healthy scratch for the first game of the season, in favor of 13-year veteran Steven Ellison. Whether Sweeney means to stick with Ellison, or is merely showing young Shello how a veteran handles the spotlight, remains to be seen.

Coming into Des Moines, however, it soon became clear that Chicago was not ready for teeth of the Dragon defense or … are we really saying this? … Des Moines' scorching passing attack, led by veteran QB Dakota Corriveau.

Combining with WR1 Louis Forbes (14 catches on 19 targets, 159 yards and a score), Corriveau racked up a 103.3 QBR on 30 of 43 passing for 384 yards, 2 TDs, and a pick. The Bears, meanwhile, passed for a net 111.

Rookie DE Bo Tremmel picked up a fumble forced by Ricardo "ManChild" Huering for a touchdown, and fellow rookie DT Harris Fredrickson notched a pair of sacks in this 27-7 victory.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:33 AM   #209
revrew
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Season 7, Week 2: 1-0 Steelers visit 1-0 Dragons

RB Douglas Flagg ran pretty well, QB Dakota Corriveau continued to play solid ball (246 yds, 2 TD, 1 pick, 99.2 QBR), and our stud punter, Rick Clark (this guy belongs in the Hall), averaged 51.5 in the air, 49.8 net, keeping the Steelers pinned deep all day.

A couple of picks and a couple of sacks for the Dragon D, and Pittsburgh just couldn't sustain a drive.

This wasn't the glorious stomping like last week over the Bears, but it was still a good, blue-collar victory, 26-14.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:45 AM   #210
revrew
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Season 7, Week 3: 0-2 Eagles visit 2-0 Dragons

Three straight home games is a heckuva way to start a season!

The offense in this one looked pretty pedestrian, though efficient – typical Dragon football. Corriveau completed 22 of 29 for 190 yards, a TD and a pick, while the running game (with a beat up offensive line and starting running back) struggled to do much.

But the defense. Oh, the defense! In the second quarter, backed up deep in their own territory, the Eagles were forced to punt. But DE Elias "The Beast" Reese broke through the line, stretched out all 6'4" and 288 pounds and blocked it. Rookie RB Carlton Agree scored his first NFL touchdown in the most unusual way, recovering the punt in the end zone for the score.

On the day, Reese won PoG honors with a blocked punt and a pair of sacks. And in the 4th quarter, elite FS Gerald Barnes snagged a pass in the flat and streaked 91 yards to paydirt to seal the convincing win, 30-7.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:00 PM   #211
revrew
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Season 7, Week 4: 3-0 Rams descend upon 3-0 Dragons

Two undefeated opposites square off - a clash of heavyweights or pretenders? The Rams are an offensive powerhouse, led by a competent QB behind a bruising O-line. The Dragons are all about dat D, bout dat D.

But while defense may theoretically "win championships" …

… having an offensive line that opens up 8+ ypc holes for your runningback tends to overrule any defensive opposition.

The Rams ran all over the Dragons, their elusive RB notching up seven runs of 10+ yards, and the Dragon QB Dakota Corriveau could only dream of having that kind of O-line protection. Des Moines gives up 6 sacks, 2 picks, and drop a loss, 20-7.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:00 AM   #212
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Dragons First Quarter Report

One-fourth of the way through this Des Moines Dragon season, we can see several familiar themes in the 2031 team. Once again, QB Dakota Corriveau is completing a near-league-high percentage of passes (69.5), but his interception total is also on pace to be near tops in the NFL (on pace for 20). Once again, the rushing game is one of the worst, averaging less than 3 yards per carry. And once again, the defense is led by a pair of defensive ends on pace for double-digit sack seasons.

The difference between this year's team and the last so far, however, is that the Dragons aren't giving up defensive and special teams touchdowns. In fact, the Dragons are No. 2 in the NFL in stopping their opponents from scoring. Consequently, the team is 3-1, and if extrapolated out, that's on pace to take the NFC North-leading Dragons to a 12-4 record.

The first four games of the 2031 series, however, were all home games. The fate of this season now rests on how well the Dragons can perform on the road. And the road trips don't start any tougher than this next week, when the Dragons travel to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:19 AM   #213
revrew
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Season 7, Week 6: 3-1 Dragons visit 2-3 Packers

On the road or not, Des Moines brought Dragon football to Green Bay. QB Dakota Corriveau completed 11 of 12 passes to WR2 Myles Kinney for 102 yards and a pair of scores. The rushing attack hovered between non-existent and pathetic. And the Dragon D, when it mattered most, roared.

SS Mitch Plante and undrafted rookie CB5 Glen Straw, forced into active duty by injury, both recorded red-zone INTs to preserve the 22-6 win and the NFC North lead.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:21 AM   #214
revrew
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Season 7, Week 7: 4-1 Dragons visit 1-4 San Francisco

The Dragons got some outstanding performances out of their star players, including 143 yards receiving from WR1 Louis Forbes, a 101 QB rating from Dakota Corriveau, and SS Mitch Plante racking up a team-leading 10 tackles and a pick-6.

But two missed field goals from kicker Alexis Galloway (barely an NFL-caliber player, but what choice do we have? Iowa won't produce any kickers!!), including a last-second doink, sent the game to overtime.

The 49ers boast a pair of 2nd-year playmakers at WR and RB, both of whom went over 100 yards receiving for the game, including some key receptions in overtime. It was enough to get Frisco into FG range, and the Dragons drop a surprise loss, 23-20.

More worrisome, however, is the state of San Fran's field, as the benches on both teams were littered with injuries after the game. The Dragons are walking wounded right now, and the bye is in the rearview mirror.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:20 AM   #215
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Season 7, Week 8: 4-2 Dragons host 3-3 Seattle

Don't let the record fool you: Seattle is led by all-star and future Hall of Fame QB Dean Ingram. Last season's NFL MVP has twice put up 5,000-yard seasons and is on pace for nearly 6,000 yards this season. With a pair of all-star WRs on the roster, there's a reason Seattle is a perennial playoff team.

And with DE Ricardo "ManChild" Heuring on the bench with injury and a depleted secondary, the Dragons entered this contest in serious trouble.

Someone, however, forgot to tell Dragon QB Dakota Corriveau about all this.

Before a sold-out crowd, Corriveau had perhaps the best game of his career, smoking 26 completions on 38 attempts for 410 yards, 3 TDs, no picks, and a 130.3 QB Rating. 9 of 12 targets found WR1 Louis Forbes, who racked up 175 yards and caught all 3 of those TDs.

