Front Office Football Central  

Go Back   Front Office Football Central > Main Forums > Dynasty Reports
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read Statistics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-02-2022, 07:42 AM   #701
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: False start to the 2107 season
It can't be over after 4 games, right?

Let's break the bad news first:

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

How did we get there?

Our season started in Gothenburg, quite possibly the toughest game on the schedule. The kind of game that if we win it, we have an edge in the tie-breakers, but if we lose, we can make up for it in the remaining 15 games. Fully anticipating on a closely contested game, the team completely let me down. Even 3 interceptions of the Giants' quarterback's throws were far from sufficient to prevent a 29-3 clobbering. QB Evan Drake was held to 177 passing yards. Our running back duo ran way too little for what our game plan should instill combining for just 16 carries for 33 rushing yards.

We continued with an awkward 31-19 victory over the Kansas Creationist. As our opponents wrongfully though it was a good idea to throw the ball 70 times in a single game, the defense didn't break, while the offense could barely make much ground simply because of the short field advantage we created. QB Evan Drake threw for just 166 yards, with touchdowns to his All IHOF caliber duo WR Calvin Maxwell and TE Garrett Alcala. RB Bennett Holmes added a touchdown on the ground, while DT Gabriel Morris accounted for a defensive touchdown on a fumble return.

With the chances in hand to improved to 2-1, we fumbled into a 24-17 loss at the Houston Mustangs. We heavily dominated the field position battle, but were somehow too incompetent to turn that into points. QB Evan Drake threw for 250 yards with touchdowns to WR Vinny Buysse and TE Garret Alcala.

And then we went into a classic battle with the Tucker Tigers, sporting a 3-0 record and the defending IHOF champions, interestingly enough favored to win based on the home field advantage. Alas, the defense decided to play the worst they could possibly play and embarrassed themselves by giving up 527 total yards. Combined with ill timed turnovers, it was insufficient for the offense to keep in pace and eventually it was all to no avail. QB Evan Drake threw for 362 yards with 2 touchdowns to TE Garret Alcala. WR Calvin Maxwell had 149 yards receiving. RB Bennett Holmes added a rushing touchdown.

Sitting 1-3 after an even number of home and road games means we're at least 1 game behind .500 pace. Sure, we played 2 of our toughest games already and lost at the third division leading team, but the truly bad news is that QB Evan Drake got hurt on the last play of the game against Tucker and is likely to miss our next 3 games. Our running game has been disappointing, our pass defense bad with the pass rush being extremely way below ability. No where to go up, but quite honestly I'm not yet convinced QB Monty Truitt can be a world beater. If he wins a game for us, it would be a novelty, as he was unable to lead us to victory in his first two full and one half games last season.


Lastly, I haven't mentioned which players did and which did not make our 53 men roster. The final series of cuts saw us forced to let go of fourth year DE Aiden Preston and LB Stephen Rhodes, third year WR Teddy Butler and rookies QB Allen Knott, RB Gino Blades and WR Shaun Randle, and veteran free agent off-season signing CB Herb Duffy.

Preston spent 3 seasons on roster, seeing limited action in his rookie season (and only that season). 2107 was supposed to be his season of breakthrough, but he was extremely out of shape after mid-pre-season and with his pass rush speed severely declined, he was not going to make the team.

Rhodes was supposed to make the team if Preston was going to fall apart, but Rhodes looked out of shape at mid-pre-season as well. Out of nowhere was the then undrafted rookie a starter on our supposed to be solid defense in 2014. In limited action in 2105 he proved to be a very solid pass rusher, but somehow he never convinced me that his on field performance was good enough to make him play at DE despite his apparent inability to position switch from LB to DE. He could still work okay-ish elsewhere in a 3-4 outside rusher.

Knott didn't improve enough to unseat Monty Truitt as our QB2. Blades played okay-ish, but looked far from capable of playing better than our first name lacking veteran Van Goodwin. Shaun Randle lacked the special teams skills. Duffy could have made the team as a potential nickelback with superior zone defense skills, but I decided to stick with our cohesive bunch of inferior cornerbacks. Shockingly, Duffy has not been signed elsewhere, despite that he's undoubtfully very talented. Butler had been our WR3 for the last season and a bit, but his lack of route running skills made me decide to go with our other WR3 candidates Rick Emerson, Alfredo Samuels, Herman Jeffries and the winner of this battle undrafted rookie Preston Gray. Butler already found a new home with the Rochester Razorbacks.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 07-02-2022 at 07:55 AM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2022, 03:10 PM   #702
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Back in business?
Or how the surprisingly better than rated Monty Truitt played well enough to keep us alive.

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

The Giants have lost a couple of road games and dropped to a game above .500, while the Vineyards are moving up and down in their efforts to overcome their 41-0 loss at Gothenburg. Paris has lost the last 3 straight, not scoring a touchdown in their last two games. It gave us the opportunity to sneak back into the division title race.

Although it didn't feel that way after we returned home from a 23-10 loss at the Augusta Greenjackets. QB Monty Truitt was held to 121 yards passing, struggling to connect with the tight ends all game long. On the other end of things, the hottest running back in the league right now, Ted Meza, ran for 256 yards on us scoring the Greenjackets two touchdowns. RB Van Goodwin pounded our only touchdown in.

And then we got our confidence boosting 34-9 victory over the Paris Musketeers. The total yardage figures were misleading as we dominated the field position, starting our drives on average at the Paris 46-yard line. QB Monty Truitt played acceptable, throwing for 199 yards with touchdown passes to TE Wesley Martin and WR Vinny Buysse, who finally returned back to the land of 100-yard receivers after 2 full seasons without. RB Van Goodwin made the other two touchdowns.

The winning streak improved by 100% with a 41-23 victory over the Snapfinger Jazz. We were 17-0 before the fans even realized it as CB Dennis Finley had one of his special punt return touchdowns (a 89-yarder), which was followed up by a field goal after Snapfinger fumbled on their kickoff return and another fumble on their first play from scrimmage after the next kickoff return, we had gained only 38 total yards. From there on, it was cruising on, albeit the defense decided to vanish again, allowing a 200-yard rusher. QB Monty Truitt threw for 266 yards with touchdowns to WR Calvin Maxwell (twice, while gaining 139 yards for the game) and WR Vinny Buysse. RB Van Goodwin scored yet another rushing touchdown.

Next up? A visit to Bordeaux. A chance to continue the comeback to the race for the playoffs tickets. QB Evan Drake is cleared to play. He was questionable already for the Snapfinger game, but it felt too risky to let Drake play with that kind of injury that could quickly aggravate and put him out for more games. I believe we have a stronger team, but we'll have to up our game to prove it. Especially on the road. So, team, the last two games were good, but we need a little bit more to make this turn into a 3-game winning streak.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2022, 01:55 PM   #703
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: The division ship has sailed
But we're still clinging onto a wild card life boat.

Our struggles in the early part of the season are turning into a false start. We bounced back with a silly 27-22 victory at the Orlando Talons. The silliness wasn't the victory itself, but rather the non-sensical comeback they almost pulled off after they switched to their backup quarterback. Well, almost, they went from 27-6 down to 27-22 down with 43 seconds to go, it was over after we recovered the onside kick. QB Evan Drake struggled to 186 passing yards, throwing a touchdown to FB Randy Julian. RB Bennett Holmes ran for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a phenomenal 91-yarder that resulted in the Talons' raise of the white flag.

The game of the season, at home against the Gothenburg Giants, ended up in a close battle. Once again we failed to make their quarterback look like the mediocre quarterback he's supposed to be, allowing him to throw for 351 yards. Our run defense was surprisingly fine, forcing their hand in a way. On our side, a late game interception destroyed our chance to tie it up. Our field goal to make it 24-17 (in Gothenburg advantage) came way too late to make it happen. QB Evan Drake threw for 284 yards, with a touchdown pass to WR Calvin Maxwell, who lead the receiving with 125 yards on just 5 catches. RB Van Goodwin added another rushing touchdown.

We bounced back again with a smooth 20-17 road victory at the Chicago Norsemen. Oscar Harrington kicked the game winner in the dying seconds shortly after we forced a crucial fumble, but we should have never let it come to that after a 17-6 lead at half time. QB Evan Drake threw for 272 yards with 2 touchdowns to our star WR Calvin Maxwell, who gained 176 yards on 5 catches, with the lion share coming on a 66-yard touchdown.

European Division:
1. Gothenburg 8-3
2. Maassluis 6-5
3. Bordeaux 6-5
4, Paris 3-8

The Giants swept us, the division title is no longer a realistic goal. The wild card race is incredibly tight, so, let's take a rare quick look at the situation at the moment in the AOC:

1. Tucker 11-0
2. Fort Wayne 8-3
3. Gothenburg 8-3
4. Toronto 6-4-1
5. San Antonio 7-4
6. Houston 6-5
7. Maassluis 6-5
8. Bordeaux 6-5
9. Atlanta 5-5-1
10. Rochester 5-5-1
11. Harlem 4-6-1
12. North Plainfield 4-7
13. Augusta 4-7
14. Orlando 4-7
15. Paris 3-8
16. Snapfinger 2-9

Yeah, tight and way too early to think about it. We just need to keep winning our games and we should be good to go. The annoying part is that we probably have the easiest schedule of all the teams in that race and, well, I have bad memories about "should be" situations.

So? One game at a time. Starting with a challenging home game against the North Plainfield Plague, a franchise that we loath to play as they've been stellar in playing spoiler in the rare seasons where they don't play well while we do. S Daniel Shapiro is still out with a broken fibula. Yes, he ended his holdout and as soon as he returned, we won 3 games straight. The rest of the team is good to go, with a couple with minor pains, but too little to be worrisome. We should go out there and win this game. To make it happen, we need to play up to our ability, which is something we've really struggled with. Maybe getting rookie LB Avery Distel more involved in our defense and pass rush in particular will help?
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2022, 09:42 AM   #704
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2107 roster or why is that guy on the team?

As a general manager in this game, one of the crucial decision making moments is the cut down to 53 players for the regular season. The timing is a bit weird, because we're about 2/3rd into the regular season, but I still think it's worth looking over the roster that we had for opening day and explain why each player is on the team this season. The added bonus for me is to already make an evaluation on whether I made the right choices or not.

Let's go over the no-brainers first, the required slots:
QB Evan Drake, our QB1
QB Monty Truitt, our QB2 and potential future starter
RB Bennett Holmes, our RB1
RB Van Goodwin, our RB2
FB Randy Julian, our FB (and 3rd RB/FB)
TE Garrett Alcala, our TE1
TE Wesley Martin, our TE2
TE Nicholas Heath, our TE3
WR Calvin Maxwell, our WR1
WR Vinny Buysse, our WR2
WR Preston Gray, our WR3
WR Herman Jeffries, our KR2 and a second special teams WR
C Zane Chaplain, our starting C
C Lincoln Stonge, our run blocking backup C/G
G Andres Uwaezuoka, our starting RG
G Brett Stickney, our starting LG
LT Harold Gruenwalder, our starting LT
RT Ivan Dole, our starting RT
LT Roosevelt Dumrauf, our backup LT
P Jimmy Summers
K Oscar Harrington
DE Andres Harmon, our all-round DE
DE Damien Fletcher, our pass rush DE
DT Gabriel Morris, our star DT
DT Mitch Potchynok, our pass rushing DT
DE Deon Rosas, second pass rushing DE
DE Robbie Dobreski, fourth DE, another pass rusher
ILB Gus Coleman, our WLB
ILB Abraham Desimone, our MLB
OLB Tony Burks, our SLB
OLB Mack Pang, elite special teamer
ILB Mo Fausel, elite special teamer
CB Logan Wallace, shutdown CB1
CB Joel Delgado, shutdown CB2
CB Dennis Finley, elite PR
S Craig Clancy, our starting SS until Shapiro stops holding out
S John Aponte, our FS or nickelback
S Daniel Shapiro, our SS (was still holding out in pre-season)
S Lincoln Taylor, our backup S until Shapiro returns
LS Bennett Brock

That's still only 40 players, so let's look it the remaining 13 players.

QB Drake Bishop, mentor to Truitt, elite KH. I keep him inactive when Evan Drake starts, because the staff will otherwise make Bishop our QB2 ahead of Truitt, which I really don't want to happen. But in the games where Evan Drake was hurt, Bishop was forced to be active and also allowed to show his elite kick holding skills.

RB Marcus Jorg, our fourth RB/FB, because it's likely we'll need an injury replacement at some point. He's inactive because of lack of special teams skills. RB Goodwin and FB Julian are good enough special teamers and as long timers on team will play closer to a 85-rated than the 70-rated special teamers they are scouted at.

TE Darnell McKie, our 4th TE. We've seen plenty of injuries at this position to want to keep a 4th guy on team. McKie lost some of his skills, but remains decent enough of a 3rd down option and special teamer, with a cohesion boost.

WR Rick Emerson, made the team as our 3rd special teamer from the WR slot, but more importantly, at WR3 or WR4 he can make a cohesion boost. Last season he showed he can play up to WR2 quality if forced into action.

WR Alfredo Samuels, fair to be considered to be a bust, but releasing him would accelerate the signing bonus too much, making him a cap liability. If need be, he could jump in as a special teams WR, but he's clearly behind Maxwell, Jeffries and Emerson there.

G Nathaniel Robbins, it's smart to go into the season with 8 OL players. I'm confident in my backup C to act as backup G, but Robbins' added value is mentoring 2nd year Uwaezuoka. If need be, Robbins is good enough as a run blocker to play it RG.

DT Harvey Chiu, looks still okay-ish enough to potentially become a pass rushing DT. A lot of ifs, I confess. He's also one of our better special teamers at DL, which means he can keep the other guys that play on defense from getting exhausted. In the first 10 games he was actually part of the passing downs unit.

DT Sherman Cassanova, quite possibly the most disputed guy whether he's good enough. If his pass rush potential is true, we can still use him. Ideally he'd get some active roster time to grow, but we lack the mentor to make him improve and Cassanova lacks special team skills to make him part of that unit. He's quite likely a player that keeps an inactive slot occupied for 2 or 3 seasons and then gets cut. It would have been better to get a mentor DT for Chiu, but we lacked the cap space to hire one, if there actually was one out there to begin with.

LB Avery Distel is our third special teams LB, but lately I've switched him from ILB to OLB so he can jump onto the pass rush group at DE. This kid can also play pass defense, he's actually our LB4 as well.

CB Sherman Barnes keeps the locker room troubles away on the secondary. Yes, he's in part here because he's a leader. His skills otherwise are decent enough to actually not look bad when forced into action as running downs CB and actually is one of our special teamers out of the secondary.

CB Eduardo Cowdrick is solid enough to be a nickel or dimeback and special teamer. As a longtimer is more useful than a guy like Herb Duffy that we cut, despite that Duffy was the superior zone defender.

CB Wesley Cabrera is good enough to play a nickel or dimeback role. Okay enough to play special teams. Also our 3rd option at KR. As a longtimer is more useful than a guy like Herb Duffy that we cut, despite that Duffy was the superior zone defender.

S Jonathan White has awesome excellent zone defense potential, so he's well worth keeping around. Until Shapiro stopped his hold out, we tried to work him in as the alternate for draft bust Taylor, but as a rookie he's not quite the right play just yet. Next season he will be though. If he wants to re-sign with us.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2022, 06:05 AM   #705
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Another season down the drain
If only we knew how we broke things...

The Maassluis Merchantmen will not be amongst the 12 teams still standing after the conclusion of the regular season. We wasted our opportunities in the close game, resulting in a very underwhelming 9-7 regular season campaign. Let's recap the last 5 games of the regular season to run down how we ended up there.

In a home game against the struggling North Plainfield Plague (4-7) we failed to make the best of our chances as we lost 20-19. A couple of 40-yard-ish runs for touchdowns put us down by 7 at the end of the first quarter. A missed extra point in the third quarter came back to haunt us, meaning we kicked a field goal to trim the deficit from 4 to 1, rather than making it a tie game with 5 minutes to go. We even drove downfield in the final minute, but didn't get close enough to attempt a potential game winning field goal. QB Evan Drake threw for 233 yards with touchdown passes to TE Garrett Alcala and WR Vinny Buysse.

The we bounced back with a 20-17 victory at the Arizona Miners. The defense once again let an inferior offense go wild on us, running for 219 yards with 6.6 per carry, in particular their quarterback getting 105 yards on 10 scrambles, but winning the turnover battle 5-0 flipped the coin just enough to make it fair to say that we were the better team regardless. Our inability to pound the ball in almost cost us, as we settled for field goals no less than 4 times. QB Evan Drake threw for 264 yards, RB Bennett Holmes was credited for our sole touchdown of the day.

And then the season came down to a must-win home game against the Bordeaux Vineyards, hot on our tail for the race to the final wild card. In a shoutout that entertained the neutral football fans. For most of the game, our defense had little answer to Bordeaux' off-season singing QB Johnathan Freeman. After a fantastic third quarter 82-yard run by Van Goodwin, we took the lead for the first time, but as we way to quickly saw that turn into a 7-point deficit, a nervous fourth quarter saw neither offense do anything impressive, despite that we had our chances as we finally started getting our usual field position advantage. End result 38-31 loss that although not mathematically, it mentally finished our season there and then. QB Evan Drake threw for 271 yards with touchdown passes to TE Garrett Alcala (twice) and TE Wesley Martin. RB Van Goodwin added up to 109 rushing yards and aforementioned touchdown.

In our final home game of the season, a 31-6 drubbing of the Iowa Cobbers was insufficient to keep our playoffs chances alive as elsewhere in the league other teams maintained their 1.5 win lead over us. The score was arguably even lower than we should have made it add up to ass we outgained Iowa 496 yards to 223 yards combined with a 15-yard advantage in the field position battle. A couple of missed field goal didn't help, maybe. QB Evan Drake threw for 353 yards with touchdown passes to WR Calvin Maxwell (twice) and TE Wesley Martin. Maxwell was the only player with a 100-yard performance, gaining 108 yards receiving. RB Bennett Holmes scored the fourth touchdown for us.

The season ended with another disappointing performance from our defense, but we did more than on special teams to hand our offense a 23-yard field position advantage, to turn it into a well deserved 32-17 victory. QB Evan Drake threw for 235 yards, with a touchdown pass TE Garett Alcala. RB Bennett Holmes ran for a score, while WR Calvin Maxwell scored on an 85-yard kickoff return. LB Gus Coleman continued a streak, making it 3 games straight with an interception.

European Division 2107, final
1. Gothenburg 11-5
2. Bordeaux 9-7
3. Maassluis 9-7
4. Paris 5-11

Gothenburg closed out the season with a 41-34 victory at Bordeaux, kicking the latter out of the playoffs as the Rochester Razorbacks snuck into the last wild card at 9-6-1 despite their own week 17 loss. Gothenburg swept the division, including their impressive home victories against Bordeaux (41-0) and against us (29-3). Bordeaux still finished ahead of us as well based on their stronger strength of schedule (yeah, we finished level on strength of victory with each a very underwhelming 53.5). To be fair, both Bordeaux and us posted those 7 of the 8 non-head-to-head wins against teams with a 6-10 or worse record. The only playoffs team we (both) beat are the Chicago Norsemen (8-7-1), who ended up being the least underwhelming team in the worst division in the league (we both swept that division).

Overall, we scored more points than half the 12 playoffs teams, but also allowed more points than 10 of them. I mean, let's look at where we shape up compared to the entire league.

We finish the season with the offense ranking:
7th in points scored
12th in total yards
12th in yards per pass attempt (10th in passing yards per game)
4th in yards per carry (15th in rushing yards per game)

The defense ranked:
32nd in yards allowed
tied 18th/19th in points allowed
23rd in yards per pass attempt (31st in passing yards per game)
tied 27th/28th in yards per carry (30th in rushing yards per game)

We finished the season with a +6 turnover margin (tied for 6th/7th), with unarguably the best overall team in return yards (both gained and allowed). Our red zone defense was actually quite efficient, ranking tied for 1st/3rd in least points allowed per visit, with 23 touchdowns allowed in 56 visits. In return, our red zone offense was mediocre and what really jumps out to me is how unMerchantmen worthy our pass rush has been, despite the perceived talent on the defense.

QB Evan Drake finished this season in the middle of the pack of all starting quarterbacks, falling very far below the desired 4K mark with just 3,249 yards in 13 games. Would he have gained 250 per game in the three he missed? Arguably. His 21:18 touchdown to interception ratio was playoffs unworthy. WR Calvin Maxwell finished 6th in the league with 1,268 receiving yards. TE Garrett Alcala came 44 yards short of the 1K-mark. Both scored 9 receiving touchdowns. QB Monty Truitt played admirably well enough to give him another look next off-season and pre-season about whether he's ready and capable of taking over.

As mentioned earlier, the running game has notoriously improved. Neither RB Bennett Holmes or RB Van Goodwin broke the 1K-mark, but as a duo they had the best season we've had from our RB duos in years. I'm confident enough to say that they outperformed the Lost Cause Ken Torphy. Speaking of him, he spent the entire season as a free agent after the Texas Sharks cut him right after training camp. But I didn't mean just this season, we never managed to get to see Torphy to take off for a 1500-yard season or so, despite his support cast. 4 of our 5 starting linemen had between 27 and 30 key run blocks, which is quite astonishing. Only LT Harold Gruenwalder was (unsurprisinly) at roughly half of that.

It should came as no surprise that I do not believe in individual accolades, in particular on defense, as I strongly believe that one player's good numbers is a result of the entire unit playing well. Or sometimes even a result of the whole unit struggling. That said, both LB Gus Coleman and LB Abraham Desimone finished in the top7 of the league with far above 100 tackles. Our sacks leader was quite the disappointment with just 5.0, remember that as recently as last season we had 6 players at or far above that number. LB Coleman also lead our team with 5 interceptions.

Calvin Maxwell was the league's leading kickoff returner (including 2 touchdowns), while Dennis Finley dropped back to 3rd best. K Oscar Harrington missed 5 field goals and 2 extra points, which for a mediocre kicker would be acceptable, but we all know that this guy is touted as the best in the league. It's fair to say that had he lived up to it, we would have finished the season with at least 1 additional victory and would still be in the race for the 2107 IHOF championship. P Jimmy Summers probably did well, I suppose.

All that said, we'll have no choice but to take a peak at the next page, which will reveal the start of a new chapter: the 2108 season. We'll be heading into it with 43 players signed and roughly $105M over the cap (pending retirements). That's not taking into account that we have a lot of draft picks, including the 1.17 pick, Gothenburg's 1st (somewhere between picks 1.25 and 1.32), picks 2.2, (from Brooklyn), 2.4 (North Plainfield) and 2.3 or 2.5 (from Paris), our own 2.20, Gothenburg's 2nd (between 2.25 and 2.32), 3.19 and Rochester's 3rd (between 3.21 and 3.32). We also have our 5th, 6th and 7th rounders. Most importantly, we have 5 of the top 37 picks in the upcoming draft. Yikes. Or lost of fun! Least go with the latter!

Indeed, time to turn he page.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2022, 08:03 AM   #706
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Vinny Buysse retires

The verdict is out, Vinny Buysse today announced his retirement from professional football. The Maassluis Merchantmen wide receiver bids farewell after 10 seasons in the International House of Football.

Buysse was selected 7th overall in the 2098 draft, shortly after the Merchantmen traded up to that slot, giving the #18 and #20 overall picks to the Chesapeake Chitterlings. The additional first round pick was a result of trading the #15 overall in 2097 to the Arizona Miners for their 2098 first round pick. He became the fourth wide receiver taken that draft and one of nine in that first round.

Buysse landed in a tough spot, with the struggling quarterback Earnest Ashley unable to connect with Buysse. In 2099, Buysse was joined by fellow first round wide receiver Calvin Maxwell. That season, Buysse impressed with 112 receptions for 1,251 yards as the leading receiver in Maassluis. In 2100 roles flipped as Maxwell became the clear WR1 and Buysse didn't reach the 1,000-yard mark for two straight seasons. In 2102 Buysse bounced back with 1,129 yards.

In 2103 Buysse improved to 1,297 yards receiving after the departure of running back Ken Torphy, dubbed the Lost Cause in Maassluis, but more importantly the arrival of future hall of fame quarterback Winfred England. The arrival of quarterback Evan Drake in 2104 worked well for Buysse as he jumped ahead of Maxwell as the top receiver with 1,196 yards. In the last three seasons Buysse's decline set in, combined with the emergence of tight end Garrett Alcala as a viable receiving option, as Buysse peaked at 713 yards receiving last season.

At the time of retirement, Buysse leads his draft class in career receiving yards, but that's unlikely to hold ground as the two in pursuit are less than 150 yards behind. For the Merchantmen, Buysse ranks 9th in receptions and 10th in receiving yards (9,468 yards) and 12th in receiving touchdowns (51). Buysse will go out as a premier member of without a doubt the most talented offense in Merchantmen history, that completely failed to set their mark on the league as they achieved just one division title and trip to the playoffs.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 07-21-2022 at 08:04 AM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2022, 05:07 AM   #707
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: The end if the line

To avoid confusion, with the "end of the line" I'm referring to the retirement of a couple of former Merchantmen players that didn't play their final season in orange white and blue, but will go out regarded as Merchantmen.

G Nickolas Toler filled out his retirement papers after 11 season in the IHOF. A first round pick for us in 2096, he came into the starting lineup mid-way into that rookie campaign and remained to be an undisputed starter for us. Touted as a very good run blocker, on top of being an excellent pass protector, somehow the running game never really got going with Toler and the talented foursome around him (more on that later). In an attempt to get under the salary cap, Toler and his fellow starting linemen were all released in the 2102 off-season. Toler found his new home with the Paris Musketeers right before training camp 2102 and hung around for 2 regular season campaigns, until being released shortly before training camp 2104. The Moontown Darksiders picked Toler up just in time for camp, but over there he rode the bench for 4 seasons, seeing most of his action on special teams. He was out of contract going into this off-season and decided it was enough at the age of 35.


G Roger Staigvil steps away from playing football after 10 seasons in the IHOF. As a high second round pick for the Merchantmen in 2097, he became a starter late in his rookie season. Despite regarded as an excellent run blocker, Staigvil and his fellow linemen failed to impress the league with their talent. In the 2102 off-season, as salary cap woes haunted the Merchantmen locker room, Staigvil was amongst the five starting linemen that were sent the door. Mid-way into the 2102 season, the Outer Banks Ospreys gave him a second chance. In the 2103 off-season he signed a 4-year deal with the Hanalei Dragons, where he was an undisputed starter and finally showed his run blocking skills with 47 key run blocks and All-IHOF second team honors in 2105. In 2107 he initially signed with the Chesapeake Chitterlings, but he didn't survive the post-training camp cuts there and didn't find a new team afterwards.


The retirement of Toler and Staigvil completes the retirement of the entire offensive line that was cut in the 2102 off-season. C Robbie Zinn retired as a free agent in the 2107 off-season after post-Maassluis stints in Harlem and Bordeaux. LT Isaac Delgado retired in the 2107 off-season after an injury plagued 2106 season, ending his career in Fairbanks after a stint in Atlanta. LT Johnny Houston retired much earlier in the 2103 off-season after no team offered him a second chance. All five were initially drafted by the Maassluis (Zinn in 2093, Houston and Delgado in 2094) Merchantmen and played together since Staigvil's emergence during the 2097 season.


