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Old 12-20-2007, 08:58 AM   #1
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
This is a continuation of the initial IHOF: Maassluis Merchantmen dynasty report. This thread kicks off with quick reviews of the first 12 seasons of the Maassluis Merchantmen and then carries on like 'normal'.

As with the old thread, I'm not sure when and if I will update, but I'll try to and hope you enjoy reading.
__________________
* 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 : 01-24-2008 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:58 AM   #2
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2004

Off Season
The year 2004 saw the start of the International House of Football. The league kicked off with determining the 32 locations and Maassluis was one of them. Maassluis is located about 10 miles out of the west coast of the Netherlands. The team's nickname was decided to be Merchantmen, hinting to the Netherlands' golden era when the dutch ships ruled the seven seas. Games would be played in Oranje Haven, which is dutch for Orange Harbour. Orange for the national color, harbour as a link to the home of the sailors.

The Merchantmen were assigned to the Atlantic Ocean Conference, playing in the European Division. Their division rivals were decided to be two french teams, the Bordeaux Vineyards and the Paris Muskteers, and the swedish Gothenburg Giants. The other conference was named the North American Conference, as all 16 teams there were located in the United States of America.

The allocation draft resulted in mixed feelings in Maassluis. The team ended up with a lot of talented receivers and front seven players. The team lacked any quality at cornerback and on the offensive line. Rookie Justin McDavid was tagged starting quarterback, mostly by the lack of better options. A mobile quarterback, who would turn out to be a popular player.

Around McDavid, was a talented group of players. No less than four young, but potential star wide receivers would be around McDavid: Gregory Monti, Bryce Ewald, Fredric Vargas and Raul Marshall. The fifth guy, Amos Collins, was traded for offensive tackle Harold Hurtado to give McDavid a little bit more support on the line. Completing the offense would be work horse running back Randy Harris and the always open tight end Jerry Aubrey.

On defense, the Merchantmen were just really green. The backbone was going to consist of defensive tackle Charles Gomez, middle linebacker Cody Cluff and strong safety Lincoln Gilmore. Around them, defensive ends Harold Wells and Deon Chapa were considered potential sack machines. Mike Kershner was switched from inside to outside linebacker for his all around skills. The only decent cornerback was veteran Dennis Preciado, whom was acquired in trade for young defensive tackle in Robert Duong.

Season
Looking at the Merchantmen, it quickly showed the team had weaknesses. Playing catch up for most games, the Merchantmen ranked 27th in rushing yards and 18th in passing yards, combining for 24th in points scored. The Merchantmen had what looked like a decent pass defense (4th), but it wasn't worth much, knowing that teams ran all over them (32st) while those opponents were usually leading. The team allowed 22.4 points per game, which was 31st overall.

Quarterback Justin McDavid lead all rookies in passing yards (2904) and touchdowns (19), but also had the third most interceptions (22) of all quarterbacks. With a passer rating of 63.9 and a league high 13 fumbles, it was clear that despite being the best option right now, he shouldn't be the long term answer.

There were some brigth lights though. Running back Randy Harris proved to be efficient, running for 1027 yards with 4.1 yards per carry. Tight end Jerry Aubrey earned All-IHOF honors with team high 67 catches for 760 yards and 6 touchdowns. Left tackle Harold Hurtado also received all-IHOF honors with 31 key run blocks and allowing only 5 sacks in 520 passing plays.

On defense, Cody Cluff earned Rookie of the Year Honors. It wasn't worth much, given that the defense was on the field a lot. Cluff posted 99 tackles, 1 sack and 1 interception. Harold Wells lived up to his potential, posting 9 sacks and 65 tackles. Dennis Preciado seemed to be the only decent pass defender, posting 11 defended passes, however 7 came in a single game, meaning he hardly made a difference.

As expected, the season was loaded with rookie mistakes. Following an 0-2 start, the first home game of the season, against the Gothenburg Giants, resulted in a 31-27 win. But despite putting up a fight most of the time, the Merchantmen failed to win another game, resulting in a league worst 1-15 record. The Bordeaux Vineyards (9-7) would become the first European division champions and lost in the first round of the playoffs. In IHOF Bowl I, the NAC's Fairbanks NorthStars (13-3) beat the AOC's Stillwater Outlaws (10-6).
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* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:59 AM   #3
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2005

Off Season
Things had to change and fast. The Merchantmen management didn't hesistate at all. The #1 overall draft pick was soon traded for multiple picks and linebacker Ellsworth Thelen. And that was only the start of it. Offensive tackle Wilson Grimaldo came over from the Paris Musketeers to bolster the offensive line. Injured guard Alvin Causey was traded in for the future. Wide receiver Frederic Vargas was traded to move up in the draft. And before the season kicked off, also wide receiver Raul Marshall had left the building.

All the wheeling and dealing resulted in the selection of four players in the first round of the draft. Quarterback Leonard Lyon was taken as the face of the franchise, while center Brant Heinrich and guard Butch White were picked to protect him. Cornerback Tai Wayne was taken to improve the defense. He was joined there by two safeties, signed as free agents: Richard Muller and Wiley McGhee. And to add some experience to the defensive line, Albert Bernardo was also signed as a free agent.

Season
The season started with quarterback controversy. Despite being a first round pick, Leonard Lyon had all but impressed the management and 2004 starter Justin McDavid was looking over his shoulder. Lyon got the start in week one, but slowed down by a couple of injuries, McDavid got a couple of starts early on. The Merchantmen actually posted better resulted with McDavid at the helmet, until the controversy ended in week 11. McDavid blew out his knee, requiring knee surgery that would sideline for the rest of the season and at least the entire 2006 as well.

Once freed from the controversy, Lyon started to improve, but never looked like a future star. While seeing playing time in 10 games, Lyon threw for 1,814 yards, 9 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, posting a 61.6 passer rating. All in all, worse than McDavid's rookie season. Overall, the offense wasn't much improved, if at all. The Merchanmen ranked 22nd in passing yards, 21st in rushing yards and 25th in points scored.

The revamped defense (with five new starters) didn't improve much either. Being competitive, and forced by a decent run defense, teams started throwing against them. While the pass defense ranked 27th overall, the run defense ranked 11th. In the end, the team allowed a respectable 16.9 points per game, ranking them 15th in the league.

The defensive improvement resulted in All-IHOF honors. Defensive end Harold Wells posted 13 sacks, defensive tackle Charles Gomez had 6.5 sacks and 70 tackles. Both were awarded with All-IHOF second team honors. Rookie cornerback Tai Wayne didn't post any interceptions, but did record a team record 13 defended passes. Strong safety Lincoln Gilmore proved to be the best pass defender. Despite having started the season in a backup role, he fought back and had a key role in the team's strong finish of the season.

Despite the terrible offense and just a decent defense, the Merchantmen seemed ahead of schedule in their improvement plans. The team stayed alive for the playoffs throughout week 15 and posted a respectable 7-9 record. The Merchantmen finished third in the division behind the Bordeaux Vineyards (11-5) and Gothenburg Giants (9-7). The Vineyards eventually lost in the AOC Championship game to the Conyers Condors (12-4). The Condors then had a total off day in IHOF Bowl II, which was won by the Ann Arbor Anachronism (13-3).
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* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:59 AM   #4
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2006

Off Season
Another season, another new quarterback. To the surprise of a lot of people, the Merchantmen traded quarterback Leonard Lyon to the Springfield Isotopes for quarterback Mel Atkins. And that was just the start of another busy, traded loaded off-season. But this time, the team focussed on just one player in the draft.

Quarterback Louie Flannery was taken 5th overall in the 2006 draft to become the Merchantmen's franchise quarterback. A strong armed pocket passer, who doesn't play worse when under pressure of needing to convert plays. The potential downside appeared to be his tendency to throw interceptions.

Flannery wasn't the only new face. Tight end Jim Reiser took over te starting role from Jerry Aubrey haflway 2005 and locked up the job as Aubrey got traded in the off-season. Guard Timothy Lacy joined the offensive line, taking the place of Arnold Cassay, who played only 2 games in 2005. Fullback Jamel Rosenberry was acquired to both block for Randy Harris and become the third down back.

On the defensive side of the ball, both young defensive ends Harold Wells and Deon Chapa were traded away. With both having huge salary demands and the Merchantmen in a bit of a cap hell, there wasn't much choice there. Fourth round pick Omar Gougeon would be the new starting end, opposite Albert Bernardo. Seventh round pick Andy Weliczka became Charles Gomez new partner at defensive tackle.

Cornerback Tai Wayne was expected to get a new partner, but following a season-ending injury in week one, both Gus Stoffers and Johnnie Stidham became starters. Safety Wiley McGhee got traded away, while Richard Muller picked up a career-threatening concussion in the pre-season, paving the way for free agent Emile William to a starting role.

Season
Despite all the changes, the Merchantmen kicked off the season very well. At the mid-way point, the team had played admirably well and was leading the division at 5-2. Louie Flannery was clearly the best passer the team so far had seen, but a streak of four games with 3 or more interceptions ended his great start. Flannery ended the season with 2765 yards, 15 touchdowns and league high 23 interceptions. His passer rating of 64.4 wasn't all that impressive either.

At the end of the season, the passing game ranked 25th overall in the league, the rushing game 23rd. Not as good as hoped, but given that the team ranked 9th overall in points scored, the offense had actually been pretty good. The disappointing part of the team was in fact the defense, that ranked 29th in points allowed, 23rd in the run defense and 32nd in pass defense by a margin of 15 yards per game.

The defensive disaster actually helped one player into posting a phenominal season. Charles Gomez racked up 99 tackles and 12.5 sacks, an amazing score for a defensive tackle. Cody Cluff also took advantage of it, posting 120 tackles, as did Johnnie Stidham, who intercepted 7 passes. On the other hand, Stidham defended only 5 passes, making Lincoln Gilmore once again the only bright spot of the secondary.

On offense, there wasn't much good news. Flannery had been inconsistent, altering great games with terrible ones. He had trouble connecting with his wide receivers, yet he did build a chemistry with tight end Jim Reiser, who caught 79 passes for 693 yards. Randy Harris posted his third straight 1000-yard season, but actually split the touchdowns with Jamel Rosenberry.

The Merchantmen finished the season 8-8, resulting in consolidation of third place in the division. The Bordeaux Vineyards (11-5) once again won the division, but this time the Gothenburg Giants (10-6) joined them into the playoffs. The Vineyards beat the Giants in the first round, but followed up by losing in the conference semi finals. The North Plainfield Plague (12-4) became the first AOC based league champions, as they defeated the Chesapeake Chitterlings (12-4) in IHOF Bowl III.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:59 AM   #5
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2007

Off Season
With the last two off-seasons fresh in memory, the Merchantmen were expected to once again go on a trading spree and replace their quarterback. Instead, the Merchantmen decided to do something different this time around. The Merchantmen acquired the #10 overall pick, but it was only a diversion tactic, as sent that pick to the Brooklyn Fightin' Bums for left tackle Ivan Jacques.

A surprise move in the opinion of some, as earlier in the off-season, the Merchantmen had moved out right tackle Wilson Grimaldo for the younger Cornelius Rice. Left tackle Harold Hurtado was getting old and Jacques looked like the perfect body guard for Louie Flannery. Additionally, the Merchantmen acquired rookie wide receiver Jerry Beyer for the earlier selected return specialist Cris Lyons in a trade with, again, Brooklyn.

Running back Rodger Mowery was added to the team to improve the depth behind Randy Harris and more so to improve the punt returning. On the defensive line, defensive end Wally Wilcox was signed as a free agent, while no less than three potential starters were taken in the draft with Aaron Sherrill, Andrew Rasmussen and second round pick Shaun Shiroma.

The secondary went through another rebuilding cycle, forcing Gus Stoffers off the team, but bringing in veteran Winford Endicott and promoting 2006 undrafted rookie Myron Stevens to nickelback. An important chance, as the Merchantmen decided to implement a pass defense that would heavily rely on a 2-deep zone defense system.

Season
The new defensive system and personnel paid off. The Merchantmen became hard to beat through the air. The team lead the league with 44 sacks and ranked 3rd in lowest completion percentage allowed. Overall, the team finnished the season 10th in pass defense and 13th in run defense, that combined for leading the league in least points allowed.

Supported by that great defense, the offense mamanged to play very well. With 22.6 points per game, the team ranked again 9th overall in scoring. Overall the were 12th in both the running and passing game. Quarterback Louie Flannery clearly improved, posting 3768 yards, with 25 touchdowns and 19 interceptions for a 82.4 passer rating.

Flannery's numbers were kind of surprising given that none of his target really stood out. Bryce Ewald had only 48 catches for 774 yards, Jim Reiser had a team high 59 receptions. Randy Harris seemed to make the best of it all, racking up 1306 yards on the ground and 13 total touchdowns.

Still, the defense had carried the team. Charles Gomez received All IHOF second team honors for it, having racked up 49 tackles and 8 sacks. Around him, Albert Bernardo (8.5 sacks), Aaron Sherrill (6.5 sacks) and Omar Gougeon (4.5 sacks in 10 games) formed a fearsome pass rush. Additionally, both Tai Wayne and Winford Endicott proved to be good cornerbacks, with 16 and 14 defended passes respectively.

The overall improvement of the team also showed in the results. The Merchantmen kicked off with a 3-0 start and following two losses at home, they posted a six-game winning streak. In week 15, they demolished the Gothenburg Giants to clinch their first European division title. With their 13-3 record the Merchantmen clinched a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

Their first playoff game ever turned out to be an epic one. The San Antonio Volunteers (12-4) had beaten them in Oranje Haven earlier that season, but the Merchantmen were out for avengance. Boosted by an early defensive touchdown and winning the turnover battle, the Merchantmen managed to hold ground. With a 27-24 victory, the Volunteers were sent home.