And perhaps most importantly, the Dragons converted 10 of 18 third downs, while holding the Seahawks to 2 of 10. On a day when DE Heuring was on the bench and DE Reese faced constant double teams, the "other" dynamic duo of SS Mitch Plante and FS Gerald Barnes each recorded a pick, and the Dragons burned the Seahawks alive with a scorching 37-13 victory.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:40 AM   #216
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Season 7, Week 9: 5-2 Dragons travel to 1-6 Chicago

Can you say, "Trap game"? After such a big victory last week and such a big game anticipated next week, a bit of a let-down might be expected against the lowly Bears. But this … this is a punch to the gut and a call for the guillotine, as Des Moines' lousy kicker has cost us another one.

The team's best rushing game to date saw both RB Douglas Flagg and RB Carlton Agree top 5 ypc, and WR2 Myles Kinney racked up 173 yards and a score in the air.

But K Alexis Galloway, formerly of Iowa State, was shank city. TWO missed field goals and a missed extra point doomed a solid day by both the offense and defense in a sucker punch of a loss, 9-10.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:30 AM   #217
revrew
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Season 7, Week 10: 5-3 Dragons travel to 7-1 Arizona

A brutal matchup for the Dragons, facing young stud QB Riddick Russell and a rushing attack Des Moines can only dream of, averaging 5.25 per carry.

The day couldn't have started any worse, as Dragon QB Dakota Corriveau threw a pick-6, then got injured, and quick as a wink, the Dragons were down 21-0. Meanwhile, the Dragon rushing attack was sizzling away like usual, racking up a glorious rushing average of LESS THAN A BLEEPING YARD PER CARRY!

But Corriveau, injured or not, no running game, a broken toe, a strained neck, screw it all! He just began to grind. He stuck in there, and trailing 31-6 at the end of the third, he took the team on his back and plowed forward.

An 11-play, 52-yard drive put 3 more points on the board. Then a 10-play, 93-yard drive for a touchdown. You could feel the Dragons start to surge behind their captain QB.

The defense forced a fumble, the Dragons recovered, and another 11-play, 39-yard play put up 3 more points on the board. Suddenly, the Dragons are down only 31-19.

The defense forced a 3 and out with time ticking, and Corriveau engineered another TD drive, going 80 yards on 8 plays to pull the score within 5!

Out of timeouts, but with the momentum clearly on their side, it felt like all that was needed was an onside kick recovery, and Corriveau would be sure to pull off the game-winning score!

Alas, the onside kick was NOT recovered, and the surging comeback just … ran … out … of … time. Dragons lose, 31-26.
__________________
Winner of 6 FOFC Scribe Awards, including 3 Gold Scribes
Founder of the ZFL, 2004 Golden Scribe Dynasty of the Year
Now bringing The Des Moines Dragons back to life, and the joke's on YOU, NFL!
I came to the Crossroad. I took it. And that has made all the difference.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:57 AM   #218
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Season 7, Week 11: 4-5 Vikings come to 5-4 Des Moines

The Vikings' stud QB Kris Van Pelt played big game today, tossing a triplet of TD passes and racking up the yards. With the Dragon pass rush neutralized by injury, and a virtually non-existent run game, the Dragons would need to rely on the aerial attack to keep up.

Dragon QB Dakota Corriveau revealed today just how much he's grown as a veteran player, throwing from off a broken foot and still putting up 55 attempts without a pick.

But WR2 Myles Kinney only hauled in 6 of the 14 that went his way, and the Dragon O-line surrendered 5 sacks, making it just too much of an uphill battle. Dragons drop the loss, 20-13
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:28 AM   #219
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Season 7, Week 12: 5-5 Dragons visit 6-4 Baltimore

The pregame news that DE Ricardo "ManChild" Heuring was returning to the starting lineup seemed a good omen and a pick-me-up for the Dragon D …

… but apparently, the D thought Heuring was going to do it all, because the rest of the squad took the day off.

Baltimore's balanced attack proved too much, as the Ravens' elite receivers rolled over Des Moines' merely adequate cornerbacks, and the success of the air attack opened lanes for the rushing assault.

By the time the dust cleared, the Dragons got on the plane with their tail between their legs after an embarrassing 34-6 defeat.
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:48 AM   #220
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Season 7, Week 13: 5-6 Dragons try to right the ship at 9-2 Carolina

Yep, the Dragons are in the middle of a losing skid, and they must knock off a 9-2 Carolina team to get thing turned around.

The good news is that rookie DE Bo Tremmel and nickel back Broderick Garcia have returned from injury, giving the Dragons their healthiest defense yet this season. The bad news is that Carolina still has QB superstar Darien Peterson, perhaps the smartest, most efficient QB in the league, eating opposing defenses for lunch.

And once again, an elite, balanced offense proved too much for the once-great Dragon D. Darien Peterson completed 27 of 38 for 252 and 3 TDs, while the Dragons could only sack him twice and couldn't generate a turnover.

Corriveau played well again, leading to a pair of 4th-quarter TDs, but it just wasn't enough, as Des Moines sees their season start to fade after a 30-24 loss.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:17 AM   #221
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Season 7, Week 14: 5-7 Dragons limp back home to host 4-8 Cleveland

Alas, the Dragons may have lost WR1 Louis Forbes for the year against Carolina, thanks to a strained hammy, so the team was definitely down in the dumps when the Browns came to town (that's a clever phrase, no? So long as you don't read an excremental pun into it.)

For QB Dakota Corriveau, not having Forbes was especially hard to take. His game suffered badly, as he reverted to his old ways of tossing picks and failing to hit the big play. It's a sad day when the highest ypc on the team belongs to your fullback (though it was fun to see FB playmaker Dwight Stanton returned from a season-ending injury suffered last year to have an impact on the game).

In the end, however, it was the ManChild who had the last word. DE Ricardo Heuring racked up 3 sacks, and Elias "Beast" Reese added 1.5 to slow down the Browns.

MLB Dale Griffin sealed the game with a sack in the end zone for a safety, and the Dragons get an ugly, but much needed win, 19-16.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:35 PM   #222
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Season 7, Week 15: 6-7 Dragons host 3-10 Packers

Down to only 3 CBs and missing WR1 Forbes, the Dragons were hampered on both sides of the ball.

But that … didn't … mean … JACK to these angry Iowans.

The Dragons tore into the Pack for 425 yards and 35 points, while holding Green Bay to only 117 yards, total.