RB Ken Torphy's retirement can't go by unnoticed either. Selected 6th overall in the 2099 draft as we mortgaged our 2100 and 2101 drafts to get there, we thought we had the offense to blow everybody in the league away. From behind aforementioned offensive linemen and with QB Earnest Ashley throwing the ball to WR Vinny Buysse and WR Calvin Maxwell - the most talented WR duo in the league and in Merchantmen history -, we thought Torphy was the missing piece to get this team really going. After 8-8, 6-10 and 5-11 campaigns, not only had the best Merchantmen offense ever assembled completely failed, the window of opportunity was about to close due to a serious cap hell situation. We decided to sacrifice the offensive line and stick with our quarterback and running back, but in retrospect the other way around would have been wiser. Ashley never lived up to top10 level hype and Torphy's top5 talent awesomeness never became truly visible.

In his first three seasons here, Torphy ran for 1,178, 1,312 and 1,388 yards, with his best per carry average at 4.3. He was a guarantee for 500 yards receiving as well, making him a top10 yards from scrimmage work horse in those season. Torphy also combined for 36 touchdowns in those seasons, even finishing 2nd in touchdowns scored in the league in 2100 with 18 scores. In the 2102 off-season, contract negotiations consistently failed as Torphy didn't want as much money as we offered, he kept insisting on being paid less, yet at the same time demanded us to release basically everybody else on the team. We decided to let him play out his contract, which turned into an abysmal 2102 season: 848 yard rushing with 2.77 per carry, 410 yards receiving, 6 total touchdowns. I dubbed him "The Lost Cause" after this season where he proved incapable of doing anything without a strong line.

In the 2103 off-season we were outbid by the Paris Musketeers in the 2103 off-season as they were willing to offer him $134M over 3 years. Still less than we offered in the 2102 off-season, but "c'est la vie". Over in Paris, Torphy had a fine first season (1,384 yards rushing with 4.64 per carry), but right after his decline set in as he got caught in a change of pace role. In 2106 he got a career extension with the Texas Sharks, where he signed a 3-year deal. He played a backup rol there and that stint got cut short to just 1 season: right after training camp 2107, the Sharks cut Torphy. No other team showed any interest in him and this off-season Torphy decided to give up. Torphy retires with 8,202 rushing yards (3.85 per carry), 2,987 receiving yards and 61 total touchdowns. At the moment of his retirement, Torphy ranks 17th in career rushing yards for the Merchantmen and ties for 25th with 42 total touchdowns, being in good company with RB Walt Blair and WR George Stuckey.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 07-22-2022 at 05:12 AM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2022, 12:15 PM   #708
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: What a draft
5 pick in the top37, this better be a good class!

Oh boy, oh boy. What a weird off-season it has been. We started it with a serious cap situation, being projected at $149M over the cap. But after a chunk of renegotiations, we were almost out of it. With a lot of draft picks in the first and second round, there was a lot of cap space reserved for that as well. But, we've managed, almost. From the roster of 2107, we're down a couple of players, which I will break down first.

TE Nicholas Heath (rated 50/50) signed with the Toronto Lake Monsters. The kid is very talented, but this former 5th round pick was stuck as our TE3 behind the awesome duo of Garrett Alcala and Wesley Martin. It might have made more sense to try to keep Heath and sacrifice Martin, which I think initially was the plan, but I was expecting Heath to be a heavily sought after player, not expecting him to sign elsewhere for a very modest $6M cap figure. We have TE Darnell McKie as an emergency option and to fill the gap , we picked a rookie (more on that later).

WR Vinny Buysse retired and you can read the praise on him and the sadness of missed opportunities elsewhere.

WR Alfredo Samuels (rated 35/45) is officially still on roster, but we agreed terms for a trade with the Augusta Greenjackets to give him a new home after 2 seasons of being regarded as a 1st round busts that we only used on special teams and not even that regularly either. It wasn't a quick deal though, given that the loss of Buysse meant that we might end up with only 2 WR still signed (more on that later).

C Lincoln Stonge (rated 45/45) for several seasons was our center, but basically a placeholder until a better guy came around and we've given Zane Chaplain the job. It does mean that we'll have to wade through the scrap heap for an affordable backup, just to have 2 centers on roster. Or we take some risks this season and go into the season with just 1 center.

DE Damien Fletcher (rated 55/55) agreed terms to much, much, much less than he desired as he signed with the Outer Banks Ospreys. He was a bit on the decline, but mostly it was becoming unaffordable to keep 4 defensive ends aged 30+. Although the most talented one, we let the oldest guy walk away and drafted a new defensive end and defensive tackle.

LB Tony Burks (rated 50/50) is technically still on roster, but to get under the cap we had to sacrifice somebody on the defense and I chose to keep Abraham Desimone over Burks. We covered this loss by picking a linebacker in the draft.

S Daniel Shapiro (rated 45/45) barely played last season after a hold out and it resulted in us not trying to re-sign him. He chose the Fairbanks Northstars as his new home. We basically anticipated on his departure already as we saw recent late finds Crag Clancy and John Aponte grow into being an elite zone defending safety duo, making Shapiro drop to a nickel/dime role already when he returned to the team.

S Johnathan White (rated 25/35) has become an unrestricted free agent after we let the restricted status fly by. He might be a heavily pursued zone defender on the open market, but we will make him a reasonable offer as well, as we might have some cap space to bring him back.


We haven't signed an free agents from other teams, but we have invested some cap space in a couple of players that were out of contract and willing to sign for a bit less than they initially were looking for.

RB Marcus Jorg (rated 25/35) signed a new 2-year deal. He's a second year player and was a restricted free agent. Although he was on our 53-men roster, he didn't get activated in any games in 2107.

FB Randy Julian (rated 40/40) signed a new 2-year deal. He was an unrestricted free agent and turned down an offer from the Colorado Cutthroats to stay with us. We might increase his playing time this season, if he manages to fend of the rookie that we drafted.

WR Preston Gray (rated 40/45) was a restricted free agent. Given that he was basically our WR3 last season, the kid was asking for quite the salary and eventually I caved and decided that he's a promising kid well worth a relatively cheap 4-year deal, I mean, if he proves to be a 1,000-yard receiver...

WR Rick Emerson (rated 30/30) has been a loyal special teamer and WR4 for us recently. We had to scrap from the bottom of the barrel to find the cap space for him, but I think $4.7M for this season is fair enough, with $3M more in signing bonus divided over the next 2 seasons. The salary for the next two seasons are basically inflated figures, but we'll deal with that next off-season.

LT Harold Gruenwalder (rated 45/45) was an unrestricted free agent, but against all odds wasn't pursued by other teams and we managed to bring him back for a 7th season with us. It puts us into a luxury position as we also spent a high pick on a replacement, whom Gruenwalder will end up mentoring regardless of whether he'll remain to be our starter...


Which brings us to the draft class, as I've already hinted on most positions that we invested in them. But on the pile of players, I ended up investing a high second round pick on a player that may not have been pursued by other teams, but sometimes it's worth taking a gamble with a second round pick when your brand new offensive coordinator tells you who he thinks is the best quarterback of his class...

First things first, as no off-season, especially no draft, is complete if there's no Merchantmen trade. We swapped down from the #17 overall pick to the #28 overall pick with the Fort Wayne Fury and essentially got their 1st round pick in 2108 in return. Given that they came out of the blue to go 13-3 last season, we can certainly hope that it was a flash in the pan. But even an 8-8 campaign would leave us with an additional mid 1st round pick to spend. Later on we shipped a pair of 3rd round picks to the Paris Musketeers for their 3rd rounder next season and some miscellanea. So, enough blah blah, we did we end up picking?

1.24 LT Earl McBirney (early rated 15/65)
#20 on our draft board, 2nd lest T, 4th best OL.
Came back as "overrated" after interviews. It didn't shy my away enough from picking him. He's a heavy (335 lbs) pass protector, who can also support the running game. Very green, so a mentor was a must have and it might force our hand to let him sit his rookie season behind Gruenwalder, of flip around a bit and start him at left guard and either bench one four guards or center. A lot can happen in training camp and pre-season, so having 6 starting caliber linemen isn't excessive.

1.28 DE Frank Bernard (early rated 20/80)
#17 on our draft board, #1 DE, #2 DL, #3 DL/LB
With the daunting departure of Fletcher, getting a new defensive end was kind of unavoidable. Bernard brings in a solid dose of both pass rush speed and especially outstanding run stopping and play diagnosis, with the right endurance to use it all. One might say he's even better suited to play DT, but he's got the framework of a DE and it makes much more sense to not mess with that. Especially given what came next.

2.02 DT Efrain Hutchins (early rated 30/70)
#22 on our draft board, #2 DT, #3 DL, #5 LB/DL
Hutchins brings in a solid dose of run stopping and play diagnosis, but also provides excellent pass rush technique and the endurance to be able to play a lot of downs. This guy will be awesome to put on the field next to DT Gabriel Morris (rated 70/70).

2.04 LB Caiden Hastings (early rated 40/70)
#19 on our draft board, #1 LB, #3 DL/LB
Despite having two 100-tackle linebackers, I felt that the unavoidable decline of LB Abraham Desimone or of LB3 Tony Burks would make for a great opportunity to snag this guy up here and in the process make a cap friendly move by releasing one of them soon after (which we will do with the release of Burks). Hasting is an excellent run stopper and plenty of over skills to jump in as the LB2 next to All-IHOF LB Gus Coleman (rated 75/75).

2.05 QB Harrison Singleton (early rated 10/35)
#26 on our draft board, #1 QB
Every decade or so, I end up in a situation where our QB situation is questionable and figure that the cap situation and roster situation are balanced enough to take a gamble with a 2nd round pick on a quarterback. As I mentioned, our offensive coordinator's assessment, combined with my own strengths and weaknesses profile for a quarterback, made him jump to the top of the QB class for us, in what seemed to be a relatively weak class overall. I'm writing that despite that he was the 5th QB taken this draft. What makes Singelton look so interested, despite his perceived overall ability being underwhemling? He comes in with excellent sense rush ability and scramble frequency, combined with excellent timing potential. The big elephant in the room is his intelligence which may have been the reason for his Solecismic Test Score, hinting that he might not be all that great in avoiding interceptions. This might push us into making P Jimmy Summers our holder, keep Drake Bishop as the mentor and force Monty Truitt out of Maassluis. If we can't afford to keep 4 quarterbacks.

2.20 WR Jaylen Gearhart (early rated 30/45)
#46 on our draft board, #6 WR
We interviewed the top5 prospects at his position and initially hoped that enough of them looked great enough to be worth a trade up with all our picks. Four of five guys were taken by pick #6, which meant our trade option in a slot somewhere closely behind that failed to work out, it would have been a bad move. The 5th best WR was available at the #17 pick, but I got worried about WR Edwin Forbes' route running ability and decided to not pick him, but instead make the cap friendlier move to trade down. One of the end results was not having grabbed a WR at all with our 5 high picks, thus making it a bit of a forced move to grab the best left WR at this spot. Gearhart would in ancient times be destined for greatness with his excellent big play ability. In modern days football, he will also need the route running (his potential is very good) and endurance (also very good), combined with at least some additional skills (good courage, maybe?). He'll be in a spot where he could go anywhere from WR2 to WR6 as it looks right now.

4.18 S Noah Matthews (early rated 30/45)
#77 on our draft board, #5 S, #11 CB/S
My sleeper pick was CB CB Clifton Lukins, who got picked 11 slots higher than Matthews, for our new nickel/dime safety project. Lukins could be too light to be able to play safety, which won't be an issue with the massive 6'2" 211 pounds Matthews - if anything, he's too large. Matthews tops this class in intercepting skills, while having the play diagnosis and endurance to be suitable to play a lot of downs.

6.20 TE Ty Rumans (early rated 20/40)
#318 on our draft board, #17 TE
With the unavoidable loss of TE Nicholas Heath, I needed a backup plan and that was to spent a 6th or 7th round pick on a tight end. I looked at one that can play special teams and be good on third downs, with run blocking skills being secondary to that. He might not have much route running skills, but that seems to be less important at his position than it is at WR or RB. We'll likely try to sign some undrafted rookies to battle with Rumans for the roster spot.

7.03 FB Dean Lang (early rated 30/45)
#76 on our draft board, #4 FB
Yeah, we were not going to spent a 1st or 2nd round pick on the impressive FB Louis McIntyre, #4 overall on our draft board, because we just don't use the FB all that much. McIntyre got taken by the Houston Mustangs at slot 2.18, so we had our chances. Lang got picked before we knew whether FB Randy Julian would re-sign with us. Lang isn't very likely to make the team, it seems, as his ability to play special teams is lacking and would be something worthy of a roster spot. His pass blocking and blitz pickup could be solid enough to change on that though.

7.19 WR Perry Madison (early rated 15/35)
#231 on our draft board, #31 WR
Everybody wanted to pick a WR. We did in the mid-late 2nd round and added Madison later on in anticipation of trading WR Alfredo Samuels. Madison in potential is a similarly talented special team, but one that actually does have route running skills to make some catches. Will he make the team? That's questionable as we're already up to 56 players signed with clearly few excess elsewhere on the team.


So, that wrap up a big part of our off-season prior to training camp. There's one important part of it still remaining: the ramble for undrafted rookie free agents. We'll offer contracts to a bunch of them, knowing we can realistically take 14 of them to camp and only 4 of them to pre-season. We'll find out where those efforts end up soon enough...
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2022, 06:34 AM   #709
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
The 19 of 2102 - before training camp 2108
After a bunch of trades, made during the 2102 draft and several in the off-seasons prior, the Maassluis Merchantmen finished that draft with 19 picks. A long list of young men hoping to win a job in the International House of Football. Joining the Merchantmen is, usually, one of the best chances to stick around in the league, at least on the same team. But with 18 others from the same class, will those odds still be the same? On the other end of things, the Merchantmen swept through their roster throughout that same pre-season and were in dire need of fresh meat. Hence, incoming the 19 of 2102. Tracking down where these kids end up over time became an interesting side story in the long history of IHOF, at minimum of the Merchantmen.

The list of 19 could arguably be considered to be slightly longer (like 33 names long) after including undrafted rookies. Which is fair, because they're still from the same draft class. So, let's list them by pick and after that in order of signing. In the first installment, we mentioned whether these guys made the 2102 regular season roster or not and mentioned any possible position switches. In the second installment, we went go over where they were going into the 2106 off-season and how likely they were to make the regular season roster. And now, in this third installment, we'll see where they are a couple of days before training camp 2108.


1.24 ILB Tony Burks - switched to SLB in 2103
status: free agent to be
The Merchantmen announced the release of Burks after 6 seasons of service. Although he became a starter of sorts as the LB3 on the team, he never lived up to the first round value hype. He's a 50/50 linebacker with 55 run defense, 60 zone defense and 75 play diagnosis, but lacks endurance (25). So, he can play, but wasn't 1st round worthy. He might have the overall skills to be a worthwhile addition for another team, but aged 29, that won't be easy.

2.6 TE Garrett Alcala
status: starting tight end in Maassluis
Alcala has established himself as a premier player at his position. He's a two-time All-IHOF Second Team pick after the game plan had been geared a bit more towards using Alcala. He lead the league in receiving touchdowns in 2105 and had a 1,000-yard season in 2106 and had hnis second 100-catch season in 2107. He's scouted at 60/60, being a 85 run blocker, with 65 endurance. He has clearly exceeded the prior "receiving skills are somewhat lacking" assessment. He goes into training camp 2108 as a 75 getting downfield, 55 big-play and 90 third-down receiver, with 40 route running.

2.13 CB Logan Wallace
status: starting cornerback in Maassluis
Wallace got his pay day recently and getting locked up for a 4-year $120M contract. The Merchantmen see him as an elite shutdown cornerback. Wallace is scouted as a 50/50 cornerback. He's an elite 100 man-to-man defender, with 85 bump-and-run, 40 interceptions and 45 endurance. His zone defense (30), run defense (0) and play diagnosis (25) make him one of those defenders that needs to be slotted in the right places to be effective, which does make it risky to give him $30M/season.

2.24 K Oscar Harrington
status: kicker in Maassluis
He's the elite of kicking, scouted at 90/90 overall. His kicking accuracy (95) and kicking power (100) speak for themselves. His kickoff skills have improved enough to think he can win games for the Merchantmen. Although bitter fans might point to his missed extra point against the North Plainfield Plague last season, but the reality is that in 98 games, he had 3 missed kicks that would have flipped one game from a loss to a win, one from a tie to a win and one from a loss to sending it to overtime.

2.28 CB Zachary Centers - switched to SS
status: retired
Centers has retired, making him the only one of the 2102 draft's top two rounds. He played in 5 games as a rookie and was cut mid-pre-season in 2103. He never got a job elsewhere in the league.

3.5 CB Wesley Cabrera
status: backup on the bubble in Maassluis
This 40/40 cornerback is still on the team, despite being on the bubble several times. His 30 man-to-man and 25 bump-and-run defense are too little to play as a true CB1 or CB2. His zone defense (55) and interceptions (70) are okay enough to have taken the nickel back role. He's also a decent special teamer (60) and the alternate kickoff returner (60). He could be on the bubble again in pre-season 2108...

3.18 RB Rondell Robertson
status: retired
This running back was mostly known for his punt returning skills, despite that his breakaway speed and hole recognition made him a serviceable RB3. After the discovery of CB Dennis Finlay to be potentially the most efficient punt returner in the league (which he did turn out to be) and Robertson's own decline in ability, Robertson was released in pre-season 2106. He found no new team and retired in the 2107 off-season.

4.3 OT Harold Gruenwalder - switched to LT
status: starter in Maassluis
Recently signed a new 3-year deal with the Merchantmen, but after 6 seasons of being the undisputed left tackle, he'll have to battle it out with first round pick Earl McBirney. Either way, he'll be asked to mentor the rookie. Gruenwalder is said to be a 45/45 left tackle, with 65 pass blocking and 70 blocking strength, while his lacking 15 run blocking and 30 endurance mean that he's not a complete lineman.

4.7 G Brett Stickney
status: starter in Maassluis
He has topped at being scouted at 65/65. With his 70 run blocking, 80 pass blocking, 50 blocking strength and 70 endurance, he's obviously a talented offensive lineman. In the last two seasons he improved, as the whole line did, as Stickney posted key run block figures of 25 and 28. Last season he earned game MVP honors in a 34-24 win at the Bordeaux Vineyards after recording 6 key run blocks.

4.23 S Daryl Heath - released in pre-season
status: starter in Capital City
Currently Heath still plays for the Capital City Blues and is still signed through thew 2109 season. Our scouts see him as a 40/40 safety with mostly run defense and play diagnosis. The Blues see him as a starter.

5.2 C Lincoln Stonge
status: free agent
Stonge's stint in Maassluis is about to come to an end as he announced to have no desire to sign a new contract. Over the years, Stonge's role flipflopped from starter to backup to starter and last season back to a backup role. He peaked at 55/55, but prior to training camp 2108 he's rated at 45/45. His 60 run blocking is too low to be an anchorman starting center. Combined with his cohesion value, he would be a solid option as the 4th interior lineman for the Merchantmen, but that ship has sailed. It remains to be seen whether any other team out there would fancy a 29-year old that is quite possibly the 33rd best center in the league.

5.6 LT Salvador Horton
status: retired
Horton is out of football. He was released after 8 games of inactivity in the 2102 season and retired in the 2103 off-season.

5.13 DT Mitch Potchynok
status: backup in Maassluis
Turned into a 40/40 defensive tackle. In 2107 became a starter after many years of time share and barely active backup roles. His 65 pass rush technique, 65 play diagnosis and 60 special teams make him a suitable passing downs option. He has no endurance (0) and his lacking run defense (30) make him no better than such a role. Will have to maintain his level to make the 2108 roster in a crowded D-Line group.

5.23 G Floyd Graham
status: retired
After he was released in the 2103 off-season, the Rochester Razorbacks signed him week 1 to make him a starter for 2 straight season. He missed the 2105 season after he picked up a very serious groin injury late in the 2104 season. Despite being signed through 2108, he was released on the final roster cut day of 2106 and after no other team showed interest in him, he retired in the 2107 off-season.

5.24 OLB Marco Nichols
status: backup in Iowa
Is a 40/40 backup with the Iowa Cobbers. Nichols was cut in pre-season 2103 after a full season of inactivity in Maassluis, then was signed and cut for week 1 by the Toronto Lake Monsters and during the 2103 post-season signed a contract in San Antonio, which had been extended in 2104. In 2105 he was picked up by Iowa as a free agent and got his first playing time in the IHOF. His prime was in 2106 as their LB3, but his playing time declined in 2107. He remains to be a solid zone defender (70) and capable run defender (50).

6.5 S Eduardo Cowdrick - switched to CB
status: backup in Maassluis
Fully developed, Cowdrick has become a 40/40 cornerback. His 55 man-to-man and 50 zone defense are fine, His 70 interceptions make him a reasonable play on passing downs. His 85 endurance could make him a potential all downs player, but his 5 run defense and 40 play diagnosis are lacking for that. He's seeing playing time on defense, mostly in a dime back kind of role, after initially being mostly on the special teams unit.

6.31 TE Raul Milliken - released in pre-season
status: retired
Milliken has retired after being released after 8 games of inactivity in 2102 by and with the Merchantmen.

7.7 WR Rick Emerson
status: backup in Maassluis
Is a 30/30 wide receiver, mostly on roster for his 80 special teams ability. With 50 route running and 35 third-down receiving, he's a viable WR5 option. But due to injuries and retirements, Emerson's cohesion value has made him a solid play as a WR3 in recent seasons. He opened the 2106 season with back-to-back 97-yard performances, but hasn't won confidence from the staff in him to maintain the number of looks into his direction from that short stint as a WR2. Recently won the backup gig over former 1st round pick WR Alfredo Samuels and re-signing Emerson basically forced out former 1st round pick LB Tony Burks.

7.31 CB Steven Van Pelt
status: retired
He was released by Maassluis after 8 weeks of inactivity in the 2102 season. He kept hoping for a second chance, but it never came and he retired in the 2105 off-season.

undrafted QB Wendell DeMeester - released in pre-season
status: retired
Failed to make the 2102 team, is out of football.

undrafted TE Antoine Springer
status: retired
Failed to make the 2103 team, is out of football.

undrafted TE Tanner Sweeney - released after training camp
status: retired
Failed to make the 2102 team, is out of football.

undrafted QB Jay Bates
status: retired
Failed to make the 2103 team, is out of football.

undrafted RB Rod Eafon - released in pre-season
status: retired
Failed to make 2102 team, but is still in the league, without having played a single game. In 2102 released in pre-season by Maassluis, signed by Fort Wayne Fury that opost-season. In 2103 signed and released by Rochester Razorbacks in pre-season, then signed by Augusta Greenjackets in post-season. In 2104 played in 15 games for Augusta, but was released on roster cut day 2105. He retired in the 2106 off-season.

undrafted TE Darnell McKie
status: backup in Maassluis
Arrived and then had a bit of a drop back in the 2105 off-season. He's now now scouted as a 25/25 tight end. Lacks blocking skills (10 run blocking, 10 pass blocking), but besides being a 70 special teamer has proven to be a reliable key downs receiver with his 80 third-down receiving, and his heavily declined, but still acceptable 45 route running and 30 big-play ability. Despite still only 26, he's likely past his peak when he made clutch touchdown catches in 2104. Has been unhappy about playing time for years, but still signed a new contract in the 2107 off-season and if he fends off undrafted rookies in pre-season, he might get another new offer in pre-season. If he beats the rookies, he might even return to the TE3 slot...

undrafted WR Gage Greer
status: retired
Kept waiting in the wings to one day become a WR5/special teamer, but in 3 seasons on roster his activity was limited to just 1 game in 2102. In 2105 was released in the off-season and he retired subsequently this off-season.

undrafted C Stan Cloude - released in pre-season
status: retired
Failed to make the 2102 team, is out of football.

undrafted OT Carson McCormick - switched to LT
status: retired
Has grown into a 40/40 left tackle. Has played right tackle at times, but his 75 pass blocking is much better than his 40 run blocking. Lacks blocking strength (0) and endurance (30). Lost his starting role in 2105, but despite demanding a trade, no other team in IHOF ever showed interest in him. He played a backup role again in 2106, starting 2 games in relief due to injuries, but after he told the Merchantmen he wanted to play elsewhere, despite that no other teams were willing to even try him out, he retired this off-season.

undrafted ILB Mo Fausel
status: backup in Maassluis
At 25/25 is a declining linebacker as he peaked at 45/45. As a 90 special teamer is clearly an important member of that league leading part of the team. Aside from a 50 punishing hitter, lacks other defensive skills to be considered to play on defense.

undrafted CB Kendall Boone - released in pre-season
status: retired
Failed to make the 2102 team, is out of football.

undrafted RB Van Goodwin
status: backup in Maassluis
As a 20/20 running back, one has to wonder why he's still on the Merchantmen. The decline in skills has set in and he's currently scouted at 55 breakaway speed, 45 third-down running, but only 15 hole recognition, 0 route running and 0 endurance. Is a 70 special teamer, so still got his share of action on the special teams unit. But more incredibly, he's coming off a 767 yards, 4.57 yards per carry season, which is a testament on how cohesion can make a difference for a running back. Both were career highs after he was the RB2 in 2103 and 2104 and after he saw no action on the offense throughout the 2105 and 2106 seasons. Will make the team as a special teamer, but might lose his carries to new blood.

undrafted WR Calvin Hancock
status: retired
Peaked at 35/35, but last off-season degraded to a 20/20. As a result, after 3 seasons on special teams, was released in the 2105 off-season. He kept his hopes up throughout the 2106 season, but in the 2107 off-season gave up and retired.

undrafted C Gustavo Hartman
status: retired
Hartman has retired after being released after 8 games of inactivity in 2102 by and with the Merchantmen.


So, out of that long list of 19 drafted and 14 undrafted players, the Merchantmen will take 12 of this class into training camp 2108, while 4 others are still around in other places or the free agents pool.

For the 2108 season, it's likely that TE Alcala, G Stickney and CB Wallace will be undisputed starters. K Harrington could reasonably be lumped into that group as well. RB Goodwin might be used as the RB2 again, depending on whether he holds up well, otherwise sticks on the special teams unit. LT Gruenwalder could start if his replacement turns out to not be ready, but will otherwise stick around to mentor him. DT Potchynok could see playing time on specific downs. TE McKie, WR Emerson, LB Fausel, CB Cabrera and CB Cowdrick will likely stick on the special teams unit, with McKie being the prime suspect to be a potential pre-season roster cuts casualty.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 07-30-2022 at 06:35 AM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 04:03 PM   #710
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Mid-Pre-Season and the 53 men for 2108 are known!

No dillydallying over which 11th defensive lineman to try out for another couple of pre-season games, I made the decisions on our 53 men for 2108 already. We went through a promising training camp and some noteworthy pre-season unpredictability.

Let's try to do this in quick bits first.

First things first: we released LB Tony Burks. He was in his final contract year at a $10M cap figure. I basically announced it already, but it's official now. He hasn't found a new home and I doubt he will in the second part of pre-season. He was a useful LB3 for us and had he not been a 1st round pick, not to be considered a bit of a bust.