In the AOC Championship game, the Merchantmen visited the Infestadium to meet the defending IHOF Champions, the North Plainfield Plague (13-3). They wish they never got there. Supported by two three-and-outs, an interception and a sack for a safety, the Plague recorded four touchdowns to take a 30-0 lead before the first quarter was over. The Merchantmen tried to recover, but never overcame the early lead. The Plague won 43-10 and repeated as league champions, beating the Outer Banks Ospreys (9-7) in IHOF Bowl IV.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:59 AM   #6
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2008

Off Season
Following the total collapse of the Merchantmen in the 2007 AOC Championship game, there wasn't much need to change things. The retirement of Rodger Mowery would require the addition of a new punt returner and backup running back, which was found in Joseph Schoen. Quarterback Thad Pilkington was acquired to mentor Flannery, as the management thought that was missing.

Otherwise, there was really much need to change the team and add players. Sean Smalley was drafted to replace punter Roscoe Corrales at some point during the season. Defensive end Erwin Baranowski, cornerback Sammie Kennedy and free safety Borderick Schultz were added to improve depth in the defense. Linebacker Bernie Surry was a fifth round pick, but made good progress in training camp and broke into the starting line up.

Season
In 2008, the standards of the Merchantmen defense were similar as the season before. That unit lead the league in turnovers (11 fumbles, 23 interceptions), but ranked only 11th in points allowed. Which wasn't all that bad, given that the defense fell to 14th in run defense and 26th in pass defense. That didn't tell the whole story though, the defense had mainly fallen in overall numbers because of a somewhat less effective offense.

The offense fell back to 20.3 points per game, which was 14th overall in the league. Given that the passing game (22nd) and especially the running game (29th) had been below average, that was actually pretty good. Louie Flannery didn't make too many steps back though. With 21 touchdowns versus 14 interceptions in 14 games, his figures were almost on par with 2007.

Still, Flannery had once again trouble connecting with anybody. Jim Reiser posted just 50 receptions, while Bryce Ewald's 574 yards receiving was a team high. Randy Harris didn't help much either, racking up only 732 yards on the ground with a disappointing 3.2 yars per cary average.

Charles Gomez had yet another All IHOF worthy season, posting 78 tackles and 7 sacks. Around him, Erwin Baranowski (8.5 sacks) and Omar Gougeon (8 sacks) provided the pass rush pressure. The pass defense wasn't all that bad either, with Winford Endicott, Tai Wayne, Lincoln Gilmore and Bernie Surry all posting double-digit pass defense figures. Surry's season was even more impressive, considering that he also made 4 interceptions and recovery 3 fumbles, scoring twice from a turnover.

Cleary it was the defense that kept the team competitive all season long. Despite showing a trend of winning one week, losing the other, the Merchantmen stayed alive in the race for the European division through week 17. Going into that week with an 8-7 record, all hope was gone, but they would suck out with a victory over the Paris Musketers and if the Gothenburg Giants would beat the Bordeaux Vineyards.

Amazingly, the suck-out scenario came to live. The Maassluis Merchantmen won and defended their European division title with a 9-7 record. The Gothenburg Giants (9-7) and Bordeaux Vineyards (9-7) finshed really close, but the Merchantmen won the division based on results between those three teams.

The Merchantmen went into the playoffs and ended up facing the Rochester Lake Momsters (10-6). In the previous seasons in the league, the Lake Monsters had been some sort of inter-divisional rivals for the Merchantmen, with exciting games in the series so far. But this playoff edition turned out to be boring. The Lake Monsters dominated from the start and posted a 27-3 win in their first ever playoff game.

The Lake Monsters followed up by losing bit at the North Plainfield Plague (14-2) in the conference semi finals. The Plague marched on, winning another AOC Championship, going into IHOF Bowl V heavily favored to 'threepeat'. The Plague came short though, losing in a close game to the Fairbanks NorthStars (12-4).
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:00 AM   #7
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2009

Off Season
Coming off a disappointing season, the Merchantmen management decided not to change too much of the team. Only seven new players made the 2009 roster, of whom two spent the entire season on injured reserve. Four of them were rookies, of whom defensive end Wally Mattingly and running back to wide receiver converted Jesse Vielma became regular starters.

Season
Thinking they could lean on the success of the 2007 season and thinking 2008 was based on some bad luck, the Merchantmen were proven wrong big time. The defense tried to live up to their standards, but ended up allowing 19.6 points per game (18th overall). They were actually below average in overall run defense (19th) and pass defense (21st).

The offense was even worse, all season long. With the worst running game and mediocre passing game (17th overall), the team ranked only 27th in the league with just 16.3 points per game. Disappointing and far from the step forward that fans and media were expecting.

Quarterback Louie Flannery didn't play so bad at all, throwing for 3550 yards and 16 interception. But then, he threw for only 15 touchdowns, of which 6 game in a single game. The inability to score touchdowns was seen throughout the team as Randy Harris scored a team high 5 touchdowns.

On defense, Charles Gomez played like he always does, receiving All IHOF honors once again for his 82 tackles and 7.5 sacks. But aside from Gomez, nickelback Myron Stevens (10 defended passes, 3 interceptions, 19 catches allowed) was the only defensive player with respectable stats.

Based on those trends, the Merchantmen started the season with three losses and were staring at 2-7 in week 10. Amazingly they bounced back with six wins in their last seven games, but 8-8 clearly wasn't enough to make the playoffs. The Gothenburg Giants (10-6) claimed their first European division title, while the Merchantmen finished third on head to head results against the Bordeaux Vineyards (8-8, 2nd) and Paris Musketers (8-8, 4th).

The Giants were decent representative of the division, upsetting the Boston Rhinos (13-3) in Gothenburg. The didn't stand a chance at the North Plainfield Plague (14-2) though, unlike the San Antonio Volunteers (12-4), who unseated the Plague as AOC Champions. The Volunteers in turn were no match for the Frederick Red Menace (12-4) in IHOF Bowl VI.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:00 AM   #8
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2010

Off Season
Following two quiet off-seasons, clearly something had to be done to bring the Merchantmen to a higher level. Veterans Center Ned Cozart, cornerback Tommie Canon and wide receiver Jewell Simpson joined the team through trades. On the free agents market, defensive tackle Frank Bernard and linebacker Albert Boggess were acquired. Veterans defensive end Albert Bernardo and tackle Harold Hurtado were released, while Ellsworth Thelen was traded to the North Plainfield Plague.

Season
But 2010 wasn't going to be the year either. Slowed down by a second most 36 turnovers, the Merchantmen offense was once again incapable of winning games. They finished the season 26th in scoring, 25th in passing yards and 19th in rushing yards.

Thankfully, the defense reclaimed some of their fame. The Merchantmen allowed 16.9 points per game, second only to the defending league champions Frederick Red Menace. Overall they ranked 2nd in passing yards allowed and 24th in rushing yards allowed.

Newcomer Tommie Canon was the surprisingly impressive player on defense. Canon posted 5 interceptions and 12 defended passes against just 22 catches allowed. Tai Wayne and Lincoln Gilmore also had 12 defended passes and less than 30 catches allowed, making them one of the strongest secondaries in the league.

In front of that secondary, Charles Gomez (78 tackles, 4.5 sacks) and Cody Cluff (118 tackles) did their usual tricks. For Gomez it resulted in All IHOF second team honors. On the other hand, their performance didn't make up for once again an ineffective offense.

Louie Flannery had another mediocre season, throwing for 2659 yards, 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Thad Pilkington filled in for Flannery a couple of times due to injuries. Fullback Jamel Rosenberry lead the team with 77 catches. Bryce Ewald posted 773 yards and 6 touchdowns. Supposed to be star receiver Simpson had only 38 catches for 635 yards and 3 scores. Randy Harris got demoted to a backup role behind Joseph Schoen, but amazingly racked up 930 yards and a 4.5 yards per carry average from the bench.

In the end it was just another dramatic season. The Merchantmen kicked off with two wins, bit quickly fell into a black hole and were staring at 3-6 in week 10. Trying to bounce back, the Merchantmen dominted in teir next four games, but managed to record only one win, en route to finishing the year at 6-10.

The Bordeaux Vineyards (8-8) won the European division, just barely ahead of the Paris Musketeers (8-8) on a head to head sweep. As to be expected of a team without a winning record, they exited in the first round of the playoffs, losing to the Rochester Lake Monsters (12-4). Rochester followed up with a loss to the Syracuse Mohawks (12-4), who rolled on. In IHOF Bowl VII, the Mohawks posted an amazing 99-yard drive to unseat the Frederick Red Menace (13-3) as league champions.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:00 AM   #9
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2011

Off Season
Looking at the last coule of seasons, the Merchantmen had clearly moved into some sort of .500 land team. That 2007 season had been nothing but a fluke. It hurt, but it was the most logical explanation. Or was it?

Randy Harris and Tommie Canon retired in the off-season. To fill those voids, the Merchantmen knocked on the door of the Boston Rhinos and acquired running back Courtney Osgood and cornerback Brian Spears. Later on, the Merchantmen would also add running back Quentin Hatchette from the Gothenburg Giants for Joseph Schoen, but Osgood won the starting job.

But more off-season moves were made. Flannery's mentor Thad Pilkington was traded to the North Plainfield Plague and former second round picks quarterback Josh Webb and wide receiver Jerry Beyer were roster cut day casualties. Their places were taken by free agent quarterback Richard Bell, rookie quarterback Harvey Nimmons and free agent receiver Drew McConnell.

Aside from Nimmons, the draft brought along guard J.J. Reilly and safety Eddie Cole, whom both started the year as backups, but due to injuries from others were regular starters by the end of the season.Cornerback Sammie Kennedy ended up being the true replacement of Tommie Canon opposite Tai Wayne.

Season
Despite having a career low 2493 yards passing, Louie Flannery actually looked like the player of the season. Flannery missed 3 games and a good chunck of another, which were all lost, twice resulting in a shutout. Flannery clearly cut down on interceptions (11) and finally grew into the role of team leader.

Once again, none of Flannery's receivers stood out, but Bryce Ewald (7 touchdowns) and Jewell Simpson (6 scores in 11 games) became important targets for him. Not to mention the reliable running game that Courtney Osgood (1301 yards) and Quentin Hatchette (607 yards) turned out to be. Both posted 4.6 yards per carry.

It came back in overall figures, as the team ranked 25 in passing yards and 11th in rushing yards, The team ranked only 20th overall in scoring, but that was more than ever result of having a strong defense. The Merchantmen allowed 15.0 points per game, which was 3rd in the league. It also showed in the yardage area with a 3rd place in passing and 10th place in rushing.

On that defense, Tai Wayne posted a monster season, with 24 defended passes and 1 interception versus 24 catches allowed. Sammie Kennedy missed a couple of games, but proved to be a good side kick with 13 defended passes in 12 games. The pass rush was back with Omar Gougeon (8.5 sacks), Wally Mattingly (6.5 sacks) and Charles Gomez (6.5 sacks).

Leaning on that strong defense, the Merchantmen started the season strong, winning their first four games. In the mid-season, Flannery missed some time, but the team bounced back, finishing with five straight wins for an 11-5 record and a third European divison title. The Paris Musketeers (8-8) and Gothenburg Giants (8-8) finished at a respectable distance.

based on that regular season, the Merchantmen thought they would be able to upset the Syracuse Mohawks (10-6) in the first round of the playoffs. The Mohawks turned out to be no match for the Merchantmen, yet they failed to convert their impressive ground game (203 yards rushing) into points. The Merchantmen lost 17-12, the Mohawks advanced.

The Syracuse Mohawks bounced back in the conference semifinals, beating the Georgia Gridlock (12-4), but saw their repeat dreams end when they lost at the Vicksburg Vipers (11-5) in the AOC Championship. The Frederick Red Menace (12-4) won their third NAC Championship in a row and got icing on their cake in the shape of IHOF Bowl VIII.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:01 AM   #10
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2012

Off Season
With that early playoff exit fresh in memory, the Merchantmen management decided it was time for a big move in the off-season. IHOF's most productive wide receiver Alfredo Bass was targeted. The Minnesota Miners appeared to be willing trade partners and Bass shipped across the Atlantic Ocean for a future first round pick.

Next, guard Butch White was swapped for Paris Musketeers' defensive end Lonnie Badalyan. A bunch of draft picks was then traded to the San Luis Obispo Burn for veteran tackle Christopher Perdomo. Fullback Jamel Rosenberry got traded to the Anaheim Visigoths, paving the way for third-year pro Quentin Malicki to break into the starting lineup.

Young quarterback Harvey Nimmons got traded to the Georgia Gridlock, to make room for rookie quarterback Kevin 'Coyote' Cote. Two other rookies would prove to be good additions for depth and future starting roles: defensive end Luther Hansen and outside linebacker Lee Burns. Third round pick Tracy Winslett became the new third down back.

Season
All other player moves aside, the addition of Alfredo Bass proved to be the key to the Merchantmen's 2012 season. The veteran broke all franchise receiving record, hauling in 92 catches for 1271 yards, 9 touchdowns and earning All IHOF second team honors. It also helped Louie Flannery to step up his play, finally giving him a deep threat receiver.

With opponents (unsuccesfully) focussing on Bass, the running game almost provided two 1000-yard backs. Courtney Osgood ran for 1037 yards, while Quentin Hatchette came half a game short at 960 yards. Overall, the running game ranked 11th in the league, while the passing game was only 20th overall. In scoring, the Merchantmen ranked 16th overall.

As per usual, the lack of a powerful offense was made up by a strong defense. The Merchantmen allowed 15.4 points per game, which was 2nd in the league. Even more impressive where the yardage rankings. With a 4th place in passing and 3rd place in rushing, the Merchantmen were top4 in the three major categories on defense.

