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Old 05-02-2021, 07:59 AM   #501
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: On to training camp 2098!
With a whole bunch of new and a couple of old faces.

Post draft free agency pretty much finished. "Pretty much" as I have sent out offers to 5 free agents hoping they'll take an eleventh hour contract to join us for training camp, increasing the head count to 70. Providing our two hold-outs Richie Piotte and Darien Fletcher will sign our second offer. Let's hope their mathematically incapable player agents do the right thing and not turn down another much better contract than they're requesting.

Linebacker Hayden McNeil did sign a new one-year deal, which means he'll likely be back for another season on our running downs defensive formations. We did sign a couple of other linebackers, in case McNeil wouldn't and to have a bit more insurance in case our veterans fall apart in camp. 29-year old Bart Hansen is one of two veteran free agent that we added to our roster. He was previously with the Fairbanks Northstars, playing there for 3 seasons after 4 seasons with the Orlando Talons, that discovered him as an undrafted rookie in 2091. Undrafted rookie Trey Ford also signed a one-year deal, we had him on our radar during the draft already.

The other veteran signing is a familiar face: quarterback Kelvin Everett. Yes, he'll probably won't make our pre-season roster, but I figured we'd give him one more shot to prove us wrong. He extended his career after signing with the Chesapeake Chitterlings during the playoffs, but they decided not to use their restricted free agency dibs on him and let him become free to all. Well, Kelvin, here's your one more chance in Oranje Haven.

Aside from aforementioned Trey Ford, we signed 7 other undrafted rookies: running back Angel Henderson, tight ends R.J. Asmus and Wendell Borders, wide receiver Lester Quinn, punter Trevor Sinclair, defensive end Drake Stinchcomb and safety Dakota Kamin. Borders' run blocking, Asmus' special teams skills, Quinn's big play ability and special teams experience, Stinchcomb's pass rush technique and Kamin's zone defending and special teams skills give them a legitimate shot at making the team. Sinclair might just be an insurance incase veteran Shaun Barlow falls apart. Henderson wil have to improve in camp to have a chance to challenge our backfield from last season and seventh round pick Dashawn McIntyre.

The excess of over 60 players is always tricky, because training camp is just a moment to give young players a second look. For veterans pre-season action reveals their game day fitness. But with 60 the limit for pre-season, we'll have to make at least 5 cuts between those two moments. And I'm going to make it more difficult on us/me, as I already mentioned that I have 5 offers out on free agents to join us. Most notable Branden Sandlin, because he deserves to make it to camp here.
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Old 05-03-2021, 01:55 PM   #502
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Bye bye Espino and Sandlin
And welcome to a new long snapper.

Daquan Espino, #29 overall pick in the 2086 draft, touted as our new all around stud linebacker. It all felt promising, but the longer he hung around, the more clear it became that he was gradually turning from a great linebacker into a situational defender. He was active in 158 regular season games and 8 playoffs games for us. The last two seasons he was inactive. Unwilling to sign a new deal, the stint in Maassluis ends after 12 seasons.

Branden Sandlin, a hidden gem in the 2087 sixth round? The wide receiver broke into our starting lineup on the offense as Theodore Bondy's sidekick in 2088, following up in 2089 with a 9-touchdown campaign. But more recently he was losing his speed and diminished into a WR5 role. The last four seasons we barely used him anymore. Contract negotiations failed, so after 129 regular season games and 5 playoffs games he left Oranje Haven.

Bummer, I like to keep our veterans around, but Espino and Sandlin both were unlikely to have an active role and became too expensive...

Coming in is rookie long snapper Harris Custer. I'm expecting him to beat the veteran Sebastian Garner that we signed as a free agent.

Richie Piotte signed a new contract, meaning one of our two hold outs is back on the training field. Darien Fletcher declined my very generous offer, on to offer number three we go, because we can't afford to give him what he's asking straight up.

Training Camp results are also in, players that made good progress: wide receiver Vinny Buysse (always a relief to see our first round on this list), undrafted rookie punter Trenton Sinclair, undrafted rookie linebacker Trey Ford. Secodd tier: fullback Damien Wanamaker (ready to play now?), guard Ronald Staigvil (our first round pick last season), defensive end Robbie Dobreski (could he be for real?), cornerback Omar Leszynski and rookie safety Blaine Wright. Third tier: rookie quarterback Bill Benson (nice, but I doubt he'll make the team), rookie running back Dashawn McIntyre, undrafted rookie tight end Wendell Borders (he's going to make the team), tight end Myron Lofton and tackle Dusty Webster.