Once we cleared cap space, we signed a lot of undrafted rookie free agents for training camp. Let's stick to the names for now, because some have already been cut, so it's too late to get attached to them now. RB Mo Henderson, RB Vincent Rodman, RB Cary Delgado, RB Malachi Byerly, TE Wesley Keener, TE Eric McMillian, TE Jackie Stokes, C Roman Gillespie, C Leo Carrano, C Zack Strickland, LB Alexander Newhart, DT Kelly Kirk, DT Howie Tucker and DT Zachary Abueva were the undrafted rookies we signed. Tucker and Abueva were switched to DE.

RB Henderson, RB Rodman, TE McMillian, TE Stokes, C Strickland, C Carrano and LB Newhart didn't make it to our pre-season roster. THe same applied to 7th round pick FB Dean Lang, Second-year DT Sherman Casanova and last season's backup LT Roosevelt Dumrauf. Casanova was inactive all of last season, Dumrauf played on special teams all 16 games.

After the frist two pre-season games, we terminated the contracts of undrafted rookies DT Kelly, DE Abueva, RB Byerly, 6th round pick TE Ty Rumans, last season's 5th round pick DT Harvey Chiu, who played in all 16 games. Even more noteworthy was the release of former 1st round S Lincoln Taylor, after he finally saw playing time in his 4th season with us, and QB Monty Truitt, our quarterback of the future project. Well, not anymore. We've got a new deputy in town.

Let's break down the 53-men that we've got, position group at a time, with their scouted ratings rounded to the nearest 5s and their training camp and pre-season progress or lack there of.

Kicker, Punter, Long Snapper
75/75 P Jimmy Summers (TC: n.c., P2: -1/-1)
90/90 K Oscar Harrington (TC: n.c., P2: n.c.)
20/20 LS Bennett Brock (TC: n.c., P2: n.c.)
Solid guys, nothing to add here, really.

Secondary
50/50 CB Logan Wallace (TC: n.c., P2: -4/-4)
50/50 CB Joel Delgado (TC: n.c., P2: -1/-1)
45/45 S Craig Clancy (TC: n.c., P2: n.c.)
40/40 CB Eduardo Cowdrick (TC: n.c., P2: n.c.)
40/40 CB Wesley Cabrera (TC: n.c., P2: -1/-1)
40/40 S John Aponte (TC: +1/+1, P2: nc/-2)
35/45 S Noah Matthews (TC: +4/-3, P2: n.c., rookie)
35/40 PR Dennis Finley (TC: +3/nc, P2: nc/-1)
35/35 CB Sherman Barnes (TC: n.c., P2: -6/-6)
30/30 S Jonathan White (TC: +3/nc, P2: nc/-1)
Shapiro left, Taylor cut, Matthews in. The rest is the same bunch. This should be a fine group of guys.

Linebackers
75/75 LB Gus Coleman (TC: n.c., P2: +1/+1)
45/70 LB Caiden Hastings (TC: +7/-3, P2: nc/+5, rookie)
55/55 LB Abraham Desimone (TC: n.c., P2: n.c.)
35/35 LB Avery Distel (TC: +4/nc, P2: -4/-5)
20/20 ST Mack Pang (TC: n.c., P2: -5/-5)
15/15 ST Mo Fausel (TC: n.c., P2: -8/-8)
Burks our, Hastings in. Hastings looks awesome and should jump ahead of Desimone somewhere during the upcoming season. Desimone is still the more solid zone defender though. Distel is an awesome pass rusher, but we've got so much talent on the D-Line now. Distel can now join Pang and Fausel on the league best special teams unit.

Defensive Line
70/70 DT Gabriel Morris (TC: n.c., P2: +1/+1)
40/70 DT Efrain Hutchins (TC: +5/-1, P2: +2/+3, rookie)
30/75 DE Frank Bernard (TC: +8/-1, P2: +1/-3, rookie)
40/40 DT Mitch Potchynok (TC: n.c., P2: +1/+1)
40/40 DE Andres Harmon (TC: n.c., P2: -3/-3)
35/35 DE Deon Rosas (TC: n.c., P2: n.c.)
35/35 DE Robbie Dobreskie (TC: n.c., P2: -3/-3)
25/35 DE Howie Tucker (TC: +3/+1, P2: +1/nc, rookie)
Fletcher left, Casanova and Chiu cut, Hutchins, Bernard and Tucker in.
Another fine group, Morris is solid, Hutchins and Bernard should become solid. The other guys are very good pass rushers. This group is sound.

Offensive Line
75/75 RT Ivan Dole (TC: n.c., P2: n.c.)
65/65 G Brett Stickney (TC: n.c., P2: +1/+1)
60/60 C Zane Chaplain (TC: n.c., P2: n.c.)
60/60 G Andres Uwaezuoke (TC: +2/-1, P2: +1/+1)
45/45 LT Harold Gruenwalder (TC: n.c., P2: +1/+1)
20/60 LT Earl McBirney (TC: +5/nc, P2: nc/-7, rookie)
25/50 C Roman Gillespie (TC: +6/+4, P2: n.c., rookie)
35/35 G Brett Robbins (TC: n.c., P2: -5/-5)
Stonge left, Dumrauf cut, McBirney and Gillespie in. I'm on the fence about McBirney, he looks both impressive and underwhelming: his training camp was good, his pre-season second look was discouraging. It makes bringing back Gruenwalder even that more important as an insurance.

Wide Receivers
65/65 WR Calvin Maxwell (TC: n.c., P2: -6/-6)
45/45 WR Preston Gray (TC: +4/nc, P2: +1/-1)
30/45 WR Jaylen Gearhart (TC: +2/nc, P2: n.c., rookie)
30/30 WR Ricke Emerson (TC: n.c., P2: +1/+1)
20/30 WR Perry Madison (TC: +2/+1, P2: nc/-4, rookie)
15/15 ST Herman Jeffries (TC: n.c., P2: -8/-8)
Buysse retired, Samuels traded, Gearhart and Madison drafted. The decline continues, fast. Missing out on a WR in the 1st round of the last draft was a huge miss. Our best bet now is the next draft with the additional 1st round pick from the Ft Wayne Fury... Gray will be our WR2, despite his inability to make catches downfield. So maybe rookie Gearhart will be asked to jump in as the new WR2 with his excellent big-play ability and very good potential in route running. Meh?

Tight Ends
55/55 TE Garrett Alcala (TC: n.c., P2: -6/-6)
40/40 TE Wesley Martin (TC: n.c., P2: n.c.)
25/40 TE Wesley Keener (TC: +2/nc, P2: nc/+1, rookie)
20/20 TE Darnell McKie (TC: n.c., P2: -5/-5)
Heath left, Keener joined. We really missed the boat by not locking up Heath previous off-season or the one before. Alcala's decline hopefully won't be a problem, he might be our best bet on third and long, third and short. Martin is reliable, McKie an ownership favorite, Keener shockingly the least impressive of the rookies, but I still chose him over the others that tried out. Keener looks like a green version of Martin.

Fullback
35/35 FB Randy Julian (TC: n.c., P2: -1/-1)
Yup, he's still here, despite that he was out of contract.

Running Backs
40/40 RB Bennett Holmes (TC: n.c., P2: n.c.)
35/40 RB Cary Delgado (TC: +4/+2, P2: +1/+2, rookie)
30/35 RB Marcus Jorg (TC: +1/nc, P2: nc/+1)
15/15 RB Van Goodwin (TC: n.c., P2: -5/-5)
Delgado in. Nobody left, as Goodwin and Holmes were a stellar duo last season. Goodwin declined even more, but in pre-season he looked just as sharp as last season. Delgado has 3rd down back potential, Jorg change of pace potential. We just need to lock 'em up for a couple of seasons and then let cohesion do the rest.

Quarterbacks
35/35 QB Evan Drake (TC: n.c., P2: -6/-6)
15/45 QB Harrison Singleton (TC: +4/-1, P2: nc/+8, rookie)
30/30 KH Drake Bishop (TC: n.c., P2: -8/-8)
Truitt released, Singleton drafted. So, Drake, still? Maybe, maybe not. Singleton played equally impressive in pre-season action so far. But more importantly, Singleton did the right things: improve. Drake is regressing, no longer the undeniable best out there in reading the pass rush. Bishop will be asked to mentor Singleton. We might stick this elite kick holder on the inactive roster though, if Drake wins the starting job in the final two pre-season games with mostly backups and youngsters on offense around our quarterbacks.

So, I left the biggest story for last: could Harrison Singleton be the new sheriff in town? Drake is the one for now, but this might be the moment to flip things around. Sure, I must be convinced that Singleton will give us a better chance to win games. This kid has already has excellent sense rush ability and very good timing with room for improvement. That and he can run, or so we hope, he decided not to test his legs in the first two pre-season games. He's quite old already (25, older than two of our starting offensive linemen), but we really can't know whether he'll play until 40. Nor should we care now anyway, the future is important, but winning now, this season, would be even better.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2022, 05:41 AM   #711
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2108 started well
But now we're on a losing streak...

We're at week 6 of the 2108 season and as per usual we've already had our early season bye week. It sucks, because over a century of football, it means we have to face more developed teams season after season and get less chance to have our players lick their wounds. In a way, it makes it more impressive that we're historically 3rd in most regular season wins amongst all franchises. But that moaning aside, let's take a look at the games we've played so far.

Week 1 vs Bordeaux: 34-20 win
This was a game that went back and forth with the score being tight until we took control in the 4th quarter with 10 unanswered points. The story of the game was rookie QB Harrison Singleton stepping in for injured QB Evan Drake early in the 1st quarter and despite throwing for just 112 yards and rushing for 28 yards, somehow quarterbacked the team to victory. Veteran RB Van Goodwin ran for 172 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown, and caught a touchdown pass from Singleton. RB Bennett Holmes also ran for a touchdown, while WR Calvin Maxwell returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Week 2 at Outer Banks: 40-7 win
Humbly I'll point out that this was a typical Merchantmen victory. The total yardage presumes that the game was even, but we were dominating field position all day long. As a result, despite our inability to get in the end zone, we saw K Oscar Harrington convert 4 field goals. Rookie QB Harrison Singleton threw for 213 yards, threw a touchdown pass to TE Garrett Alcala and ran for a touchdown as well. LB Gus Coleman scored the other touchdown on an interception return. It was 1 of 4 interceptions, but 3 of them came in garbage time when the victory was already locked up. QB Evan Drake was on the bench, recovering from his elbow injury.

Week 3 vs Orlando: 31-27 loss
In what looked like to turn into a steamrolling victory, the team completely fell apart in the second half and pissed away a commanding 21-point lead. QB Harrison Singleton had a so-so game, throwing for 175 yards with 2 interceptions, but also touchdown passes to WR Calvin Maxwell and WR Preston Gray, whilst running for a team high 44 yards and a touchdown. The comeback of Orlando was completed when Singleton threw a 4th quarter pick six that gave Orlando the lead for the first all day. Our own 4 interceptions on defense all went to waste here.

Week 4, the frickin' way too early bye week.

Week 5 at North Plainfield: 34-27 loss
With QB Evan Drake back in action, we played our best game offensively, but the defense had a collective off day getting run all over. The Plague running back ran for 201 yards on us, including a late game 60-yard touchdown that turnout to be the decisive score, whilst his mediocre quarterback ended a long streak of games under 300 yards passing. So, yes, a very disappointing let down from our stronger end of the field. Drake threw for 341 yards, with touchdown passes to TE Garrett Alcala (twice) and WR Rick Emerson.

Week 6 vs Rochester: 27-13 loss
We lost a game that we should have never lost given the respective talent on the field. Our pass defense was far below the team's ability and that turned out to be the decisive factor. QB Evan Drake threw for 261 yards and completed a touchdown pass to TE Garrett Alcala. He also threw a game flipping 67-yard pick six. Another expensive home loss to a conference rival for the playoffs race, after the earlier meltdown against Orlando. These are the games that make the difference at the end of the season...

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

In theory we're still in a win out division title situation, but our track record against the Gothenburg Giants in the last, like, 15 or so seasons is dreadful. As you might have concluded from my previous comments, Rochester and Orlando are currently occupying the wild card slots with 4 wins each.

Our strong start despite iffy play from our rookie quarterback was all a mirage, when Drake returned, the defense returned to being a talented bunch playing like they are the worst defense in football. No, Singleton isn't ready to play, Drake has shown he's still the man to lean on. Some tweaking of the offensive game plan appeared to fix some issues, but it makes no sense at all that it turned the defense into playing garbage. And even the special teams unit has played far below their ability.

Sure, losing against a talented offense is excusable, but although North Plainfield does feature one of the best running backs, the three offense we faced in our losses were all middle of the pack. I dread writing this, but apparently it's once again back to the drawing board to figure out what shot in the foot mistakes our defense is making that has cost us three games already.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2022, 02:00 PM   #712
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
2089 - 2093 Moe Sheldon period

The rebuild after the 2088 cap hell that lead to the departure of many players didn't take long. The Merchantmen spent the #13 overall pick in the draft on quarterback Brandon Bell, shortly after making a typical Merchantmen pick in defensive tackle Darien Fletcher at #9 overall. With as little as 8 new players, rookie Bell posted a respectable bounce back season as the team went 9-7. But the quarterback woes continued as Bell saw his strong start end in a week 17 loss to Paris and subsequent loss of the division title.

Merchantmen management proved to be ruthless once again although not released or traded, Bell's starting role was over right there and then. Veteran Moe Sheldon was shoved forward after a season of riding the bench and Bell only got opportunities when Sheldon was injured. Tight end Chris Gaynor and linebacker Brandon Brady were taken in the first round of the 2090 draft, bolstering the team.

It took the arrival of fifth round tight end Clarence Gore in 2091 for the offense to truly turn the page and Sheldon able to connect with star wide receiver Theodore Bondy. With 24 touchdowns versus 4 interceptions, Sheldon guided the Merchantmen to a 10-3-1 record (he sat out the last two games with the #2 seed locked up) en route to a division title and a trip to the AOC Championship game, where the hosting Tucker Tigers were victorious.

A nearly unchanged team improved to 11-4-1 in 2092, despite Sheldon's decline in avoidance of interceptions, but fell short to the Gothenburg Giants in the division title race and later on in the conference semifinals. In 2093 the Merchantmen drafted wide receiver Ed Schulz, as Theodore Bondy was getting up there in age, and also selected the excellent center Robbie Zinn in the second round to replace the retired Butch Pearson. Sheldon toned done on the interceptions a bit, but the team as a collective took a step back and missed the playoffs, in particular cornerback Kirk Hitchcock. The latter retired after that season, a full season later than quarterback Brandon Bell.

2089 9-7 (7th)
2090 6-10 (11th)
2091 10-5-1 (2nd) conference finalist
2092 11-4-1 (5th) conference semifinals
2093 7-8-1 (10th)
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2022, 02:02 PM   #713
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
2094 - 2103 The Earnest Ashley fiasco

A new era began with the 2094 draft where the Merchantmen thought to have found their new franchise quarterback in second round pick Earnest Ashley. The same draft saw the Merchantmen select stud offensive tackle duo Isaac Delgado and Johnnie Houston. Moe Sheldon hung around to mentor Ashley, as the new kid was made the starter from day one. Ashley posted the first 4,000-yard season for a Merchantmen quarterback since Ellis McAlister in 2086.

Ashley struggled to get north of completing 50% of his passes in the Merchantmen game plan. It soon after dubbed him Mr. 50-50 and Coinflip amongst skeptics and the overall team performance was quite similar. Season after season, the Merchantmen came 1 or 2 wins short of even a wild card. The likes of 2095 rookies cornerback Ernie Grant and defensive end Richie Piotte boosted the defense. The offensive line got completed with a couple of new offensive guards as well in the 2096 and 2097 drafts.

Wide receiver Theodore Bondy hung around through the 2096 season, but never sniffed at 1,000 yards in his seasons with Ashley in command. His pupil Ed Schulz turned out to be a never fulfilling prophecy, his triplet of 1,000-yard seasons came all early in his career. In 2097 running back Bert Ta'Amu was acquired through trade, but he appeared to be way past his 1,600-yard shape and stuck around for just 2 seasons.

The no more excuses period began in 2099. With the arrival of 2098 #7 overall pick wide receiver Vinny Buysse, followed by the selection of wide receiver Calvin Maxwell #3 overall in 2099 and running back Ken Torphy at #6 in 2099, the talent to go places was there. But despite being surrounded by without a doubt the best skill players in football and ever to be assembled by the Merchantmen, Earnest Ashley continued to struggle.

As the team continued to go downhill season by season, it became harder and harder to keep the team together. In the 2102 off-season, cap hell broke loose, worse than ever before. Merchantmen management decided to gamble on hanging onto the core pieces on offense, but at the same time said goodbye to elite cornerback Ernie Grant and defensive end Richie Piotte, whilst all 5 starting offensive linemen were released. The Merchantmen ended up going into the new season with almost half their roster consisting of rookies.

2102 became another disaster season, although this time somewhat to be expected with the gigantic overhaul. More bad news was Ken Torphy's unwillingness to sign a very generous contract as his player agent kept demanding less money. Torphy walked away a free agent in the 2103 off-season and was subsequently nicknamed the Lost Cause.

The 2103 off-season also saw a reboot. The Merchantmen acquired Augusta Greenjackets legendary quarterback Winford England through trade and it became clear that Ashley's reign was over. Ashley's last pass attempt came in a blowout win in 2103 and he sat the entire 2104 season on the bench, retiring in the 2105 off-season after 9 seasons as the face of a sublimely talented team that played mediocre football, without a single trip to the playoffs.

Winfred England's stint as the Merchantmen quarterback lasted for just a single season. Despite a tremendous display of passing skills (4,335 yards and 29 touchdowns), which also saw the improvement of Calvin Maxwell towards his first 1,500-yard and double digit touchdown season, whilst Vinny Buysse reached what turned out to be his career high of 1,297 yards (far too low for a player with his level of talent). 2102 second round pick Tight end Garrett Alcala improved to being a serviceable option, but was still far away from his yet undiscovered ability to be a league leader at his position.

But even with a future hall of famer quarterback around, the playoffs were far way for the Merchantmen and England retired after just one season in orange, white and blue. He did get a chance to welcome the rookie class of 2103, which included defensive tackle Gabriel Morris, linebacker Gus Coleman and running back Bennett Holmes, as well as the signing of veteran defensive tackle Ben Courcy.

2094 8-8 (8th)
2095 7-9 (10th)
2096 8-8 (8th)
2097 10-6 (7th)
2098 4-11-1 (15th)
2099 8-8 (9th)
2100 6-10 (13th)
2101 5-11 (14th)
2102 4-12 (14th)
2103 7-8-1 (11th)
__________________
* 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 : 08-14-2022 at 02:04 PM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2022, 07:16 AM   #714
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Another season down the drain?
It sure shapes up to it...

After an encouraging start, the Merchtnamen of 2108 have turned into the pile of trash that we've been for most of the last 15 seasons. Well, with some decent and impressive showings in between. But the last couple of games were one of the worst in team history. Incomprehensible, but reality as well.

Week 7 vs Toronto: 23-20 win
It was good to see the team competitive against one of the stronger franchises in the conference. We scored 17 points on our first three possessions, but eventually the defenses gaine control. We thanked our expensive kicker for both of his 52-yard field goals in the final minute of the game to boost us from a loss to a somewhat unexpected victory. QB Evan Drake threw for 344 yards, with 116 yards to WR Preston Gray and 113 yards to WR Calvin Maxwell, while Drake found TE Garrett Alcala and TE Wesley Martin for touchdowns.

Week 8 vs Paris: 33-6 win
A game of two halves, as in the first half the slugfest saw us struggling to turn our domination into touchdowns. In the second half the floodgates opened and we steamrolled to a convincing victory. We outgained Paris 406 to 203 yards, despite also having the field position advantage throughout the game, rarely starting from within our own 30-yard line. RB Bennett Holmes ran for 109 yards and a touchdown. QB Evan Drake threw for 214 yards with touchdown passes to TE Wesley Martin and WR Rick Emerson.

Week 9 at Harlem: 33-19 loss
Our little winning streak came to an end in one of the most unlikely losses the Merchantmen franchise ever saw. We dominated the field position battle, greatly supported by picking off Harlem's quarterback 4 times. But in return, they got to a hot start with a 73-yard pick six to open the scoring on our first possession and in the second half they quickly turned it from a tie game into a 1-touchdown game with their win with a kickoff return touchdown. On our score tying drive, QB Evan Drake was picked off for the second time and again for a touchdown. He finished the day with 253 yards passing, with a touchdown pass to WR Preston Gray. RB Van Goodwin scored our other touchdown.

Week 10 at Bordeaux: 27-13 loss
For the second game straight, QB Evan Drake threw an interception on our opening drive, but this time he got bailed out by our rookie linebacker Caiden Hastings with a 63-yard pick six in response to it. But despite doing well enough in field position, we were downright humiliated and outplayed by the Vineyards as they outgained us 388 to 195 yards. In a way we were lucky to still be in it when Bordeaux scored their third touchdown with just under 4 minutes to go. QB Evan Drake was held to 119 yards passing, whilst the entire offense remained touchdownless.

Week 11 at Gothenburg: 34-0 loss
Then just as we thought we couldn't sink as low as the dreadful performance in Bordeaux, the trip to Gothenburg turned into one of the biggest spankings in Merchantmen history. Probably top3, or worst3 if you wish. 143 total yards gained, 484 total yards allowed. It must have felt like they knew what we were going to do on every single play, on both sides of the ball, I mean, I decided to not investigate on this train wreck of a football game. QB Evan Drake was held to 77 yards passing on 27 passing plays as our yards per pass attempt for this game was an unimaginable 1.93.

Yeah... Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Going into the season, we expect to play a close game in Bordeaux and win if we get luckier, while hoping to stay within a touchdown in Gothenburg. But getting outgained the way we did in these last two games, I just can't remember such a pathetic showing from this team, like ever. We've managed to go 1-2 in games were we picked off the opposing quarterback 4 times in a game, those kind of games are usually a victory by default. But would we really deserve to be 6-4 and in the middle of the wild card race when we play this dreadful in crucial intradivision games?

European Division:
1. Gothenburg 8-2
2. Maassluis 4-6
3. Bordeaux 3-6-1
4, Paris 1-9

Can Gothenburg clinch the division in week 12? Yes, they will if they win and if we lose and Bordeaux doesn't win. Are our wild card hopes still there? Mathematically we could still leapfrog the Northeast second place team for the final wild card, but we're 2 wins down already and we only have tie-breakers over Toronto, the rest beat us head-to-head and it also causes our a pathetic intraconference record in case that tie-breaker comes into play.

The plan is to keep faith in QB Evan Drake until we are mathematically eliminated. Which is getting really hard with his 7 straight games with 1 or 2 interceptions thrown, especially with his average of 98 yards passing in the last two games. Does he rely that much on his tight end(s)?

TE Garrett Alcala returns to the active roster after a couple of games sideline with a leg injury, whilst his main backup TE Wesley Martin was also missing with a shoulder injury. It resulted in a forced release of 7th round pick WR Perry Madison and the return of our 6th round pick TE Ty Rumans after he won a 3-way roster spot battle to step in as the mandated 3rd tight end on the active roster. Where have the times gone when a long snapper would also count as a tight end (although ours is technically a center playing long snapper).

All things considered, I can't see how I can be very optimistic about the final 6 games of this regular season. It could be objectively considered to be the easiest 5-game stretch any team gets in the next 5 weeks, but we still have to face the Gothenburg Giants in week 17. Hopefully our shiny defense can start playing like a shiny defense, but they will need some help from the passing game. 6.04 yards per attempt won't get the job done. Even WR Calvin Maxwell is on pace to not have a 1,000-yard season for the first time since his underwhelming rookie campaign... At least our running backs (and the line in front of them) are doing shockingly well with a 5.0 yards per carry figure. Maybe we should run the ball a little bit of a lot more?
__________________
* 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 : 08-20-2022 at 07:18 AM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2022, 04:03 PM   #715
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Stayin' alive mode
Or just playing spoiler?

Alright my dearest readers, a lot has changed in Maassluis since the last time I reported. Well, a lot, we had one major change in the depth chart department and some minor changes. The big one at the quarterback slot: Harrison Singleton has started the last 4 games for us. Let's rewind a bit.

Week 12 vs Capital City: 20-13 loss
In a must win and should win game, QB Evan Drake struggled. Despite throwing for 223 yards a touchdown to FB Randy Julian, his 2 interceptions were the last straw for me. The running game was okay, but the defense clearly doesn't believe in Drake and the gave away 371 total yards.

So, I made a couple of changes to the team.
Rookie QB Harrison Singleton to start ahead of QB Evan Drake. Singleton had done well in the early part of the season, sample size and what not, he lead the team to 2 victories and a sketchy loss.
2nd-year RB Marcus Jorg to play in the RB committee ahead of RB Van Goodwin, whom I kept active as a key member of the special teams unit. Goodwin was gaining 4.9 yards per carry, but without his absurd 172 yards in week 1, he was averaging barely 3.5 yards per carry.
Rookie LT Earl McBirney took over from LT Harold Gruenwalder. The first round rookie had to get reps and I felt that it was ok to put him in the toughest slot, the one where we picked him for. I decided to not plug him or Gruenwalder at guard, but trust in the other 4 starters.
Rookie DE Howard Tucker was activated and together with 2nd-Year LB Avery Distel made more involved in pass rush formations. Special Teams LB Mo Fausel was sacrificed.
Nothing too fancy, non complete overhaul, but just some obvious replacements of over the hill players.

Week 13 at Houston: 19-12 win
Holy smokes, welcome back QB Harrison Singleton. Despite our struggles in the final 30 yards of the field, Our strong-legged K Oscar Harrington converted a triple of long ones to give us enough of a cushion to get a strong enough lead that when Houston kicked a field goal with just over 1 minute to go, they had to go for the on-side kick. They recovered, but we stood strong. QB Singleton threw for 258 yards with a touchdown to WR Preston Gray.

Week 14 vs Texas: 47-22 win
The team clicked, and then some, and then some more. At half time we were leading 34-0 already. The backups of the Texas Sharks put up a fight and with a struggling QB Evan Drake on our offense, they got within 4 scores, but that just says it all. Rookie QB Harrison Singleton threw for 198 yards in limited action with a touchdown pass to WR Preston Gray, while Singleton joined RB Bennett Holmes and RB Marcus Jorg in each having a rushing touchdown. Freaky enough, the total yards figure was 411 to 410 in our favor, but that would be unfair as we also saw our secondary pick their quarterbacks off 3 times.

Week 15 at Paris: 27-7 win
In a turnover fest, we out took them 5-2, that combined with our more efficient offense and hard to beat defense, we posted a steadily buit up victory. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 175 yards and a touchdown to WR Calvin Maxwell, but also ran for a touchdown, where he was joined by rookie 3rd-down RB Cary Delgado.