Interestingly enough, no individual player really stood out on defense. Cody Cluff (112 tackles) played a decent role there, filling in for Charles Gomez (55 tackles, 4 sacks) who had clearly lost some of his speed and power. In the pass defense, Sammie Kennedy and Tai Wayne played well, but neither had spectacular numbers, nor did strong safety Lincoln Gilmore.

The results of games showed a strange trend. The Merchantmen kicked off with a five-game winning streak. The streak ended in week seven, when the Boston Rhinos used one big punt return to overcome being outgained by over 200 yards. The Merchantmen got into a slump and needed weeks to recover from that. The bounced back though, finishing the season 10-6 and securing a playoff spot in week 16.

Although having finished the second in the European division behind the Bordeaux Vineyards (10-6), the Merchantmen were expecting good things. At Bordeaux they proved to be the better team. They almost choked a 24-7 half time lead, and a fumble inside their own red zone almost cost them the game in the fourth quarter. Tai Wayne posted three defended passes in four plays and secured the win.

For the conference semi finals, the Merchantmen had to visit the Tucker Tigers (15-1). Although being underdogs, football fans were excited about this encouter between the top offense and top defense in the league. Sadly, it never was a game. As a flashback to the 2007 AOC Championship game, the Merchantmen posted two three-and-outs, a fumble and an interception in the first quarter. After just 18 minutes of play, the Tigers were leading 24-0. The Merchantmen added three more turnovers, en route to a 37-12 loss.

The Tucker Tigers got to host the Vicksburg Vipers (10-6) in the AOC Championship game and saw their quarterback Shaun Duncan throw the game away and end their dreams. The Vipers defended their conference title with success and followed up with a 27-23 victory over the Ann Arbor Anachronism (13-3) in IHOF Bowl IX.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:14 PM   #11
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Maassluis Merchantmen 2013

Off Season
The disappointing end to the previous season appeared to have ended an era in Maassluis. With most players getting into their thrities, a youth movement was looming. No less than nine players retired. Although most of them had been backups during the 2012 season, either on defense or on the offensive line.

Despite all the retirements, a record low number of two trades were completed in the Merchantmen front office, both simple picks for picks trades. The draft did produce a couple of late round players who turned out to be contributors in third down back Brenden Boone and right guard Johnnie Griffin.

Season
Despite a painful 35-7 loss at the hands of the Frederick Red Menace in week, the Merchantmen managed to play decent football troughout the majority of the season. With a tough stretch of games to go in the last five games, the Merchantmen were 7-4, trailing the Bordeaux Vineyards on tie-breakers.

Still, clearly the Merchantmen had fallen back to mediocrity. The defense allowed 20.8 points per game, ranking them 23rd overall. And it wasn't based on fluke performances, the Merchantmen ranked 29th against the run and 20th against the pass. The once so fearsome defense had totally vanished.

Alfredo Bass lead the offense with his usual form, racking up 84 catches for 1,087 yards and 9 scores. And in relief of oft injured Courtney Osgood, Quentin Hatchette posted 1,002 yards rushing. But neither managed to really make a difference. The Merchantmen finished the season 22nd in passing and 11th in running. Together it combined for 19.3 points per game, 15th in the league.

Being in the race turned out to be more wishful thinking than standing a true chance. With just one win in their last five games, the Merchantmen fell back to 8-8 and were actually eliminated from contention going into week 16.

The Bordeaux Vineyards (10-6) represented the European division well, beating the Boston Rhinos (10-6) and upsetting the Tucker Tigers (12-4) en route to the AOC Championship game. The turned out to be no match to the Rochester Lake Monsters (12-4), who won 37-13. The Lake Monsters finsihed off a brilliant turnaround season, beating the Chesapeake Chitterlings (13-3) 32-29 in IHOF Bowl X.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:14 PM   #12
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Maassluis Merchantmen 2014

Off Season
Guard Timothy Lacy was the most promintent player quitting from the game. He was joined by wide receiver Jewell Simpson. who never lived up to the hype of being acquired for a first round pick. Despite that, the Merchantmen decided to revisit that kind of gamble. Linebacker Rernando Reese came over from the Knoxville Rebels, the new name of Simpson's last franchise.

But more new players were acquired. The Merchantmen were holding the #16 overall pick, but decided to send it to the Fort Worth Fury. Coming across the ocean were tackle Albert Brookshire and safety Kennedy Gillespie, who was expected to become the replacement for Lincoln Gilmore in the secondary. Gilmore had suffered a terrible knee injury in 2013 and was going to spend the 2014 season on injured reserve.

With Brookshire being relatively old, the Merchantmen also acquired left tackle Quinn England from the Syracuse Mohawks. England was looking like the perfect succesor to Ivan Jacques. The Merchantmen swapped their second round pick for a third round pick to get England.

On draft day, the Merchantmen acquired three players who looked like long-term players. Quarterback Everett South had been projected as a first round talent, but fell to 55 overall, where the Merchantmen picked him. Thirteen picks later, the Merchantmen traded up to acquire return specialist Cary Flowers. Their third rookie was tight end Darryl McDaniel.

Three players who didn't survive the roster cuts were Omar Gougeon, Devin Henson and Myron Stevens. Gougeon had been a succesful pass rusher, Henson the team's top kickoff returner and Myron Stevens was usually a nickelback. Neither was a true key player, but they were both prototypical Merchantmen players.

Season
The 2014 regular season turned out to be like a rollercoaster ride. The Merchantmen managed to sweep their two French divisional rivals, but found themselves unable to beat the Gothenburg Giants. The Giants were surprisingly good, turning their offense over to quarterback Ben Randolph after Charles Vance had gone down injured.

Alfredo Bass had once again been the key target for Flannery. Bass missed three games, but still managed to rack up 1,229 yards and 9 scores on 82 catches. Courtney Osgood helped to keep the chains moving. Osgood averaged 5.61 yards per carry and scored 8 times on the ground.

The team eventually ranked 18th in scoring, 19th in rushing and 20th in passing. Not very stellar, but good enough for Louie Flannery to post a career year. Flannery completed over 68 percent of his passes and added career highs in touchdown (26) and passer rating (96.9), while recording only 10 interceptions in 519 pass attempts.

At times the old Merchantmen defense seemed to be back. Allowing 19.8 points per game, they ranked tied for sixth. It didn't really translate into the yardage categories, as the defense ranked 22nd against he pass and 19th against the run.

Cody Cluff ended up leading the league in tackles. Cluff posted a career high 127 tackles and saw his new partner Fernando Reese add 109 tackles. But with a struggling secondary, Cluff and Reese were merely doing the work other players seemed uanble to do.

When everything was said and done, the Merchantmen had been playing .500 ball. A lucky three game winning streak at the end of the season helped them to a 9-7 record, but they missed out on the last wild card due to head to head losses to both other 9-7 teams in the AOC. The Gothenburg Giants (12-4) had been a surprise team, winning the European division.

Following a bye week the Giants beat the Georgia Gridlock (10-6) to set up for an AOC Championship game against the Boston Rhinos (16-0). The Rhinos kept winning, beating the Giants 41-28. Even the Chesapake Chitterlings (14-2) and their 55 touchdowns throwing Ron lyle couldn't stop them. The Rhinos won IHOF Bowl XI, meaning every franchise in their division had won at least one league championship.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:16 PM   #13
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Maassluis Merchantmen 2015

Off Season
The off-season started with the news of the retirement of two super stars. Defensive tackle Charles Gomez and wide receiver Alfredo Bass both decided to step away from football as a player. They were joined by running back Courtney Osgood, who's decission came as a bit of a surprise.

Without looking back, the search for a new running back started. Quentin Hatchette was still around and coming off an 800-yard season, but the management was pressing to add three new backs. Alonzo Summers joined in a trade from the Chesapeake Chitterlings, Tommy Wheeler was taken in the fourth round and Morris Allen joined as a rookie free agent.

The top free agent signing of the season was Charles Carreno. The recently crowned IHOF champions was hired on a $7 million dollar deal as a one-year substitute Gomez. Wide receivers Dean Fulton and Vince McAlister joined to fill the shoes of Bass. McAlister came in a trade from the Boulder Blizzard, whereas Fulton was a roster cut day casualty in Gothenburg.

Season
Although failing to match his career year, Louie Flannery was pleased with his new receivers. Especially McAlister turned out to be a great fit, racking up 77 catches for 1,116 yards and 8 scores. At times it even seemed the offense actually carried the team. Offensively the team finished 14th in scoring, 12th in passing and 23rd in running.

On the other end, the defense was totally falling apart. The Merchantmen ranked 31st against the pass. Granted, supported by a 6th ranked running game, the Merchantmen forced teams to pass, but they seemed unable to withstand. They ended 19th overall in points allowed.

Cody Cluff finshed the season once again leading the league with 124 tackles. This time around he earned All IHOF first teams honors for it. At the same time, it shows how bad things really had been. Cluff had to do too much all over the field to play even decent defense.

Despite an 0-2 start of the season, the Merchantmen bounced back. Following a five-game winning streak, they found themselves leading the European division. In an epic game against the Gothenburg Giants, the Merchantmen choked a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter and not only lost the game in overtime but pretty much lost the entire season.

Several games were lost afterhaving taken an early two-score lead and all of a sudden the Merchantmen found themselves needing to win their last two games to save the season. Week 17 turned out to be a head to head battle with the Giants for the European division title. In style they choked another early 14-0 and lost the game on a touchdown with 3 minutes left.

That week 17 results meant the Gothenburg Giants (8-8) defended their European title succesfully. The Giants even managed to win their first game in the playoffs agianst the North Plainfield Plague (9-7), but found their Waterloo at the Fort Worth Fury (13-3). In their first playoff visit ever, the Fury followed up with a convincing 31-19 win at the Rochester Lake Monsters (13-3).

In IHOF Bowl XII, the Chesapeake Chitterlings (10-6) were the Fury's opponents. Hoping to end their streak of IHOF Bowl losses, the Chitterlings marched into a 24-7 lead. In a crazy fourthquarter, the Fury turned the score around to 28-24 and crownded themselves league champions.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:16 PM   #14
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Wew, that wraps up the past seasons. Just in time for draft day 2016...
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:29 PM   #15
Joe
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champions!
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:27 AM   #16
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Summary of results so far
Below is a quick table of how the Merchantmen have been doing so far:
yearrkrecord, playoffs
20044th1-15
20053rd7-9
20063rd8-8
20071st13-3, lost in AOC Championship
20081st9-7,lost in wild card round
20093rd8-8
20103rd6-10
20111st11-5, lost in wild card round
20122nd10-6, lost in divisional round
20132nd8-8
20142nd9-7
20152nd8-8


Other notable comments going into the 2016 season:
* The Merchantmen were the second franchise (after the North Plainfield Plague) to have recorded a win against every other franchise. To date four franchises have completed the 'league sweep'.
* The Merchantmen rank 14th all-time in regular season wins, with a 98-94 record. The Merchantmen have three division titles, 4 playoff appearances and a 2-4 record in playoff games, without any IHOF Bowl appearances. 14 different teams have played in IHOF Bowls, the Chesapeake Chitterlings have the most (4 visits), but are also the only franchise with multiple visits and without a IHOF Bowl win.
* Louie Flannery has established himself as a solid quarterback in career stats. He ranks 4th in completions, 5th in attempts, 7th in yardage and 8th in touchdowns. Flannery also ranks 7th in most wins, having a respectable 90-68 record.
* Alfredo Bass ranks a 1st on the career receptions list. Bass caught 865 passes in his career, 158 more than the number two, David Marquis. Bass still ranks 1st in receiving yardage, but is likely to be surpassed by Chesapeake Chitterlings' Jefrey Banta, who is only 196 yards behind. Bass ranks 2nd in receiving touchdowns, 3 behind IHOF's first ever amateur draft pick Tyrus Shaye.
* Cody Cluff is the all-time career leader in tackles. His closest competition retired in the 2016 off-season, the closest active player is Ben 'Furby' Tompkins. Furby is 164 tackles behind Cluff's current figure of 1,246 tackles. Cluff ranks 3rd in assists, but the top two players have both retired, meaning he needs 15 assists to tie the career lead.
* Charles Gomez ranks 6th all-time in sacks. Right in front of him are Harold Wells (4th) and Deon Chapa (5th), whom both, like Gomez, are retired from football.
* Cary Coles ranks 4th in most field goals scored. The top two kickers appear to be out of reach, but 3rd ranked Bill Vickers is only 6 field goals ahead. Coles also ranks 4th all-time in points scored.
* Tai Wayne ranks tied for 9th place in passes defended.
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:51 AM   #17
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Another year, another streak of retirements

At the brink of the new season, IHOF general managers anxiously await for players to fill their retirement papers. The Maassluis Merchantmen were hit hard. Although not entirely unexpected from most of them, six players cleared out their lockers for the last time: Charles Carreno, Ivan Jacques, Mike Kershner, Jim Reiser, Darren Walsh and Tai Wayne.

The biggest surprise of the list was probably Tai Wayne. The 32-year old cornerback was about to enter his eleventh season. Wayne wasn't much of a ballhawker, but was instead known for being able to make opposing receivers look invisible. He was a key starter ever since he got drafted 12th overall in the 2005 draft. Wayne enmassed 147 regular season games, in which he posted 135 defended passes and 12 interceptions. His best season was 2011, when he defended 24 passes and made 1 interception, while allowing 24 receptions.

Left tackle 'Indestructable' Ivan Jacques didn't play his entire career in Maassluis. Jacques was a starter with the Brooklyn Fightin' Bums in 2004 and 2005. After spending a year on the bench, Jacques wanted out and ended up in Maassluis. Jacques was a tremendous blocker for Louie Flannery, allowing only 23 sacks in 110 regular season games. Until last season he was a regular starter. Merchantmen G.M. M.IJ.B. said: "Such a great player. Looking back, I wish we had started Jacques at guard last season when Griffin was out. Maybe it could have changed his mind to stick around for one more season."