QB Dakota Corriveau was on a tear, completing 24 of 27 and 3TDs to 1 pick, compiling a 132 QB Rating. His performance was boosted by a stellar game from RB1 Douglas Flagg, who racked up 103 yards and a 6.44 ypc. WR2 Myles Kinney added 135 yards receiving and a score on a perfect 9 catches on 9 targets.

On the defensive side of the ball, DE Elias "Beast" Reese racked up 3 sacks, and CB3 Broderick Garcia sealed the game with a safety in the final minute of this bruising victory, 35-6.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:05 PM   #223
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Season 7, Week 16: 7-7 Dragons visit 6-8 Bengals

Another injury, this time to star SS Mitch Plante, has left the Dragon secondary decimated and forced to sign a kid off the street to suit up. Thankfully, a small-school kid with the cool-kid name, Rusty Stone, showed decent enough zone instincts to play a reserve role at free safety.

Alas, the Rusty Stone also injured himself, and despite a solid rushing attack (152 yards at a 5+ ypc clip), the Dragons struggled on 3rd down. The Bengals secondary defended 7 of Corriveau's passes, but the Dragons secondary couldn't seem to bat anything out of the air.

In the end, however, it was a Bengal punt return that did us in, and the Dragons drop one they shouldn't have. A 17-14 loss.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:28 PM   #224
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Dragon season comes down to the wire
Dick Grayson, sports reporter, Des Moines Register

Will the Des Moines Dragons be in the playoffs, or on the outside looking in – the answer will be decided this weekend in Minneapolis.

Both the Dragons and the Minnesota Vikings sit at a pedestrian 7-8 record, but one will finish 8-8 and win the NFC North.

In some respects, the Dragons could be considered the favorite. The Iowa boys boast the #1 defense in the NFL in terms of yards against and #3 defense in points allowed.

For star power, the Dragons feature a pair of 1,000-yard receivers, a defensive end with 13.5 sacks, and a quarterback who has thrown for over 4,000 yards.

But the team is #29 in rushing yards per carry and 20th in yards per catch, seemingly unable to score the big plays that make good teams great.

Minnesota, on the flip side, is ranked #2 in yards per catch, have a pair of 1,000-yard receivers of their own, and average better than 4.5 yards per carry – a team that lives and dies on the big play.

On the defensive side, the Vikings clamp down on opposing running backs, but have given up huge chunks in the air. The team ranks #31 in passing yards allowed and #32 in 3rd-down defense.

This has been an up-and-down season for the Dragons, but it all comes down to one game. Win and they're in. Lose, and we look for better results next year.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:38 AM   #225
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Season 7, Week 17: 7-8 Dragons visit 7-8 Vikings

With the division and the playoffs on the line, the Dragons struggled – badly – in the first half of the game. But so did Minnesota. Only a big play allowed Vikings to limp into the locker room with a 10-0 lead.

In the second half, the Dragons woke up, and if you just look at stats, it would appear it was enough. Des Moines outgained Minnesota 389 yards to 241. The Dragons sacked the Vikes 6 times. The Dragons converted 7 third downs, while the Vikings could only convert one on the day.

But just as it looked like the Dragons might swing all that momentum into a win, a fourth quarter, 88-yard pick-6 put the game just out of reach. The Dragons drop a season-ending loss, 23-14.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:55 AM   #226
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Season 7 recap

In the end, it was Carolina – a team the Dragons lost to by only 6 on the road – who won the SuperBowl. It seemed a fitting example of what could have been for the Dragons in season of close calls and narrow losses, a season that saw key injuries that could have been all the difference in a division that came down to the final week of the regular season to crown a champion.

DE Elias "Beast" Reese, who played much of the season without his sack-attack buddy, Ricardo "ManChild" Heuring, won 1st team All-Pro for his 15.5 sacks, 24 hurries, and 48 tackles.

SS Mitch Plante, whose absence the last few weeks of the season was sorely felt, finished 2nd team All-Pro anyway, breaking his string of 2 consecutive 1st team selections.

The story of the season once again was the utter absence of a running game. The #1 defense in the NFL and the #7 passing attack were saddled with the #20 rushing squad, which averaged only 3.77 yards per carry and managed to score a shockingly underwhelming 4 touchdowns … total.

On the bright side, QB Dakota Corriveau managed his best season yet, topping 4,000 yards passing and relishing the first ever season in which the Dragons boasted a pair of 1,000-yard receivers. WR1 Louis Forbes, despite only playing 12 games, racked up 99 catches, 1,226 yards, and 8 touchdowns.

You get the feeling that if Corriveau, Forbes, and the Dragon D could just develop a running game … this team could hoist the Lombardi. But without a real running back, they may forever be the bridesmaid.

How'd we do on preseason predictions?

1. The Dragons fail to find a 1,000-yard rusher – CHECK, RB Douglas Flagg racked up 703 yards on 3.52 ypc.
2. The Dragons finish within a game or two at most of .500 – CHECK, 7-9.
3. FS Gerald Barnes voted 1st team All-Pro – Not yet. 3 picks and 15 passes defensed, but he also allowed a career-high 42 completions, which killed his chances. Maybe next year! This guy is too good not to get the props he deserves.

Season 7 Statistical Season Recap
*Previous season in parentheses

Team Passing: 7th (9)
Team Rushing: 20st (31)
Total O: 10th (20)
Team Scoring: 17th (23)
Team Pass D: 3rd (1)
Team Rushing D: 9th (18)
Total D: 1st (1)
Team Scoring D: 3rd (22)
Turnover margin: 22nd (19)

Individual top performances:

Passing: Dakota Corriveau, 66.7%, 4342 yards, 21TDs, 17INTs, 86.6 rtg
Rushing: Douglas Flagg, 703 yds, 3.52 ave, 2 TDs
Receiving: Lois Forbes, 99 catches, 1226 yds, 8 TD – Myles Kinney, 105 catches, 1153 yds, 6 TDs
Tackles: MLB Dale Griffin, 89 tackles
Sacks: DE Elias Reese, 15.5 sacks, 24 hurries, 20 knockdowns
PassD: SS Mitch Plante, 4 INTs, 7 Pdef, 82.2 PDPct; FS Gerald Barnes, 3 INTs, 15 Pdef, 81.6 PDPct

Team profit: $6.9 M (44.2 M)
Attendance: 99.6% (100)
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Last edited by revrew : 07-19-2019 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:14 AM   #227
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A legend hangs up the whistle
Dick Grayson, sports reporter, Des Moines Register

The Des Moines Dragons suffered a blow today, as it was made public that the team's defensive coordinator, Andrew Hatchette, will be announcing his retirement.