Week 16 at Moontown: 19-16 win
The streak continued as QB Harrison Singleton threw for 248 yards with touchdowns to WR Calvin Maxwell and WR Rick Emerson. Crucial was our early built lead and our consistent ability to pin them deep. We forced them to start 2 drives on their own 1-yard line (freaky enough their only touchdown came on such a possession) and they never started further downfield that their own 25-yard line. In return, aside from our first drive, we were consistently far from our own red zone. Still, we needed a hail mary to pull it off.

European Division:
1. Gothenburg 11-4
2. Maassluis 8-7
3. Bordeaux 4-10-1
4. Paris 2-13

Week 17, Gothenburg comes to Maassluis. If we pull the upset, it will cost the Giants a bye week, which they can only blame themselves for if they blow it after their recent losing streak. We'll need help elsewhere to sneak into the playoffs and if we do, we're guaranteed to get a trip to Gothenburg there.

Can we beat Gothenburg? I'm doubtful. Harrison Singleton is on a hot streak and we're actually on the second longest winning streak in the league, but these guys have our number. I'm fearful about another 34-0 drubbing.

Unrelated, we've seen the Fort Wayne Fury struggle all season long. They won games back-to-back recently, but a 4-11, they're quite possibly the biggest disappointment compared to last season. Our convenience is having their first round pick. We could have help our own faith to try to push their pick into the top3, but our pride made us forget about it and try to keep winning, especially in the recent games against 2-13 Paris and 3-12 Moontown. With some (bad) luck, this pick will drop all the way to being the #8 overall, while at 'best' at can improve to #3.

But, the 2109 draft is far away still, we have a do-or-die game tomorrow.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2022, 04:47 PM   #716
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Close, really close, but...

We choked. The football gods were 2/3rd of the way with us today, as the Harlem Apollos and Orlando Talons both lost. It created a window of opportunity for us, the Maassluis Merchantmen, to sneak into the playoffs. But to get there, we still had to beat our rivals from up North: the Gothenburg Giants.


Week 17 vs Gothenburg: 24-16 loss
After being called a 1.7 in 1,000 longshot to make the playoffs, an encouraging 4-game winning streak put us in a dependable, but eventually a win is in situation. The season on the line, the pressure was on.

Our rookie QB Harrison Singleton delivered, throwing a 40-yard catch and run pass on third and long to TE Garrett Alcala on the first possession of the game, but a bunch of plays later, he was sacked in scoring position and after he fumbled the ball, the opportunity was gone. The defense struggled and Gothenburg took a 7-0 lead on their first possession. The second drive was a thing of beauty, slowly, but steadily, we marched downfield and Singleton himself pounded it in from 2 yards out to tie it up 7-7. Then our cornerbacks fell asleep and gave up a 65-yard passing touchdown to hand Gothenburg the 14-7 lead.

We started the second quarter by pinning Gothenburg at their own 1-yard line, but their own punter delivered to not give us much of an advantage by pushing us to our 20-yard line. Another strong drive ensued, but a face mask penalty put us in third and long and we settled for a 46-yard field goal, these days a walk in the park for K Oscar Harrington. After three and out, our rookie RB Cary Delgado broke free on third and 3 for a 33-yard gain, but it got us nothing close than pushing them back. QB Harrison Singleton found TE Garrett Alcala for a 51-yard gain as we called a gung ho play and after we scored a 36-yard field goal, we were down just 14-13. Luck was on our side as the Gothenburg kickoff returned was stripped from the ball and we quickly kicked a 33-yard field goal for a 16-14 half time lead.

But as the Merchantmen defense took control of the game, with a quick interception by LB Gus Coleman, we found ourselves playing an unfamiliar kind of football, losing the field position battle to the Giants. Eventually they scored on a 39-yard field goal to take a 17-16 lead. The QB Harrison Singleton got picked off at midfield and the scare for a choke job started oozing through Oranje Haven. Gothenburg marched downfield and none other than Gus Barrymore caught the touchdown for their 24-16 lead.

Strong defense and sloppiness on the offenses then made for quite the unfancy football game. Gothenburg missed a 48-yard field goal with 7 minutes to go, keeping us still within a single score. With just over 2 minutes to go, it was still 24-16 in Gothenburg advantage and we found ourselves pinned at our own 7-yard line, already down a time out. QB Harrison Singelton kept the chains moving and on a now or never fourth down scramble, he took more risks than necessary and ended up fumbling after not sliding as he wanted to get more than just the first down. It was game over there: Gothenburg 24, Maassluis 16.

QB Harrison Singleton threw for 246 yards and ran for a touchdown. TE Garrett Alcala gained 129 yards receiving. But with his 5-2 win-loss record, what should be considered a 6-2 record, we have to believe that our 8-8 record is on the low end this season.

European Division:
1. Gothenburg 12-4
2. Maassluis 8-8
3. Bordeaux 4-11-1
4. Paris 3-13

Typically, had we swept Gothenburg, we would have won the division. But that's "would have, should have". Gothenburg was bailed out by Atlanta as they beat San Antonio in their place, gifting Gothenburg a bye week. We ended up outside the playoffs as 8-8 Harlem had tie-breakers over their division rival North Plainfield, over Orlando and over us. To be fair, in the other conference the 9-6-1 Brooklyn were left outside missing the playoffs, while even fourth place Frederick posted a 9-7 record.

Alas, we didn't make it. Do I regret not benching QB Evan Drake earlier on? No, I had reasons to believe that he was still capable of throwing the ball, but after too many struggles, it was time to move on. It was encouraging to see us come close, but in our inability to beat Gothenburg, it was too little too late. It is what it is.

We go into the 2109 off-season with the #6 and #16 overall draft picks, as well as a late 2nd rounder and the 3.1 and 4.2 picks on top of our own 2nd through 7th rounders. We're at a somewhat healthy cap situation at roughly $80M over the cap. Relatively speaking, of course. The only realistic risk is losing WR Calvin Maxwell to retirement, which would cost us at least $14M in cap space. In paper he was still our WR1, but despite 30 more targets, he gained 368 yards less than last season. We've really used him incorrectly this past season.

But if we indeed have found our QB and he's already established a sweet connection with young WR Preston Gray and the underappreciated TE Garrett Alcala, we might be a new star WR away from challenging the Giants and Tigers again in the AOC, because the defense is set.

Or maybe we still need a game planning masters to actually make these talented players play up to their potential...
__________________
* 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 : 08-26-2022 at 04:48 PM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2022, 12:30 PM   #717
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: We got the top rookie prospect!

Okay, it's been a while since my last report and I'll keep this to a bit of a minimum to quickly get you up to date on stuff you may or may not already have figured out.

Right before the off-season, we signed five young prospects that would become restricted free agents in this off-season. All were previously with us in training camp or more: RB Malachi Byerly, FB Kennedy Broady, WR Perry Madison, LT Mason Erickson and DE Zachary Abueva.

We went into the off-season one man down as DE Andres Harmon retired. He was with us for 4 seasons, after playing 8 seasons for the Paris Musketeers. He had the rare combination of ability to stop the run and also be a fast pass rusher. He played 63 regular season games for us, but his playoffs action all came while playing for Paris.

The big news came in the draft. First I traded up from the #6 slot to the #2 slot, sacrificing all our 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks, but to me it was all worth it. We selected WR Jessie Vertelney, the #1 player on our draft board. I will have to mull over how to call this kid, because "Vertelney" sounds like he has a Dutch born grand-grand-grand-grand-grandfather, who back when he moved to the USA told the immigration services he was unwilling to tell his name, but instead his last name got written down as "won't tell".

It almost goes without saying that we restructured a lot of expensive contracts to get down from deep over the cap to almost $40M under the cap. In the middle of that, we signed a bunch of restricted free agents: RB Cary Delgado, RB Malachi Byerly, WR Perry Madison, C Roman Gillespie, LT Mason Erickson, DE Howie Tucker and DE Zachary Abueva. Will they make the team? Some might. We're still down to just 50 players signed. The good news is that it means we now have roughly $18.5M of cap space relief to work with to improve the roster or lock up potential future free agents. Or to re-sign a couple of guys that are out of contract, like DT Mitch Potchynok, LB Abraham Desimone and CB Sherman Barnes.

Last but not least, we've got an issue with QB Evan Drake. Our veteran starter has become angry after we benched him in the final games of last season. He's so mad at us, he doesn't even want to talk about a new contract. Which is too bad as his demands are reportedly pretty reasonable for a has-been that still thinks he's in the prime of his ability. Reality is that I'm not sure we want to keep this 36-year old over the hill player on team. I'm loyal to my players, but players that get mad after sitting out 5 games are not worthy of that loyalty. He claims to be the most loyal person on the planet, yeah right...

Cutting Drake now would improve our cap room to roughly $45M, that would be swell. But then, I'm struggling to see where and how to spend it. There's just so little roster spots where I see clear improvements on the free agent market, compared to our own current 50 players. Or should we snag up QB Jonathan Freeman, who was fantastic in Bordeaux in 2107, but quickly turned into a pick machine last season. But nah, probably not...

Vertelney? Vertelwel! We've got him!
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2022, 05:32 AM   #718
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: ]2109 Draft recap

The 2109 IHOF draft concluded and other than the blockbuster trade for the #2 pick to select the top prospect of this class (in our opinion), it was quite quiet in our war room. We closed out our remaining picks with a bunch of possible make the team picks.

At 4.2 DT Leslie Jeffries, a run stopper with football intelligence and stamina.

At 4.16 G Tutan Shapiro, a strong run blocker with endurance.

At 5.18 LB Xavier Hoover, a smart run defender with endurance and special teams potential.

At 6.17 DE Steve Aber a fast pass rusher, with stamina and decent run stopping potential.

At 7.16 RB Mo Ellison, a fast, ball catching, elusive kid with endurance.

Yes, apparently we felt that endurance is a thing. DT Leslie Jeffries isn't per se an insurance for the free agent DT Mitch Potchynok, they are different types of D-Linemen. One is a running downs guy, the other passing downs. We can use them both. DE Steve Aber will battle with the 2nd year guys for a roster spot. RB Mo Ellison will likely fail to beat one of the guys already on team, but at RB you can never have too many guys going into training camp. G Tutan Shapiro will likely make the team as a new project, replacing G Nathaniel Robbins, who was on team to mentor one of our starters, which is a role now to be taken by starter Brett Stickney. LB Xavier Hoover fills a need as we said goodbye to long time starter LB Abraham Desimone.

Abrham Desimone was a 3rd round pick for us in 2100, but quickly developed into a starter on our team. His zone defense skills were crucial, but his endurance and run stopping ability made him not just a passing downs player, but an all downs LB2. For the upcoming season I didn't see anything more than a LB3 role for him, hence not offering him the kind of contract he was looking for. He left for the Williamsburg Colonials, who signed him pretty cheap at $14M this season, i bet he'll be their LB1 or LB2.

Finally, the rumors are also true that we're in the market for QB Billy Russell, a free agent, former League MVP and two-time Offensive Player of the Year. Our QB Harrison Singleton has a similar skill set and with the expected departure of QB Evan Drake (he wants to get traded and most likely I'll be forced to release him to make cap space available for other investments), it would be an interesting player to have as a backup plan. Kick holder QB Drake Bishop will stick around to mentor Singleton anyway. But it would be a bit of a luxury to sign a player like Russell, so, we'll have to see how that plays out.
__________________
* 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 : 09-10-2022 at 05:33 AM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2022, 04:16 PM   #719
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: quick 2109 training camp recap

Okay, the off-season is moving on and we're closing in on the most dreaded day in the football season, the day all scouts re-evaluate all the players. We've just concluded training camp and made our cuts down to 60 players signed. But let's backtrack just a little bit, as prior to camp and on top of the rookies we drafted, we signed a bunch of free agents.

Most prominent is QB Billy Russell, the 2103 and 2104 Offensive Player of the Year and 2104 League MVP. Russell is 34 years old and should be considered an improvement over QB Evan Drake. It paves the way to release Drake at mid-pre-season, if nothing weird happens. We're $1.6M under the cap right now and releasing Drake would improve it to almost $28M under the cap, which would be sufficient to lock up some starters in the last year of contract. It also creates an interesting battle between Russell and 2nd-year QB Harrison Singleton for the starting gig.

36-year old CB Norbert Goldfarb was signed to become our secondary leader and will improve the special teams unit.

DT Mitch Potchynok signed a new 3-year deal with us.

We signed 6 undrafted rookies: WR Kai Cote, G Mark Arce, LB Raymond Barber, LB Shawntae Ondes, LB Julio Pochman and CB Bryan Sokol. Sokol was position switched from S to CB, Pochman from ILB to OLB.

Undrafted rookies LB Raymond Barber and LB Shawntae Ondes were released after training camp, as were 4 of the post-season future contract signings RB Malachi Byerly, WR Perry Madison, LT Mason Erickson and DE Zachary Abueva, as well as 7th round pick RB Mo Ellison.

Veteran DE Robbie Dobreski has announced holding out for an improved contract. He wants roughly $2.6M more in cap figure. His demands are reasonable, but we'll wait until after the first two pre-season games to see if we have the cap space available and to see whether he's still worth the salary increase.

We did say bye to TE Wesley Keener, TE Ty Rumans, G Nathaniel Robbins and CB Sherman Barnes as we didn't offer these free agents a new contract. None of them signed elsewhere for training camp. Keener and Rumans remain to be interesting prospects for the 4th tight end roster spot, as we failed to address that in the off-season.


Finally, the announced quick training camp report on which players made the most progress: DE Frank Bernard and DT Efrain Hutchins both went +9 on the 1-100 scale, which is phenomenal. Others with good progress were 2nd year QB Harrison Singleton (+4), rookie WR Jessie Vertelney (+5), 2nd year C Roman Gillespie (+5), undrafted rookie G Marc Arce (+4), 2nd year LT Earl McBirney (+5), rookie DE Steve Aber (+5), rookie DT Leslie Jeffries (+5), rookie LB Xavier Hoover (+4), 2nd year LB Caiden Hastings (+6), undrafted LB Julio Pochman (+5), 5th year CB Denis Finley (+4), undrafted rookie CB Skip Horner (+4) and undrafted rookie CB Byron Sokol (+10). The latter isn't a fair measure, as this also includes the results of the position switch, hence, we don't really know his exact progress.

All in all, a good training camp.
__________________
* 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 : 09-13-2022 at 04:30 PM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2022, 02:20 PM   #720
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Pre-season giveth and taketh away
The 2109 edition!

It was evitable, pre-season will always come around and throw the plans into a wrinkle of sorts. Or help determine the final decisions on which 53 players will make the roster for the new season. Let's go through the team position group at a time, or maybe a bit more compressed, with our focus on the most important position in football.

Quarterbacks
Okay, we went into pre-season with 4 names, 3 of which could be considered legitimate starters and one guy that I'm not even sure I want to spend an active roster spot on as our kick holder, despite that Drake Bishop (25/25) still is one of the top5 in business. And a mentor for our youngest member of the group. Harrison Singleton (20/45) is our project guy, but he was also our lucky charm last season, basically we went 6-2 with him under center. The verdict isn't out yet, Two-time league MVP QB Billy Russell (30/30) is the new guy in the city, but didn't overwhelm with awesome play in pre-season. Initially Singelton outplayed Russell in the first two pre-season games, but in the back end of things, Singleton struggled and Russell shone. This could end up being a game day decision, as I haven't taken the time to analyse the situation just yet. One decision was made already: Evan Drake (35/35) has been released. I lost all hope that he would return to his pre 2108 form.

Evan Drake was initially drafted by the Arizona Miners in 2094 in the second round. After starting 12 games in his rookie season, he was demoted the season after and in the 2096 off-season traded to the Colorado Cutthroats. Immediately he guided them into the playoffs, even to a conference final in 2098, but after 8 seasons starting there, he fell out of favor. In came the Maassluis Merchantmen (yay!) and after a career high 4,416-yard season, the longest playoffs drought in team history ended. Drake remained to be the undisputed starter in Maassluis for 3 more seasons, but last season he fell out of favor as the Merchantmen went 2-6 with Drake leading the team. Drake was unamused, decided he was no longer willing to talk about a new contract in Maassluis and the release was there. It cleared enough cap space to extend a dozen contracts and still see the Merchantmen go into the new season with far too much cap space than is competitively affordable (every dollar not spent this season is a dollar unavailable to be spent in the next season).

The skill positon group
It can't have flown over without noticing, we grabbed the top kid in this draft. WR Jessie Vertelney (65/75) is already on par with our reigning star WR Calvin Maxwell (65/65), which should make for a solid duo. Maxwell will be the WR1 for now. WR Preston Gray (45/45) is a very welcome WR3, being our leading route runner until mid-season when I fully expect Vertelney to have surpassed Gray. Second-year WR Jaylen Gearhart (35/45) will be our WR4, but I'm convinced we can move all these guys up a slot once Maxwell calls it a game. TE Garrett Alcala (45/45) has declined a bit more, but will remain in rotation, just like TE Wesley Martin (35/35). Our back field rotation will consist of our three guys from late last season: RB Bennett Holmes (40/40), RB Marcus Jorg (30/35) and RB Cary Delgado (35/40).
WR Rick Emerson (25/25) will mentor Vertelney and Gearhart. WR Kai Cote (30/40) is our typical promising special teamer. TE Darnell McKie (20/20) will be our TE3, TE Ty Rumans (20/30) our emergency TE. FB Randy Julian (40/40) our 2-back formation filler. Veteran RB Van Goodwin (15/15) will be another special teamer.

Offensive Line
This group is fine. Starters will be LT Earl McBirney (35/60), G Brett Stickney (70/70), C Zane Chaplain (60/60), G Andres Uwaezuoke (60/60) and RT Ivan Dole (75/75). McBirney hasn't continued the decline that we saw in his rookie season. LT Harold Gruenwalder (45/45) is a solid backup to McBirney. C Roman Gillespie (35/50) is solid enough to step in with injuries. G Tutan Shapiro (30/40) is a project, plain and simple.

K Oscar Harrington (90/90), P Jimmy Summers (65/65) and LS Bennett Brock[/b] (21/21) are a good group of special teamers.

Front Seven
The group of players that I will rotate here will be large. DE Frank Bernard (50/70), DT Efrain Hutchins (65/70) and LB Caiden Hastings (70/70) have grown into a solid trio going into their second season. With returning veterans LB Gus Coleman (75/75) and DT Gabriel Morris (60/60) there's a solid base. Around them will be the youngsters DE Howie Tucker (35/35), DT Leslie Jeffries (30/45), LB Xavier Hoover (35/50) and LB Avery Distel (35/35). The group will be completed with rookie DE Steve Aber (30/50), veteran DT Mitch Potchynok (40/40), elite special teamer LB Mack Pang (15/15) and veteran DE Dean Rosas (20/20).
Undrafted rookie LB Julio Pochman didn't make it, but I'd love to try to bring him back if the opportunity arises as he's a promising pass rusher and zone defender in one, a multi-talented front seven guy!

Secondary
Another group where we will rotate a bit, trying to optimize the guys' talents. CB Logan Wallace (40/40), CB Joel Delgado (45/45) and rookie CB Bryan Sokol (30/45) will be the man-to-man coverage guys. The zone defenders group has gotten bigger, with rookie CB Skip Horner (30/40), S John Aponte (40/40), S Craig Clancy (35/35) and S Jonathan White (35/35). CB Eduardo Cowdrick (40/40) and S Noah Matthews (40/40) will also see their fair share of action. CB Dennis Finlay (30/30) is nothing but our elite punt returner and CB Norbert Goldfarb (15/15) is our new group leader, mentor and solid special teamer.


That means we also released a couple of other players at mid-pre-season. This includes try-out loser TE Enrique Corbett, This 30-year old veteran lost the roster spot battle to Ty Rumans. But earlier on we released FB Kennedy Broady, G Mark Arce, WR Herman Jeffries, DE Robbie Dobreski, LB Mo Fausel and CB Wesley Cabrera.

Robbie Dobreski leaves Maassluis after 11 seasons, with 166 games played for us, including 2 in the playoffs. His regular season tally has added up to 65.0 sacks (8th all-time for us) and 130 hurries, amongst others.

Wesley Cabrera played 101 games for the Merchantmen, 2 in the playoffs, flipping around from just a special teamer to starter to a backup and what not.

Herman Jeffries is another elite special teamer, but his problem is the lack of receiving skills, which other backups/special teamers do have. He leaves us after 64 regular season games played.

Mo Fausel played 110 games for us, 2 in the playoffs, exclusively as a special teamer. He was already down the list last season, falling behind Pang and Distel, while youngsters Hastings and Hoover can also jump on.


We'll start the season at home against the Paris Musketeers. Their fans and ownership won't want to hear this, but on paper they are the easiest opponent we'll face this season. We might have to call ourselves lucky to face their #1 overall pick QB Ikie Eichorst in his first IHOF game. He's extremely green, but he looks very promising and could be the player to turn that franchise around. So yeah, playing against this kid in week 1 and 8 is more favorable than twice in the second half of the regular season. Still, it will make for a clash between the #1 and #2 picks of the recent draft.

So, to conclude, we got a but younger again, and we'll be having an interesting QB decision. I'm leaning towards Singleton, but it might end up being Russell... It doesn't matter much though, they're similar players, sort of... We'll see.
__________________
* 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 : 09-22-2022 at 04:19 PM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2022, 03:18 PM   #721
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2109 started well, too well...

We're 6 weeks into the 2109 regular season. It should come as no surprise that it means we played 5 games and had our open week already. Quite annoyingly the schedule makers gave us 4 home games so far, which is great for confidence if we take full advantage of the home field situation, but drop a game and we're playing catchup already.


Week 1 vs Paris: 40-6 win
A great start and yet a disappointing one as well. We were up so big at half time (31-3) that both head coaches decided that it was better to take the starting quarterbacks off the field. It took away a great opportunity for QB Harrison Singelton to yank up the numbers as he threw for 216 yards, 2 touchdowns (to WR Calvin Maxwell and RB Cary Delgado) and added 31 yards rushing with 1 touchdown. RB Marcus Jorg also ran for a touchdown. QB Billy Russell threw for 138 yards in the second half. WR Calvin Maxwell yanked up 164 yards receiving on top of his touchdown. The defense kept the Paris offense outside of our red zone all game long. We could have put a score out there for the ages, but contrary to unpopular belief, the Merchantmen show modesty and not run up the score.

Week 2 at Frederick: 27-20 win
A solid sound performance that saw the score closer than our domination was. A kickoff return touchdown for Frederick in the final minute of the first half kept them in the game. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 237 yards, 2 touchdowns (to WR Calvin Maxwell and TE Garrett Alcala), while RB Cary Delgado ran for our other touchdown.

Week 3 vs Augusta: 37-34 win
A big test against a solid team that should be considered to be playoffs bound. It went back and forth, complete with a late game 53-yard go ahead field goal, a last minute equalizing field goal and out own final minute of overtime game winning field goal. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 266 yards and 1 touchdown to rookie WR Jessie Vertelney. RB Marcus Jorg scored the other offensive touchdown, while RB Bennett Holmes ran for 127 yards. Rookie CB Byron Sokol scored a defensive touchdown.


Week 4 vs San Antonio, 34-27 loss
The team fell back to earth, sort of, as the defense in particular struggled, giving up 440 total yards and a final minute losing touchdown. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns (twice to WR Calvin Maxwell, once to TE Garrett Alcala). WR Calvin Maxwell had 125 yards receiving, RB Bennett Holmes 113 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Week 6 vs Atlanta, 19-17 loss
And then the team played very well, but the lucky dice all rolled against us. Rarely does a team give up 205 total yards, but lose. Kudos to the Vipers' defense for taking full advantage of our mistakes and their ability to force those mistakes. QB Harrison Singelton threw for 183 yards, while running for 70 yards and a touchdown. RB Marcus Jorg ran for our other touchdown.


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

We're actually sitting at the 2nd wild card slot, for now. The league is competitive, no team is unbeaten or winless. , but today's loss against Atlanta was the kind of loss that you just can't afford down the road of a full season, especially with half our home games already behind us. It would have been so much more comforting to sit at 4-1 and have the kind of record that fits with our performance on the field. But it is what it is. On to the next 11 games, one by one.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2022, 12:06 PM   #722
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Smooth sailing to the top?
At least the top of the division after 10 games.

We've gotten things back on track after the stellar 3-0 start to this season. We posted a triplet of road victories to today's crucial home game against the Gothenburg Giants, basically a must win game to keep our hopes alive for a division title.

Week 7 at Fort Wayne: 19-13 win
In a defensive struggle, our defense proved to be as good as they've been touted (by me), forcing the sole turnover of the game and a safety for intentional grounding. QB Harrison Singelton threw for 183 yards and a touchdown to WR Calvin Maxwell, while RB Cary Delgado contributed with a running touchdown.

Week 8 at Paris Musketeers: 48-14 win
We owned Paris. In week 1, last season, the season before, and I actually lost count on how long our active winning streak over them is (it turns out to be 13 straight now), causing the Paris owner to throw his arms up in the air and call us the "luckiest team ever". Maybe, but not in this game, where we beat the home team fair and square. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 194 yards and touchdowns to WR Calvin Maxwell and FB Randy Julian, while RB Marcus Jorg and Singelton himself contributed with running touchdowns. CB Joel Delgado and LB Gus Coleman contributed with interception return touchdowns.

Week 9 at Houston: 44-6 win
It's hard to explain how a game can be even in terms of production, yet one team ends up losing the ball on turnovers and the other ends up scoring points. It was 34-0 at half time in our favor and at that point the backups were already called upon to play out this game. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 129 yards and a touchdown to WR Calvin Maxwell, QB Billy Russel threw for 93 yards and a touchdown to TE Garrett Alcala, while RB Marucs Jorg ran for a touchdown. CB Joel Delgado and S Jonathan White scored on interception returns. It marked back-to-back games for Delgado.

Week 10 vs Bordeaux: 20-17 loss
Our homecoming after a splendid road series was a major disappointment. Despite having great field position all day long, the offense struggled to gain ground, especially our #1 ranked running game that was held to 61 yards, while a couple of kick/punt return fumbles nullified the turnover advantage that we had with 2 interceptions on defense. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 201 yards with a touchdown to TE Wesley Martin, while RB Bennett Holmes scored our other touchdown.

Week 11 vs Gothenburg: 46-29 win
At the end of the game, an eruption of joy was much warranted. After a closely contested first half, the offense got red hot in the second half, scoring 4 touchdowns after medium to long drives. QB Harrison Singelton took the offensive player of the week honors after throwing for 353 yards with touchdown passes to WR Jesse Vertelney (3 times), WR Preston Gray and TE Garrett Alcala. Vertelney had his biggest game of his short career so far as well, gaining 170 yards on 9 catches, while RB Bennett Holmes ran for 154 yards and a touchdown.

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

So yeah, we lead the division on this magnificent head-to-head win. And on top of the division and we're actually tied with two other 7-3 AOC division leaders at the top3 spots of the conference now. Strength of victory is currently the tie-breaker between Harlem, Tucker and Maassluis. We still have to visit Gothenburg in week 15, visit the defending league champions Chesapeake in week 14, amongst others. Our next game will be at Brooklyn, currently the #2 in the NAC, also sporting a 7-3 record and tie-breakers behind the #1 spot.