Tight end Jim Reiser spent his entire IHOF career in Maassluis. After a season and a half on the bench behind All-IHOF first teamer Jerry Aubrey, Reiser broke through in 2006. Reiser posted a career high 79 receptions and established himself as Louie Flannery's favorite target. Reiser remained the top tight end for about six seasons, until the better blocker Arnold Ramirez took over. Reiser still saw a lot of action until last season. He clearly wasn't happy being deep down on the depth chart and decided to quit, rather than find a new team.

Mike 'Mickey' Kershner called it quits after 12 seasons with the Merchantmen. The 34-year old linebacker hadn't played much the last couple of seasons. Over the years, Kershner was usually the rotation backup. With injuries to starters, Kershner managed to get a good number of starts. After a strong 2009 campaign he seemed to finally have become a starter, but a severe knee injury sidelined him for most of the 2010 season and he never was the all round stud he used to be. Kershner was popular with the fans and will be missed on and off the field.

Defensive end Darren Walsh played two seasons in Maassluis. He posted 7.5 sacks, 4 blocked passes and 31 hurries in 30 games for the Merchantmen. Defensive tackle Charles Carreno only spent the 2015 season in Maassluis. Carreno had a 'Gomez-like' season, posting 4.0 sacks, 20 hurries and 58 tackles. Both had a championship ring when then arrived in Maassluis. Walsh was an IHOF champion in 2008 with the Fairbanks NorthStars. Carreno was part of he undefeated Boston Rhinos in 2014.


Elsewhere around the league, 18 other players with Merchantmen roots called it quits. The full list, before going into detail on the most notbale ones: wide receivers Willie Bennett and Jerry Beyer, running back Brenden Boone, defensive tackle John Bryant, offensive tackle Tommie Burns, defensive ends Britt Bycroft and Deon Chapa, quarterback Kevin Cote, defensive end Cecil Doney, safety Lincoln Gilmore, offensive lineman Norman Holliday, wide receivers Richard Kiesling and Raul Marshall, safeties Rob Praw and Randall Smith, cornerbacks Myron Stevens and Gus Stoffers, and fullback Aldo Stubbs.

Strong safety Lincoln Gilmore stands out from the off-roster retirements. 'The Comeback Kid' played 142 games in IHOF, all with the Merchantmen. Gilmore was the third member of the defensive backbone, behind Charles Gomez and Cody Cluff. Gilmore was a tremendous run stopper, but also a key player in the Merchantmen two-deep zone defense. Late in the 2013 season he suffered a very serious knee injury. Gilmore spent the 2014 on injured reserve and was released in the 2015 off-season, no longer being able to play football at IHOF level. Gilmore is the all-time Merchantmen leader in interceptions and number three in tackles behind Cluff and Gomez.

Cornerback Myron Stevens wasn't a very gifted player. He went undrafted in 2006, but apparently did have the right skills to play in the Merchantmen two-deep zone defense. Stevens was a nickelback and occasional starter between from 2006 through 2012. Stevens was a popular figure in the locker room and even established himself as a mentor figure later on. After having spent most of the 2012 season on the inactive roster, Stevens was released in the 2013 off-season. The Merchantmen tried to bring back Stevens during the 2015 season as a safety for the last couple of games, but they failed to fill the required papers and after two years out of football, Stevens decided to retire.

Defensive end Deon Chapa had his best days outside of Maassluis. Chapa was the Merchantmen's fourth round pick in the 2004 league draft. After a so-so 2005 campaign, in whichChapa looked fragile and unable to rush the passer, the Merchantmen decided to trade him, also to get rid of his exorbitant salary requests. Chapa kept struggling with his health, but still managed to enmass 74.0 sacks in 143 games, ranking him fifth, just between his 2004 and 2005 teammates Harold Wells and Charles Gomez.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:07 AM   #18
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Merchantmen bring back OC, hire new DC and lead scout

The Maassluis Merchantmen brought back offensive coordinator J.T. Pulliam. After five seasons in the coaching staff, Pulliam was out of contract. The Merchantmen management is happy with what he has done so far and decided to give him a new 5-year contract. Pulliam was hired in the 2011 off-season as an unproven OC and has been a crucial in the development of many young offensive players.

Benjamin Nixon was hired as the new defensive coordinator. He left the Albuquerque Wrong Turns after nine seasons and signed a 5-year contract in Maassluis. General manager M.IJ.B. was happy about the signing: "Nixon has a good reputation as a player developer. We were very happy with Omar Carden, but his salary was getting too expensive and Nixon appeared more than happy to sign for a much lower fee." Omar Carden signed with the Fort Worth Fury, the IHOF defending champions.

Another new face in the staff is Gus Downs. The 53-year old is the new lead scout for the Merchantmen. Downs has a very good reputation in scouting receivers and offensive linemen. He also hes an excellent reputation with secondary players, which could be very useful given the need for new cornerbacks. Downs signed a 5-year contract.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:27 AM   #19
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Merchantmen very active on free agent market

The 2016 off-season has started well for the Maassluis Merchantmen. No less than eleven players have been acquired as new signings, while five players decided to return to Maassluis. Two players from last season's roster were hired away. A short intro to all the new players.

Running back Chad Hayes was the first new signing. Hayes signed a three-year contract to add depth to the backfield. Hayes never started a game in IHOF, but was the premier backup for the Miami Sharks last season. Hayes has a great reputation as a short yardage back.

Defensive tackle Robert Duong received the biggest contract. Duong signed a one-year contract worth $6.5 million. It marks Duong's return to Maassluis. He was initially the Merchantmen's third round pick in the 2004 league draft, but got traded to the Fairbanks NorthStars before playing a regular season game. Duong is known as an excellent run stuffer, who can also support the pass rush.

Left tackle Drew Foreman joins a crowded offensive line. Foreman is entering his eleventh season in IHOF and has been a starter throughout his career. Foreman was a sixth round draft pick in the 2006 amateur draft for the RayCo Raiders. He hung around for nine seasons, but was released last season on roster cut day and then signed with the Rochester lake Monsters.

Strong safety Earl Wayne finally joins the Merchantmen. In the past he was part of trade talks when he still played with the Georgia Gridlock. Wayne started in every game for the Oakland Black Panthers in 2014 and for the Tucker Tigers last season. Wayne was an All-IHOF first teamer in 2014, as he posted 9 interceptions.

Guard Damon Hoover signed a two-year contract. After seven seasons with the North Plainfield Plague, Hoover became expendable. He hopped around from the Telluride Outlaws through the Oakland Black Panthers to end up with the Outer Banks Ospreys last season. Hoover played in only one game last season, but has a good reputation as a pass blocker and should fit in with the Merchantmen in a backup role.

The six other free agent signings were kicker J.T. Linquist, left tackle Terry Hoover, cornerbacks Dana Bueter and Douglas Oakley, defensive end Tim Forsey and quarterback Harvey Nimmons. Nimmons played his rookie season (2011) in Maassluis. All six have been signed with the potential to make the 53-men roster, but none of them are a lock to evn make the 60-men pre-season roster yet.

The five players who extended their stay with the Merchantmen are wide receiver Bryce Ewald, offensive linemen Rondell Fulcher and Cornelius Rice, safety K.C. Cross and linebacker Matt Sellers. Cornerback Ross Greene went to the Telluride Outlaws. Wide receiver Dean Fulton signed with the Tucker Tigers.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:47 AM   #20
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Merchantmen sell house to get WR Gabe Springer

The Maassluis Merchantmen had a first round pick for the first time in seven years. And once again they traded it away, but this time to trade up, not out. The Merchantmen packed the #17 overall pick with their 2017 first round selection to acquire the #8 overall pick. Arrived there, they decided to select wide receiver Gabe Springer.

An interesting decission, given that Springer wasn't a highly rated rookie. After missing the rookie workout, undersized Springer was tagged with a second round grade (5.2). The 23-year old Ohio wide receiver was generally regarded the fourth best wide receiver in this draft. The top three all went in the first six picks. The Merchantmen management panicked, not expecting Springer to fall to them at #17 overall.

"A risky move, but that's life in IHOF," said Merchantmen G.M. M.IJ.B. "Going into the draft, wide receiver was one of the positions we were expecting to look at. After Dean Fulton decided to go to the Tucker Tigers instead of staying around, I felt the need to address that void as soon as possible. We scouted Springer extensively and think he'll be a a very good receiver, well worth a top ten pick."

The move leaves the Merchantmen a bit shy of draft picks in future drafts. Earlier this off-season they traded their 2017 third and 2018 second round picks to acquire low second and third rounders in this draft. The Merchantmen are still holding the 2.22, 2.30, 3.15, 3.29, 4.07, 4.19 and 5.13 picks. Everybody expects them to package it all to move up in the draft or for future picks. But it's unsure whether they'll manage that in what appears to be a relative weak draft...
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:21 AM   #21
NoSkillz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIJB#19 View Post
Merchantmen very active on free agent market

Defensive tackle Robert Duong received the biggest contract. Duong signed a one-year contract worth $6.5 million. It marks Duong's return to Maassluis. He was initially the Merchantmen's third round pick in the 2004 league draft, but got traded to the Fairbanks NorthStars before playing a regular season game. Duong is known as an excellent run stuffer, who can also support the pass rush.

Best of luck with Duong. I had an embarrassment of riches at that position with him, "Irrelevant" Boyer and Sanders all available at tackle. I made an offer to keep him but his production dropped off quite a bit last year with sporadic playing time, as I played Sanders at end often to get all three on the field.

I hope he works out for you! Cheers!
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:26 AM   #22
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Merchantmen pick two defensive linemen

With their second and third picks in the 2016 amateur draft, the Maassluis Merchantmen took two defensive linemen. First they sent the #54 overall pick to the Rochester Lake Monsters for a future second round pick and the #126 overall pick. Next, Keith Mathews and Roman Waldroup heard their names called and linked with the Merchantmen.

Keith Mathews out of Colorado turned 24 last March. The defensive tackle had a decent rookie combine, scoring well on his agility test and clocking a roughly average 40-yard dash time. Mathews is said to be a primairy run stuffer with some pass rush technique potential. The Merchantmen picked him 62nd overall in the draft.

North Carolina State graduate Roman Waldroup was picked #79 overall. The 23-year old defensive end showed his speed in the rookie workout. Waldroup timed the second best agility score and fourth best 40-yard time for defensive ends. The Merchantmen scouting staff believe Waldroup will prove to be a decent pass rusher and run stuffer.

Subsequently, Roman Waldroup became the first player ever taken by the Merchantmen with a draft pick not (re-)acquired through a trade. For whatever that's worth...
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSkillz View Post
Best of luck with Duong. I had an embarrassment of riches at that position with him, "Irrelevant" Boyer and Sanders all available at tackle. I made an offer to keep him but his production dropped off quite a bit last year with sporadic playing time, as I played Sanders at end often to get all three on the field.

I hope he works out for you! Cheers!
Thanks. I'm expecting him to be just a one-year plug, if he doesn't show up out of shape after training camp. Duong had a good career in Fairbanks and I thought it would be funny to bring him back for a year at his original team. (Yeah, Kodos, I opted to try and hire Amos Collins too ).
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:07 AM   #24
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Nice to see this back in action. I missed out on Collins as well.
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Old 01-18-2008, 06:24 PM   #25
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Tight End Watson drafted by Merchantmen

The Maassluis Merchantmen finished off a traditional trading spree with a fourth draft day selection. Tight end Glenn Watson out of Michigan was taken 126th overall. Watson is expected to be a good run blocker and a shouldn't be a decent option on passing downs.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:54 PM   #26
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Merchantmen complete their draft with Foley

The Maassluis Merchantmen used their seventh round pick on cornerback Glen Foley. The Miami, Florida graduate had a lowsy combine and might go anywhere from being a full time starter to a roster cuts casualty at the start of pre-season.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:37 PM   #27
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Merchantmen trade backs with Lake Monsters

Good and bad news out of Maassluis. The Maassluis Merchantmen decided to trade away running back Alonzo Summers to the Rochester Lake Monsters. Coming back are a third and fourth round pick in future drafs, as well as another running back in Perry Clinton.

Summers was acquired last off-season from the Chesapeake Chitterlings. Summers played in 15 games, mainly as a change of pace back behind rookie Tommy Wheeler. Summers played admirably well though, posting career bests with 709 yards rushing, averaging 4.20 per carry and 8 touchdowns. Summers tied the Merchantmen single-season record with that last figure.

Perry Clinton is coming over from Rochester. Clinton was a fourth round draft pick for the Lake Monsters in 2011. Clinton is coming off a career year of his own, collecting 869 yards on the ground, with 8 touchdowns and a 4.08 per carry average. Clinton was dubbed 'Crapheap' following a fumbles laden season. He fought back last season, posting only 2 turnovers on 226 ball touches, while forcing another fumble on special teams.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:43 PM   #28
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Vince McAlister demands a pay day

Maassluis Merchantmen player Vince McAlister today annouced to go into hold out mode. The fifth year wide receiver had a breakout season and wants a better contract. McAlister was scheduled to make the veteran minumum for the upcoming 2016 season.

Maassluis Merchantmen General Manager M.IJ.B. was surprisingly mild about the decission: "Vince made a good point. We've been negelcting to offer him a better contract so far. He had a great season and we're happy with him. The drafting of Gabe Springer is in no way a reflection on Vince's performance. We failed to persuade Dean Fulton to stay and needed a second receiver to play together with Vince."