Right now, I have to figure out which 6 players won't make our pre-season roster.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:37 PM   #503
Kodos
Resident Alien
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
It'll be fun tracking the careers of SE Vinny Buysse (who you traded in at 1.7 to grab one pick ahead of me) and FL Teddy Austin who I subsequently got after trading down with Kansas from 1.8 to get 1.17 and Kansas's 2099 1st. It'd be pretty sweet if your move netted me a similar WR plus a future 1st lottery ticket. Hopefully Austin's RR comes along over time.
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Last edited by Kodos : 05-03-2021 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:02 PM   #504
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
It'll be fun tracking the careers of SE Vinny Buysse (who you traded in at 1.7 to grab one pick ahead of me) and FL Teddy Austin who I subsequently got after trading down with Kansas from 1.8 to get 1.17 and Kansas's 2099 1st. It'd be pretty sweet if your move netted me a similar WR plus a future 1st lottery ticket. Hopefully Austin's RR comes along over time.
I'm pretty sure that I would have settled for Austin if the trade for 1.7 had failed and Buysse had gone at 1.8. I was ready to move up to 1.9 for it. And it's no longer a secret either that I was very close to agreeing terms for 1.4 and would have picked Buysse there. All in all, this draft class had 4 very similar, yet in detail very different receivers in the top7 picks. Austin might be in the mix here, the WR group of 2098 in general will be interesting to watch, but in the micro cosmos of the Futility Bowl rivalry, Austin vs Buysse is a story within that story.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:23 PM   #505
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Jackson out, Fletcher in
And some other riffraff that won't make it into pre-season.

Clayton Jackson was the most prominent post training camp roster cut casualty. In our group of 9 linebackers, he certainly wasn't the worst of the bunch, but unlike the likes of Jose Meadows, Brant Rayburn, Andrew Cochrane and Brandon Brady, he wasn't much of a special teamer. Third round pick for us in the 2087 draft, we made him sit out his rookie campaign. But convinced in his pass defense skills and slightly less in his pass rush skills, we wanted to keep him around for season 2 and onwards. Jackson ended up playing in 160 regular season games and 4 more in the playoffs, never missing a game since week 1 of the 2088 season. Last season he was a bit of a liability in our pass defense and with the looks of undrafted rookie Trey Ford, it wasn't to be for another season. That's the third long timer already to not make our pre-season roster after Daquan Espino and Branden Sandlin...

Also missing out are Kelvin Everett, the third-year quarterback, our seventh round pick Bill Benson (also a quarterback and despite his somewhat promising training camp), undrafted rookies tight end R.J. Asmus and safety Dakota Kamin, and veteran long snapper Sebastian Garner.

Reporting for duty is defensive tackle Darien Fletcher. He ended his hold out after we finally agreed to terms, on a two-year deal. It will make re-signing cornerback Ernie Grant a bigger challenge now, as well as the extension of contracts of several of our second and third tier players. We've got less than $7M to work with now. We'll likely get around the table with running back Bert Ta'Amu and defensive tackle Jerome Shumate to find some additional cap relief, while the change of kicker might also happen and open up some cap space. We have 21 players on roster in their final year of contract. But all of that is tomorrow's story...
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Old 05-05-2021, 06:53 AM   #506
Kodos
Resident Alien
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Advantage Buysse after week 2 of the preseason. Austin took a bit.
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:02 AM   #507
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: That day all GMs both love and loath
... that moment between pre-season game 2 and 3.

Our cut down to 53 men is settled. Long time special teams linebacker Brant Rayburn, kicker Dylan McMullen and cornerback Bryson Swafford are the biggest casualties. We're also releasing undrafted rookies punter Trenton Sinclair, running back Angel Henderson, defensive end Drake Stinchcomb and wide receiver Lester Quinn.

McMullen looked out of shape, while rookie Gino Shea made good progress. It would make sense to keep McMullen around to mentor Shea, but salary cap reasons made me release him, so we have additional room to lock up cornerback Ernie Grant.

Grant will have a different CB2 next season, in particular on running downs. Bryson Swafford's promising progress came to a grueling halt and in his current shape we can't play him anymore. In return, third-year cornerback Omar Leszynski made another good impression and after two season of inactivity it's time to make him play. This too will help get the cap space for Grant to sign him a new deal.