We'll be heavily tested from here on, we'll have to prove that we are rightfully the #1 scoring team, #6 scoring defense and top5 in both offensive and defensive yardage. All that complimented with a state of the art special teams unit. We can't start thinking about the playoffs quite yet, we're barely 2 wins ahead of the teams in pursuit of the wild cards, a game at a time is the only logical approach.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2022, 04:01 PM   #723
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: And then we missed the playoffs
Quite the letdown, to say the least...

Week 12 vs Brooklyn: 31-23 loss
It started as a shootout and shortly before half time we scored a late touchdown to trail 21-20. But the fair observation that we were one notch less impressive overall. Brooklyn gained 448 total yards without turnovers, that's hard to beat. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 243 yards with a touchdown to TE Garrett Alcala, while Singelton also scored our only ground game touchdown.

Week 13 at Harlem: 20-7 loss
The overall score makes you think we got manhandled, the reality was that we ran into the best team in the conference this season that was more capable of making something of their drives and proved to be a more elite defense. Our staff got really annoying here and took off QB Harrison Singelton way too soon. In return, QB Billy Russell threw for 153 yards and a touchdown to WR Preston Gray, while Singelton was held to 59 yards passing.

Week 14 at Chesapeake: 26-23 loss
Every season has a game or two where a team misses opportunities and ends up losing a close contest. This was one of those. The defending league champions sent it to overtime with 30 seconds to go and finished it in overtime with 33 seconds to go. QB Harrison Singelton threw for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns to rookie WR Jessie Vertelney.

Week 15 at Gothenburg: 34-9 loss
The only thing missing this season was a fair and square total beatdown as all but the loss at Harlem were would-have-could-have games. The Giants had a score to settle with us, apparently, and they broke our spirit and hopes to make the playoffs this season, clinching the division title in the process. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 134 yards and was pulled for the 4th time this season. QB Billy Russell threw for 62 yards as the replacement. RB Cary Delgado ran for our only touchdown.

Week 16 vs Williamsburg: 28-20 win
Mathematically still alive, we pulled one of those outplayed yet scoring more type of games, something we also hadn't endured this season. Field position ruled the day for us, as we scored 2 touchdowns shortly after interceptions in the opponents' red zone. QB Harrison Singelton threw for 156 yards with touchdowns to TE Garrett Alcala, WR Calvin Maxwell and WR Jessie Vertelney, his first perfect trio to his top 3 receivers. RB Cary Delgado scored a rushing touchdown.

Week 17 at Bordeaux: 30-10 win
Still mathematically alive, we had vengeance after the Vineyards beat us in our place earlier this season. The yardage figures suggest a close contest, but the reality is that 3 interceptions thrown by a quarterback under pressure can completely turn such a game into a blowout score. The pinnacle play was CB Eduardo Cowdrick's 99-yard interception return for a touchdown to put us 17-0 up late in the first half. RB Bennett Holmes ran for a touchdown, QB Harrison Singelton threw for 238 yards and a touchdown to WR Jessie Vertelney.

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

Paris 'earned' the #1 overall draft pick in 2110 with the worst record in the league. Gothenburg goes into the post season as the #2 seeds. And we failed, as there were 6 teams in the AOC with a 10-6 or better record, earning their spots in the post-season. We're in good company though, 3 more AOC hopefuls finished the season at 9-7, most shockingly the #10 'seeded' Augusta Greenjackets and their top scoring offense with 502 points scored and 365 allowed. We were the second team with a +100 points differential to miss the playoffs. League records show that it had happened 23 times before, most recently in 2091.


We played well and yet the season turned into a total letdown. 4th highest scoring team, 11th highest in least points allowed, but no playoffs.


QB Harrison Singelton finished the season with 3,230 yards passing (roughly 202 per game) and 25 touchdowns versus 6 interceptions, the 2nd lowest amongst all starting quarterbacks, crucial in making him rank 6th in passer rating. QB Billy Russell threw for 2 touchdowns.

RB Bennett Holmes ran for 924 yards with 5.08 per carry and 4 touchdowns. QB Singleton ran for a league best 5.71 yards per carry, gaining 640 yards and scoring 4 touchdowns. RB Cary Delgado ran for 4 touchdowns, but RB Marcus Jorg topped the team with 5 rushing touchdowns.

WR Calvin Maxwell had 72 receptions for 1,035 yards and 8 touchdowns. He returned to the 1,000-yard club after a down season. TE Garrett Alcala had 95 receptions for 900 yards and 6 touchdowns. WR Jessie Vertelney ended up with 60 receptions for 886 yards and 8 touchdowns. Other receiving touchdowns were scored by WR Preston Gray (2), TE Wesley Martin, FB Randy Julian and RB Cary Delgado.

G Andres Uwaezuoke led the team with 32 key run blocks, followed by G Brett Stickney (28), C Zane Chaplain (24) and RT Ivan Dole (21). Our LT Earl McBirney allowed only 3 sacks in 574 pass plays.

We finished the season as the #1 defense in interceptions. LB Gus Coleman and CB Joel Delgado co-lead the team with 4 each. S John Aponte had 3. CB Eduardo Cowdrick, S Johnatan White, CB Skip Horner and CB Byron Sokol had 2 each. CB Logan Wallace, S Craig Clancy, LB Caiden Hastings and S Noah Matthews were in the letdown group with just 1 pick each. LB Gus Coleman tied for 3rd in the league with 118 tackles, LB Caiden Hastings was also above 100 tackles. Our pass rush was extremely disappointing, we were just 31st in sacks (both gross and average numbers). LB Avery Distel lead the team with 6.5, whilst playing out of the RDE slot on our passing downs packages.

We finished the season without punt return or kickoff return touchdowns, our punt returner CB Dennis Finley finished the season with a mediocre 12.5 per punt return. our kickoff returner WR Calvin Maxwell lead all 'qualifiers' with a 29.8 average. WR Calvin Maxwell lead the team with 3 forced fumbles, all earned on special teams plays. He did have to share that 'lead' with LB Gus Coleman, our leading tackler.


Bla, individual stats, bla. It's meaningful to determine where we stand, but in the end the 9 wins and 7 losses are the crucial numbers that really count. The season ended ater week 17. That's all that matters now. We're shifting our focus to 2110.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2022, 10:39 AM   #724
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2109 Awards and 2110 start of the off-season
Let's build on what we did well last season!

The story of 2109 ends with some individual accolades for some of our players that put up statistics that were considered amongst the best of the best at their respective positions. QB Harrison Singelton, TE Garrett Alcala and LB Gus Coleman were picked as Solecismic All-IHOF Second Teamers. Coleman and Alcala had the gross production that made it quite obvious they would be considered for such honors, but Singleton was a surprise to me, despite his awesome touchdown to interception ratio and his league best yards per carry average amongst players with 100+ carries. It marks the first time in 106 seasons of the Merchantmen that a quarterback was selected as All-IHOF. In that regard, Singelton already achieved more than the handful of Hall of Famers and others.

Very good news came from WR Rick Emerson, he's been cleared from tobacco withdrawal system. We hope he can prove in camp and pre-season he's still a valuable member to the team.

We do go into the season down two players. CB Norbert Goldfarb was signed last off-season as a veteran to bolster our special teams unit, but in the end I never activated him at all last season, which means he was just around to keep things quiet in the locker room amongst our secondary guys. That's too bad, because our special teams unit clearly was on a down season after a couple of best of the best seasons.

RB Van Goodwin retires after 7 seasons on team, in which he played 128 regular season games and in both playoffs games in 2104.The former undrafted rookie signing struggled early in his career as a rusher. In 2102 we kept him exclusive on special teams, a unit he was a valuable member of throughout. In his second and third season he was part of our rotation, sharing carries with RB Bennett Holmes, being our third downs back. Then after 2 seasons of being left off the offensive side of the ball, we brought him back into that role in 2107 and 2108, which turned into his most impressive seasons. Last season he went back to just special teams and notified the team of his retirement from football. Good luck, Van.

And that brings us into the start of the 2110 off-season. We're currently at just 42 players signed while being $64 million over the cap. It will be a challenge once again, but I think we'll manage to get under without sacrificing many if any players. We will want to shave a bit more off than the value of the seven draft picks and the additional 2 players that will count towards the cap. It would be wise to save a bit more than that, as 14 players will see their contracts run out after next season, not counting QB Billy Russell, as he's demanding to get traded and will surely not extend with us. And on top of that, after QB Harrison Singelton's awesome season, it might be the right time to extend his contract with 2 remaining seasons to a new 5-year deal whilst his contract demands are still very manageable: he's seeking roughly $15M per year, including the left over signing bonus from his rookie contract.

Our list of free agents sees 10 names on it. TE Ty Rumans, WR Kai Cote, C Roman Gillespie, DE Howie Tucker, LB Julio Pochman, CB Skip Horner and CB Byron Sokol are restricted free agents. So, we also have 3 unrestricted free agents. TE Darnell McKie shouldn't be interesting to the other 31 teams in the league, but worth keeping for us as a cohesion booster. LB Mack Pang continues to be an elite special teamer. CB Dennis Finley was the best punt returner in football for a while, but made a leap back last season. Still, it's regrettable that our contract extension offers never reached their player agents shortly before week 1.

That's about where we stand for the moment. It's time to start making our spreadsheet for the draft that has pretty much started...
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2022, 01:33 PM   #725
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: the forgotten faces?

Previously I mentioned the retirement of 2 players that were still on our team in the 2109 season, but several long-time members of past seasons also announced their retirement from football.

QB Evan Drake
It's undeniable: Evan Drake retired as a league champion. Picked in the second round of the 2094 draft, he was destined to be the Arizona Miners franchise quarterback. Except their ownership gave up on him after just 2 seasons of not really getting a fair chance to prove himself. The Colorado Cutthroats had no doubt and in 2096 Drake guided his new team into the playoffs. In 2098 the Cutthroats stranded in the NAC Conference game.

Despite a 4,000-yard seasons, he fell out of favor in the 2104 off-season and the Maassluis Merchantmen swooped him up. Drake lead the Merchantmen to the end of a playoffs drought, making the Merchantmen division champions in 2104 and victory in the wild card round. Drake remained the undisputed starter in Maassluis, until 2108 second round pick Harrison Singelton stepped in during for the injured Drake early in the season and took the starting role from Drake late in the season. Fallen out of favor, Drake wanted to leave Maassluis in 2109 and it took until the playoffs for him to finally get picked up again. The Brooklyn Fightin' Bums needed a backup quarterback and by virtue of having seen the field as a kick holder, Drake earned a championship ring as the Fightin' Bums won their first ever IHOF Bowl.

Drake retired with passing figures of 48,571 yards, 281 touchdowns and 215 interceptions in 208 regular season games. These kind of career figures are usually sufficient to get enshrined into the Solecismic Hall of Fame. For the Maassluis Merchantmen Drake ranks 9th in passing yards and passing touchdowns in 69 regular season games.


DE Robbie Dobreski
Picked in the third round of the 2098 draft, the Merchantmen felt that Dobreski should prove his pass rush skills from day one. He wasn't quite ready, but his playing time seriously increased in his third season on the team. In 2101 Dobreski made 10.5 sacks and in 2106 he topped that figure with 11.5 sacks. Caught in a rotation system, these were quite impressive figures. After 10 seasons on the rotation and 65.0 sacks later, Dobreski was out of shape in the 2109 off-season and failed to make the regular season roster. No other team showed interest and he retired with 164 regular season games and 2 playoffs games, all for the Merchantmen.


CB Wesley Cabrera
One of many members of the class of 2102, a 3rd round pick even, Cabrera never proved to be a true starter, but season after season kept making the team as the nth cornerback on the team. In the 2109 off-season, he finally fell out of favor and was released. Unable to find a new team, Cabrera retired this off-season, showing 101 games played for the Merchantmen (including 2 in the 2104 playoffs).

LB Mo Fausel
Whether Fausel is a member of the class of 2102 is disputable, as he was an undrafted rookie. But his role was never disputed, from day one he was a member of the special teams unit, racking up to 110 games played for the Merchantmen in that role. The undisputedness ended in the 2109 off-season as Fausel was no longer considered one of the best special teamers on the roster. No other team wanted to boost their special teams unit and Fausel retired this off-season.



But enough about the past now, we just finished the 2110 draft?
With some limited wheeling and dealing, we ended up swapping our 2nd and 6th round picks for future picks, picking up an additional 7th round pick in the process. Here's our sextet of picks, not counting the undrafted rookies that we haven't quite signed yet.

1.18 TE Ben Gordon
Scouting reports told us he's a fantastic receiver in potential. He fills a soon-to-be need as TE Garrett Alcala is getting up there in age and has been losing quite some of his speed and stuff. Hopefully he can adapt to leaving Texas...


3.20 P Sergio Scott
Yup, it was bound to happen at some point. Jimmy Summers is on the decline and has a moron as an agent requesting way more money that Summers deserves for his ability. Training camp and pre-season are still to come, but Scott is the favorite to win this role in 2110.

4.19 RB Richard Ragley
Anticipating the departure of punt return specialist CB Dennis Finley, we interviewed several promising return specialists this draft. Ragley impressed our staff members and we're hoping to have a guy here that can also return kickoffs. His route running and hole recognition are interesting enough to see whether he can join the rotation.

5.18 LB Bobby Diaz
A special teamer, with pass defense skills and some run defense ability. He'll have a chance to make the roster.

7.9 DT Trey Woods
A special teamer with pass rush technique. We were in search for somebody in the rotation after we released DE Dean Rosas a couple of days ago.

7.20 LS Joshua Harvey
Maybe we stick with our veteran LS Bennett Brock. Or maybe we switch to this 11.5 years younger alternative. We'll see after camp. Or pre-season.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2022, 06:24 PM   #726
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2110 training camp roster set
Just a bit of name dropping...

We're heading into training camp with 65 players on roster. Or a bit more if we want to sing a guy or 5 at the eleventh hour. Here's the bunch that we picked up, mostly undrafted rookie free agents, with the exception of the first two names.

DE Zachery Abvueva
A familiar face in Maassluis, we picked him up as an undrafted rookie in 2108, switched him from tackle to end. He went through the motions, getting cut by us at mid-pre-season in 2108 and again in 2109 as we re-signed him in the 2108 post-season and 2109 off-season. In 2109 the Kansas Creationists picked him up from the scrapheap and actually let him play a little bit in 5 games. He's still lacking run defense ability, has pass rush technique, no endurance, but can be a punishing hitter on special teams.

S Dan Peterson
A third-year pro, picked up by the Fort Wayne Fury as undrafted rookie in 2108. Played in 14 games for them that season, but was a pre-season casualty in 2109. The Rochester Razorbacks signed him just in time for week 1 action, but was mostly misplaced as a special teamer. He's an excellent zone defender, with run defense potential and the skills to force turnovers. Yes, he's only 5'7, but he will get a chance in pre-season with us, I suspect.

And now for the undrafted rookie signees: RB Marquis Ballard, RB Jonah Underhill, FB Cary Farmer, FB Kenneth Holse, CB Dalton Benton and S Lester Singleton. Most of them will need to show good progress in training camp to make the pre-season roster and then some more to have a tiny chance to make the final list of 53. Ballard will need to show he can play on our special teams unit and has the hole recognition to step in as an emergency runner. Underhill looks to have a neat combo of breakaway speed and hole recognition. Holse or Farmer has a shot to make the team as a special teamer. Benton is a man-to-man defender with interception skills, Singleton has the later with zone defense experience. All six are longshots, but you can never fully predict what will happen...
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2022, 03:22 PM   #727
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: The battle for the roster spots 2110

Okay, let's dig a little bit into the roster building plan that's going on in Maassluis, because throwing names out there is one thing, but why would player X, Y or Z have a good or slim chance to make the team?

Let's break the roster down into the 53 spots available.

Ideally, I want to have 1 spare player for every mandatory minimum, except the three special teams positions (punter, kicker and long snapper). That means:
3 quarterbacks
3 running backs and fullbacks, 4 tight ends, 5 wide receivers
2 centers, 3 guards, 3 tackles
1 punter, 1 kicker
6 defensive ends and tackles, 6 linebackers
8 cornerbacks and safeties
1 long snapper

That's 46 already, but there's more to add here. Some of these numbers are just there as an insurance for injuries, most notably the QB3, TE4 and the 8th OL players. These will hopefully remain inactive all season and should have at least something going for them to deserve sticking around as well.

Due to the (lack of) endurance in a lot of defensive positions, but also at running back, it's preferrable to have a little bit more around (like 3 RB and 1 FB at minimum, 7 DE+DT). Not to mention that for many position groups you must have special teamers (2 RB/FB, 1 TE, 2 WR, 3 LB, 4 CB/S), which means some of these will tak away from the active roster spots available for the slotting of skill players and the defensive players. It gives some leeway to stick around a handful (at most) spots to play around with.

In recent seasons I signed a CB/S exclusively to break a lockerroom conflict. A mentor could also be used as an inactive player, but ideally that mentor does also have at least some skills (like being a special teamer). And last, but not least, for a special teams unit to really excel, having a decent return specialist is also required. Sometimes if they have the endurance to cope with it, they can be key players like your starting WR (kick returner Calvin Maxwell), but sometimes they are void of other skills (CB Dennis Finlay our current punt returner).

All these factor make it that there's no clearcut formula, but when you glance over the rosters of the Merchantmen in recent seasons, you'll notice that all of the above will hold up. Every now or then I end up playing russian roulette with 3 TE or 5 LB, which usually comes back to bite you before week 10 and force to cut the 53rd player, or place somebody on IR that is expected to return in just 3 or 4 weeks.

But just for the sake of it, let's go over how the 53 roster spots for 2110 could potentially breakdown:
QB1 - Harrison Singleton
QB2 - Billy Russell
QB3 - Drake Bishop
RB1 - Bennett Holmes
RB2 - Marcus Jorg / Jonah Underhill
RB3 - Cary Delgado
RB/ST - RB Marquis Ballard / FB Kenneth Holse
FB/ST - Randy Julian / Cary Farmer
TE1 - Ben Gordon
TE2 - Garratt Alcala
TE3/ST - Wesley Martin
TE4 - Darnell McKie / Ty Rumans
WR1 - Jessie Vertelney
WR2 - Calvin Maxwell
WR3 - Preston Gray
WR4 - Jaylen Gearhart
WR5/ST - Kai Cote
WR6/ST - Rick Emerson
C1 - Zane Chaplain
C2 - Roman Gillespie
G1 - Brett Stickney
G2 - Andres Uwaezuoka
G3 - Tutan Shapiro
LT1 - Earl McBirney
LT2 - Harold Gruenwalder
OT3 - Ivan Dole
P - Sergio Scott / Jimmy Summers
K - Oscar Harrington
DE1 - Frank Bernard
DE2 - Howie Tucker
DE3 - Steve Aber / Zachery Abueva
DT1 - Efrain Hutchins
DT2 - Gabriel Morris
DT3 - Trey Woods
DL7 - Mitch Pitchynok
DL8/pass rush LB - DT Leslie Jeffries / LB Julio Pochman
LB1 - Gus Coleman
LB2 - Caiden Hastings
LB3 - Xavier Hoover
LB4/ST - Avery Distel
LB5/ST - Mack Pang
LB6/ST - Bobby Diaz
CB1/m2m/BnR - Joel Delgado
CB2/m2m/BnR - Byron Sokol
CB3/run/m2m - Logan Wallace / Dalton Benton
CB4/zone - Skip Horner
S1 - John Aponte
S2 - Craig Clancy
S3 - Noah Matthews
CB/S8/zone - Jonathan White
CB/S9/zone - CB Eduardo Cowdrick / S Dan Peterson / S Lester Singleton
PR - CB Dennis Finlay / RB Richard Ragley
LS - Bennett Brock / Joshua Harvey

Well, how about that. They only spots I'm not 100% on are whether we really need 8 DL and 6 LB, whether we need 6 WR and whether we need 5 RB/FB, but that's basically having filled 50 slots and those last 3 are basically special teamers that may or may not be active if there's a reasonable alternative available amongst the other guys in the rotation. There's apparently not that much unknown in my mind and it also means every one of those rookies will really need to make an impression in training camp to even ear 1 of the 60 pre-season roster spots.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2022, 04:38 PM   #728
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 5 down, 7 to go
Today we announced the release of 5 undrafted rookies. RB Marquis Ballard, RB Jonah Underhill, FB Clay Farmer, CB Dalton Benton and S Lester Singelton won't make our pre-season squad. In particular Benton and Lester Singleton are stuck in a group that was hard. Both have very good interception skills and the potential to be useful coverage guys (Benton in man-to-man and Lester Singelton in zone defense), but more importantly, both were amongst the 13 players that made good progress in training camp.

So, who were the 11 other players with good progress?

QB Harrison Singleton should come as no surprise, he's still roughly 30/45 by our staff, so there's quite the room for improvement. Rookie first round pick TE Ted Gordon has the looks of being 40/65ish. Backup C Roman Gillespie improved to 45/50. Our starting LT Earl McBirney is still not yet fully developed and grew to 50/60. DE Steve Aber improved to 35/50, DE Frank Bernard to 70/70, DT Leslie Jeffries to 35/45, LB Xavier Hoover to 45/45 (and I suspect he might have some additional progress in him), LB Julio Pochman is now 25/35, CB Skip Horner is 35/35 and free agent signing S Dan Peterson went up to 45/50. Gillespie, Aber and Peterson made the biggest leaps forward. Which is still no guarantee for the last two to make the team. But, that's something to re-examine after our first pre-season game, when the whole world could be so much different...
__________________
* 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 : 10-25-2022 at 04:38 PM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2022, 03:19 PM   #729
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 8 down, 1 to go
Wait, what?

In our roster trimming down from 60 players to 53 players, the first big step has been made. We released 8 players, and signed 2 new players.

The release of 7th round picks LS Joshua Harvey and DT Trey Woods was harsh, but not unexpected given the presence of better veterans on roster. They might get back into the picture come post-season time, if we're not participating in the IHOF Bowl and if they haven't found a new home in between.

The release of TE Ty Rumans and LB Julio Pochman has been the results of picking rookies TE Ted Gordon and LB Bobby Diaz. It happens in the numbers game. But harder was the decision to release 3 long time members, all cornerbacks.

CB Eduardo Cowdrick was a 6th round pick in the mega 2102 draft class. He was never a starter, yet always in the CB3 or CB4 role and often joined the special teams unit. He's been active in 124 regular season games and the pair of 2104 playoffs games.

CB Logan Wallace was a 2nd round pick in the 2102 draft for us. For 7 straight seasons he was the undisputed shutdown corner for our team. But his skills were receding and as a result the stay in Maassluis ends after 122 regular season games and the obvious pair in the 2104 playoffs.

CB Dennis Finley's stay in Maassluis ends after 5 seasons. The late 7th round pick in 2105, he sat out his rookie season and then in 2106 became a sensation as the league's best punt returner. After 3 seasons lonely at the top, he had clearly lost some of his speed last season and now we've decided to look elsewhere in a position battle. Finley's journey with us ends after 64 regular season games.

RB Richard Ragley was drafted in the 4th round this off-season to replace Finley, but he showed far too little progress to unseat Finley. In both cases, we made the release after we signed a veteran at the same position with a reputation of being a top of the league punt returner. CB Will Warrick and RB Darnell Greenham both have a history in Toronto, where Greenham took over Warrick's role as the team's punt returner in 2108. Greenham also has a history in the European division, with stints in Paris and Gothenburg.

We've also started the negotiations with QB Harrison Singelton. Apparently we lowballed a bit too much on our first attempt, hence, we'll go for another shot at it. He's seeking a $120M 5-year deal, while being on the third year of his4-year rookie contract. We're trying to find a construction that makes him not too expensive this season and also a cap out candidate in the next 3 seasons, in case he's going to discover that he's a perennial All-IHOF candidate and starts asking for $75M per season, instead of his current $24M per year suggestion.

Aside from the released veterans, RB Bennett Holmes looks like the biggest casualty of the changes of time. I'm likely going to stick with him in a rotation with Marcus Jorg and Cary Delgado, but he's also less likely to be a special teams candidate. Which could pave the way for the FB duo of Randy Julian and rookie Kenneth Holse to both make the team and active 46-men roster. Rookie P Sergio Scott was unimpressive and we'll have to evaluate what to do between him and mentor P Jimmy Summers, the latter does look like the better option. With 54 players signed, that means even QB Billy Russell is likely to be save, despite his own drop in ability and desire to get traded. We've had some interest for him, but that has faded away.

Pre-season re-evaluation wasn't bad on all players. Rookie LB Bobby Diaz made good progress and looks like a viable passing downs option and a special teams option as well. But Diaz was the lone bright light in that regard. Well, that and we won both pre-season games, for whatever that will prove to be worth...
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2022, 03:27 PM   #730
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: The battle for the roster spots 2110, update

Previously I posted a possible roster breakdown, let's revisit this with some of the changes we made:
QB1 - Harrison Singleton
QB2 - Billy Russell
QB3 - Drake Bishop
RB1 - Bennett Holmes
RB2 - Marcus Jorg - Jonah Underhill was released
RB3 - Cary Delgado
RB/ST - FB Kenneth Holse - RB Marquis Ballard was released
FB/ST - Randy Julian - Cary Farmer was released
TE1 - Ben Gordon
TE2 - Garratt Alcala
TE3/ST - Wesley Martin
TE4 - Darnell McKie - Ty Rumans was released
WR1 - Jessie Vertelney
WR2 - Calvin Maxwell
WR3 - Preston Gray
WR4 - Jaylen Gearhart
WR5/ST - Kai Cote
WR6/ST - Rick Emerson
C1 - Zane Chaplain
C2 - Roman Gillespie
G1 - Brett Stickney
G2 - Andres Uwaezuoka
G3 - Tutan Shapiro
LT1 - Earl McBirney
LT2 - Harold Gruenwalder
OT3 - Ivan Dole
P - Sergio Scott / Jimmy Summers
K - Oscar Harrington
DE1 - Frank Bernard
DE2 - Howie Tucker
DE3 - Steve Aber - Zachery Abueva still on roster
DT1 - Efrain Hutchins
DT2 - Gabriel Morris
DL6 - Zachery Abueva - Trey Woods was released
DL7 - Mitch Pitchynok
DL8/pass rush LB - DT Leslie Jeffries - LB Julio Pochman was released
LB1 - Gus Coleman
LB2 - Caiden Hastings
LB3 - Xavier Hoover
LB4/ST - Avery Distel
LB5/ST - Mack Pang
LB6/ST - Bobby Diaz
CB1/m2m/BnR - Joel Delgado
CB2/m2m/BnR - Byron Sokol
CB3/run/m2m - vacancy? Logan Wallace and Dalton Benton were released
CB4/zone - Skip Horner
S1 - John Aponte
S2 - Craig Clancy
S3 - Noah Matthews
CB/S8/zone - Jonathan White
CB/S9/zone - S Dan Peterson CB Eduardo Cowdrick and S Lester Singleton were released
PR - CB Will Warrick / RB Darnell Greenham - CB Dennis Finlay and RB Richard Ragley were released
LS - Bennett Brock - Joshua Harvey was released

So, we're down to 2 positional battles and a vacancy at the cornerback position. There was also a bit of a shuffle on the D-Line, but all things considered, most of what happened was according to the mock up.
__________________
* 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 : 10-29-2022 at 04:16 PM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2022, 04:16 PM   #731
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Last cut made, no rookie punter in 2110

It was a tough but at the same time not a very hard decision: we released 3rd round rookie P Sergio Scott. His progress in training camp and pre-season were just not enough to warrant releasing veteran P Jimmy Summers. Granted, I had a couple of other options, like releasing one of the punt return tryout candidates or trading QB Billy Russell. Actually, one of those could still happen. Or both even...
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2022, 04:15 PM   #732
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: When the quarterback gets pulled...