Hatchette was widely considered one of the best, if not the premiere defensive coordinator in the NFL. The former defensive backs coach joined the Dragons when Head Coach Kevin O'Dea took over in the Dragons' second season and helped build the Dragons' secondary into one of the best units in the league.

Hatchette was the team's defensive coordinator for both of the Dragons' playoff appearances. In fact, his last three years in the league, he led the team to the SuperBowl in year 1, then finished #1 in the NFL in total defense in year 2, then did it again in year 3.

One of the best defensive playcallers in the NFL, Hatchette will be sorely missed.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:06 AM   #228
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Dragons Launch Coaching Staff Makeover
Dick Grayson, sports reporter, Des Moines Register

After two losing seasons following the Des Moines Dragons' only SuperBowl appearance, Head Coach Kevin O'Dea has been released.

With the loss of its head coach and previously announced retirement of Defensive Coordinator Andrew Hatchette, it appears as Dragons GM Jack Ledger is going to conduct a wholescale rebuild of the Dragon coaching staff.

Typically, these kinds of announcements are made through press conference, but Dragons GM Jack Ledger has demonstrated a now notorious level of inaccessibility to the press.

When reached for comment, the reclusive team owner and GM replied only that it is "time to shake … things … up."

The 62-year-old O'Dea came to the Dragons after a successful stint as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his first season in Des Moines, O'Dea captained the Dragons to a 9-7 season and their first playoff appearance. In his fourth season, the Dragons finished 11-5 and represented the NFC in the SuperBowl. But after two, consecutive 7-9 seasons and a 44-57 record over 6 years, the coach was let go.

O'Dea has a reputation for building an excellent scouting staff and mentoring young players, so it's likely he'll soon find employment elsewhere in the NFL, should he desire it.
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:36 PM   #229
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Surprise! Dragons Move Fast on New Coach
Dick Grayson, sports reporter, Des Moines Register

The door was still swinging on former Des Moines Dragons Head Coach Kevin O'Dea's departure when the next head coach stepped in. In a rare press conference held less than two weeks after O'Dea left, Dragon GM Jack Ledger announced former New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels would captain the Dragons.

"Ladies and gentle-men," Ledger said, before pausing at the podium to make his announcement. "Why so serious? Let's put a smile on that face! Allow me to introduce the new head coach of the Des Moines Dragonssssss, Josh McDaniels!"

Ledger then clapped effusively and bowed out of the press conference after only those few words, turning the proceedings over to McDaniels.

Rumors had been swirling about several candidates brought in to interview, but apparently Ledger's interview with McDaniels happened under the radar. His announcement was a complete surprise.

McDaniels, formerly a head coach with the Denver Broncos, has played second fiddle in New England for nearly two decades. Despite attempts by the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets to sign him as head coach, McDaneils consistently returned to Foxborough. But the Patriots passed over McDaniels for its head coaching position vacancy last season, leading some to wonder if the quarterback "whiz kid" (who's not such a kid anymore) would be available.

No one had to wonder for long.

At the press conference, McDaniels kept the headlines coming, as he announced the remainder of his coaching staff.

Former Patriot O-Line coach Gustavo Hager was announced as the new offensive coordinator. This will be the 50-year-old's first opportunity to call the offensive plays.

McDaniels then announced former NFL cornerback and secondary coach for the Jets, Gino Sanders, would be the Dragons' new defensive coordinator. It will also be his first opportunity in that role.

Finally, O'Dea Assistant Coach Nickolas Troutman, McDaniels announced, would be retaining his role in Des Moines. Some believe Troutman's focused familiarity with Iowa athletes may have been the deciding factor in his return to the Dragons.

Former Dragon Head Coach Kevin O'Dea, meanwhile, may not have far to go to lick his wounds. He was recently interviewed for the offensive coordinator position by the rival Chicago Bears and is believed to be the leading candidate to fill the position.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:55 AM   #230
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Riddle me this: Des Moines Dragons
By Edward Nigma, Pro Football Weekly


Riddle me this, Jack Ledger: What kind of lizard feeds on its own tail but never has enough to eat?

The answer is your Des Moines Dragons.

Mr. Ledger, it's time to declare your Iowa-only approach to NFL football a failed experiment. Yes, you snuck into the SuperBowl, and yes, your fans are still gobbling up tickets, but for how much longer? Your Dragons are consuming themselves, and the food supply is drying up. The well has gone dry. The cupboard is bare, and your roster has festering wounds with no hope of balm.

I will concede that your original scheme was clever. Give clever its due, I always say. Game recognizes game. The way you stuck it to the stuffy NFL suits, brought a flailing franchise back to life, and almost – oh, so close – won it all, was a stroke of genius.

But the joke is up. When football is dominated by powerhouse states of hefty population, like California, Florida, and Texas, it was only a matter of time before the flood of elite talent from outside Iowa was going to become a tidal wave to overpower the Hawkeye state's diminutive output. No fault to the land of corn and bacon, but its few million people just can't produce a crop of footballers to compete with the 350 million other Americans.

Now we look to the draft, and what do we see? We see a couple of Iowa players who might be solid contributors, but far too few stars. And every year you draft the one or two that Iowa can raise, while your opponents get seven rounds of even better talent to restock their rosters. Riddle me this, Mr. Ledger: What do you get when each year you add 1, and your opponents add 7?

It's a war of attrition, Mr. Ledger. And you're losing.

The gig is up. The punchline on this joke has expired. You just hired a new coach. Let him have his pick of the litter, because the Iowa-only approach is getting old, and you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:37 PM   #231
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BEGIN SEASON 8

Retirements:
In addition to DC Hatchette, TE2 Darren Crozier of Perry, Iowa, retired after 11 seasons in the league. Crozier was a little-used piece of the Dragon offense.

Free Agency recap

Extensions of note:
DE Ricardo "ManChild" Heuring, 27yo, (33/33) signed a team-friendly, 2-year contract after his previous season was cut short by injury
DT2 Robbie Blake, 30yo, (39/39) signed a 4-year deal likely to keep him in Des Moines to retirement
LG Ellis Morris, 28yo, (43/43)
RG Fred McLane, 28yo, (41/41)
WLB Craig Fredrickson, 29yo, (42/42)
CB3 Broderick Garcia, 27yo, (34/34)

New signings:
None
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:48 AM   #232
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ESPN Draft Profile: Des Moines Dragons

Team's top needs: RB, CB, OL
Secondary (depth) needs: OLB, RB, TE, DT

Looking at last season, indeed looking at the last several seasons, the Dragons' anemic run game continues to be the team's Achilles heel. And Oregon State dynamo Kent West would be the natural boost in the arm the Dragons need, while potentially falling to them at the 12th overall draft pick. West, however, may have never stepped a foot in Iowa in his life … and that means unless GM Jack Ledger has given new head coach Josh McDaniels unprecedented latitude to draft outside of Iowa … the Dragons will be looking elsewhere for help.