Reports are McAlister seeks a five-year contract, worth about $12.5 million. The Merchantmen management has hinted to be open to pay McAlister what he's asking for. McAlister made 77 receptions last season, enmassing 1,116 yards and 8 touchdowns. Those numbers respectively rank him fifth, third and fourth all-time in single-season franchise records.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:27 PM   #29
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General Manager Notes: Training Camp looms!
And it won't be pretty.

Yes, readers, the dynasty is back again. A couple of seasons went by almost unmentioned, but it was time for change. This team is too much fun to run and we haven't been all bad in those seasons. Granted, no playoffs, but we haven't exactly fallen off the face of the earth either. We're 98-94 all-time in regular season games, which is .500ish, but not so bad considering the 1-15 start and being in historically the stronger Atoantic Ocean Conference. Yes, the division is historically kind of weak, but the Bordeaux, Gothenburg and Maassluis all three are part of group of 17 winning franchises, plus all three made it to the AOC Championship game at some point.

Anyway, training camp is around the corner. We've currently got 61 players on roster, which is one over the pre-season limit. If you know me a bit, you'll be expecting 70 bodies going into training camp and I think you'd be right. I mean, right now I don't execpt us to make it all the way to 70, but I do expect to go out and try to hire a handful of undrafted rookie free agents. Maybe a pre-draft restricted free agent here or there?

The big picture of the 2016 season is pretty clear though. I don't have any expectations set yet, but our line ups are more or less set already. We'll see some roster spot battles here or there, but a lot of positions are settled. I'll run down the roster position by position.

Quarterbacks
Louie Flannery will be our starter once again. Everett South has made some progress over the first two years of his career but is far from ready to take over. Our new scout is less optimistic about South's abilities, so we'll see what it's worth. In principle we didn't hire him to tell us how good South is, he got here to help upgrade the secondary and find a good wide receiver in the draft. It's up to Harvey Nimmons in camp and pre-season to prove us wrong about his earlier departure and show he's better than South. Or at least to be there as an emergency option in case something bad happens to one of the top two guys. Justin McDavid will, of course, make our roster.

Running Backs
Ah, yes, the coin flipping and dice rolling group. A grand total of five guys are on our roster and will be fighting it out for up to four roster spots. Quentin Hatchette is the most grizzled of the bunch, although he was disappointing in the first half of last season. With 6 fumbles in 7 games, he's by no means sure of his roster spot. Tommy Wheeler was our starter for most of last season. I was pleased with his performance and he's definately going to have a role on our team. Chad Hayes is the new guy in town and has the potential to be a great third down back. He might have the skills to carry the load, although he's lacking the stamina to carry more than 15 times. Morris Allen is the underdog to make the roster, but he proved to be an okay short yardage back last season. Perry Clinton will join us soon and is actually coming of a 800-yards season as a #2. He's definatley going to have a shot to make our roster.

Fullbacks
Not much new here. Quentin Malicki is a pure run blocker and we'll expect him to play that role again this season. We sent secone-year pro Dwayne Williams to the Summer League to gain some experience, but so far I've been unimpressed by his improvement.

Tight Ends
Arnold Ramirez is still around and that's a good thing. With Jim Reiser finally calling it quits, we'll be needing Ramirez as a blocker and as a receiver. Of course, I'm hoping that either third-year pro Darryl McDaniel or rookie Glenn Watson makes a strong impression in training camp and pre-season to provide us some depth here. Good thing we can always rely on Winston Van Pelt who's not just your average long snapper, he's an elite guy at it and is good enough to play on offense too.

Wide Receivers
A position group where things are pretty clear already. Vince McAlister is coming off a career year and definatrly will be back as as starter. The question is who will be playing on the other flank. Rookie Gabe Springer cost us a lot to get, so unless he decides to play baseball, he'll be the man. If needed, Drew McConnell could step in, like he's been dong quite a lot in the past five seasons. Not to forget third downs specialist Bryce Ewald, who's been around since forever. Cary Flowers should expect to be making much catches, we'll be relying on him as a return specialists, especially on punts.

Interior Linemen
Yeah, I went there. I decided to group the centers and guards together as we have five of them on roster. Right now it's undecided who will be the middle man. Brant Heinrich has been around since the 2005 season, but Rondell Fulcher is actually the more technically gifted blocker. Around the center, it'll be J.J. Reilly on the left and Johnnie Griffin on the right. Both have proven to be good enough by now, although I am a bit worried about Griffin coming off a serious ACL knee injury. Veteran Damon Hoover was hired to back them up as a pass blocking expert.

Offensive Tackles
A crowded bunch right now. Andre Brookshire is the most gifted of them and will likely start another year on the right side. Quinn England was out left tackle last season, yet he's been not as reliable in the pass protection as we hoped he'd be. Drew Foreman allowed only one sack in 16 starts with the Lake Monsters and might even get the start over England. Cornelius Rice has been a problem last season, but burried deep down on the depth chart, we hope to not need him. Which will kind of depend on how much progress the still very green left tackle Terry Hoover will make.

Defensive Ends
A mix of old and new here. Wally Mattingly and Luther Hansen were last year's starters. Both should be expected to play a lot again in 2016. With Hansen not having much stamina, there is much need for a reliable third guy in the rotation. Fourth-year pro Lester Henson has yet to live up to expectations, but he'll have a shot. Free agent hiring Tim Forsey is still very green and has been hired mostly based on potential. Rookie Roman Waldroup, is currently the expected third guy in rotation. I wouldn't be shocked if he turns out to be close to, or even a better run blocker and rusher than Forsey and Henson. We might even make him a day one starter.

Defensive Tackles
Another mixed group, but with more good candidates. Andrew Rasmussen has started for us the last four seasons and deserves some credit. Robert Duong is the free agent signing and gets a chance to end his career as a starter, after having been a backup in Fairbanks last season. Keith Mathews as a second round pick shouldn't be dismissed yet, if he looks good in camp, he will see a lot of playing time. Which will come at the expense of Melvin Galloway, who was our #4 guy last season and was taken only four picks later than Mathews in a draft three years earlier. Leaves Andy Weliczka unmentioned. Weliczka spent the entire 2015 on the inactive roster, but it's not unlikely he'll stick around for another full season.

Linebackers
Grouped together. We have six guys signed and that's likely our full group for 2016. We lost Mike Kershner and didn't hire anybody new. Cody Cluff will likely be our "Mike", unless father time made a visit this off-season. Fernando Reese is one of the best "Sams" in the league, while pass defender Bernie Surry and pass rusher Lee Burns will alternate as "Will". Terrance White is the premier backup in the middle, while Matt Sellers is likely to make the roster as the sixth linebacker.

Cornerbacks
No more Tai Wayne, which will definately hurt an already bad pass defense. Sammie Kennedy can play the top cornerback role, although I'm not sure we really want that. He's much better off as a #2 guy or as a nickelback. Jeffrey Karsten was a free agent signing last season, but didn't live up to expectations. A newer free agent, Dana Bueter is a man-to-man expert and is a candidate to start. As is last season's nickelback Warren Pennell. We hired Douglas Oakley primarily to mentor a potential rookie. We got one in Glen Foley, who as a seventh round pick shouldn't be expected much from. In potential he reminds me of Tai Wayne, but those are big shoes to fill.

Safeties
A place with depth. Eddie Cole has slowly become our strong safety, a zone defender and stellar run stopper. Kennedy Gillespie should be the second starter, although we might play him in a nickelback role now or then. Since we signed Earl Wayne as a free agent, we actually have great depth at this position. Wayne as a All-IHOF selection in 2014 deserves some credit to even be considered as a starter. That doesn't mean Broderick Schultz is done, as he will likely stick around as the #4 guy. It's K.C. Cross who should worry about roster cut day as he's currently listed as our fifth safety.

Kickers and Punters
Sean Smalley will be our punter once again, no question there. Where I do have some decission to make is at kicker. We've currently got three guys on roster going into training camp. Al Bettis is the kickoff expert, maybe even the best in IHOF. Leaves the field goals and extra points duties. Cary Coles has been around since day one of the team, but has gone downhill the last years. His percentage is still okay, but his leg isn't strong enough to hit the big ones, forcing us to lower the field goal range in games. Sadly, J.T. Linquist isn't much stronger in the leg, but our scout thinks Linquist is much more accurate. It'll be his second training camp in Maassluis after 2012 and this time around, he's probably the favorite to make the roster.

All in all, the retirements hit hard the last two seasons. Alfredo Bass has been replaced by Vince McAlister and now Gabe Springer as well. Charles Gomez was initially replaced by Rasmussen in the middle, but after Charles Carreno's good one-year stint, we opted to do it again with Robert Duong. Ivan Jacques was riding the bench last season already, but Quinn England hasn't proven to be the true inheritant yet. Tai Wayne could even be the toughest break, as right now I have no clue yet who will be our starting cornerback(s).

Bottom line, it'll be an interesting training camp and pre-season. Can't wait for it to start!
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:58 AM   #30
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Lester Henson traded to Miami Sharks

The spree continues. Today the Maassluis Merchantmen saw the completion of another trade. Defensive end Lester Henson was swapped with a fifth round pick from the Miami Sharks. In three years with the Merchantmen, Henson never lived up to expectations and spent most of his time inactive. Henson played in 11 regular season games, starting twice and making 2.0 sacks in those games.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:58 AM   #31
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McAlister and Springer sign five-year deals

Happy faces at the press conference. The Maassluis Merchantmen today presented their receiving duo for the next five years to the media. Vince McAlister ended his hold out after signing a contract worth roughly $12.5 million. Rookie Gabe Springer posed in his 86 jersey after signing a contract worth about $22 million.

The Merchantmen general manager M.IJ.B. was smiling ear to ear: "Yes, I'm happy. Today we signed two talented wide receivers who could be come the best duo in franchise history." Over the years the team struggled to have productive receivers. The arrival of Alfredo Bass changed that four years ago and now the team seems to want a new tradition. Contrary to the old run first, pass later philosophy.

Additionally, the Merchantmen agreed terms with all four of their other rookies. Cornerback Glen Foley, defensive linemen Keith Mathews and Roman Waldroup, and tight end Glenn Watson all signed a three-year contract. On top of that, the Merchantmen signed free agent cornerback Teddy Rackers, whom as a rookie spent the 2013 training camp in Maassluis.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:49 AM   #32
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Merchantmen sign rookies Mallon and Sanderson

The Maassluis Merchantmen hired two new players. Running back Byron Mallon and safety Ray Sanderson each signed a one-year contract. Both rookies were not selected in the recent draft. The scouting staff mentioned that Mallon is a talented return specialists. Sanderson was praised for his man-to-man defense experience and will be moved to cornerback. With these signings, the Merchantmen increased their roster to 63 players, which is expected to be their final training camp number. Barring trades of course.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:27 AM   #33
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GM Notes

Nothing major, just a re-post of my writing in a thread at the IHOF Forum. It's an early look at all rookies on the Merchantmen roster at the training camp stage.

1.08 WR Gabe Springer - scouted as very underrated - very likely a starter from day one
update: scouted at 35/59 - that's pretty high for a player said to be 31% developed and makes him alreadythe highest rated WR on roster.
update2: now rated 42/64 - still pretty green in some areas, but the kid has the getting downfield and big play combo, plus has the route running and drops avoiding potential to be a Super Duper receiver.

2.30 DT Keith Mathews - scouted as very underrated - can go anywhere from being a starter and being inactive all season
update: scouted at 25/48 - being 55% developed, I kind of doubt he'll reach that full potential, especially the potential as a run stopper.
update2: now rated 30/44 - mixed feelings with that, but with all the other DTs having ran into walls this off-season, Mathews has a good chance of being an opening day starter.

3.15 DE Roman Waldroup - scouted as very underrated - will likely make the roster as an active member
update: scouted at 19/43 - greener than hoped he'd be, meaning his chances to make the roster went down a little bit
update2: now rated 25/43 - still very green, but I've got hopes that he'll be an okay end. Being a decent (for Merchantmen standards) run stopping DE, this kid has a shot at being a more than just a rotation guy.

4.30 TE Glenn Watson - unscouted - might not survive roster cuts, but could also end up being our 2016 starter
update: scouted at 30/47 - said to be better than our 3rd year youngster who was supposed to see an increased role the upcoming season. If it holds up, he'll be one of our two oft playing tight ends.
update2: now rated 32/44 - his run blocking isn't as good as hoped. In fact, Watson is looking like a 53-men roster cuts casuality right now, barring a rash of injuries in the pre-season.

7.25 CB Glen Foley - unscouted - can go anywhere from post-camp roster cut down casualty to a starter this season
update: scouted at 26/47 - I still don't buy it, but if this is for real, I think I got something that someday might look like a decent cornerback, especially since I'm not buying the kid's scouted ability in BnR defense.
update2: now rated 29/43 - has potential in all coverages and has a nose for interceptions. But the competition at CB is heavy. Still up in the air between being a 53-men casualty and an active roster project player.


Undrafted rookies:
CB Ray Sanderson - 24/42 - took a hit in potential in training camp, but his M2M and zone combo could still be enough to even make the regular season roster.

RB Byron Mallon - 26/32 - punt returner with good hole recognition and a total lack of route running, just the type of RBs I like. Pretty much locked up a regular season roster spot already.

FB Skip Franklin - 25/41 - last-minute hiring, but actually looks like he'll be better than our 2nd year Summer League visiting Sparkplug Williams. Verdict isn't out yet, but Franklin is alive for a roster spot.

G Greg Steadman - 16/30 - another training camp walk-on. can't run block, but has very good pass blocking potential. Not sure about him yet, but might have a shot at the 10th OL roster spot.

DE Alvin Stone - 10/23 - spent a training camp with us, that cashed him a $10K signing bonus for finding out he's not IHOF worthy.

MLB Ricky Schroeder - 18/34 - another last-minute hiring. Interesting run blocking potential, but with no value in the passing game, unlikely to make the team.