I'm disappointed in my staff. Today, for the 6th time in 24 starts, my staff members decided to pull our starting quarterback Harrison Singleton early in the third quarter. Apparently they are too confident or insecure when there's a lead or deficit of 3 or more touchdowns. I tried to show them game film of the worst choke in Merchantmen history, when we pissed away a 21-point lead in the last 9 minutes of a game in Gothenburg. I'll write about the game later on, but for now, I have to get this off my system. It's unprecedented in the long history of the Maassluis Merchantmen to see our quarterback get pulled, let alone in 1/4th of his starts. Staff, please stop!

And then... I find out I actually sent them a note at some unknown moment in the past, telling them that replacing the starter is a great idea. I just forgot that I never told them to revert back to the most logical thing to do: stick with the starter as long as possible...
__________________
* 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 : 10-31-2022 at 05:02 PM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2022, 04:44 PM   #733
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: The 53 for the 2110 season

Pre-season is over, our 53 names for the 2110 season are now known.

The quarterbacks
30/45 QB Harrison Singleton - our quarterback
25/25 QB Billy Russell - our backup quarterback
20/20 QB Drake Bishop - our emergency mentor kick holder

The backfield
30/30 RB Bennett Holmes - the main ball carrier
35/35 RB Marcus Jorg - the change of pace back
40/40 RB Cary Delgado - the pounder of the backfield
25/25 RB Darnell Greenham - new! - the backup punt returner
30/30 FB Randy Julian - the extra run blocker
25/45 FB Kenneth Holse - rookie - special teamer

The tight ends
40/60 TE Ben Gordon - rookie - the project
45/45 TE Garrett Alcala - the safety net in the passing game
30/30 TE Wesley Martin - the mentor and key blocker
20/20 TE Darnell McKie - living proof we can win playoffs games

the prima donnas
75/75 WR Jessie Vertelney - our playmaker
60/60 WR Calvin Maxwell - the legend, ready to play WR2
45/45 WR Preston Gray - the WR3 that can get open and won't drop it
35/45 WR Jaylen Gearhart - the gazelle
35/40 WR Kai Cote - the other gazelle
20/20 WR Rick Emerson - the mentor

the offensive linemen
60/60 C Zane Chaplain - the man in the middle
45/55 C Roman Gillespie - starting caliber interior lineman, stuck on the bench
65/65 G Brett Stickney - the do it all on the line
60/60 G Andres Uwaezuoke - the run blocking guard
30/45 G Tutan Shapiro - the man with the muscles, but not ready to play
75/75 RT Ivan Dole - our run blocking anchor
50/60 LT Earl McBirney - our left tackle, blindside protector
45/45 LT Harold Gruenwalder - the backup and mentor of McBirney

The defensive linemen
70/70 DE Frank Bernard - complete, elite, ready to run havoc
35/35 DE Howie Tucker - the pass rusher
35/50 DE Steve Aber - the project pass rusher
30/30 DE Zachary Abueva - the backup pass rusher
70/70 DT Efrain Hutchins - the successor to the all-time greats
55/55 DT Gabriel Morris - declining, still an excellent run stuffer
30/30 DT Mitch Potchynok - the big pass rusher up the middle
35/45 DT Leslie Jeffries - the extra run stuffer

The linebackers
75/75 LB Gus Coleman - the monster linebacker
65/65 LB Caiden Hastings - the running downs monster
50/50 LB Xavier Hoover - the running downs LB3
30/40 LB Bobby Diaz - rookie - the project, quality ass defender, special teamer
35/35 LB Avery Distel - will play on the D-Line as a pass rusher
15/15 LB Mack Pang - the special teams hero

The secondary
45/45 CB Joel Delgado - the shutdown corner?
35/45 CB Byron Sokol - the shutdown project
20/20 CB Will Warrick - new - the punt returner and backup corner
35/35 CB Skip Horner - our nickelback
45/45 S Dan Peterson - new - our new running downs safety
35/35 S Craig Clancy - the elite zone defender
35/35 S John Aponte - the other elite zonde defender
45/45 S Noah Matthews - the interceptions booster
35/35 S Johnatan White - we have too many zone defenders

The special teams specialists
65/65 P Jimmy Summers - better than the rookie we cut
90/90 K Oscar Harrington - best in the game
20/20 LS Bennett Brock - because we require one, he's great at it though

I feel good and confident about this group. Singelton was a reliable quarterback last season, while Russell now has the second season boost in case we're stuck with him. With Vertelney, Maxwell, Gray, Gordon and Alcala, we have a quintet that can compete. The O-line is solid and the same bunch for the 3rd season straight. The backfield the same 3 guys in rotation, with Singelton as the dual treat guy.

The defense is mostly the same bunch, with Bernard, Hutchins, Hastings and Hoover ready to show they are the sidekicks Coleman and Morris were waiting for. The secondary is good enough to defend the pass, they are the elite of the league with 50 interceptions in the last 2 seasons combined. And the special teams unit is really something special, arguably the best one in the league.

Yes, we've shown quite some flaws last season, but the core of a winning team was there and with another season of experience in the bag, this team should be ready to prove the world they're ready to make the playoffs and not just to participate in the post-season, but actually make something happen.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2022, 11:31 AM   #734
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2110, the first 6 weeks
With highs and lows and what not.

The 2110 season is in full swing. The Maassluis Merchantmen have played a tough stretch, with three on the road and with 4 of 5 opponents teams that had a winning record last season.

Week 1 at Gothenburg
No slow start to the 2110 season, the schedule makers decided to put the European Division blockbuster game as a season opener at the reigning European champions. It turned into a game of two tales, as Gothenburg rushed to a 27-6 lead at halftime. We decided to replace QB Harrison Singleton with QB Billy Russell and with the veteran under center, we rallied back to a 27-23 deficit. Then the Giants woke up again and built their lead back up into a solid victory. QB Singleton threw for 112 yards, QB Russell for 82 yards. Russell threw for the only Merchantmen touchdown of the game to WR Jessie Vertelney, who had 106 yards receiving. LB Gus Coleman made an interception and forced a fumble. DE Frank Bernard had 1.5 sacks.
Result: 23-37 loss


Week 2 at Hanalei
Hoping to bounce back as we were visiting the Dragons that went 6-10 last season, we were in for a disappointment. The big difference was made by the red zone efficiency (and 10 yards up to it), as Hanalei scored twice on 30-yard passes while we settled for a 30 and a bit field goals three times. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 250 yards. DE Howie Tucker had 1.5 sacks.
Result: 9-28 loss

Week 3 vs Atlanta
The best remedy to an 0-2 start is a sound victory in your first home game of the season. It started bad as although we stopped them on their first drive with an interception, QB Harrison Singleton replied it by throwing a pick six. From there on, the game was stingy, with a bunch of big plays turning into touchdowns. We had WR Calvin Maxwell score on a 90-yard kickoff return and CB Will Warrick on a 64-yard punt return, while the Vipers had a 94-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. We played out the final 5 minutes of the game with a rock solid drive that concluded in a victory clinching field goal. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 202 yards and a touchdown to rookie TE Ted Gordon. DT Efrain Hutchins had 1.5 sacks.
Result: 32-27 victory

week 4 bye
It never gets old, we had our bye week early in the season.
Result: Gothenburg won, Bordeaux lost

week 5 vs Tucker
And then the team as a collective got red hot. Not just a little bit, we made the undefeated Tigers look like they forgot how to play football. Despite their strong running game, they reverted to throwing the ball a lot, and I mean a whole lot. But in 67 passing plays, only 22 of them resulted in a completed pass, while our defense completely bullied them: 5 interceptions, 6 sacks, 14 more hurried or blocked passes and 10 passes defended. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 311 yards with touchdowns to WR Calvin Maxwell and WR Jessie Vertelney (114 yards receiving for the day). RB Bennett Holmes ran for 109 yards and shared the running touchdowns with QB Singleton and RB Marcus Jorg for 1 each. CB Joel Delgado and CB Byron Sokol scored an interception return touchdown late in the fourth quarter when the game was pretty much over already. LB Gus Coleman had 1 interception, 1 forced fumble and 2 defended passes. DE Frank Bernard had 3.0 sacks, DT Gabriel Morris 2.5 sacks. CB Skip Horner had 1 interception and 2 defended passes.
Result: 52-23 victory.

week 6 at Augusta
As to be expected after such a shockingly big win, we fell back to earth in the road game at the strong Greenjackets. In particular their offense is top notch and last season was quite a shocker they missed the playoffs (we beat them in our house in overtime). I'm tempted to say we had our chances, but at the same time, a couple of times we shook ourselves into sleep while owning their passing game (we held an elite QB to 150 yards passing) as two big runs for 72 and 80 yards jump out on the box score and explain the difference in total yardage. The rest of the game our defense held them to field goals, but as our offense struggled in return, we wasted our chances to kick for a game tier and later on forgot to attempt to throw into the end zone in the dying seconds. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 229 yards, with 1 touchdown pass to WR Calvin Maxwell. S Dan Peterson scored a touchdown on a long fumble return.
Result: 20-26 loss

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

Our next stop will be in Paris and we will hope to extend our I-lost-count-long winning streak against them. They were no match for us in either game last season, but they have already tied their win total of last season, eking out their three home games with two come back from behind wins and a very impressive beatdown of the Orlando Talons today. And the season won't get much easier after that. The week 17 home game against Paris could be the only one where we're legitimately huge favorites in any of those 11 remaining regular season games...
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2022, 06:26 AM   #735
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2011, the second six-week series

After our 2-3 start to the season, the middle 6 games of the regular season have been played. A series that included clashes with all 3 our division rivals, the second half of the intraconference series against the AOC Southeast division and an interconference home game against an NAC West opponent.

Week 7 at Paris
In terms of overall wins and losses, Paris is putting up a fight with us this season. Sending a strong message that we're still ahead was desirable and the team did, yet also learned that Paris wasn't going to let themselves pummeled anymore. Despite a 461 total yards performance, the offense struggled in the red zone as we settled for 3 short field goals. In return, the defense kept Paris in check after their first drive resulted in touchdown, as they didn't come any closer than a missed field goal. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 318 yards and a touchdown to WR Jessie Vertelney, who lead the team with 133 yards receiving. DE Frank Bernard had 2.0 sacks.
Result: 16-7 victory

Week 8 vs Snapfinger
And then we bounced back to earth again. In what felt like a trap game, that premonition delivered. Snapfinger's rookie QB Frank Leach had one of his best games so far, while our own offense struggled against the talented Snapfinger defense. We actually still lead by 6 points late in the fourth quarter, when Leach lead his team to their longest drive on the game, converting on a short touchdown run himself. We had a chance to turn it around, as on the final play of the game TE Ted Gordon broke free for a big gain, but as he failed to go out of bounds, time ran out when QB Harrison Singelton tried to spike the ball to stop the clock and give us a 45-yard field goal attempt. Singleton threw for just 172 yards, with 1 touchdown pass to WR Calvin Maxwell, who lead the team with 105 yards receiving. DE Frank Bernard and DT Efrain Hutchins had 1.5 sacks each.
Result: 16-17 loss

Week 9 vs Bordeaux
The team bounced back big time in the home game against Bordeaux. Our struggling division rivals picked off QB Harrison Singleton twice in the first quarter, but as they came away with 2 field goals from it, it became clear it wasn't going to be their day. Singleton threw for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns, all three to our current receiving phenomenon WR Jessie Vertelney. RB Bennett Holmes contributed with a rushing touchdown. DE Frank Bernard ran havoc on the opposing line once again, making 2.5 sacks.
Result: 37-12 victory

Week 10 at Orlando
And then we tripped another time over clock management. Despite the tough matchup, we found ourselves leading 16-10 going into the fourth quarter and still up 16-13 when we drained Orlando's time outs in the final minutes. But after their QB Conor Shea found his tight end wide open for a 37-yard gain, S John Aponte let our team down with unsportsmanship, resulting in a stopped clock and 15 more yards for Orlando. It gave them just enough time and distance to not just kick to send the game to overtime, but actually score a touchdown with 17 seconds remaining. Our Hail Mary attempt from our own 25-yard line failed and the game ended in a wasted opportunity to beat a wild card rival. QB Harrison Singelton was held to 175 yards passing. RB Bennett Holmes ran for our only touchdown of the game. DT Gabriel Morris forced 2 fumbles.
Result: 16-20 loss

Week 11 vs Gothenburg
And then the game of the season was here. In a sense that this would basically be our last chance to keep the visiting Giants from cakewalking to the division title. It turned out to be a fantastic game of football, with things going back and forth. We took an early 14-0 lead, struggled with turnovers, saw Gothenburg get by, while we did just enough to kick a field goal as the clock ran out for a 17-17 half time score.
Gothenburg dominated the third quarter, taking a 10-point lead, but in the fourth quarter the whole team stepped it up. First the defense forced three-and-out, followed by a punt returned to midfield. QB Harrison Singelton discovered TE Ted Gordon today, finding him twice to end the drive on a 16-yard touchdown. The defense then kept the Gothenburg quarterback in check for 3 straight incomplete passes and they panicked by punting from our 35-yard line, not feeling confident to attempt a 52-yard field goal.
In the final 7 minutes QB Harrison Singleton showed all of his skills. He ran for 11 yards, found a wide open TE Ted Gordon for a 22-yard gain and when already in field goal range, found WR Jessie Vertelney for the full 4 yards to extend the drive. A 9-yard scramble on 3rd and 7 gave us another fresh set of downs and despite all the penalties the offense was committing, eventually RB Bennett Holmes ran it in for a 4-point lead and just 1 minute remaining. The Giants came close, reaching our 34-yard line, but in particular DE Frank Bernard stepped up and his pass rush pressure was too much to overcome for the visitors. Despite needing a touchdown, Gothenburg decided not to attempt a Hail Mary and even a screen pass proved too much to ask of Burt Kiluk at this crucial moment.
QB Harrison Singleton threw for 284 yards with 2 touchdown passes, 1 to WR Calvin Maxwell (a 50-yarder, the old man can still do it) and 1 to TE Ted Gordon, who had a breakout performance with 124 yards receiving. RB Cary Delgado and RB Bennett Holmes both ran for a touchdown.
Result: 31-27 victory

Week 12 vs Oakland
In a game touted by stats driven media as the clash of two sack machines, the two league leaders were both kept in check by their opposing offensive linemen. Neither our DE Frank Bernard nor Oakland's DE Terry Hopper was able to add to their 13.5 sacks after 11 games played. It was also the clash of All-IHOF quarterbacks from last season, between their QB Roberto Fredrickson and his 5 interceptions versus our QB Harrison Singleton and his 6 interceptions. In this game, both were picked off, for each the 9th of the season already.
After a back and forth in the first half, that saw Oakland leading 17-14 by half time, turnovers eventually piled on too much for Oakland to stay in pace. A couple of fumbled punt returns, both forced by WR Calvin Maxwell, kept the Oakland offense off the field, while an earlier 97-yard interception return touchdown by S Dan Peterson already flipped the score into Maassluis advantage. Oakland finished strong with a 69-yard touchdown drive to get within 5 points and after we settled for a field goal, Oakland saw their completed Hail Mary pass get stopped at our 28-yard line to end the game.
QB Harrison Singleton threw for just 157 yards and a touchdown to WR Calvin Maxwell, while Singleton ran for a touchdown as well. RB Cary Delgado scored the other offensive touchdown. S Dan Peterson scored the aforementioned interception return touchdown.
Result: 31-23 victory


So, after a strong 4-2 series with both losses missed opportunities to secure the win, while 1 win was a nailbiter and 1 win was a shouldn't have gotten close anymore, we're bouncing back into the longshot wild card race and 21 wins behind the division leading Gothenburg Giants, with tie-breakers somewhat favorable, but most definitively not determined at all.

European Division
1. Gothenburg 8-3
2. Maassluis 6-5
3. Paris 5-6
4. Bordeaux 1-10

Our final stretch of the regular season will not be easy either. We start with three road games at Rochester (7-4), Fairbanks (3-8) and Bordeaux. Rochester is currently sitting at the #6 seed spot, which means a win there would be huge for the wild card race. Fairbanks has been struggling, but did win 3 of their last 5. Bordeaux is too good to be 1-10 (yet there they are), so we can't write it down as an easy win. We split the series with them in several recent seasons. Our season then will continue with home games against Colorado (8-3) and Paris. Colorado is one of four NAC leading 8-win teams that all lost in week 12. And Paris is no longer an instawin.

We're a little bit limping, with change of pace RB Marcus Jorg out for the rest of the regular season with a broken ankle and punt returner CB Will Warrick out with a concussion. Both will be replaced with RB Darnell Greenham, which comes to show how some decisions end up being a good one after all, as we nearly axed Greenham on the cutdown to 53 men. WR Preston Gray will return to the team after missing a couple of games, which prompted to the return of veteran WR Rick Emerson to the active roster.

But that's part of football and we * knock on wood * are not limping as much as a lot of other teams are. Orlando misses their quarterback in the final stretch, which feels like it ends their push for a wild card. Gothenburg missed their running back against us with a broken jaw and Bordeaux has place their star tight end on injured reserve. But at the same time, those are probably the worst of it all. Aside maybe our former LB Abraham Desimone. Williamburg has placed him on injured reserve after he needed MCL knee surgery. You never know in advance how players recover from such personal physical drama.

Anyway, we'll sail on and hope to find ourselves back truly back into the playoffs race after a win in Rochester. Which could be a must win to keep our hopes strong...
__________________
* 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 : 11-13-2022 at 06:27 AM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2022, 10:54 AM   #736
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: playoffs?

Alright, the final stretch of the 2010 regular season. As things unwound,. we had to win them all to get into the playoffs. So, did we make it?

Week 13 at Rochester
I'[m starting right away with it, despite the final score, this turned into a convincing victory against a rival in the wild card race. QB Harrison Singleton had a reborn chemistry with WR Jessie Vertelney on crucial downs, as 2 of only 4 of Vertelney's receptions turned touchdowns thrown from outside the red zone. Singelton threw for 270 yards on the day. Our pass defense was solid again, posting 11 broken up plays by the pass rush, while we defended 9 passes and CB Joel Delgado accounted for an interception.
Result: 20-17 victory

Week 14 at Fairbanks
We had Fairbanks rated higher than your average 3-9 team and throughout the first half, they lived up to it. But in the second half, our defense managed to halt them time after time far away from even field goal range, while our offense steadily increased our points total. CB Byron Sokol's pick six was just icing on the cake of a sound blowout victory. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns, spreading them between TE Ted Gordon, RB Cary Delgado and WR Jessie Vertelney. RB Darnell Greenham contributed with a rushing touchdown.
Result: 38-13 victory

Week 15 at Bordeaux
In spite of a tremendous defensive showing, we barely beat the Bordeaux Vineyards. In particular QB Harrison Singleton struggled after the first possession, which turned into a 98-yard touchdown drive. He threw for 223 yards and a touchdown to TE Ted Gordon. DT Efrain Hutchins and DE Howie Tucker had 2.0 sacks each.
Result: 17-10 victory

Week 16 vs Colorado
Arguably the toughest opponent in this final stretch, the virtual top seeds in the NAC, we scored on each of our first four possessions and from there on were set to go. The Cutthroats put down a late game touchdown drive to bring themselves back within a touchdown, but we ran out the clock in the final 2 and a half minutes to keep our playoffs hopes alive. QB Harrison Singleton threw for 235 yards with touchdown passes to WR Jessie Vertelney and good old WR Calvin Maxwell, whilst also leading the team with 82 yards rushing. RB Bennett Holmes ran for a touchdown, while Vertelney had 104 yards receiving on top of his score. Our linebackers duo Gus Coleman and Caiden Hastings each had an interception.
Result: 26-21 victory

Week 17 vs Paris
And then, unexpectedly, things turned all around into a "win is in" scenario as most of the wild card hopefuls saw their wheels slowly coming off. We ended up playing a snow game (which I honestly didn't see coming), so thankfully our running game leaning offensive game plan was well placed. The Paris defense kept WR Calvin Maxwell and WR Jessie Vertelney to 10 yards receiving each, a sensational low for any Merchantmen WR duo, quite possibly the lowest ever? QB Harrison Singleton threw for just 124 yards, but also ran for 74 yards and a touchdown, while RB Bennett Holmes and RB Marcus Jorg (eariler back from injury than expected) both ran for a touchdown and also showed their ability to gain 5 yards per carry. Our defense did just enough to win the turnover battle 3-0 and by the end of the third quarter, the victory and last wild card in the conference were locked up.
Result: 30-14 victory

European Division:
1. Gothenburg 13-3
2. Maassluis 11-5
3. Paris 6-10
4. Bordeaux 2-14

The Gothenburg Giants go into the playoffs as the AOC's #1 seeds. The Tucker Tigers and Augusta Greenjackets also have a 13-3 record, earning them the #2 and #5 seeds respectively. The Houston Mustangs are the #4 seeds and go into the postseason with a 9-game winning streak. And our season will continue at the Harlem Apollos, 12-4 division champions. The Toronto Lake Monsters miss out, despite a 10-6 record, outscoring their opponents by 172 points and all their losses being by 7 or less points...

So, our season is extended into the playoffs, finally! We were close in each of the previous 4 seasons, it does fell like it was about time to get that over with. One game at a time. Harlem is in front of us. They were the AOC's #1 seeds last season and would have been again had they flipped around any of their 4 losses into victory. They're given as 2-point favorites, which seems fair given that we're pretty close in terms of scoring. Their run defense has been stellar, which could be bad for us as our running game is pretty crucial. We have to believe in our own strengths and play like we have these last 7 games. Preferably we up some of it, because this could be the toughest team since our winning streak started at home against Gothenburg. A game that reminded us we can beat any team out there.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2022, 03:38 PM   #737
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: early look back on the 2108 draft class
"5 picks in the top37, this better be a good class!"

Remember that? Maybe you don't and even I almost forgot, but that class is now the backbone of our team. Let's go over all the rookies from that season and see what I think of them now, after 3 regular seasons.


1.24 LT Earl McBirney (early rated 15/65)

#20 on our draft board, 2nd best T, 4th best OL.
Came back as "overrated" after interviews. It didn't shy my away enough from picking him. He's a heavy (335 lbs) pass protector, who can also support the running game. Very green, so a mentor was a must have and it might force our hand to let him sit his rookie season behind Gruenwalder, of flip around a bit and start him at left guard and either bench one four guards or center. A lot can happen in training camp and pre-season, so having 6 starting caliber linemen isn't excessive.


Now rated 60/60
McBirney has developed into being our starting left tackle. One might say he had a bit of an off season with 6 sacks allowed, but overall 10 sacks in 37 starts is a very good number for a left tackle. By my staff he's considered to be #3 in pass blocking technique amongst all offensive tackles in the league. That's all that matters here.



1.28 DE Frank Bernard (early rated 20/80)

#17 on our draft board, #1 DE, #2 DL, #3 DL/LB
With the daunting departure of Fletcher, getting a new defensive end was kind of unavoidable. Bernard brings in a solid dose of both pass rush speed and especially outstanding run stopping and play diagnosis, with the right endurance to use it all. One might say he's even better suited to play DT, but he's got the framework of a DE and it makes much more sense to not mess with that. Especially given what came next.


Now rated 70/70
Those that paid attention have seen Bernard's name pop up as having had a strong season where he was in the sacks lead race for a while. We don't care he couldn't hold on to it, other guys around him made up for it and it will keep him more affordable once he's up for renewal. He's an elite run stopper according to our staff and a key member to our defense.



2.02 DT Efrain Hutchins (early rated 30/70)

#22 on our draft board, #2 DT, #3 DL, #5 LB/DL
Hutchins brings in a solid dose of run stopping and play diagnosis, but also provides excellent pass rush technique and the endurance to be able to play a lot of downs. This guy will be awesome to put on the field next to DT Gabriel Morris (rated 70/70).


Now rated 70/70
With Morris declining, Hutchins is now the key member in the middle of the defensive line. He's an elite pass rusher up the middle and give enough run defense support to consider him a worthy successor to the all-time greats.



2.04 LB Caiden Hastings (early rated 40/70)
#19 on our draft board, #1 LB, #3 DL/LB
Despite having two 100-tackle linebackers, I felt that the unavoidable decline of LB Abraham Desimone or of LB3 Tony Burks would make for a great opportunity to snag this guy up here and in the process make a cap friendly move by releasing one of them soon after (which we will do with the release of Burks). Hasting is an excellent run stopper and plenty of over skills to jump in as the LB2 next to All-IHOF LB Gus Coleman (rated 75/75).


Now rated 65/65
Hastings is coming off his third straight season with 100 tackles. He plays a lot on our pass defense and I think we'll eventually take him out of those formations by putting rookie Bryan Diaz there, but on the balanced and run heavy downs, Hastings is undisputed. He's one of the elite run stoppers at linebacker in the league.



2.05 QB Harrison Singleton (early rated 10/35)

#26 on our draft board, #1 QB
Every decade or so, I end up in a situation where our QB situation is questionable and figure that the cap situation and roster situation are balanced enough to take a gamble with a 2nd round pick on a quarterback. As I mentioned, our offensive coordinator's assessment, combined with my own strengths and weaknesses profile for a quarterback, made him jump to the top of the QB class for us, in what seemed to be a relatively weak class overall. I'm writing that despite that he was the 5th QB taken this draft. What makes Singelton look so interested, despite his perceived overall ability being underwhelming? He comes in with excellent sense rush ability and scramble frequency, combined with excellent timing potential. The big elephant in the room is his intelligence which may have been the reason for his Solecismic Test Score, hinting that he might not be all that great in avoiding interceptions. This might push us into making P Jimmy Summers our holder, keep Drake Bishop as the mentor and force Monty Truitt out of Maassluis. If we can't afford to keep 4 quarterbacks.

Now rated 40/40
I'm not going to elaborate on Singleton much. He's delivering with his arm and legs. We're on average an 11-5 team with him starting. He was the first ever Merchantmen quarterback to receive All-IHOF honors. Our best quarterback since Lester Lowe, yes, also factoring in Alfred Hickman. Notable tidbit: Singelton scored a 41 on the Solecismic Test this off-season. Maybe his ability to avoid interceptions isn't as dreadful as it initially has been foreshadowed...



2.20 WR Jaylen Gearhart (early rated 30/45)

#46 on our draft board, #6 WR
We interviewed the top5 prospects at his position and initially hoped that enough of them looked great enough to be worth a trade up with all our picks. Four of five guys were taken by pick #6, which meant our trade option in a slot somewhere closely behind that failed to work out, it would have been a bad move. The 5th best WR was available at the #17 pick, but I got worried about WR Edwin Forbes' route running ability and decided to not pick him, but instead make the cap friendlier move to trade down. One of the end results was not having grabbed a WR at all with our 5 high picks, thus making it a bit of a forced move to grab the best left WR at this spot. Gearhart would in ancient times be destined for greatness with his excellent big play ability. In modern days football, he will also need the route running (his potential is very good) and endurance (also very good), combined with at least some additional skills (good courage, maybe?). He'll be in a spot where he could go anywhere from WR2 to WR6 as it looks right now.