First-round prospects:

OT Sebastian Shaw – University of Northern Iowa: Shaw shot up the draft boards after a stellar combine that revealed him to be far more athletic than previously realized. Shaw dominated lesser competition at small school UNI, but questions remain about his ability at a higher level. At the 1.12, Des Moines may be in just the right spot to land him.

Mid-round prospects:

QB Bubba Griffin – Iowa State: Griffin is a tough, solidly built prospect with a strong arm. His tape shows too many mistakes to be among this draft's top gunslingers, but some team could fall in love with his potential.

CB Alfredo Hanson – Iowa State: A smart corner with good zone skills who projects to be a nickel or dime back, but limited athleticism may prevent him from becoming a starting corner

Later prospects:

OLB Antonio Lepsis – Iowa: A solid wrap-up tackler, but very undersized at 218 pounds
RB Bubba Clayton – Iowa State: An elusive runner in the open field and excellent receiver, but he does tend to get bottled up at the line
WR Sean Reeves ¬– Idaho State: An Iowa high school prospect with reliable hands over the middle and who runs a 4.46 40.
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Old 10-02-2019, 10:04 AM   #233
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2032 Draft Coverage:

Welcome to Jacksonville, Florida, home of the 2032 NFL amateur draft! With the first overall pick, the Houston Texans selected cornerback Frank Starks, the gifted athlete out of Virginia who made America sit up and take notice at this year's Maurice's Mattress and Furniture Barn Bowl and doubled down by wowing scouts at this year's combine.

When NFL Commissioner James Gordon stepped to the podium to announce the Des Moines Dragons' 12th overall pick, UNI offensive tackle Sebastian Shaw was still on the draft board and the presumed pick for the squad with a history of only selecting Iowa players. The commissioner, however, surprised the crowd by announcing the pick had been traded to the San Diego Chargers!

In return for the 1.12 and their 4th rounder, the Dragons received the 1.20 and the 2.20, giving the Dragons an additional 2nd round pick.

When the 1.20 rolled around, it turns out the Dragons were in luck!

1.20 OT Sebastian Shaw, University of Northern Iowa

Mel Kiper: The trade gamble pays off for the Dragons, as they drop down from 1.12 to 1.20 and land their man anyway. Not yet varying from the policy of picking only Iowa players, new Head Coach Josh McDaniels took the tackle who shot up the draft board after a good combine, but it appears cooled off as scouts dug deeper into the tape. I think that's why Shaw slipped a bit and why Des Moines took the gamble he'd still be there with the 20th pick. Shaw is an untested player, having rarely faced elite competition, but what Des Moines is getting is a mountain of a man at 6'6" and 352 pounds with excellent athleticism for a tackle his size. The Dragons already have a roster full of tackles, so I'll be curious where they line him up and how soon he'll slip into the lineup.

2.11 OLB Antonio Lepsis, Iowa

Todd McShay: It's not surprising that the Dragons took Lepsis, but it was a little surprising to see him taken with the first of their two, second-round picks. You look at the tape, and it's easy to see why teams are high on this kid. He's a tackling machine who can run with tight ends. The knock on him is that he's really a safety playing out of position. At 5'10" and only 218 pounds, he doesn't attack blockers well, and it shows. He's far better in space than in the trenches.

2.20 CB Alfredo Hanson, Iowa

Todd McShay: This is the player I expected the Dragons to take earlier. Hanson was 2nd-Team All Big 10 after racking up a season of picks and passes defended. He reads quarterback eyes very well and breaks to the ball with a playmaker's instincts. The biggest question mark is whether he's fast enough to run with NFL receivers or strong enough to take them on in tight coverage. But if allowed to sit back and play zone, Hanson could be a real asset.

Trade – The Des Moines Dragons trade their 3rd round selection and 7th round selection to the Houston Texans in exchange for the 5.1, 7.1, and the Texans' 3rd round pick next year.

Kiper: I think it's a smart play for Des Moines. If they're not in love with Iowa State Quarterback Bubba Griffin, who's really the only 3rd rounder from Iowa I can see on the draft board, then swapping out for the worst team in the league's 3rd rounder next year makes sense. And picking up an extra 5th and a higher 7th? Why not?

5.1 – WR Sean Reeves, Idaho State

Daniel Jeremiah: The senior out of Manchester, Iowa, who played for the Vandals, has NFL top speed and toughness. His hands are rock solid, and he knows how to take a hit. His ability to separate, however, will need to be developed, as he tends to play more like a basketball player blocking out his opponents than a receiver running away from them.

5.12 – RB Bubba Clayton, Iowa State

McShay: At last, the Dragons pick a runningback. I don't fault them for taking Clayton here, where the shifty Cyclone is a decent value as a 3rd down specialist. But I do fault them for not taking a more bell-cow back earlier in this draft.

6.11 – OLB Chester Dazey, Iowa

Kiper: Dazey might just be the toughest player in this draft. Listed at 5'9", it's surprising to see him playing linebacker at all, but Iowa's twin tiny mites – Lepsis and Dazey, both drafted by the Dragons – were like buzzing bees to opposing defenses. And of the two, Dazey is the one with the surprising sting. Not as sure a tackler as Lepsis, but a fierce hitter.

7.1 – SS Dylan Flannery, Iowa

McShay: High character, locker room leader and captain of the Iowa defense. He's a smart player who will help fill a depth need for the Dragons.

ESPN Draft Grade: C+
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:58 PM   #234
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still following...
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:40 AM   #235
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still following...

THANKS!

I apologize that I had to take a break because of family summer activities and some burnout on my part, but I'm back and recharged, so I'm excited to resume the dynasty! Thanks to all who are keeping tabs on the Dragons!
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:44 AM   #236
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Dragons Pre-Season Preview
Dick Grayson, sports reporter, Des Moines Register

After a pair of disappointing, 7-9 seasons, the Dragons entered training camp with a new coaching staff, and the comparisons began immediately. How would things be different? Would the new staff evaluate talent – and thus, depth charts – differently?

The most immediate, recognizable difference has been how closely Coach Josh McDaniels plays his cards tight to his chest. Little information has come out of camp, while most of the attention has been focused on younger players, making it harder to see how the new staff is evaluating the veterans.