The other releases are quite simply the numbers game of too many players at their positions. Henderson wasn't going to unseat Bet Ta'Amu (despite his horrible decline) and Ronnie Vanden Bosch, while Dashawn McIntyre and Harris Gerhardt will have special teams roles. Sinclair looked good in training camp, but all of a sudden not so much in pre-season, making us stick with veteran Shaun Barlow. Quinn doesn't look good enough to get an active role on the team. Stinchcomb didn't impress more than Robbie Dobreski did. Rayburn was stuck in a linebackers group where too many are also great special teamers, we're likely shifting Brandon Brady into that unit, with his playing time in pass defense possibly lowered.

I intend to take a look at a couple of upgrades, which means the 53-men list isn't completely set, but it will be 2 or 3 moves at most. The verdict on the decision to get pick #7 rather than pick #4 is currently looking like all it means is $5M more in cap room, whether Raul Bradford (picked at the #4 pick) or Vinny Buysse (our #7 pick) will be the better player is way too early to call. We can't judge Buysse on his 4 catches for 35 yards in the first two pre-season games, we played him in the WR3 slot after all.

Raul Bradford played for the Frederick Red Menace, but wasn't even targeted. The other first round rookies? Outer Banks Osprey's #2 pick Donnie Olsavsky had 8 catches for 116 yards, Texas Sharks' #5 pick Dustin Mathis 3 catches for 27 yards. Moontown's #16 William Rivers had 5 catches for 84 yards, Toronto's #17 Teddy Austin 5 catches for 50 yards. Tucker's #30 Ethan Sawyer barely played, he wasn't targeted. Gothenburg's #31 Jeffery DiMillo had 2 catches for 18 yards. So far the class of 2098 isn't making a splash just yet...
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Old 05-07-2021, 05:54 PM   #508
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Jinxed!
The dreaded perfect pre-season record...

Pre-season came to an end and five teams are coming out of it with a 4-0 record. The Paris Musketeers cruised to it, outscoring their opponents 160-56. Which means our very own 4-0 was just barely enough for second place, as we outscored our opponents 105-70. The Gothenburg Giants were on our tail with a 3-1 record, cruising to three blowout victories and one big loss in Oakland, outscoring their opponents 148-61. Yeah, we're going to be in a touch crowd as the Bordeaux Vineyards are dubbed the post-pre-season favorites by the highly regarded DogBytes power rankings.

Contrary to previous notes, I'm thinking the 53-men list has settled. I failed to sign a linebacker that would have improved our pass defense (lesson: don't underbid on free agents that might get another offer) and I'm uncertain about the other slots that I dillydallied about.

who?pre statsnotes
QB Earnest Ashley42/89 for 1035 yd, 6 td, 3 int; 11 for 68 ydfranchise quarterback, so says the $213M deal he signed
QB Efrain Batcheck32/72 for 376 yd, 3 td, 2 int; 13 for 40 ydEmergency quarterback
KH Jon Gileshe held some kicksand will hold more kicks
RB Bert Ta'Amu28 for 126 yd, 2 rec for 37 yd, 1 tdDeclining fast, but still our best option
RB Ronnie Vanden Bosch17 for 48 yd, 0 td; 3 rec for 7 yd, 1 tdRB2, will we give him some carries this year?
RB Dashawn McIntyre35 for 115 yd, 0 td; 3 rec for 14 ydnew special teamer, backup kickoff returner
ST Harris Gerhardtplayed on special teamsspecial teams ace and mentor
FB Damien Wanamakerhe blocked and stuffthe new fullback?
FB Owen Johnstonwas inactivethe old fullback
TE Clay Gaynor3 for 26 yd, 0 tdgo to guy on third and medium?
TE Clarence Gore4 for 33 yd, 1 tdroute runner, short routes to the sidelines?
TE Wendell Borders3 for 32 yd, 1 tdour new run blocker
TE Ike Nixon4 for 45 yd, 1 tdspecial teamer
TE Myron Lofton3 for 33 yd, 0 tdstill a project
WR Ed Schulz7 for 206 yd, 1 tdSoon to be WR2?
WR George Stuckey24 for 360 yd, 2 tdOur route runner
WR Vinny Buysse8 for 78 yd, 1 tdkid is for real, grow fast, become our WR1 by season end?
PR Mark Perkins7 for 78 ydactually, he's our punt returner
KR Darien Thompsonreturned kickoffslike I said: kickoff returner
LT Johnny Houston5/19 key blocks, 0 sackshas to prove he's worth that $133M contract
LG Nickolas Toler7/13 key blocks, 0 sacksstud
C Robbie Zinn6/18 key blocks, 0 sacksour best OL guy
RG Ronald Staigvil6/13 key blocks, 4 sacksweakest link on the line?
RT Isaac Delgado3/13 key blocks, 2 sackshas to prove he's worth that $180M contract
G Caleb Turnbull3/11 key blocks, 3 sacksveteran OL6
C Rickey Mason0/1 key blocks, 2 sacksproject?
OT Dusty Websterinactiveour 8th lineman
P Shaun Barlowwell, he puntedour punter
K Gino Shea12/15 FG (3 misses on 40+), 9/10 PATour kicker
DE Richie Piotteall downs defensive end?
DE Caiden Croylerun stopper
DE Archie Exnerpass rusher
DE Robbie Dobreskiproject, too green to play?
DT Jerome Shumaterun stuffer and pass rusher
DT Darien Fletcherpass rusher
DT Caleb Domispass rusher
DT Harold Goughpass rusher
LB Brandon Bradymostly running downs, special teams
LB Preston Bradfordpassing downs
LB Bart Hansenrunning downs
LB Hayden McNeilrunning downs
LB Andrew Cochranespecial teamer
LB Jose Meadowsspecial teamer
LB Trey Fordproject
CB Ernie Grantour shutdown corner
CB Omar Leszynskirunning downs CB2
CB Adam Harmonpassing downs CB2
CB Zachery Weisznickel back
S Devon Farrellall downs strong safety
S Chuck Murrayrunning downs free safety
S Jon Brotzmanpassing downs free safety
S Blaine Wrightwill be inactive
LS Harris Custercuz we need one
Yeah, I didn't feel the need to tally defensive numbers, they're usually not telling a true story, being very situation dependent (well, ain't that true for most positions?). I can give you that Richie Piotte ran havoc again, earning player of the game honors twice.