Now rated 40/45
A reach in the second round, especially given that he fell behind two 2109 additions, but Gearhart is still on the team. Still needs to work on his route running if he wants to get into the mix as WR3 by the time Calvin Maxwell retires. I still believe in his excellent big-play ability to make a difference.



4.18 S Noah Matthews (early rated 30/45)

#77 on our draft board, #5 S, #11 CB/S
My sleeper pick was CB CB Clifton Lukins, who got picked 11 slots higher than Matthews, for our new nickel/dime safety project. Lukins could be too light to be able to play safety, which won't be an issue with the massive 6'2" 211 pounds Matthews - if anything, he's too large. Matthews tops this class in intercepting skills, while having the play diagnosis and endurance to be suitable to play a lot of downs.


Now rated 45/45
Ironically the highest drafted player on our entire secondary, as other than Matthews, only John Aponte was a draft pick (a 7th rounder for us). Matthews' gift is the sense for forcing interceptions and albeit he went without a pick this season, he has been crucial in that area in his first 2 seasons. I'm still not sure whether he really is a full time starter or just a role player on some formations, but that's a bit of a luxury to be able to think that way.



6.20 TE Ty Rumans (early rated 20/40)

#318 on our draft board, #17 TE
With the unavoidable loss of TE Nicholas Heath, I needed a backup plan and that was to spent a 6th or 7th round pick on a tight end. I looked at one that can play special teams and be good on third downs, with run blocking skills being secondary to that. He might not have much route running skills, but that seems to be less important at his position than it is at WR or RB. We'll likely try to sign some undrafted rookies to battle with Rumans for the roster spot.


Now rated 20/30
Rumans might go into the history books as the player we signed and released more than anybody else. We brought him back as much as 3 times already and he basically spent just 1 1/2 half season on our roster. Although technically we signed him as a restricted free agent twice, which means he was to be considered to have never left. We might take one more stab at it if he's still on the open market late in the playoffs and we either are out of contention or need to sign a tight end for injury disaster reasons. He played in 1 game for us so far, didn't even get to see action on the special teams unit that day, which is what makes him worth the trouble bringing him back a 5th time.



7.03 FB Dean Lang (early rated 30/45)

#76 on our draft board, #4 FB
Yeah, we were not going to spent a 1st or 2nd round pick on the impressive FB Louis McIntyre, #4 overall on our draft board, because we just don't use the FB all that much. McIntyre got taken by the Houston Mustangs at slot 2.18, so we had our chances. Lang got picked before we knew whether FB Randy Julian would re-sign with us. Lang isn't very likely to make the team, it seems, as his ability to play special teams is lacking and would be something worthy of a roster spot. His pass blocking and blitz pickup could be solid enough to change on that though.


now retired
He didn't make our pre-season roster as a rookie and then failed to convinced the Chesapeake Chitterlings in half a pre-season as well.


7.19 WR Perry Madison (early rated 15/35)
#231 on our draft board, #31 WR
Everybody wanted to pick a WR. We did in the mid-late 2nd round and added Madison later on in anticipation of trading WR Alfredo Samuels. Madison in potential is a similarly talented special team, but one that actually does have route running skills to make some catches. Will he make the team? That's questionable as we're already up to 56 players signed with clearly few excess elsewhere on the team.


Now rated 20/30
He made our 53-men roster, then was cut mid-season because of injury troubles at tight end (brining back Ty Rumans), then we re-signed Madison in the post-season. But he failed to impress in the second pre-season on team and it's actually surprising he didn't retire after the 2109 season already. His promise as a route runner with sticky hands hasn't come to reality.



And then there was a truckload of undrafted rookies that we signed and never played a down of football for us. But 5 of them did end up on our roster. Who are they?

TE Wesley Keener (early rated 20/40)
Now retired
Made the team as a rookie as our TE4, but in the 2109 off-season we decided to not re-sign him, choosing Ty Rumans over Keener.

C Roman Gillespie (early rated 20/45)
Now rated 45/55
Gillespie is currently angry over lack of playing time, stuck on s solid offensive line as our backup interior lineman. Hasn't played a single downs this season and saw action in 7 games prior seasons. He's still signed for another season and looks like a very capable run blocker.

DE Howie Tucker (early rated 20/35)
Now rated 35/35
Tucker was mentioned by Dogbytes as one of the good execution from unexpected places. Tucker is in the top 20 most gifted pass rushers at defensive end and is ferocious in terms of being a punishing hitter. His lack of endurance makes him a passing downs only player. He's still signed through 2111 and I'm expecting him to want to receive starting money next season.

DE Zachary Abueva (early rated 20/30)
Now rated 30/30
Abueva returned in Maassluis this season, after being cut as a rookie in pre-season, brought back in the post-season, only to get cut again in the 2109 pre-season. That landed him a stint in Kansas, where he was on roster that season, seeing action in 5 games. Abueva spent all of 2110 on the inactive section, despite that we know he's got very good pass rush technique, play diagnosis, punishing hitter skills and special teams ability. Very capable to step in if we need an injury replacement.

RB Cary Delgado (early rated 30/35)
Now rated 40/40
Last, but not least! Delgado is on our running back trio rotation, mostly on third down situations. His hole recognition is low, he's got no breakaway speed whatsoever, can't play on special teams, lacks endurance, but his power running and third down running make him the best option on team to throw out there on third and short. He's a fair third down receiving target as well for a short pass, although usually when he makes catch, it's on third down and he comes short of a first down. Anyway, he's kind of undisputed as our 3rd down back. No Albert "The Shovel" Shalon, but I doubt anyone can ever step into The Shovel's shoes, Shalon is 3rd all-time in conversion percentage amongst players with at least 100 3rd down carries (across the entire league, not just amongst Merchantmen players). And if we increase it to 50+ 3rd down carries, the career cut short Walt Blair is 1 of 3 others that are ahead of The Shovel. But we're getting sidetracked now.


So, as I already mentioned in Steelstone's awesome Youtube series about the IHOF, our 2110 success is a result of the 2108 draft more than anything else, I suspect. QB Singelton, RB Delgado, LT McBirney, DE Bernard, DE Tucker, DT Hutchins, LB Hastings, CB Delgado and S Matthews are all contributing. That's a lot more than the 2 starters per draft most teams get.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2022, 03:25 PM   #738
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2110 Wild Card Round!

Week 18 at Harlem
Despite the Apollos success in the regular season last and this season, they're struggling to draw a full stadium. The emptiness didn't bother our player sas they arrived in full belief they could avenge the regular season loss in 2109.

Harlem had the ball first and despite their ability to progress, it resulted in a49-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead for them. Our response was getting three-and-outed and after Harlem's pound, pound, pound approach, we found ourselves pinned as deep as our own 1-yard line. We got stuck and punted it back to midfield. Whilst driving deep inside our red zone for a 2-score lead, LB Gus Coleman stepped in with an interception. It was followed up with a phenomenal 41-yard run by RB Marcus Jurg to lead up to RB Bennett Holmes 21-yard touchdown run for our 7-3 lead after the first quarter.

As if the game took a 180 degree turn, our defense put down three and out and, while punt returner Will Warrick reached midfield after a 19-yard return. QB Harrison Singelton found WR Jessie Vertelney for 30 yards and what kept us from extending the lead was a blocked field goal. Harlem struggled on their next drive, while we did just enough to get a field goal at last for the 10-3 lead. Defenses dominated the remainder of the second quarter, until RB Bennett Holmes broke free for a 43-yard run, which eventually did nothing more than setting up a deep punt and Harlem having too little time to do anything before half time.

RB Cary Delgado and QB Harrison Singleton had 10+-yard runs on our first possession after the big break, followed by a 42-yard pass from Singleton to TE Ted Gordon, only to see us strand for a 23-yard field goal. But where we managed to get some points on the board, Harlem failed to get close, as we added another short kick for a 16-3 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter started with a bang for the Apollos, seeing their top cornerback pick off QB Harrison Singleton and running it back 36 yards to our 22-yard line. A defensive stand kept Harlem to scoring just a field goal, which turned out to be their last score of the game. We kept doing plenty enough between the red zones to score another pair of field goals, while our defense silenced the Harlem offense enough to smoothly increase to a 22-6 win.

QB Harrison Singleton threw for 268 yards, RB Bennett Holmes ran for 100 yards and the only touchdown of the game. LB Gus Coleman made 1 interception and forced 1 fumble, while making 14 tackles. K Oscar Harrington earned player of the game honors for his 5 short field goals.

Result: 22-6 victory!

We on to the conference semifinals and we're going back to where our season started: at the Gothenburg Giants. We put up a fight then and there and hope to do so once again. We haven't won in Gothenburg since 2103. We were kind of lucky that day, needed every one of the 3 interceptions and forcing them to kick field goals. It's such a game we're going to need to pull the upset. We're both on a 7-game winning streak, red hot, thinking we're on a mission. May the best team win? Sure, I think we're the most talented team, but the Giants make up for it with better game planning and such. But forget about that, believe in ourselves. Go Merchantmen, make it happen!
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2022, 03:53 PM   #739
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2110 Conference Semifinals!

Week 19 at Gothenburg
After a stellar performance in the wild card round, our season is still going into week 19. The place to be: Gothenburg. Result of being the #6 seeds, we knew in advance that our trip to the IHOF Bowl would always have to go through a road game at the Giants. Although, I honestly decided to not even look at it that way and didn't think of it until after the win in Harlem. So, an All-European clash between two teams that each won their home game in the head-to-head matchup.

First possession was ours and after a sound and stellar 6-minute drive, anchored by a 22-yard pass from QB Harrison Singleton to TE Garrett Alcala and a 10-yard scramble by Singleton, a short 4-yard pass to WR Jessie Vertelney put us up 7-0. A tremendous three and out followed (with a -7 yard drive), as did a similar defensive stand by the Giants. The ensuing drive lasted quite long and eventually the Giants pounded it in for a 7-7 score at the end of the first quarter.

At the start of the second quarter, QB Harrison Singelton connected with TE Ted Gordon on a 17-yard pass to break into Giants' territory. But several plays later, a trick play went wrong and Singleton got picked off in Masssluis territory. The Giants then saw their quarterback Efrain Owens get hurt, entering Burk Kiluk (the guy I once called something like the best worst quarterback to destroy us). Although our defense stood strong, holding them to a 33-yard field goal, the playcaller switch may have been a key moment. Leaning heavily on 17-yard runs from both Marcus Jorg and Cary Delgado, we cruised into the Giants' red zone, only to see Singleton get picked off a second time. A rarity in his career, his 4th multi-interception game. After quick three and out, we fired back. Singleton found a wide open Jessie Vertelney downfield and he turned it into a 54-yard touchdown for a 14-10 lead! The Giants were unimpressed and played their own slow but steady, just in time to turn it around for a Giants 17-14 half time lead.

The second half, things got quite bad for us, especially our pass defense decided to stay behind. We got torched on third and long for 20 yards and then allowed a 30-yard touchdown run for a 24-14 deficit. A couple of penalties sabotaged our drive, shortly after followed by our state of the art special teams unit giving up a 30-yard punt return. Four plays later, Burt Kiluk found one of his tight ends in the end zone for a 30-14 Gothenburg lead. After another three and out, the Giants looked ready to punch the knock out, but DT Gabriel Morris forced a fumble that we recovered. QB Harrison Singleton found a wide open RB Cary Delgado on third and long, shortly after followed by Delgado's 24-yard run to set up Singleton's 6-yard touchdown pass to WR Jessie Vertelney. But up 31-21, Gothenburg was unimpressed and they marched into our red zone just before the fourth quarter.

After forcing the Giants to settle for a 19-yard field goal, we were down 34-21, but 2 touchdowns is enough to maintain hope. Although quickly entering Gothenburg territory, we were forced to punt. Our run defense continued to struggle, but a couple of incomplete passes ended the Giants' time draining drive before reaching field goal range QB Harrison Singleton extended the next drive with one of his characteristic scrambles, but on fourth and 2 with 4 minutes to go, we went conservative and it turned out that Gothenburg would play out the clock.

QB Harrison Singelton threw for 211 yards and 3 touchdowns, all to WR Jessie Vertelney. Singelton was also our most leading rusher. We didn't play all that bad, but the interceptions were quite the momentum switches and kept us from really having a chance to tie it up in the final minutes of the game. A solid season, where we beat 3 of the 4 bye week teams, but playing from the #6 seed spot, it's a much steeper hill to climb. And clearly we were outmatched by the Giants today.

Result: 21-34 loss


The Giants are not quite done yet, playing IHOF Bowl CVII against the Chesapeake Chitterlings, after clobbering the Tucker Tigers 47-13 in the AOC Championship game. We could say we put up more of a fight, but we have just as little to show for it. Our focus switches to 2111. We go into the off-season with 44 players signed (bar retirements), roughly $75M over the cap, on par with the previous two off-seasons. But this time around, we have several key players in their contract year: that class of 2108. Except for QB Harrison Singelton, we've got him locked up cheap for 4 more seasons...

So, that was that. 2110 is over for the Merchantmen. A winning record and at last one with a playoffs appearance and even a playoffs game victory. I have no doubt that we've found our franchise quarterback. We're loaded with young talented players across the roster. Stick this team together and we might be able to crash out in the playoffs at the Gothenburg Giants a couple more times... Unless the Toronto Lake Monsters really get their freak on. The Lake Monsters were arguably the best team in the regular season and missed out on the post-season dance. With stalworth teams like Tucker and Augusta also in the mix, the Atlantic Ocean Conference is loaded. I called parity, but this conference is top heavy above the parity level. We're in for quite the challenge if we really think we're ready to make a deep run... And we know that some of our guys can run. Fans and readers, see you back in the 2111 season!

Go Merchantmen!
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail

Last edited by MIJB#19 : 11-23-2022 at 04:01 PM. Reason: CVII, not CVIII :D
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2022, 05:49 AM   #740
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Start of 2111 Off-Season

DE Richie Piotte has been inducted into the Solecismic Hall of Fame. Drafted in the second round of the 2095 draft, Piotte was switched from linebacker to defensive end and turned out to be one of the best of his generation. He spent 7 seasons with the Maassluis Merchantmen, until cap troubles made us choose a different route. Piotte then played 1 season for the Gothenburg Giants, 3 seasons for the Capital City Blues and spent 2106 in the free agents pool, as his salary demands no longer matched his ability to play elite football. He peaked in his second season, when he made 18.0 sacks, the first of his 8 double digit sacks seasons. It was also the first of his back-to-back All-IHOF second team selections. In 112 regular season games, Piotte made 85.5 sacks for the Merchantmen, the third highest all-time for the franchise. He got subsequently fired by the Paris Musketeers, where he had been the Defensive Coordinator for a couple of seasons. A weird off-season for Piotte for sure.

LS Bennett Brock retired after 8 seasons in Maassluis, which was the second half of his 14-career IHOF career after shorter stints in Hanalei and Fort Wayne. He played 128 regular season games and 4 playoffs games for the Merchantmen, while showing he was one of the best long snapper in the game.

31-year old CB Will Warrick and 29-year old RB Darnell Greenham retired after just 1 season in Maassluis. Both were signed to step in as the new punt returner and both ended up making the roster. Troubled by injuries, Warrick played in 10 games, while Greenham played in the other 6 games. Both proved to be still pretty good at it, but sadly neither felt like playing for another season.

Other noteworthy retirements from the Merchantmen alumni:
CB Dennis Finley, our elite punt returner from 2106 through 2109, the best in the league in that timespan, played in 64 games for us.
DE Deon Rosas, played 116 regular season games (and 2 in the 2104 playoffs), in which he made 27.5 sacks.
CB Donnie Dogins, played 51 regular season games (and 2 in the 2104 playoffs), was our starting nickelback, shined in his 8-interception season 2102, but after trade to Fort Wayne in 2105 his career went into a slump.
WR Herman Jeffries, for 4 seasons one of our special teamers, played 64 games for us.
S Lincoln Taylor, a 1st round draft bust, eventually played in just 12 games for us, all in his 4th and final season in Maassluis.

We hired a new Assistent Coach, 72-year old Zach Miller, he's at the end of a decorated career, including IHOF Bowl victories in 2085 as the Offensive Coordinator with North Plainfield and in 2102 as the Head Coach of the Toronto Lake Monsters.


Lastly, we've been seriously struggling to find a worthy player to add to our Ring of Honor. At the start of every season since the 10-season anniversary, we added a player. The minimum requirement is 100 games played or being a member of the Hall of Fame. Which basically means I have 215 candidates to pick from, but I'm not sure there's one that has been elite in this league and had enough impact on our franchise.

The 2111 pick has become S Bart Guthrie, initially drafted by us in the 1st round of the 2083 draft. Played only 4 seasons in Maassluis, he earned all-IHOF second team honors in 2086, but his salary demands made him unaffordable for a safety. In 2088 he won the IHOF Bowl with the Oakland Black Panthers, beating the Gothenburg Giants. At the Colorado Cutthroats he became a tackle machine, with 129 and 137 in back to back seasons in 2091 and 2092, while also combining for 12 interceptions those seasons. He was still a starter in his 15th and final season in the IHOF, when he played his 1-season stint with the Rochester Razorbacks.


Anyway, we move on to our draft preparation. Long snapper and punt returner look to be our glaring holes this off-season.

We have 7 free agents on the team.
QB Billy Russell wants to move on and I fully expect him to sign elsewhere for a backup role.
FB Randy Julian is on the decline, but we could use him for cohesion on 2-back formations.
FB Kenneth Holse is a restricted free agent, special teams elite to be, I fully expect to re-sign him.
P Jimmy Summers is slowly on the decline, which means one of our goals this off-season is figuring out where we go at his position.
DE Zachary Abueva is a restricted free agent, decent pass rusher, special teamer, worth re-signing.
LB Avery Distel is an excellent special teamer and decent passing downs linebacker or defensive end.
S Jonathan White is an excellent zone defender, but we're deep at those, might get sacrificed in a tight cap situation.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2022, 05:45 AM   #741
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: the 2111 off-season means scraping for cap room

We're a day away from training camp. The first free agency period has ended and it had some impact. We lost QB Billy Russell to the Toronto Lake Monsters, but he wasn't willing to stick around anyway. S Jonathan White signed with the Texas Sharks, curiously only 2 teams went after him, despite that he's an excellent zone defender. I let White go, I knew we wouldn't have the cap available to bid on him. We did re-sign LB Avery Distel and FB Randy Julian, as well as restricted free agents DE Zachary Abueva and FB Kenneth Holse. P Jimmy Summers is still in roster as a free agent, but I really don't see how we can afford him anymore. We signed only 1 new player: CB Corwin Drake, a punt returner that is considered a 3rd year player, but to date never even spent a day on an IHOF roster. Quite curious that he kept his hopes alive for this long and now he's going to get a chance to win the punt returner job on arguably the best special teams unit in the league.

The draft has been far from sexy for us, as I traded away our 1st and both 2nd round picks, including the bonus pick that was a result of a trade previous draft. We still rank 16th on the Dogbytes best draft rankings. Rightfully so as we picked 4 players that were in our top50 draft board, as well as both players that we interviewed as Very Underrated, a long snapper and we took a promising running back with our final pick.

Our score for the 2111 draft:

3.3 S Joe Ramsey (15/50)
Came out of nowhere on the radar when this 28th best player on the board was still available, knowing we were going to lose Jonathan White. Ramsey doesn't look like much as of now, so we'll have to wait for him to start improving and proving he's a solid zone defender, overall a worthy strong safety and possibly a special teamer as well.

3.26 P Tyrus Johnston (50/55)
Our veteran has become unaffordable. For the second straight draft we spent our 3rd round pick on a punter and this time it's likely we will stick with the rookie, even if he shows signs of not being as good as advertised. I almost flipped a coin between Johnston and the punter that Chesapeake took in the 5th round. Both were in our top50 draft board. The interview results were conclusive.

4.28 WR Kyle Belton (15/35)
A punt returner. Interviewed as Very Underrated. Will have to battle with the 5th round pick and veteran free agent Corwin Drake for a roster spot.

5.27 CB Ike Pollock (15/30)
A punt returner, zone defender and special teamer. But he will need to show progress in one, if not all areas of it, to have a shot at making the team. Interviewed as Very Underrated.

6.21 DE Calvin Buckley (35/55)
A run stopper and stuffer, might be able to play on special teams too. Not sure he'll make the team in this crowded bunch though. Top50 of this class to us.


6.26 DT Francisco Blades (25/50)
A run stopper and stuffer, might be able to play on special teams too. Not sure he'll make the team in this crowded bunch though. Top50 of this class to us.

7.3 LS Wayne Brewer (20/20; I mean, seriously, what else would he be?)
We needed a long snapper and our staff ranks him in the top10 best snappers in the league.

7.28 RB Renaldo Billodeaux (35/45)
This kid has breakaway speed, hole recognition and also the disputable elusiveness. He lacks endurance, but that's okay in our 3/4-back rotation. Billodeaux might be the successor to RB Bennett Holmes with his skill set. We would have pursued him as an undrafted rookie otherwise and likely found ourselves losing out to some team offering any kind of a signing bonus.

We went out there offering contracts to a dozen undrafted rookies, but I fully expect that some other teams will also have seen those guys. Or maybe they didn't, quite often we end up signing most of the hidden gems we find in this pool.

The trickiest part of the off-season is yet to come: finding a way to extend contracts of our 4th year defensive key players. DE Frank Bernard, DT Efrain Hutchins and LB Caiden Hastings, as well as LT Earl McBirney. Our cap space right now means we can at best lock only 2 of them up. We actually have the cap space for them next season, but that doesn't really count. We might end up forced to leave at least 2 of them free agents at the start of next off-season... One of them has already made a decision on his own: LB Caiden Hastings has decided to hold out for a contract that we seriously can't afford to offer him. This prick is basically demanding us to release like 20 other players on the team just so he can be the 4th highest paid player on the team. That's simply not going to happen, kid.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2022, 04:21 AM   #742
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: I hate player agents...

Okay, I'm going to make a promise for the remainder of this 2111 season: one final complaint about how much I loath player agents and their backwards logic in turning down contracts for players. Essentially, when a player requests a $20M signing bonus and a $25M salary for 4 seasons (for a total of roughly $120M), said agent will turndown a contract with a $50M signing bonus with salaries of $45M over 5 seasons, with the caveat being that I will offer only minimum salary for the first season, to compensate for the financial impact a $50M signing bonus have (we still have to pay that up front).

The end result of this has been that DT Efrain Hutchins did sign such a 5-year deal with us, but DE Frank Bernard and LT Earl McBirney didn't. The sad part of the latter is even that McBirney has yet to live up to the first round pick hype, despite that he's considered to be the second best pass protecting left tackle in football. Bernard was red hot early last season, but came down with only 1.5 sacks in the back end half of the regular season.

Outcome of all of this is both McBirney and Bernard becoming free agents next off-season. The side effect is that we ended up at almost $14M under the cap, which is a terrible cap situation. It sounds good, but it means that we didn't move enough cap costs for 2112 forward to 2111 to do the best then to field a strong team. It almost means there will be 8 other players to become unrestricted free agents: RB Bennett Holmes, TE Wesley Martin, C Roman Gillespie, DE Howie Tucker, LB Mack Pang, LB Caiden Hastings, CB Skip Horner and S Noah Matthews. The Hastings situations was unavoidable after his very short hold out (another moronic player agent), as has been Gillespie's situation, as this former undrafted rookie believes he's a starting caliber lineman. But the real loss will be with Tucker, Horner and Matthews, they could have been locked up with some of the unused $14M. Oh well, we'd better win it all this season. We are once again the favorites to win it all according to the DogBytes metrics!
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2022, 04:53 AM   #743
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: the 53 for 2111

Okay, let's recap how we winded down to the 53 players that will play in week 1 of the 2111 season for us. Starting by letting you know which players joined us in free agency between the draft and training camp, then mentioning which players didn't make the team.

TE Kyle Upshaw, CB Brad Morris, QB Darien Lincoln, CB Greg Carfagno, S Stan Cook, DT Christopher Wrighster and CB Preston Lewis have been our undrafted rookie class for 2111. Wrighster worked hard on making the switch to defensive end and got rewarded for it. Upshaw, Cook and Lewis also made the final roster. Morris has moved on to the Paris Musketeers. Lincoln and Carfagno didn't wow enough to make the team as our new quarterback project and our new punt returner.

Also not making the final 53-men roster were some long time members and rookie draft pick.

RB Marcus Jorg had become angry overplaying time, his agent's silly demand was not to just be the main ball carrier (which by game plan he was), but all that really mattered to him was being on the field on the first play from scrimmage. Nothing Less or more. Releasing Jorg opened up some cap room and paved the way for rookie Renaldo Billodeaux to make the team. Jorg leaves us after 4 seasons as a former undrafted rookie gem, eventually saw a lot of time-share action in the 4-1 2108 late season push and the last two seasons in between, so he's been used to playing winning football. Jorg had 204 carries for 834 yards and 9 touchdowns, a valuable member in the rotation with Bennett Holmes and Cary Delgado.

WR Rick Emerson left us after 9 seasons. He was our 7th round draft pick in 2102. In his first 7 seasons with us, he was active in every single game, primarily in a special teams role, but in the later seasons also as a cohesion booster. The last two seasons he was replaced on the special teams squad and saw less action, but turned out to be a huge factor mentally in the 7-game winning streak at the end of the regular season. He leaves after 127 games played, including 4 in the playoffs, in which he scored 5 touchdowns, the highlight being a Hail Mary catch in 2108 at the Moontown Darksiders in a 19-16 victory.

TE Darnell McKie leaves after 9 seasons in a mainly backup role. This former undrafted rookie broke into the team right away as our third tight end and over time occasionally also played on the special teams unit. We flipflopped with him between third and fourth string, but will never forget his pair of touchdowns in the 2104 playoffs, despite the 42-21 loss at Fort Wayne that day. McKie played in 94 games for us.

DT Mitch Potchynok leaves us after 9 seasons of service. A pass rush specialist, we trusted on Potchynok quite often over the years in our passing downs formations. His overall production was mostly helping disrupt and not getting the credits for the sacks made. He played in 134 games for us, which shows how trustworthy he was to me.

DE Zachary Abueva failed to make the team for the third time in his career. He did make the team in 2110, but we kept him inactive throughout. I do believe he's amongst the players that might get called in case of injuries.

DT Leslie Jeffries was our 4th round pick in 2109, but in 2 seasons he remained inactive. I still think he can be a capable run stopper, but we have better on roster. He has already moved on to play for the Paris Musketeers.

CB Ike Pollock was our late 5th round pick this draft, but despite his promising punt return and special teams potential, he got lost in the numbers game.

When I have some more time on my hands, we'll break down the 53 players that did make the team and I'll let you know how we fared in the first 5 games of the 2111 regular season...
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2022, 05:53 AM   #744
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: The 53 for 2111

Alright, here's our group of 53 for the 2111 season. Before the first ball was kicked, thrown or carried, these guys were a top of the DogBytes metric. We've been there before, but I truly believe that this is a group capable of being anywhere between 10-6 and 16-0, capable of beating our divisonal rivals, especially the reigning IHOF champions: the Gothenburg Giants.