Training camp highlights

Two of the bright spots among the younger players have been the two second-round picks. CB Alfredo Hanson has looked smooth and capable in every facet of coverage, and his ball-hawking abilities have turned heads. Projected by some to be nickel or dime back, Hanson looks to be a solid contributor who may even be able to step into the starting lineup if called upon.

Meanwhile, diminutive outside linebacker Antonio Lepsis has been playing with a chip on his shoulder, particularly against the run, where he's flashed the tackling skills that made him a star in Iowa City. Now that he's in Des Moines, he looks to have locked up the backup spot behind starting SLB Bob Clinton.

The fifth-round picks, RB Bubba Clayton and WR Sean Reeves, both look like contributors as well. Clayton, in particular, has been sure handed and even explosive from the flat, as his pass-catching skills have not been oversold.

Training camp question marks

Two, big questions are on everyone's mind: First, will the new coaching staff prefer the veteran QB Dakota Corriveau, or the promising, strong arm of backup QB Julian Price?

And second, is there anyone on this roster who can lead the rushing game out of the doldrums?

Predictions

Easy prediction: Rookie RB Bubba Clayton emerges as the starting back before the preseason ends. Sensible prediction: Rookie CB Alfredo Hanson works his way onto the starting roster. Gutsy prediction: The Dragons finish within a game of the Wild Card spot, one way or the other.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:55 AM   #237
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A Match Made in … Heaven?
by Adam West, Sports Illustrated

Deep in the bowels of the Joker Field stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, a strange, almost sadistic laugh can be heard.

Jack Ledger, the eccentric, "Clown Prince" of social media and the NFL's most devil-may-care, bad-boy franchise owner, is positively giddy over the newest addition to his team. No, not another Iowa player (for Ledger refuses to sign any player to his Des Moines Dragons who didn't attend either high school or college in the state of Iowa), but a coach.

For nearly two decades, Dragons' New Head Coach Josh McDaniels has been the prime disciple, the Sith-Lord paduan, of none other than the evil Emperor himself, New England's coach supreme, Bill Belichick. Under the Hooded One's tutelage, McDaniels has won more than a handful of Super Bowl rings, while being fully immersed in the "Patriot Way" – a system of team-first, heartless, scheming dominance that some call brilliant, others accuse of breaking the rules, and still others just refer to as "The Dark Side."

Now, Darth McDaniels is striking out on his own once again, after two, earlier attempts at coaching an NFL team failed. In Denver, McDaniels enjoyed a short stint as head coach that ended after allegations of cheating. McDaniels' stay in Indianapolis was even shorter, after he backed out of the head coaching job almost immediately upon the of announcement of his hire.

For better than 10 years, McDaniels continued to soak in the Patriot system, biding his time.

But when Belichick, the most powerful coach in the NFL galaxy, at last retired … McDaniels did not ascend to take the Foxborough throne. It was that slight, some say, that drove him to a desperate alliance - that drove him to Des Moines.

In a coup that shocked the sports media, Ledger, the king of jokers, announced McDaniels as the Dragons' new coach. And then he once again, faded from the spotlight.

But like his mentor Belichick, McDaniels did not step into the light himself, preferring instead the dark. Short, clipped media appearances. Cryptic answers. Words revealing nothing. And a new hoodie, this time in Dragon green, instead of Patriot gray. While the microphones were shoved relentlessly in his face, begging to know whether McDaniels was granted Ledger's permission to finally open the Dragon roster to players from outside Iowa, the new coach was persistently tight-lipped. His eyes glistened with a deep, dark secret.

Rather than repenting of the Dragons' rebellious roster-building ways, McDaniels was about to double down on them.

"Some men," they say, "just want to watch the world burn."

And other NFL owners are definitely burning.

"They're making a mockery of the league and of our history," fumed Raiders' owner Mark Davis after the 2032 NFL rookie draft revealed the Dragons would continue their Iowa-only ways. "Daddy never would have approved this. I can't believe [NFL Commissioner James] Gordon is allowing it."

Gordon, however, may not have a choice. The financial boon Ledger's Iowa-only approach has brought to the NFL is credited with virtually saving not only the Dragon (former Detroit Lion) franchise, but the flailing NFL itself. At an NFL owners rules meeting last spring, efforts to sanction or disallow Ledger's teambuilding strategy were soundly defeated.

And thus, the Dragons are now a two-headed monster – Ledger and the Emperor's protιgι.

Deep, down that creepy hallway, where Ledger makes his lair, an eerie, maniacal sound can be heard. The Joker is having the last laugh after all.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:45 AM   #238
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Final roster cuts:

QB4 Lester Fox, 2031 5th round selection
OG4 Dominique Siegrist, 2031 URFA
DE4 Julian Sisson, original expansion draft selection
SLB Zachary Patmon, 2031 5th round selection
MLB Wes Price, 2030 URFA
OLB Mackenzie Webber, original expansion draft selection
DT Otis Nutt, 2032 URFA
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:51 AM   #239
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Season 8, Week 1: The Packers come to Des Moines

Answers finally came to the public when the Dragons took the field for the first time (that counts) under former QB whisperer and new head coach, Josh McDaniels. The staring QB would be Dakota Corriveau (little surprise). The starting RB would be last year's WR convert, Carlton Agree (big surprise). And rookie CB Alfredo Hanson came on as CB1 (a curious surprise, indeed).

And in Game 1 of the season, a change on offense was definitely in the air. QB Dakota Corriveau came out gunslinging, completing 27 of 35 for 343 yards. WR Robbie Thompson finally pushed his way into the starting lineup, catching 8 of 11 for 122 yards.

But the big difference was the running game in the red zone. Corriveau rushed a TD, Carlton Agree rushed for a TD, and RB2, the rookie Bubba Clayton, rushed for a PAIR of touchdowns! That's more rushing touchdowns for the Dragons in one game than several previous RBs could muster in a whole season!

Meanwhile, the twin terrors, DE Elias "Beast" Reese and DE Ricardo "ManChild" Heuring, resumed causing nightmares for opposing QBs, splitting 3 sacks, 7 hurries, and 4 knockdowns evenly between them. SS Mitch Plante batted away 4 passes, while rookie SS Dylan Flannery snagged an INT after FS Gerald Barnes went down with injury.

A Green Bay pick-6 made it look closer than it was, as the Dragons come out on fire with a 33-17 win.
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Last edited by revrew : 10-08-2019 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:19 AM   #240
Chas in Cinti
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Maybe the team needed a bit of a shakeup...