In other news, we finally locked up Ernie Grant and as a result, we now have 5 players signed through the 2102 season: QB Ashley, WR Schulz, the OTs Houston and Delgado and CB Grant. We're currently projected to be $76M over the to be expected $539M cap at the start of the next off-season, with 42 players signed. I intended to lock up at least TE Gore, DE Exner and DE Croyle, which will probably put us at roughly $95M over the cap. Yup, good old cap hell will be back soon! But I'm confident we'll manage, as we'll have close to $150M locked up in base salary for those 5 expensive guys, which should realistically be capped out to being just over $50M.


Some more dillydallying is to be expected over the next day or two, mostly for our game plan. We'll start the season with quite possibly the toughest two-game stretch of all 32 teams: at Gothenburg and at Hanalei. We'll have to follow up by hosting San Antonio and after the bye hosting Tucker and visiting Augusta. Week 7 at Paris will be our first opponent with more than 6 losses last season, oh goody... Week 8 and 9 we host Snapfinger and Bordeaux, then week 10 at Orlando, followed up by hosting last season's #1 seeds back-to-back: Gothenburg and Orlando. Then we get a three-game road stretch at North Plainfield, Fairbanks and Bordeaux, then finish the season with home games against Colorado and Bordeaux.

A very tough schedule, but well have to believe in ourselves, trust what we're good at, keep our chins up. Feelin' young, feelin' strong. We can do this, 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 : 05-07-2021 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 05-11-2021, 10:13 AM   #509
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIJB#19 View Post
[b]General Manager Notes:

Also missing out are Kelvin Everett, the third-year quarterback...

Reader note: Chesapeake has signed QB Everett, and our plan is to give him a look in what appears, down our way, to be a more or less lost season. Not sure if that will be "a look" taking snaps or just running around, but he's too tantalizing to let sit by the wayside. Our standards are, apparently, lower than those of your beloved Merchantmen. #HardTimesInCrabtown
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:33 PM   #510
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, this wasn't quite what we might have wanted...

Chesapeake
CMP
ATT
YD
YPA
LONG
TD
INT
BAD
SK/YD
RTG
Kelvin Everett
18
42
145
3.45
22
0
3
2
3/16
22.4

...but might as well know whether we have something at QB in Everett. Early returns are... not promising, shall we say.
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Old 05-12-2021, 03:01 PM   #511
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
To all the loyal readers: I'll get this back in swing, it has been a busy and unusual set of days. And I'll promise to mention Kelvin Everett.
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Old 05-12-2021, 05:15 PM   #512
tzach
H.S. Freshman Team
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
nice! clayton jackson deserves a tribute, he was good
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Old 05-15-2021, 11:13 AM   #513
QuikSand
lolzcat
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Everett back in the saddle, and notches his first win for the Chits, despite eight (EIGHT!) bad passes in one game.