Let's run it down by position group.

Quarterbacks
40/40 QB Harrison Singleton
15/15 QB Drake Bishop
Singleton is our undisputed quarterback, he can throw and run. Bishop our kick holder that has a knack for avoiding interceptions.

Backfield
35/45 RB Renaldo Billodeaux - rookie
30/45 FB Kenneth Holse
35/35 RB Cary Delgado
25/25 RB Bennett Holmes
20/20 FB Randy Julian
Holmes will be our main ball carrier for another season, but Billodeaux will get a fair share of the carries, as we groom him to become the future main ball carrier. Delgado will continue to get third down touches. Holse has improved to be our fullback with his receiving skills, while Holse and Julian will be on our special teams unit.

Tight ends
55/60 TE Ted Gordon
40/40 TE Garrett Alcala
25/25 TE Wesley Martin
15/30 TE Kyle Upshaw - rookie
Almost nothing new here. Gordon will be our main tight end, with Alcala nand Martin also in the mix on multi-end formations. Upshaw is our new emergency guy, in case of injuries.

Wide Receivers
70/70 WR Jessie Vertelney
60/60 WR Calvin Maxwell
45/45 WR Preston Gray
40/45 WR Jaylen Gearhart
35/35 WR Kai Cote
20/35 WR Kyle Belton - rookie
Vetelney and Maxwell continue to be an elite duo in the league. Gray and Gearhart have the skills to play the WR3 and WR4 roles, Cote is our new special teams guy from this group. Belton will start the season inactive, he might get called upon if our punt returner gets hurt.

Offensive Line
75/75 RT Ivan Dole
60/60 LT Earl McBirney
60/60 C Zane Chaplain
60/60 Brett Stickney
55/55 G Andres Uwaezuoke
50/55 C Roman Gillespie
30/40 G Tutan Shapiro
30/30 LT Harold Gruenwalder
Same group as last season. McBirney protecting the blind side and Dole opening the running lanes on the right. Chaplain, Stickney ahd Uwaezuoke are a solid interior. Gillespie is a capable backup, as is Gruenwalder for the left side of the line. Shapiro is mainly still here because it's too expensive to hire a different veteran as the 8th lineman. It may have been even cheeper to go with an undrafted rookie here, but Shapiro at least has years of service to boost cohesion if we have to plug him in there.

Front Seven
70/70 DT Efrain Hutchins
70/70 LB Greg Coleman
70/70 LB Caiden Hastings
65/65 DE Frank Bernard
55/55 DT Gabriel Morris
50/50 LB Xavier Hoover
40/55 DE Calvin Buckley - rookie
45/50 DE Steve Aber
30/50 DT Francis Blades - rookie
35/40 LB Bobby Diaz
35/35 LB Avery Distel
30/35 DE Christopher Wrighster
35/35 DE Howie Tucker
10/10 LB Mack Pang
Solid group, with the big time all around boys Bernard, Hutchins, Coleman and Hastings helped by run stuffers Morris, Hoover, Buckley and Blades. Distel, Aber, Wrighster and Tucker bring the pass rush speed to have enough guys for a rotation to keep the group from getting tired. Diaz continues to be a bit of a project, might step in next season if Hastings leaves. Pang is obviously the master of special teams.

Secondary
45/45 CB Joel Delgado
45/45 S Dan Peterson
45/45 S Noah Matthews
40/40 CB Byron Sokol
35/35 S John Aponte
35/35 CB Skip Horner
20/45 S Joel Ramsey - rookie
25/40 S Stan Cook - rookie
35/30 CB Preston Lewis - rookie
25/25 S Craig Clancy
15/20 CB Corwin Drake - new veteran
Peterson is our all-around strong safety. Matthews is the turnover machine of the group. Delgado and Sokol are the man-to-man coverage guys. Aponte, Horner, Cook and Clancy bring enough solid zone defense and interception skills to keep the group from getting tired. Drake is our new punt returner. Ramsey, ironically the highest picked player of this group (a 3rd round pick), will start the season as a backup as he lacks the current skills to contribute. Lewis will be on the team to help defend the run and does have some other intangibles to support the core group.

Special Teamers
90/90 K Oscar Harrington
55/60 P Tyrus Johnston
20/20 LS Wayne Brewer - rookie
Yup, still that Harrington guy, the most talented kicker of his generation. Johnston comes in replacing Jimmy Summers. We think he's top10 material if he exceeds his perceived potential, but he could end up being another 3- or 4-season solution. Brewer is roughly the 10th best in business, solid enough for the short term.

So, here you have it. I wish we had a more impressive punt returner, but as we don't, we'll hope Drake can take enough advantage of the solid special teams group around him to play above average.
__________________
* 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 : 12-17-2022 at 05:55 AM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2022, 05:09 AM   #745
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Just a heads up, it's been a couple of busy weeks and, to be frank, this team has let me down more than ever this season, making it a bit less motivating to write about their total inability to play up to their talent. But I'm sure I'll find some time in the next couple of days to recap the first 11 games of the regular season.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2022, 03:32 PM   #746
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manger Notes: Time to call this is lost season?

Ouch. We failed mightily this season and we've still got 4 games to play. But even if we win them all, we'll need 5 other teams to completely crumble and drop to 8-8 and worse. Because, well, let's glance over the 12 games we've played so far.

Week 1 at Bordeaux
After a turnover plagued first half, we went into halftime trailing 17-10. Then we bounced back as the defense shutdown the Vineyards, while the offense did their things well enough. QB Singleton threw for 289 yards and touchdowns to TE Gordon and WR Vertelney. WR Maxwell had 125 yards receiving, RB Holmes ran for a touchdown.
Result: 27-17 win

Week 2 vs Kansas
In a sensational shootout, the defense struggled with a pass happy opponent. Late game interceptions kept us in it, but eventually we broke on the Creationists first drive in overtime. QB Singelton threw for 200 yards and touchdowns to WR Maxwell and WR Gray. Singleton and RB Holmes ran for touchdowns.
Result: 34-40 loss in OT

Week 3 vs Fort Wayne
In another high offense game, we struggled once again against the pass heavy Fury, but this time took it away early enough to maintain the touchdown lead. QB Singleton threw for 248 yards and touchdowns to TE Gordon and WR, Gray while WR Vertelney had 117 yards receiving. RB Delgado ran for a touchdown.
Result: 33-26 win

Week 4 open
Stupid early bye week

Week 5 vs North Plainfield
With a dreadful pass defense, we had to rely on our red zone defense to avoid getting completely humiliated by the visiting Plague. But our overall lack of competency finished with QB Singelton throwing a game losing interception whilst we were driving for the game winning field goal. Singleton threw for 244 yards with 2 touchdowns to WR Maxwell. TE Gordon had 110 yards receiving.
Result: 17-19 loss

Week 6 at Rochester
Our inability to get into the end zone came back to haunt us as QB Singleton got picked off no less than 3 times to help the Razorbacks into their victory. Singleton threw for 255 yards.
Result: 12-19 loss

Week 7 vs Toronto
In what could have been a smooth sailing victory, we were forced to kick on 6 of our first 7 possessions, eventually leaving the Lake Monsters just enough room to comeback and take a late game lead. Whilst trying to drive for a game winning field goal, QB Singleton fumbled on a scramble and with that completed the choke. Singleton threw for 268 yards.
Result: 20-21 loss

Week 8 at Paris
In a sensational barnburner of a match, the Musketeers put up a fight we haven't been used to getting involved in with them. Whilst they had plenty of game changing plays, we had our very own late in the game to seal the deal on a 69-yard QB Singleton to WR Vertelney throw. Singleton threw for 258 yards and also ran for 2 touchdowns. ROokie RB Billodeaux ran for a touchdown.
Result: 39-31 win

Week 9 at Harlem
Visiting what has to be the most unlikely 0-7 team in league history - the Apollos were basically pre-season favorites to lose against us in the AOC Championship game - QB Singleton helped them into an early lead with two short pick sixes. We somewhat bounced back, but a third pick ended up one too many. Singleton threw for 245 yards with touchdowns to TE Gordon and WR Gray, whilst RB Delgado and rookie RB Billodeaux ran for touchdowns.
Result: 31-34 loss

Week 10 vs Bordeaux
A foursome of turnovers could have hurt us against most other opponents, but today the Vineyards did far too little to take advantage of it, whilst our own offense played one of the better games this season. QB Singleton threw for 230 yards with touchdowns to TE Gordon (twice) and WR Maxwell, who also returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Rookie RB Billodeaux ran for a touchdown in his breakout game with 181 yards rushing.
Result: 41-26 win

Week 11 vs Gothenburg
After playing the close in the first half, the second half we fell apart and for the first time all season we got clearly outplayed. The Giants' quarterback walked off after a so-called perfect game, completely humiliating a should be one of the best pass rushing and pass defending defenses in the league - that has played like we are the crappiest. QB Singleton threw for 228 yards in his first turnover free game of the season, whilst SIngleton and RB Billodeaux ran for our touchdowns.
Result: 17-39 loss

Week 12 at Chicago
In what could have been a bounce back game, the wheels more than ever came off for the offense. Whilst we completely forgot to play our game balanced game plan, The struggling Norsemen took full advantage after scoring touchdowns on their first 3 drives, whilst picking off QB Singelton a career record 4 times to waltz to one of their easiest victories in quite some time. Singleton threw for 240 yards and a touchdown to TE Gordon.
Result 10-31 loss

Week 13 at Augusta
Deep down the wild card race, visiting one of the other hopefuls, this was a must win game. Despite outplaying them in the first half into a 17-7 lead, slowly, but steadily the lead slipt out of our hands and the Greenjackets forced overtime, where they completed the comeback from behind. QB Singleton threw for 203 yards with touchdowns to WR Maxwell, TE Alcala and WR Gray.
Result: 31-34 loss in OT

European Division standings
1. Gothenburg 10-2 division champions
2. Paris 5-7
3. Maassluis 4-8
4. Bordeaux 4-8

The division is out of reach, as is the first wild card. The second wild card in the AOC is currently held by the 7-5 Houston Mustangs. Mathematically, we're still alive, but whilst we need a 4-0 record ourselves, we'll need Rochester to go 1-3, North Plainfield 0-4, Houston 1-3, Paris 1-3 and - most unlikely of them all - Augusta 0-4. That's quite unlikely all 5 of them will completely meltdown.

But to be fair, would we really deserve to go into the playoffs after an 8-8 campaign in which we have played like we have turned into a team with a laughable bad pass defense, combined with a turnover infested offense, that despite a league leading red zone reaching ability has also settled for a league high number of field goals in that spot. That's something even our state of the art special teams unit can't overcome.

Ugh.

For those caring for individual accolades and in particular the all-time aspect of things, WR Calvin Maxwell has today become the all-time leader in kick off return yards, unseating J.R. Ritter, who retired with us in 2026. Maxwell needed 10 returns less than Ritter to reach the top. It puts Maxwell in the middle of a foursome that never played for another franchise that leads the league in all-time total and average yards in kickoff returning and punt returning. Jack Money is the obvious all-time leader in yards per kickoff return, Mark Perkins the leader in total punt return yards and Gabe Broady looking over his shoulder for the yards per punt return record. Depending on what minimum of attempts you require, Broady could be considered having lost the top spot to North Plainfield's current CB Travis Halverson, who's returning punts for the 3rd season in his 7-year career now.

So, amidst my objective reports and subjective judgement of how the team has been doing, it's clear we've been shooting ourselves in the feet too much this season to make the best of what is still a very potent team.

In the middle of this, we're also on pace to get the #1 overall pick in the 2112 draft, as the Atlanta Vipers are on shockingly bad run and only today doubled their win total to a 2-10 record. I mean, we have their 1st round pick, so, that's our lottery ticket. They currently have tie-breakers over the Harlem Apollos, who top us in the most disappointing team of the season. We've been here before, when the 2108 Fort Wayne Fury won 3 of their last 4 games to improve from #1 to #5.

But, that's something to take a look at after the season is over, we have no control over that bonus pick. We have to regroup and focus on our own longshot chances to sneak into the playoffs. As I said earlier, we're mathematically still alive, so, let's keep going for it!
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2022, 08:58 AM   #747
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2111, a thrown away season

What a disaster of a season. We didn't get haunted by injuries, we did get plagued by a bunch of overpaid players not playing up to their ability at all. At least, that's how I perceive things to be. But let's back up a bit, last time I wrote, we were still a longshot to make the playoffs.

Week 14 at Arizona
For a short while, it looked like we were going to steamroll this road game at the Miners, taking advantage of a couple of red zone fumbles gaining a 17-0 lead. But then our total ineptitude to play defense to save our season showed up again as we gave up a Hail Mary pass to set up a game losing field goal as time expired. QB Singleton threw for 184 yards and a touchdown to WR Maxwell, while RB Billodeaux ran for a touchdown.
Result 23-24 loss

Week 15 vs Paris
The biggest mismatch in the IHOF of late played out as such once again. I won't tally up the number of straight games won against Paris now, but we've gone beyond double digits seasons ago already. Our red zone offense was shaky again, but we played overall impressive enough to make the never in doubt outcome get onto the scoreboard. QB Singleton threw for 325 yards and a touchdown to WR Vertelney, our lead receiver with 129 yards today. Singleton and RB Billodeaux had a rushing touchdown each.
Result: 33-10 win

Week 16 vs Iowa
With nothing on the line anymore, all of a sudden our defense played quite well against arguably the most talented quarterback in football (Donte Biletnikoff). We jumped to an early lead and, for a change against a non-French opponent, we maintained our cool and smooth sailed to an easy victory. QB Singelton threw for 214 yards and a touchdown to WR Maxwell. RB Billodeaux ran for 134 yards and a touchdown. CB Horner actually accounted for a defensive touchdown on an interception return.
Result: 27-7 win

Week 17 at Gothenburg
With home field advantage on the line, the Giants had something to play for, as such we had a spoiler role to fulfill. But despite our stingy defensive play for the first 40 minutes of the game, our offense pulled a dreadful no show of a game, while the defense eventually did fall apart in the last 20 minutes of the game. QB Singleton threw for 231 yards and had a touchdown to TE Alcala.
Result: 13-23 loss

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

Despite our dreadful double-digit loss record, we still managed to outscore opponents. although by just 7 points.

QB Harrison Singleton has turned into a turnover machine with 22 interceptions thrown, almost doubling his career figure to 45 in 56 games where he threw more than a single pass in garbage time. He failed to improve his yards per pass attempt figure, despite being so-called fully developed now and playing with fully developed WR Jessie Vertelney, still going strong veteran WR Calvin Maxwell and TE Ted Gordon who's supposed to be fully developed as well now. Gordon played a dreadful season, hauling in only 931 yards on 172 targets. Vertelney improved to 1222 yards, whilst Maxwell had 956 yards receiving. Rookie RB Renaldo Billodeaux was a brighter light on the team, running for 1,105 yards with a 5.9 per carry average. QB Singelton and RB Bennett Holmes each gained 500+ yards as well. It's fair to say at least the running game was doing well. We actually lead the league with a franchise record 74 red zone visits. So, yeah, the turnovers must have been a huge deal in why we didn't end up scoring 500 points this season.

Defensively, we just never played up to our ability. The pass defense was dreadful, inept, a complete waste of cap money. I can live with finishing next to last in passing yards allowed per game, as it can be the result of playing with a lead (as we did in most games) and a result of having the field position advantage (which we usually have on special teams, combined with a decent turnover margin). Our lack of ability to force turnovers wasn't the only thing hurting here, we actually were second worst in yards per pass attempt, which means that teams throwing to save their game manage to do that well enough to come back from behind. Like those two games we lost by a single point and the two lost in overtime. I'm disappointed by the pass rush group as well. We finished the season under 20% pass rush pressure, while the talent is here to be top5 in the league and well above 22.5%. Our run defense was below mediocre as well at 4.7 yards per carry allowed.

Shocker of the season, Oscar Harrington converted all 80 of his kicks: 41 field goals and 39 extra points. Curiously, he didn't attempt a single 50-yarder, despite being having the most distance in his kicks of all in the league. We were the second best kickoff return team in terms of yards per return minus yards per return allowed, but our yards per punt return allowed figure was Merchantmen unworthy, being median and our own yards per punt return figure was barely top10.

So, some good things, some unexplainable bad things and with that we have to conclude that 6-10 is far, far, far below the floor I envisioned possible for such a talented group of players.

And for those wondering about our lottery ticket draft pick, the Atlanta Vipers won 4 of their last 5 games, to deteriorate what once looked like a possible #1 overall draft pick into the #6 overall draft pick, even behind the Paris Musketeers. 1 win less would have still placed them outside the top3 picks and we actually lost to the teams that will be picking #1 and #2 now, so it should have never been much higher than #3 anyway. Our own lack of ability to win games landed us the #10 overall pick, so we'll end up with quite some value to figure out how to replace the non-signing you-know-whats that turned down the most expensive contracts I ever offered to any players. Yes, apparently I'm still very bitter, those player agents should be fired and get told they made their players lose out on millions of dollars. Other owners in the league claim they will pay these players, but I've seen this before and know better than that, these players will never get all the money that we offered them had they stayed in Oranje Haven through the 2114 season. I wouldn't call 2112 a rebuild, but it is shaping up to be a bit of a what-the-bleep do we need to do to fix what wasn't supposed to broken off-season. Because 6-10 is beneath us. If only these players would actually listen...
__________________
* 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 : 12-30-2022 at 08:59 AM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2023, 11:26 AM   #748
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Editor's Note
My annoyance with a couple of the game's to me incomprehensible backwards mechanics have caused serious disinterest in the game at the moment. I'm not ready to abandon ship just yet after 19 years, but that combined with less time during the week available to write about the team, my reporting may become even less frequent than 1 update per week. Hiatus? Hopefully not, but we'll see where things go in the next season or so.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2023, 06:31 AM   #749
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: 2112 off-season in full swing


WR Calvin Maxwell retired.

After 207 regular season and 4 playoffs games in 13 seasons with the Maassluis Merchantmen, he called it a career. Maxwell was half of the Thing One and Thing Two duo with RB Ken Torphy as the #3 and #6 overall picks of the 2099 draft. The Lost Cause Torphy retired in 2108 after an underwhelming career, highlighted with Torphy's final season where he demanded all five starting linemen to be released to make room for a new contract, which he subsequently refused to sign, followed by running for just 848 yards, 2 touchdowns and a 2.77 yard per carry average. Such silliness was never on Maxwell's mind, but it did hurt his chances to shine. Maxwell was teamed up with slightly older phenomenon WR Vinny Buysse, but they were stuck with QB Earnest "Coinflip" Ashley. It took the arrival of Hall of Fame QB Winfred England in 2103, followed by by QB Evan Drake a year later for the best receiving duo in the league to really start producing. 2103 was Maxwell's most stellar season with 1,524 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.

Throughout his career, he was an All-IHOF Second Teamer 3 times, he had 9 1,000-yard seasons. Maxwell missed just 1 game due to injuries, despite playing double duty as a special teamer (Maxwell forced 16 fumbles in this role) and the lead kickoff returner. In the latter, he finishes his career as the IHOF's all-time leader in total kickoff return yards, which is even more spectacular given that he played in the era where kickoffs were kicked from much further downfield. His overall numbers include 1,060 receptions, 15,480 receiving yards, 92 receiving touchdowns and 9 kickoff return touchdowns.



Maxwell was one of 5 retirement calls at the start of the off-season.

FB Randy Julian, a 7th round draft pick in 2103, quits the game after 9 seasons in Maassluis. He played 143 regular season games and 4 playoffs games, in which his main focus was running receiving routes without being targeted, despite that his selling point was his run blocking. Julian clearly suffered from all the hits taken throughout his career: when he was released during the 2111 season and returned to the team a week later, it seemed like he had no recollection of having played for the Merchantmen before.

TE Wesley Martin, undrafted rookie signing in 2100, called it quits after 12 seasons with the Merchantmen. The run blocking TE3 that quite often was forced to play a TE2 role, played 187 games (including 4 in the playoffs) for the Merchantmen. He scored 17 receiving touchdowns, but also was a crucial member of an elite special team unit for most of his career.

LB Mack Pang retired after 5 seasons in Maassluis. His career started in 2101 with the San Antonio Tidal Force as a 7th round rookie, but after 5 years they let him walk away. After a season without a contract, the Merchantmen added Pang to their elite special teams unit in 2107, where Pang became a key member. He played in 82 games for the Merchantmen.

RB Johnnie Richardson played just the second half of the 2111 season in Maassluis. He was brought in to mentor rookie Renaldo Billodeaux and strengthen the special teams group. Richardson's days in the spotlights of the IHOF were his first 7 seasons, initially with 3 so-so seasons with the Snapfinger Jazz, the stint ending with a great season there, followed by 3 amazing seasons with the Oakland Black Panthers. In 2105 and 2106 he missed the playoffs after 2,260 and 1,990 yard seasons with 22 and 11 rushing touchdowns respectively, but in 2107 he was healthy and earned his IHOF Bowl ring. The decline was visible in the following 3 seasons at the Bordeaux Vineyards and the short stint in Maassluis gave him that 11th season in football.



The exodus didn't end there.

DE Frank Bernard signed a 3-year deal with the Paris Musketeers. He'll get much less money than the contract we offered him at the end of the 2111 off-season, but apparently Bernard prefers to play for a losing team for less money.

LB Caiden Hastings joined the reigning IHOF Champions, the Oakland Black Panthers. A franchise known for not wanting to pay big amounts of money to linebackers, shockingly offered him a bonus of $148M. We never intended to pay up to Hastings demands, but he made clear that he wanted to play elsewhere in the 2111 off-season already.

LT Earl McBirney signed a lucrative deal with the Toronto Lake Monsters, including a $145M signing bonus. This departure really hurt as we saw him as crucial protection to QB Harrison Singleton.

C Roman Gillespie signed with the Outer Banks Ospreys. In 4 seasons with us, he was stuck as the 4th interior lineman and was clearly ready for a starting role in this league. He played exceptionally well in 6 games for us in 2111, showing he deserves to make a move. In retrospect, we should have tried to trade him previous off-season to get some return of investment.



To fill some of those gaps, we signed 3 veteran free agents and traded for another.

RT Clayton Bernstein is a 28-year old 7th year veteran, with 99 starts for the Chesapeake Chitterlings on his resume. At 6'9" and 347 pounds, he's a big pass protector. We hope he can bring that on the left outside of the line.

CB Evan Merrell joins as after 3 seasons with the Gothenburg Giants, prior to that having played 4 seasons with the Orlando Talons. His man-to-man defense skills, interception skills, hard hitting, endurance and special teams skills make for an excellent addition to our secondary.

RB Sherman Ward was signed from the Paris Musketeers, where he played just 1 season, following 4 seasons with the Fairbanks Northstars. He's solid enough to be a change of pace back, but was primarily signed to fill the kickoff returner vacancy. At 29 years and playing the early decline position, it could be a short-term solution.

DT Dwayne Downs will join us in return for a 6th round draft pick in 2113. The 34-year old 6-time All-IHOF selection well out of favor with the Toronto Lake Monsters after just 1 season. Previously he was a core player on the Capital City Blues defensive line for 10 seasons. We'll find plenty of playing time on our rotation for him.



It didn't end there, obvously, we picked 7 players in the draft.

WR Rodolfo Lane looks to be the real deal. We moved up from the #6 and #10 overall picks to the #3 overall to select him. Lane was the last one of the 3 players that looked worth trading up for to be a true top3 pick addition. Our staff believes that Lane in potential is the second best wide receiver in the league's current pool of players, which teamed up with WR Jessie Vertelney makes for a fantastic tandem.

DE Lonnie Wynn was our pick at the 2.2 slot, a pick received as compensation for giving up both top10 picks for the #3 pick. Wynn looks to be a fine addition to our defensive line, with speed, strength, smarts and all around good enough to play in most formations.

We traded a 2nd, 3rd and 4th round pick for the Orlando Talons' 2114 first round pick. We've been quite lucky in recent seasons in acquiring future 1st rounders from fellow AOC teams after they played a tremendous season (Orlando went 13-3 last season) and then drop back, giving us a top10 pick.

LB Nicolas Giles was our highest 4th round pick, also received in the trade. His decent run defending, zone defending, play diagnosis and endurance could make him an acceptable replacement for Caiden Hastings, although it's likely we'll let him share playing time with 3rd year LB Bobby Diaz.

QB Bart Tanner was a misclick pick. In a sense that he was on our list for the later round picks, added with 2 picks to go and 1 player left from our 4th round prospects list, that target was picked. This by no means means Tanner is a terrible pick. he's got timing, sense rush ability, likes to scramble and might turn out to be a kick hold alternative. With QB Drake Bishop around as a mentor, Tanner might make the team as a project and competition for QB Harrison Singelton by the time the latter reaches the final year of contract.

C Russell Mahoney was picked in the 5th round to fill the void at backup center. He's a similar type of player as the departing C Roman Gillespie.

RB Angel Hammond was our 6th round pick. He looks decent enough to challenge for the RB2/change of pace back role. He might even be good enough to threaten RB Cary Delgado for the 3rd down back role.

G Jose Bryant was our 7th round pick. He looks to be a similar type of player to our current backup G Tutan Shepard, Bryant comes onto the team with the highest bench press score of all players on roster.



Not to go by unmentioned, we brought back a bunch of free agents, including the unrestricted S Noah Matthews in quite the bidding war, as well as DE Howie Tucker and RB Bennett Holmes. From the restricted free agents pool, we brought back DE Christopher Wrighster, CB Skip Horner and TE Kyle Upshaw.

We go into late free agency with second-year pros CB Preston Lewis and S Stan Cook as free agents. Both had salary demands that to me didn't match with their role and ability. So if we bring them back, they'll have to settle for less than their demands.

Obviously we'll do our best to bring on a dozen undrafted rookies to try to find some hidden gems in that group. With 53 players signed already, excluding the incoming DT Dwayne Downs, we have 6 roster spots for pre-season available. It'll be interesting to see which guys will choose us for their chance to get into professional football...
__________________
* 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 : 01-14-2023 at 06:33 AM.
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2023, 04:53 PM   #750
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
General Manager Notes: Undrafted rookies are here!

The scrambling for undrafted rookies commenced and today we found out which of the 9 that we targeted joined us.

FB Thurman Chachick, decent run blocker and special teamer, might have a chance to make the team, if he booms, as the second fullback.

TE Arnie Huffman, special teamer with potentially very good route running and courage, has a decent chance to make the team as the 4th tight end.

WR Hunter Tuitele, a kickoff return specialist.

LT Jordan Puckett, if he booms, he might challenge for the final o-lineman spot as a possible pass blocking talent.

CB Kent Wodarz, a zone defender, because we can't have too many of those, but a longshot to make the team.


S Stan Cook decided to sign a 3-year deal with the Frederick Red Menace, which was much closer to his demands than our lowball 1-year offer. Time will tell whether it was worth letting him go and stick with the other zone defenders on team.
__________________
* 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
MIJB#19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:45 AM.



Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.