CB Steven Kolb - 18/24 - Hi and bye!
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:56 AM   #34
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Merchantmen sign six free agents

Just in time for training camp, the Maassluis Merchantmen signed six new players. They are fullbacks Skip Fulton and Ernest Nixon, guard Greg Steadman, defensive end Alvin Stone, middle linebacker Ricky Schroeder and cornerback Steven Kolb. Nixon is a veteran with mentor skills, the five others are all undrafted rookies.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:10 PM   #35
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Merchantmen Training Camp Report 2016

Training Camp is over, it's time to evaluate the roster. I'll run down the roster position group by position group. Players are ordered in their currently projected order in depth chart hierarchy. For all players I've posted their overall figures (rounded to x0 or x5) and their training camp "improvement".

Quarterbacks
65/65 (=0/=0) Louie Flannery
37/48 (+5/-2) Everett South
05/05 (-2/-2) Justin McDavid
30/42 (+3/+1) Harvey Nimmons
Overview: It's cut and dry. Flannery will be our starter, "Going" South should be our project guy and #2."Fumblin" Justin will stick around to mentor South. And Nimmons will be cut after pre-season, barring season ending injuries to one of the top3 guys.

Running Backs
40/40 (+8/+5) Tommy Wheeler
35/40 (+1/=0) Perry Clinton
35/40 (-4/-7) Chad Hayes
25/30 (=0/-4) Byron Mallon
20/35 (+1/+2) Morris Allen
30/30 (-6/-6) Quentin Hatchette
Overview: Guess who locked up his starting role? That's right, "Free" Wheeler! Hayes doesn't look as shiny as advertised on the FA market, but he'll still be a good short yardage option. Mallon will make our team based on his punt returning skills, providing he looks good in pre-season. "Crapheap" Clinton will make for an okay change of pace back, he might even sniff at starting if he proves his fumbling days are really over. Allen looks like he'll miss out on that short yardage back role due to Hayes' arrival. Hatchette is about done, as advertised in the trading block. He's still got some of his hole recognition left, but last year's fumbles will clinch it. Did I really write that? Hatchette doesn't fumble, I promise!

Fullbacks
40/40 (-5/-5) Quentin Malicki
25/40 (??/??) Skip Franklin
20/40 (+1/-4) Dwayne Williams
15/15 (??/??) Ernest Nixon
Overview: Ugh. Don't get me wrong, Malicki remains as a reliable run blocker and with that a reliable starter. And with Hatchette heading out the door, the Quentinial Conflict should be over. "Sparkplug" Williams was supposed to be my future project, but he hasn't made any progress as a blocker. Rookie Franklin actually seems to be the better guy of the two now. Nixon might stick around throughout pre-season to give some additional hints to Franklin or "Sparkplug", but that'll be the end of it.

Tight Ends
35/35 (-3/-3) Arnold Ramirez
30/45 (+3/=0) Darryl McDaniel
30/45 (+2/-3) Glenn Watson
30/30 (-4/-8) Winston Van Pelt
Overview: Tough decissions to make. The sure thing here is Van Pelt, our state of the art long snapper. Ramirez looked quite okay in camp and I'm feeling comfortable in letting him stick around as our starter, or at least the run blocking #2 end. Where it's getting interesting is the Watson-McDaniel duel. McDaniel made good progress and looks like he'll be ready to at least be a good #2 blocker by opening weekend. Watson, however, is looking green as a run blocker and turns out to lack the somewhat desired big play ability. The onlyt good news there is that our initial first round tight end target disappointed.

Wide Receivers
40/65 (+7/+5) Gabe Springer
35/35 (=0/=0) Vince McAlister
25/25 (-2/-2) Drew McConnell
25/25 (-4/-4) Bryce Ewald
30/30 (+2/-6) Cary Flowers
Overview: Springer didn't disappoint. Okay, still a bit green, but I'm really liking this Springer-McAlister combo! McConnell and Ewald remain as reliable cohesive backups. Flowers showed once again to be a pure return specialist. It's okay though, we can really, really use a guy like that.

Centers
50/50 (=0/=0) Rondell Fulcher
45/45 (-7/-7) Brant Heinrich
Overview: Less Heinrich, more Fulcher. Merchantmen fans, get ready for that. Heinrich is the cohesion bomb of the team, but Fulcher is clearly the more skilled pass protector. Obviously both will make the team, but the man who used to be the centre of our line is going to see a lot more of the sidelines in 2016.

Guards
50/50 (=0/=0) J.J. Reilly
45/45 (=0/=0) Johnnie Griffin
40/40 (-1/-1) Damon Hoover
15/30 (??/??) Greg Steadman
Overview: Looking good here. Reilly is already one of the best guards in the league, while Griffin came back strong from his knee injury. D.Hoover appears to be a reliable backup all over the line (except the left tackle spot). Steadman has awesome upside as a pass blocker, but the staff doesn't think much of the kid's run blocking. As it looks now, he'll stick around through pre-season and then we'll decide whether we'll keep 10 linemen and whether he'll be that tenth man.

Offensive Tackles
85/85 (-2/-2) Andre Brookshire
40/40 (=0/=0) Quinn England
35/35 (-6/-6) Drew Foreman
35/35 (-2/-2) Cornelius Rice
20/45 (+4/-1) Terry Hoover
Overview: So much for that depth. Brookshire remains as one of the elite tackles in the league. England is still a talented pass blocker, but I surely hope he'll improve on the number of sacks allowed last season. Lucky for him, Foreman showed up out of shape and now looks like a backup, at best. T.Hoover might even get the backup left tackle spot over, although it will likely depend on his pre-season. Rice took amother step back, but will remain as an okay guy to use if injuries hit.

Punter
65/65 (=0/=0) Sean Smalley
Overview: Smalley, once again, locked up the punter job. Well done, Sean.

Kickers
55/55 (+1/+1) J.T. Linquist
45/45 (-2/-2) Cary Coles
45/45 (=0/=0) Al Bettis
Overview: The loyal Merchantmen fans should be surprised here, Coles is listed second. Linquist appears to be the more accurate kicker and have a stronger leg. With Bettis handling kickoffs, Coles' days are counted. Only pre-season injury yo Linquist can save Coles' job in Maassluis.

Defensive Ends
35/35 (+1/+1) Luther Hansen
30/30 (-6/-6) Wally Mattingly
25/45 (+6/=0) Roman Waldroup
30/40 (+3/=0) Tim Forsey
10/25 (??/??) Alvin Stone
Overview: This position is about settled. Hansen is the clearcut starter, if it wasn't for his lack of stamina. Waldroup has the run stopping skills to play, but like Hansen also misses stamina. That means a likely timeshare and Mattingly on the other end of the front line. Forsey looks good enough to be an occasional pass rusher, but I'm not sure yet I'll keep him as the eight defensive lineman. Stone is outta here before pre-season starts.

Defensive Tackles
45/45 -11/-11 Robert Duong
30/45 (+5/-4) Keith Mathews
35/35 (-9/-9) Andrew Rasmussen
40/40 (+2/+2) Melvin Galloway
25/25 -12/-12 Andy Weliczka
Overview: A lot of bad news. Rephrase, terrible news. Re-rephrase dramatic news. Duong is listed on top, but only because he's a very good run stopper. His speed to rush quarterbacks has apparently vanished. Mathews had a mixed training camp, but I'm seeing a starter in him, over time. Rasmussen and Galloway are the more alread guys, but right now they project as backups. One of them might be starting early on, with Mathews coming in from time to time. Weliczka is done. Still an okay run stopper, but he's lost the speed and power to be considered good enough to play for us. It'll be sad to let him go, but inevitable.

Inside Linebackers
50/50 (-7/-7) Cody Cluff
30/30 (-3/-3) Matt Sellers
20/35 (??/??) Ricky Schroeder
25/25 -10/-10 Terrance White
Overview: Right now I wish we had kept Renaldo Dunlap, two pre-seasons ago. Cluff slowed down a bit, yet remains as a run stopping expert. Sellers ditto, although being nothing but a run stopper. Schroeder is basically a younger, greener version of Sellers. White used to be our well-respected backup, but the mad is out of shape and I'm only considering to keep him due to his better pass defense skills than Cluff.

Outside Linebackers
55/55 (-1/-1) Fernando Reese
55/55 (+1/+1) Bernie Surry
45/45 (=0/=0) Lee Burns
Overview: Good thing we still have these three guys. Reese remains as a complete "Sam". Surry is still a tremendous run stopper with lots of intangibles. Burns is still the defensive end type and we might have to consider using him as a blitzer.

Cornerbacks
35/35 (-4/-4) Sammie Kennedy
40/45 (+5/=0) Jeffrey Karsten
30/45 (+2/=0) Warren Pennell
35/35 (=0/=0) Teddy Rackers
25/40 (+4/-5) Ray Sanderson
30/35 (+4/+1) Dana Bueter
30/45 (+3/-4) Glen Foley
25/25 (-5/-5) Douglas Oakley
20/35 (??/??) Steven Kolb
Overview: Oof... Nine guys on roster and none who look even close to the pass defender we used to have in Tai Wayne. Karsten made good progress and seems ready to go. Kennedy is a left-over from the 2-deep zone only era. He's still okay, but I'm not sure how else to use him than as a nickelback type. Pennell is more and more turning into a pure return specialist, including after interception. But Pennell is no coverage guy. Rackers looks okay and could be an alternative. Sanderson looks almost as good as Rackers, but with more potential. Foley is more complete, but also green as grass. Bueter is a pure man-to-man coverage guy, but contrary to others actually has some bump-and-run experience. Oakley isn't much more than a mentor. Kolb is as good as Oakley, but without the experience and intelligence to make the others better. Indeed, it's "Hi" and "Bye!" to Kolb. All in all, it looks like we're heading for a mix of Karsten, Rackers and Sanderson in the regular season. And it ain't lookin' pretty.

Safeties
50/50 (=0/=0) Eddie Cole
40/40 (-4/-4) Kennedy Gillespie
40/40 (=0/=0) Earl Wayne
20/20 (-3/-3) Broderick Schultz
15/15 (-7/-7) K.C. Cross
Overview: Contrary to the cornerbacks, I like our safety situation a bit better. Cole is the strong safety of the team, without any doubt. Earl Wayne is a pure zone defender, but still useful as a backup to Cole. Gillespie is another zone expert, but with the nose for interceptions. Schultz is a long-time member, and still good enough to play second or third string. Cross, the man-to-man guy, won't make our regular season roster.
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:30 AM   #36
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Hatchette and Weliczka released

The Maassluis Merchantmen are preparing for the 2016 season. With the pre-season roster limit set at 60 players, the Merchantmen had to release nine players. Today they announced the names of the unlucky ones. Most notable are running back Quentin Hatchette and defensive tackle Andy Weliczka.

Quentin Hatchette's time in Maassluis is over. The 28-year old running back leaves after five season. Hatchette never was the full time starter, but as the primairy backup he carrier the ball 838 times for 3,671 yards and 13 touchdowns. Hatchette's had one 1,000-yard season and always averaged over 4.10 yards per carry. Last season he saw action in seven games. Especially his great number of fumbles made him a somewhat obvious target for release.

Andy Weliczka leaves the Merchantmen after ten seasons. The 33-year old nose tackle was a surprise starter in his rookie season as a seventh round pick. After four seasons in the starting lineup better defensive tackles took over. The run stuffer spent the entire 2015 season on the inactive roster. Weliczka played 94 regular season games for the Merchantmen.

Of the seven other players released, five were recent free agent signings. Cornerback Dana Bueter as a second year pro, linebacker Ricky Schroeder, defensive end Alvin Stone, cornerback Steven Kolb and guard Greg Steadman are all rookies. Safety K.C. Cross started 3 games for the Merchantmen last season in the injury depleted secondary as mid-season acquisition. Fullback Dwayne "Sparkplug" Williams was a sixth round pick in the 2015 draft, but even a visit to IHOF's Summer League couldn't get him into the right shape to play for the Merchantmen in 2016.
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:18 AM   #37
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Merchantmen lose to Bums in pre-season

The Maassluis Merchantmen started the 2016 pre-season on a negative tone. The Brooklyn Fightin' Bums left Oranje Haven as 21-16 winners. The only good news of the day was the lack of injuries for the home team.

"So we lost, it's just pre-season." said quarterback Louie Flannery during the post-game press conference. It was a widely shared emotion for the Merchantmen players. Flannery completed 10 of 14 passes for 65 yards in his limited action.

Wide receiver Gabe Springer was the much-anticipated new player that fans wanted to see. Springer saw a lot of action, being targeted eight times. He completed 2 passes from Flannery for 13 yards and 3 more from backup quarterback Everett South for 35 yards.

Most notable was the Merchantmen's lack of ability to score touchdowns. The only six-pointer of the game was scored by cornerback Sammie Kennedy on a 73-yard interception return. The Merchantmen settled for a 19-yard field goal twice, while a 28-yard field goal completed the 16 points. The Bums missed two field goals, but eventually won on a 1-yard touchdown pass with 76 seconds left.
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:30 AM   #38
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Everett South looking good in pre-season win

The Maassluis Merchantmen posted win number one of the 2016 season. In a pre-season game at the Asheville Axemen, the Merchantmen posted a 23-16 score. Defensive end Luther Hansen received MVP honors, but quarterback Everett South received the most praise.

"Going South" got a new meaning for the Merchantmen. Management of the dutch IHOF team looked like they feel okay with relying on Everett South in the future. South completed 20 of 26 passes for 188 yards and a 96.3 passer rating.

Although playing well, South was supported well by the running game. Tommy Wheeler ran for 64 yards and a score, while Byron Mallon ran for 47 yards and Chad Hayes added a second touchdown. Both Wheeler and Mallon averaged more than 5 yards per carry. Kicker J.T. Linquist added three field goals to complete the 23 points.