Also you had me a bit confused by this (until I reread the draft and realized it was a typo, haha):
And rookie QB Alfredo Hanson came on as CB1 (a curious surprise, indeed).
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:56 AM   #241
revrew
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Maybe the team needed a bit of a shakeup...

Also you had me a bit confused by this (until I reread the draft and realized it was a typo, haha):
And rookie QB Alfredo Hanson came on as CB1 (a curious surprise, indeed).

Yikes! Good catch. I've gone back to correct the record, that he's a rookie CB, not QB.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:16 AM   #242
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Season 8, Week 2: 1-0 Dragons travel to 0-1 New England

Now it's for real: Coach McDaniels gets his shot at the team that denied him the head coaching job. Will it be a friendly return to Foxborough, or a vengeful visit?

And the answer is … vengeance! Sweet, sweet vengeance.

QB Dakota Corriveau, following a penalty on the opening kickoff, took the Dragons 85 yards, capping it off with a 30-yard TD strike to TE Kelvin Satterfield. Then he led the team to a score on the next drive, and the next, and the next, the Dragons scoring every time they touched the ball in the first half. Despite 11 penalties that slowed them down throughout the game, the Dragons scored on 7 of the day's10 possessions.

Meanwhile, the Dragon D allowed a grand total of ZERO yards rushing. Coupled with 6 sacks, the Pats were simply obliterated.

RB1 Carlton Agree averaged 5.36 yards per carry, and RB2 Bubba Clayton found the end zone again, while WR2 Robbie Thompson lit it up again with 10 catches on 10 targets for 104 yards. WR1 Louis Forbes caught 150 yards and a score, as Corriveau put up 376 yards and a 125.5 rating.

Could McDaniels be the quarterback whisperer the Dragons were missing? Whether he is or not, it sure looks like New England made the wrong coaching call, as Des Moines racks up a convincing 33-9 victory.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:46 AM   #243
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Season 8, Week 2: 2-0 Dragons host 2-0 Buccs

The first quarter of this game didn't start well, as the Dragons racked up more injuries than first downs. Down 10-0 at the end of the first, however, somehow McDaniels found a way to get the team turned around.

Dakota Corriveau started to stretch the field, diversify his targets, and for the first time in his career, he has an O-coordinator that sees every player on the field as a weapon. Highly touted FB Dwight Stanton finally became a focal point with 4 catches, including with 26-yard TD scamper. Long under-utilized TE Kelvin Satterfield caught his 2nd TD in as many weeks, and the Dragons were suddenly off to the races!

By the time the dust settled, Corriveau had completed 23 of 26 passes for 4 TDs and a 146.6 rating. DE Elias "Beast" Reese was let off the leash to terrorize the opposing QB, and when CB2 Warren Sims snagged a pick-6 at the end of regulation, it only served to cement the shellacking, as the Dragons roar to a 38-13 victory.

Alas, the injury toll was heavy in this one, as the Dragons will be short-handed next week, missing:

LDE Elias "Beast" Reese
RDE Ricardo "ManChild" Heuring
SLB Bob Clinton
WR1 Louis Forbes
Rookie CB1 Alfredo Hanson
SLB2 Antonio Lepsis
FS Gerald Barnes

In a nutshell, the Dragons' best weapon on offense and almost entire defense will be watching from the sidelines. Ouch.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:06 AM   #244
Chas in Cinti
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Wow... that's a rough game of injuries... both DE? ugh
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:40 PM   #245
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Season 8, Week 3: 3-0 Dragons visit 2-1 Dallas

Dallas brought the best rushing attack in the NFL thus far to the table, while Des Moines brought a defense decimated by injury. True, the Dragons still boast stud SS Mitch Plante, MLB Dale Griffin, and a hobbled but playing anyway DE Elias "Beast" Reese, but would it be enough?

Holy cow. The answer was YES.

The depleted Dragon D held Dallas to 0.92 yards per pass play on the day, while "Beast" and last year's 1st-round pick DE Bo Tremmel led the squad to 6 sacks.

Meanwhile, Corriveau, despite a down day overall, connected with WR2 Robbie "This is my breakout season" Thompson on 10 of 13 targets and hit his newly discovered pass-catching options FB Dwight Stanton, TE Kelvin Satterfield, and rookie RB2 Bubba Clayton for 8 more completions.

The game was tight, but in the first play of the second half, Dallas QB Joshua Evans heaved a deep, deep pass down the hashmarks, thinking his slot receiver could outrun Dragon SS Mitch Plante. No such luck. Plante snagged the ball, turned around at our own 11-yard-line … and then did the impossible. Bobbing, weaving, stiff-arming, streaking … an 89-yard pick-6, right through the entire Cowboy squad.

The play was a rallying cry for the Dragon D, which held fast and never allowed another score.

Dragons win again, 17-13.

The injuries, however, are killing us. Now missing every center on our roster and huge chunks of the defense, this is a ticking time bomb …
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:29 AM   #246
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We're No. 1! We're No. 1!
Jason Todd, Des Moines Register

At the beginning of the season, I don't think anyone would have predicted the Des Moines Dragons would be where they are today – ranked No. 1 in the ESPN Power Rankings!

But it's not an undeserved honor. At the end of the season's first quarter, the Dragons are one of the NFL's only three undefeated teams, having outscored their opponents 121-52 across four victorious contests. The Dragons are #1 in the NFL in pass completion percentage (77.0) AND yards per attempt (8.99). On the other side of the ball, the Dragon D is only allowing opponents to complete 50 percent of their passes for a paltry 4.8 yards per attempt, both marks good for second best among NFL defenses. The Dragon O is averaging 397 yards and 30.3 points per game, while the D is only giving up 243 yards and 13.0 points per contest. In short, Des Moines is winning on both sides of the ball.

What cause, this burst of efficiency and dominance?

Some, naturally, will point to new Head Coach Josh McDaniels. A reasonable supposition.

Others will credit the defense. All-Pro SS Mitch Plante is having his best season yet, breaking up 7 passes, while only allowing 6 completions, and his 89-yard pick-6 will be a highlight film for years to come. DE Elias "Beast" Reese is having a career year, as well, on pace for 24 sacks on the season and over 40 hurries. Injured or not, he's been unstoppable.

But truth be told, we've seen the Dragon D be dominant before.

The big difference this season has been the outstanding play of QB Dakota Corriveau. His 111.7 QB rating, if it held to season's end, would be the best mark of his career by 25 points. He's on pace for nearly 5,000 yards and 30 TDs. If he keeps it up, he should be considered for league MVP.