FBK at CHE: 2098 WEEK 6 BOX.
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Old Yesterday, 01:00 PM   #514
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: When you have no idea what to say...
.. because everything that can go wrong goes wrong.

The 2098 season might appear to already be over. Wait, what, aren't we just 5 games into it? Definitely, but the outlook right now is, well, let's just look at the cold hard fact:

European Division:
1. Gothenburg 6-0
2. Bordeaux 4-1
3. Paris 4-1
4. Maassluis 0-5

Ouch.

Yes, that's where we stand right now. The tough start of the early schedule did it's work and we didn't even play good enough to win once, let alone twice. In return, the rest of the division is steamrolling, all the recorded losses came against each other.

How did we really do though? We started with a 33-21 loss in Gothenburg, then followed up with a 23-17 loss in Hanalei, a 17-7 loss at home against San Antonio, a 31-13 loss against Tucker and the quintuple was completed with a 23-14 loss at Augusta. I don't care that these opponents combine for the toughest schedule in the league as of week 6, you'll have to face and beat whatever challenges come on your journey.

Earnest Ashley has struggled, completed under 46% of his passes for 1,070 yards (so barely over 200 per game), 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. At least he ran a bit, but his 173 yards and 2 touchdowns are inflated by an 81- yarder in garbage time at Gothenburg.

Ed Schulz is struggling even heavier, already dropped 9 passes. He has 23 catches for 262 yards and 2 touchdowns. George Stuckey is thriving, so to speak, with 27 catches for 401 yards, while rookie Vinny Buysse is also struggling with just 11 catches for 165 yards and 1 touchdown. We've missed tight end Clay Gaynor significantly, as he went down in Gothenburg and hasn't played since. Clarence Gore, Wendell Borders and especially Myron Lofton are clearly not in the same realm as Gaynor. Maybe we should throw the ball even more to running back Bert Ta'Amu?

Speaking of Ta'Amu, his stats as the premier ball carrier are depressingly bad. 55 carries for 157 yards and 1 touchdown. Our change of pace Ronnie Vanden Bosch gained just 55 yards on 28 carries, which is even more pathetic. It makes you wonder what these guys would do behind an offensive line that isn't as good as ours and with an offensive coordinator also not as good as ours: would they combine for negative yardage?

Thankfully there's always the defense to fall back on. Except that they aren't setting the world on fire either. We allowed the 3rd most rushing yards per game and the 5th most yards per pass attempt. Not quite what I had in mind with all the talent and cap space invested that we have here. Even our state of the art pass rushers are below average, it's all or nothing with them: either the get a sack or don't make anything (not) happen.

Our rookie kicker isn't helping either: he leads the league with 5 missed field goals, scoring just 16 points so far.

I've tried to jumble and fiddle with our offensive game plan, but it didn't make much of a difference one time and the other time for no legitimate good reason, the game plan wasn't even used. Depressing, no?

Is there light at the end of the tunnel? If we win in week 7, we'll avoid tying the worst ever Merchantmen start to a season. I suspect none of y'all remember the 2030 season, where we started with 6 losses, then somewhat recovered with a 5-2 stretch, to finish with 3 more losses for a 5-11 record, actually outscoring our opponents 357-351.

But I'm honestly close to numb, throwing my arms up in the air wondering: where have we gone wrong, what are we doing wrong that was never broken and now all of a sudden is? Or should I really stick with excuses like a tough schedule? Nope, we can't go for the latter, a competitive team would have gone 2-3 at worst here. We were outmatched all five games.

Back to the drawing board? Perhaps, but I'm far from optimistic right now. Heck, even Kelvin Everett proved that he can play ball. He was signed by the Chesapeake Chitterlings, stepping in for rookie Willie Monroe, the kids the Chitterlings picked at the #20 overall slot after trading down with us. Everett was Merchantmen'98 like in his first game, but in week 6 he recovered with 291 yards and 2 touchdowns. The 3 picks he's throwing per start haven't kept him from splitting them 1 win, 1 loss.

Which makes our franchise quarterback's performance that much more depressing. Our faith is tied to Earnest Ashley for this and at least the next season. From there on, cap technically we can evaluate the situation.

Right the ship and move on, although I'm afraid we have to make an 180 degree turn to make that happen. The fat lady won't even get to the stage to give her a chance to start singing, but we're peaking behind the scenes and realize we'll likely see her much earlier than others will. Next up: a big test in Paris and if we fail that one, which is highly expected right now, despite that we this same team beat them big twice last season, we'll get a visit from the only other winless team...
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