On defense, the new Merchantmen cornerbacks are still struggling. Axemen rookie receiver Brandon LaCour caught no less than 8 passes for 126 yards. On the bright side, the pass rush fared well, racking up 7 sacks en route to break 13 of 38 passing plays. Luther Hansen posted 3.0 sacks to earn game MVP honors.

The bad news of the game came from rookie receiver Gabe Springer. Early in the second quarter he hurt his hand when he was blocking for running back Chad Hayes. Springer sprained a finger and didn't return to the game. The injury doesn't look serious, but he's expected to sit out the next pre-season game out of precaution.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:01 AM   #39
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Merchantmen lose to Chitterlings in pre-season

The Maassluis Merchantmen lost their third pre-season game. The Chesapeake Chitterlings dominated from the second quarter. The three-time defending North American Conference champions won 28-10.

The Merrchantmen posted another pre-season loss at home. The Merchantmen played it slow and hardly impressed. Louie Flannery completed 10 of 14 passes, Everett South completed 8 of 14 for a touchdown. Perry Clinton ran 14 times for 52 yards.

Defensively nothing seemed to work. The pass rush broke up only 4 of 37 passing plays. Cornerback Teddy Rackers defended 3 passes and looks ready to grab a starting job for the regular season. Rookie Ray Sanderson posted an interception a fumble recovery and 11 tackles.

Kicker J.T. Linquist went 1 for 2 in field goals. The miss was credited to bad holding from quarterback Louie Flannery. Despite that miss, Linquist is likely to make the regular season roster. It will likely mean the release of Merchantmen all-time leading points scorer Cary Coles.

The real bad news of the game were injuries. Tackle Drew Foreman picked up a foot injury. Linebacker Terrance White sprained a knee. Kickoff return specialist Warren Pennell strained a quadriceps muscle. All will miss the last pre-season game and are not expected to be fully recovered in time for opening weekend.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:36 AM   #40
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Merchantmen win last pre-season game

The Maassluis Merchantmen finished pre-season 2-2. A 31-16 win at the Outer Banks Ospreys brought them to .500 land. Louie Flannery posted his first touchdown of the pre-season, Everett South his second. Cornerback Sammie Kennedy won MVP honors with his second defensive touchdown of the season.

The bad news came from return specialist Cary Flowers. The wide receiver sprained an ankle. Flowers will likely be a game time decission in week one against the Paris Musketeers. It's especially bad given that Warren Pennell, the team's other kickoff return specialists, is nursing a quadriceps muscle injury. Backups tackle Drew Foreman and linebacker Terrance White are both expected to miss opening weekend with minor foot injuries.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:37 AM   #41
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Cary Coles released by Merchantmen

It's over. After twelve seasons with the Maassluis Merchantmen, kicker Cary Coles today was named amongst seven players released. Coles had been the franchise's top points scoring player since week seven of the innaugural IHOF season. Coles played 188 regular season games and 6 playoff games with the Merchantmen. Coles still holds an IHOF record 40 consecutive field goals converted between week 11 of 2010 and week 17 of the 2011 season.

Joining Coles into free agency are fullback Ernest Nixon, cornerback Douglas Oakley, tackle Terry Hoover and quarterback Harvey Nimmons, who had been off-season acquisitions. Cornerback Glen Foley was a seventh round pick, but lost out to undrafted rookie Ray Sanderson. The seventh player release was running back Morris Allen, who was the Merchantmen's short yardage back during the 2015 season.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:49 AM   #42
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Merchantmen 2016 Schedule

Below is the schedule for the Maassluis Merchantmen in the 2016 season. It starts with three road games, sees a 'bye' in week 5 and has a four game stretch at home between week 11 and 14. The European Division has matchups with the Deep South, which cotains the IHOF Champions as well as three teams whom 'clinched' the top3 picks in the most recent draft and is historically the weakest division in the conference. The inter-conference games are against the Atlatic Coast division, which had historically the weakest division in the entire league, until they finally passed the Western Division by half a win last season.

weekopp2015series
01at Paris Musketeers4-12we lead 16-8, we lead 8-4 in Paris, they won last meeting
02at Outer Banks Ospreys10-6, lost in wild card roundtied at 1-1, 1-1 in Outer Banks, we won last meeting
03at Conyers Condors8-8they lead 4-2, they lead 1-0 in Conyers, we won last meeting
04vs San Antonio Volunteers4-12they lead 5-3, they lead 4-3 in Maassluis, they won last meeting
05
06vs Vicksburg Vipers4-12tied at 2-2, they lead 2-1 in Maassluis, they won last meeting
07at Forth Worth Fury13-3, IHOF Bowl XII winnerswe lead 5-2,we lead 4-2 in Fort Worth, we won last meeting
08vs Paris Musketeers4-12we lead 16-8, we lead 8-4 in Maassluis, they won last meeting
09at Telluride Outlaws4-12we lead 2-1, we lead 2-1 in Telluride, we won last meeting
10at Bordeaux Vineyards6-10they lead 13-12, they lead 7-6 in Bordeaux, we won last meeting
11vs Gothenburg Giants8-8, lost in divisional roundthey lead 14-10, tied at 6-6 in Maassluis, they won last meeting
12vs Asheville Axemen4-12we lead 2-0, we lead 2-0 in Maassluis, we won last meeting
13vs North Plainfield Plague9-7, lost in wild card roundthey lead 8-1, we lead 1-0 in Maassluis, they won last meeting
14vs Miami Sharks5-11we lead 2-0, we lead 1-0 in Miami, we won last meeting
15at Gothenburg Giants8-8, lost in divisional roundthey lead 14-10, they lead 8-4 in Gothenburg, they won last meeting
16at Knoxville Rebels13-3, lost in NAC Championshiptied at 1-1, we lead 1-0 in road games, we won last meeting
17vs Bordeaux Vineyards6-10they lead 13-12, tied at 6-6 in Maassluis, we won last meeting
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:34 AM   #43
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Musketeers crush Merchantmen on opening weekend

Another opening weekend loss. For the third season in a row, the Maassluis Merchantmen were on the losing side of the ball in week one. The Paris Musketeers defended their own Parc des Prince. The French team won 35-23 and snapped a six-game winning streak of the Merchantmen at Paris.

"A horrible showing," said headcoach Leroy Van Der Woude, "we had no answer to their passing game." Paris quarterback Kim Andrews completed 25 of 36 passes for 353 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 1 interception. An impressive performance, given that Andrews spread the ball as he connected with eleven different players, of whom none made more than five receptions.

Merchantmen quarterback Louie Flannery displayed a much different type of diversity. Flannery started the game with interceptions on his first two drives. He recovered well, completing 22 of 32 for 23 yards and 3 touchdowns, but never got his team within a score. Rookie Gabe Springer quickly showed to be Flannery's new favorite target, making 8 catches for 77 yards. Last season's revelation Vince McAlister made 4 catches for 72 yards, while veteran Bryce Ewald hauled in the touchdowns.

Despite the pretty productive offense, there was little reason to be optimistic. The Merchantmen posted four turnovers on offense, got penalized eight times and allowed a shocking 446 yards of total offense. Truth be told, te Merchantmen overcame the 96 total yards less by posting 183 yards on kickoff returns, but in the end three early turnovers set up for an already lost game. That's something that has to chance if they think they can challenge for the European division title.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:08 AM   #44
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Incredible comeback gives Merchantmen first win

The Merchantmen posted win one of the 2016 season. With an unbelievable comeback, they beat the Outer Banks Ospreys on the road 37-31 in overtime. Louie Flannery guided his team back from three scores down to post an amazing win.

Long faces in disbelief filled the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Over 68 thousand fans had watched their favorite football team choke a 21-point lead. The Ospreys had shown a lot of confident throughout the game. On four of five first half drives they scored points. Another touchdown-drive that began at the start of the second half put them up 31-10 for what seemed a secured victory.

The Merchantmen responsed with a seven-and-a-half minute drive to score back. The Ospreys were still leading and had one play left before the fourth quarter. Quarterback Nick Lincoln got overconfident, trying to throw a long bomb to quickly secure the win. Merchantmen safety Broderick Schultz, activated to replace injured Kennedy Gillespie, intercepted the pass. The thrid quarter was over, but the core of the game was abuot to begin.

The Flannery Air show had only begun. A first quarter 56-yard touchdown to Vince McAlister had already shown the potential of the Merchantmen passing game. And the first drive of the half had already resulted in rookie Gabe Springer's first touchdown in the IHOF. From there on, that passing game appeared unstoppable. Flannery seemed to complete every pass thrown, alternating between Springer and McAlister. In no-time, the Merchantmen had scored another touchdown and were trailing 7 points with nine minutes to go.

For a change the Merchantmen defense appeared able to stop the Ospreys. They forced a punt, which however pinned the Merchantmen back at their own 3-yard line. It didn't matter. Flannery, Springer and McAlister returned to the field and provided another take of the Flannery air show. Although never looking pressured by the clock ticking away, Flannery kept making good decissions. With just a minute left, his team had marched into the red zone. Running back Chad Hayes was fed the ball and he ran the rock in from three yards.

The Ospreys started a last chance drive to win the game before overtime. Nick Lincoln moved his team quickly up field. In his enthusiasm he tried to long bomb to Travis Joseph, who had surprisingly had been given a free pass by the Merchantmen for most of the game. Linebacker Cody Cluff got a good read, intercepted the pass at his own 11-yard line and ran it back to the Merchantm 39-yard line. Nine secons were left and the Merchantmen went for it. Flannery connected with Springer for a 22-yard gain. The time out was called. One second remained on the clock. Sadly, kicker J.T. Linquist missed the 56-yard field goal, forcing overtime.

The Ospreys got the ball first and managed to move to the middle of the field. Linebacker Fernando Reese stepped up with a big tackle and a deflected pass to force a punt. Return man Cary Flowers made a nice play and set his offense up at their own 21-yard line. Gabe Springer had the important 23-yard gain, while McAlister provided a third down conversion to march into Ospreys' territory. A great catch frim tight end Darry McDaniel put the Merchantmen into field goal range, while Tommie "Free" Wheeler ran the ball into the red zone. On third and five, Flannery found McAlister once again for the touchdown and the first victory of the season.

All things considered an important win. The Merchantmen defense once again allowed over 450 total yards. However, Louie Flannery was unstoppable, completing 35 of 41 passes for 427 yards and 4 scores. Gabe Springer made 12 catches for 153 yards and 1 score. Vince McAlister outperfomed the rookie with 12 catches for 178 yards and 2 scores. An amazing comeback, but once again a clear sign that the Merchantmen can no longer win games leaning on their defense. They'll need more Flannery Air shows to be competitive this season.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:47 AM   #45
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Condors humiliate Merchantmen in week three

The Maassluis Merchantmen are back to earth. The Conyers Condors defended their own house well, posting a 34-10 victory. The Merchantmen fall to 1-2, while the Condors remain front runners for a wild card position this early in the season.

A painful loss. The Maassluis Merchantmen stood no chance at all against the Condors. Sure, they scored on the first drive of the game, but that's where it pretty much ended as well. The Condors were passing at will, enmassing 478 total yards, of which 349 were through the air. With a humiliating 11.6 yards per pass play average.

On their own possessions, the Merchantmen didn't even do so bad. Louie Flannery completed 20 of 28 passes, yet for only 159 yards. The running game was okay, with 4.0 yars per carry, but that was on 15 carries for just 60 yards. A grand total of 203 total yards on offense was a clear signal of things not going well.

Interestingly enough, Flannery's two main receivers both posted respectable numbers. Vince McAlister made 7 catches for 69 yards and a score. Gabe Springer made 7 catches for 77 yards and remains as one of the front runners for rookie of the year honors.

Head Coach Leroy Van Der Woude didn't come out of the game without any blame. Not only did the pass defense look horrible for most of the game, the Merchantmen looked undisciplined. It resulted in several penalties for unnecessery roughness and other bad tempered actions.

Elsewhere in the IHOF, the Paris Musketeers suffered their first loss of the season, falling 15-13 to the Tucker Tigers. Defending European champions Gothenburg Giants fell to 1-2 after a 20-13 loss to the Rochester Lake Monsters. The Bordeaux Vineyards were the only winning team in the division, posting their second straight by running all over the Boston Rhinos in a 33-7 victory.

The Orlando Knights and Syracuse Mohawks are the only teams in the AOC with a perfect record. The San Antonio Volunteers are the only team without a win, and they'll be the next opponent for the Merchantmen in 2016's first regular season game in Oranje Haven.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:20 AM   #46
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Merchantmen shutout Volunteers

The Maassluis Merchantmen notched win number two of 2016. In their first home game of the season, they shutout the San Antonio Volunteers. With a 20-0 score, the Merchantmen moved to 2-2 and tied for second place with the Gothenburg Giants and Paris Musketeers. The Bordeaux Vineyards (2-1) didn't play and remained division leaders.

The San Antonio Volunteers are no longer the AOC powerhouse they used to be. After the retirement of quarterback John McMasters, things have quickly gone downhill. Last season they posted a 4-12 record and going into this week they were the only winless team of the entire conference.

At Oranje Haven the Merchantmen looked quite good. On defense the team seemed to struggle at times, yet they played good enough to stall drives and force punts on and off. Especially the pass rush was crucial to the performance, with defensive ends Wally Mattingly, Luther Hansen and Roman Waldroup combining for 4.5 sacks. Cody Cluff recorded a crucial interception. The Volunteers did get a short field goal attempt, but Deangelo Royston botched the 38-yarder.

Given the shutout and the corresponding lead for most of the game, the Merchantmen played a balanced offensive game plan. Louie Flannery completed an impressive 23 of 29 passes for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rookie Gabe Springer made 8 catches for 81 yards and 1 touchdown to claim the IHOF lead in receptions. Vince McAlister caught 4 passes for 30 yards, while tight end Arnold Ramirez claimed the second score. J.T. Linquist converted 2 of 3 field goal attempts to complete the 20 points.