What happened? Is Coach McDaniels really a QB whisperer? Is the 6th year the charm (though, to be honest, he showed signs of breaking out last year)? Is it the emergence of reliable target WR Robbie Thompson or our outlet extraordinaire, FB Dwight Stanton? Maybe a little of all of the above.

But … but … can it continue?

I don't want to burst this bubble. I don't want to point to a team decimated by injuries, including at center, where the Dragons don't have a player left who can give the ball to Corriveau. I don't want to talk about the schedule getting tougher.

Instead, let us just bask in this moment. The Dragons have been mediocre for most of their seasons in Des Moines – but not today. Today, the Dragons sit alone atop the Power Ratings. Today, if just for a moment, Iowa fans are telling the truth when they raise their foam fingers and declare, "We're No. 1! We're No. 1!"
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:33 AM   #247
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Season 8, Week 5: 4-0 Dragons travel to 2-2 Philadelphia

How does a team even compete this banged up? Out with injuries today included: C1, C2, WR1, WR3, DE2, DT2, SLB2, CB1, CB3, FS1, and hobbled but playing anyway DE1, SLB1, and LG1.

You compete by putting up 31 points in the first half, and then sitting back and waiting to win, THAT's what you do!

I swear, somebody put Superman juice into QB Dakota Corriveau's coffee. In the middle of what was a otherwise a pedestrian day, Corriveau took a few deep shots in the 2nd quarter – and connected on them ALL, including a 61-yard TD strike to WR5 Isaac Kinney, a 15-yard tuddy to WR4 Xavier Bradley, and with time expiring in the half, a 50-yard bomb to WR Robbie "I'm suddenly setting the NFL on fire" Thompson.

Robbie T. is now #1 in the NFL in receiving yards, with 503 after 5 games. He's caught 78% of the passes thrown his way, which is a big part of his success.

The defense didn't accomplish much by way of the big play in this one, but despite a much depleted defensive front, the Dragons stuffed the line, allowing only 25 yards rushing on 23 carries.

I don't know how, I don't know how long it will last, but this Dragon team is determined to win, no matter who takes the field (with Corriveau). Des Moines surprises the experts with a stunning, 31-3 victory.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:59 AM   #248
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Season 8, Week 6: 5-0 Dragons host 3-1 Giants

The Giants come in off their bye, refreshed and virtually injury free. The Dragons, on the other hand … have the same hospital roster as last week with two exceptions: WR1 Louis Forbes, though still fighting off tonsillitis, will join the lineup, and WR2 Robbie Thompson, will fight through a broken finger.

And once again, injuries be hanged, QB Dakota Corriveau is playing like the obvious NFL MVP! In a similar formula to last week, the Dragons score on their first 5 possessions of the ballgame and take 31 points into the locker room at halftime. Then the SS Mitch Plante-led defense finishes off the opponent in the second half.

The stats in this one were just gaudy:

Corriveau – 33 of 40, 394 yds, 4 TDs, 141.0 QB rating
WR Louis Forbes – 8 of 10, 133 yards, 1 TD
WR2 Robbie Thompson – 8 of 10, 62 yds, 2 TD
SS Mitch Plante – 7 tackles, 2 passes defensed, a sack

Dragons rack up 522 yards on the day, while holding the Giants to a paltry 39 yards rushing.

And once again, newly unleashed weapon FB Dwight Stanton catches a TD pass, to go along with 2 KRBs and a pancake block. The athletic, 4th-round pick out of Cedar Rapids appears to have finally found a niche in the Dragon offense, as he's caught more passes for more yards and more TDs already in this season than in any of his previous three whole seasons.

The final result doesn't reflect how lopsided the game actually was, as Dragons roll to victory, 38-17.
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:04 AM   #249
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Season 8, Week 7: 6-0 Dragons host 3-2 Bears

After two seasons, the Bears cut Iowa Heisman winner and #1 overall draft pick QB Grayson Shello. The reality is, he was a bust and a locker room nightmare. We're talking Ryan Leaf-like in his complete flameout. He remains unsigned at this point, though if the Dragons see any long-term injuries, it wouldn't be surprising to see Des Moines snag the college superstar off the scrap heap.

Speaking of injuries, the Dragons see SEVEN players cleared from the injury list this week, including DE2 Ricardo "ManChild" Heuring and rookie CB1 Alfredo Hanson. CB2 Warren Sims, however, the veteran CB presence, broke his wrist in last week's tilt against the Giants and is expected to miss 7 weeks. The pass defense was already showing some chinks, and it's questionable whether Hanson's return will make up for Sims' departure.

In this contest, however, the Dragons played a near perfect game. Outside of some sacks allowed and some weakness in the secondary in the third quarter, the Dragons dominated this contest.

Des Moines racked up an uncharacteristic 172 yards rushing on 5.38 ypc (rookie RB2 Bubba Clayton proving to be an excellent third-down and change of pace back), and QB Dakota Corriveau completed 24 of 34 for 276 yards, 3 TDs, and zero INTs. WR2 Robbie "Sure I'm number 2?" Thompson hauled in 10 of 13 for 121 and a pair of scores. And once again, the Dragons opened the game on fire, scoring 24 points on their first 4 possessions.

Couple the flawless offensive performance with 7 sacks, generated by relentless pressure from the outside and mop-up sacks by our DTs, and the victory was never in doubt. Dragons win, 34-15.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:30 AM   #250
revrew
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Season 8, Week 8: 7-0 Dragons travel to 3-4 Green Bay

Does it say something about my nervous fears for this unbeaten team that I keep fretting about the injury report? The good news is that FS Gerald Barnes returned from injury, but defensive captain MLB Dale Griffin has now strained a hammy, keeping him out indefinitely. That could really hurt this stout run defense.

Yet it turns out our biggest opponent on this day wasn't injuries, but the weather. In a blizzard like only Green Bay can deliver, QB Dakota Corriveau and the Dragon aerial attack were grounded. And so were the Packers. In a game where players were sliding around on a white, sloppy field like teenage girls at a shaving cream slumber party, neither offense could sustain a drive. Not a single offensive touchdown was scored on the day.

The contest came down to punting, believe it or not, and the Green Bay special teams proved the better unit. Packer Punter Ronnie Foley pinned 6 of 7 punts inside the 20 yard line, and when Packer receiver Bobby Horner returned a punt to the house, it proved the day's only tuddy.

In really more a fluke game than anything else, the Dragons lose, 13-0.
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