All in all an interesting performance after three games of defensive disaster. Three consecutve opponents gained 460 yards on offense and scored more than 30 points. With 221 yards and the shutout, the Merchantmen seem to have resolved some of their problems. Of course, as harsh as it may sound, they did play the San Antonio Volunteers, who may be the worst team in the league right now.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:40 AM   #47
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Flannery and Springer still league leaders

Despite their open weekend, both quarterback Louie Flannery and wide receiver Gabe Springer remained as league leaders. Louie Flannery leads all quarterbacks with a 118.9 passer rating. Rookie Springer leads the league with 35 receptions. In four games so far, Flannery completed 100 of 130 passes for an amazing 76.9 completion percentage. Springer and Vince McAlister have been his main targets so far, both on pace for about 100 receptions and 1,400 yards.

The Maassluis Merchantmen have moved back into the European Division race. In their open weekend, the Bordeaux Vineyards lost at the Vicksburg Vipers, moving them down to a 2-2 record. With wins from the Paris Musketeers and Gothenburg Giants, all four teams have losttwo games. Paris and Gothenburg do share the lead with a win more.

European Division
tmrec
Gotenburg3-2
Paris 3-2
Bordeaux2-2
Maassluis2-2
* Gothenburg leads the division based on conference record, Maassluis ranks ahead of Bordeaux on strength of victory

Passing Leaders
whotmcompattydstdintrate
FlanneryMAA1001301,045102118.9
ZuckSYR771101,30074115.7
PercyFRE851431,140122107.0
WolfORL1171801,389165106.4
DonaldsonCON1171721,394114104.2

Receiving Leaders
whotmrecydstd
SpringerMAA353882
BrelsfordGEO344074
HortonGEO303863
KassemTEL304844
Mueller,BBOU302082
Mueller,RNPL304432
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:08 PM   #48
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Maassluis Merchantmen 2016

Off Season
The 2015 season wasn't easily forgotten. The epic 48-42 overtime loss against the Gothenburg Giants appeared to have broken the spirit of the team. No less than four prominent figures for the Merchantmen decided to step away from football. Tight end Jim Reiser, 'Indestructable' Ivan Jacques and linebacker Mike Kershner were all done with riding the bench and took the easy way out. They were joined by cornerback Tai Wayne, who felt that he was done with football at the age of 32.

The off-season continued with more departures. Wide receiver Dean Fulton felt the need to go play elsewhere. He signed with the Tucker Tigers, not knowing he wasn't going to make their final 53-men roster that season. Shortly before week onehe was picked up by the Georgia Gridlock. The Merchantmen didn't even pursue Fulton, as they made bigger moves in that off-season.

A huge press conference was called by the Merchantmen management days before training camp. A hefty draft day trade gave the Merchantmen the rights to wide receiver Gabe Springer. Their 2017 first round pick was sent to the Boulder Blizzard, but in return they moved up from 17th overall to pick Springer at the #8 pick of the draft. Springer signed a nice 5-year deal before camp. Vince McAlister also signed a nice 5-year contract, ending his holdout after his breakout performance in the 2016 season.

The Merchantmen made more moves. Defensive tackle Charles Carreno left after just one season and was replaced by Robert Duong, whom the Merchantmen traded away in aftermath of the 2004 IHOF league draft. Running back Alonzo Summers was surprisingly traded to the Rochester Lake Monsters, after the Merchantmen signed short-yardage back Chad Hayes in free agency.

And then there was even more. The Merchantmen picked two defensive linemen in the draft, with defensive tackle Keith Mathews and defensive end Roman Waldroup. Kicker J.T. Linquist returned for another training camp and managed to unseat the supposed to be untouchable Cary Coles, ending Coles stay in Maassluis after 12 seasons. A bunch of cornerbacks were signed as free agents, but only undrafted rookie and converted safety Ray Sanderson showed signs of being a decent pass defender.

Season
Despite all the wheeling and dealing, signing and releasing, only one acquisition really made in impact. A monstrous impact! Gabe Springer made a splashing entrance to the International House of Football, enmassing a league record 128 receptions. On those catches he gained 1,574 yards and scored 8 times. In his shadows, Vince McAlister made 68 receptions for 895 yards and 7 scores as the number two option for Louie Flannery. With those two receivers, the Air Flannery show was born. Flannery completed an impressive 71.8 percent of his passes for 4,348 yards and 31 touchdowns against 15 interceptions and a 102.6 passer rating.

With that in mind, you'd think the Merchantmen had an excellent season. The answer: not quite. Especially early in the season, the Merchantmen staff was still puzzling with how to have Flannery throw the ball to Springer and McAlister, without taking too much risk. The team had up and down results and following a 4-game losing streak found themselves at 2-6 at mid-season.

The defense was clearly struggling, which is clearly demonstrated by their 30th ranked pass defense and 24th place in points allowed. For the second half of the season, things started clicking on offense, especially in the passing game. The Merchantmen turned out to have the 4th ranked passing game in the league. A three-game winning streak got the team back into swing and one game behind Bordeaux and Gothenburg. Then two losses were added and the season was basically over.

Another three-game winning streak couldn't avoid the team from finishing 8-8 and second. The Paris Musketeers managed to pull an amazing come from behind, with five straight wins to their first European division championship at 9-7. The Bordeaux Vineyards (four straight losses) and the Gothenburg Giants (five straight losses) really fell apart in december.

The Musketeers were no match for the Tucker Tigers (10-6) and were destroyed 38-14 in their own house. Those same Tigers moved on to play at the Orlando Knigts (15-1), whom had cruised through the regular season. Despite 4 interceptions, Ted Wolf guided his Knights into the AOC Championship game. Overthere the Knights beat the Rochester Lake Monsters (11-5) in overtime. Running back Alonzo Summers and kicker Cary Coles had added a touchdown and 5 points respectively to the scoreline. In IHOF Bowl XIII the Knights returned to their juggernaut form, thrashing the surprise NAC champions, the Knoxville Rebels (10-6), 41-21.
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* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:09 PM   #49
MIJB#19
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2017

Off Season
Cody Cluff's retirement headlined the 2017 off-season. Cluff was named Legend of the Game after 13 seasons and a tackles total that will unlikely be broken in the next decade of IHOF football. Cluff was joined by wide receivers Bryce Ewald and Drew McConnell, former starters who were playing a backup role in 2016. Defensive tackle Robert Duong left after just one season while tackle Albert Brookshire retired after three seasons in Maassluis.

Despite the departures, the late season surge boosted the Merchantmen's expectations for the 2017 season. The Merchantmen decided to bring back Dean Fulton to team him up with Gabe Springer and Vince McAlister as Louie Flannery's receiver trio. Fulton was just one of many new faces on the team that season.

Some sort of rebuilding project was started. The Merchantmen decided to make another hefty traded and ended up acquiring veterans left tackle Jesus X. Zuccolotto and defensive tackle Maurice Sawyer from the newly named Ann Arbor based Michigan Prowlers. Linebackers Jeffrey Watson and Fernando Turnbull were acquired to form a middle-linebacker duo in the new 3-4 defense.

But that wasn't all. Through the draft, the Merchantmen added center Keith Swift to be the long awaited replacement for Brant Heinrich. Running back Tom Bone, dubbed T-Bone, linebacker Alonzo Sales and defensive backs Dave Castillo and Brian Campbell were all taken as future starter projects. As was fullback Malcolm McClimans, but he ended up being just a one-year backup, while sixth round pick quarterback Tommy Garner failed to make the final 53-men roster. Safety Broderick Schultz ended up being the only marque name on the list of roster cuts.

Season
Leaning on their passing game, the Merchantmen thought they were in for an exciting season. They kicked off with an overwhelming 35-6 victory over the Gothenburg Giants, whom only scored on two 55-yard field goals. But that game showed to be misleading. The defense was in no way resurged and started falling apart. In the next five games, the Merchantmen posted three close games and two big defeats. The season was just underway and they were already sitting 1-5, lightyears away from playoff hopes.

Guided by three team interceptions and an unstoppable Gabe Springer (12 catches for 189 yards), the Merchantmen bounced back with a 27-0 win over the Conyers Condors. In the next three games they beat both the Bordeaux Vineyards and Gothenburg Giants for a good divisional record boost. In between they played an admirable road game at the Orlando Knights, although a late 66-yard receiving touchdown from Dean Fulton made things look closer than they basically were.

After a 2-2 streak, including wins over the Chesapeake Chitterlings and Bordeaux, the Merchantmen were 6-8, but still alive for the European division title. Frankly, it was all wishful thinking. The Gothenburg Giants managed to post one more win in their last two games, to win the division at 9-7. Meanwhilst the Merchantmen dropped two more games and at 6-10 only managed to finish second because of the even weaker French franchises from Bordeaux and Paris.

Statistically it wasn't a memorable season either. Despite another 4,000-yard performance, Louie Flannery was only average for quarterback standards, even leading the league in picked off passes. Gabe Springer posted another century, with 105 catches for 1,283 yards and 12 scores. Vince McAlister had his best season yet, with 78 receptions for 1,191 yards and 10 scores.

Despite the 6-10 record, the overall statistics weren't all that bad. On offense, the Merchantmen ranked 7th in passing, 31st in rushing and 22nd in points scored. On defense they were 11th against the run, 22nd against the pass and tied for 16th in points allowed. What really hurt them over the season where the big numbers of penalties and turnovers. Especially Flannery's 21 interceptions hurt.

The Gothenburg Giants represented the European division quite well, leaning on running back Hershel Tatum they upset the Rochester Lake Monsters (12-4) 31-21 in Sweden. In the next round they tried to play along with the Orlando Knights (15-1), but the defending league champions turned out to be unstoppable, 38-17 Orlando. The Knights were then stunned in the AOC Championship game, falling 45-24 to the Syracuse Mohawks (12-4). The Mohawks marched on to capture their second league crown, beating the surprise NAC champions, the Williamsburg Colonials (10-6), 28-14 in IHOF Bowl XIV.
__________________
* 2005 Golden Scribe winner for best FOF Dynasty about IHOF's Maassluis Merchantmen
* Former GM of GEFL's Houston Oilers and WOOF's Curacao Cocktail
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:09 PM   #50
MIJB#19
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Maassluis Merchantmen 2018

Off Season
Coming off the worst season in over a decade, the Merchantmen figured it wasn't going to be their year in 2018. They said goodbye to three popular faces. Quarterback Justin McDavid, linebacker Bernie Surry and defensive end Wally Mattingly retired after nine or more seasons in Maassluis. Surprisingly they were the only three retirements. Later on the Merchantmen cut ties with tackle Cornelius Rice and defensive tackle Andrew Rasmussen after eleven seasons.

What arrived in the 2018 off-season was pretty underwhelming. Draft picks were collectively sent away for 2019 picks, which was tagged as the comeback season. The draft produced four new players in run stuffing linebacker Dwight Kurpeikis, cornerback Hurt Daddy Gaines, kick returner/running back Maurice Evjen and defensive end Broderick Amadro. Only the last one ended up being a starter that season, with Evjen marching up the depth chart late in the season.

The team also acquired a bunch of veterans. The biggest name was obviously running back Ray Ray Lyle, the active career leader in rushing yards. Lyle ended up playing only a handful of downs for the Merchantmen that season. More heavily contributing arrivals were defensive end Jermaine Burks and linebacker Dale Everhart, both roster cut day casualties elsewhere. Earlier that off-season, quarterback Teddy Francis signed to be the new emergency guy and fullback Lonnie Harless became the new star run blocker of the team.

Season
The biggest news going into the season was a different opening day quarterback. Louie Flannery was nursing a knee injury, paving the way for Everett 'Going' South. The Merchantmen surprisingly demolished the Bordeaux Vineyards 41-28, with South posting a 309-yard, 3-touchdown performance. In his second start, South threw for only 165 yards in a 16-14 loss. Moreover, he doubled his interception total to 4 in just 2 games, while he completed only 9 passes to Gabe Springer.

With Louie Flannery back, the Merchantmen didn't get their engines running either. The Houston Outlaws, Syracuse Mohawks and Rochester Lake Monsters had little trouble against them. The Merchantmen coaching staff was warned and instructed to go back to a much safer game plan. Although the offense somehwat returned to 2016 form. The offense gained 4,026 yards through the air for the season.

Still, the team never got into a real swing. The defense allowed 20 or more points in every game after that week two 16-14 loss. The most troubling figure was perhaps the high number of 100-yard rushers the defense allowed. The Merchantmen finished the season dead last in run defense, allowing almost 150 yards per game. The Merchantmen allowed the 4th most points, posted the 5th most giveaways and had another heavily penalised season.

To make things worse, wide receiver Vince McAlister severly hurt his knee halfway the season. Without his quality partner, Gabe Springer still managed to catch 118 passes for 1,563 yards and 16 scores to receive his second All-IHOF second team honors. Ironically, without McAlister, the Merchantmen posted a late-season recovery with three straigh wins. They improvedto a 6-10 record, which kept them far away from the expected top5 draft pick.

The Gothenburg Giants held ground as European champions, posting yet another 9-7 season. A clear signal how weak the European division had become over the last three or so seasons. To everybody's surprise, the Giants matched up well in their wild card round game against the defending IHOF champions, the Syracuse Mohawks (11-5). Somehow they choked an 18-point lead, losing 52-45 at the end of regulation. The Mohawks eventually lost 27-24 in the NAC Championship game at the Orlando Knights (14-2). The Knights marched on, beating the Chesapeake Chitterlings (12-4) in IHOF Bowl XV. It marked the Knights second win, as well as the Chitterlings fifth loss in as many bowl 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
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