N.F.F. Season's VI - X
Edited by Lucas1138, 29 July 2015 - 09:26 PM.
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JOKERS PREPARE QUEST TOWARDS REPEAT
Strong keeper core to
once again lead attack
In 2010, the Kemah Jokers did something their franchise had never done before by winning a championship. This year, they're aiming a bit higher by looking to do something no other team has done in league history - repeat as world champions.
"It's certainly not an easy goal," says Kemah Jokers VP of talent operations Jim Ross, "but we feel that this team is once again ready to compete at the highest level."
Is the team in fact ready to do so?
"We have the best quarterback in football, and we also have who we feel are two of the best running backs in football in addition to who we consider to be the very best tight end in football. Three of those four were a part of our core going into last season, one of which did not play a complete season - and we were still able to tough it out all the way through the post season. Fast forward one year and things are looking up - we've upgraded our core to include Rashard Mendenhall, watched our star tight end in Antonio Gates progress closer to what we estimate will be a 100% recovery by the start of the season, and capitalized on what we feel are key strategic selections throughout the draft this season."
One of those advantages is the fact that the Kemah Jokers had all of their draft picks this season, as opposed to 2010 in which they had traded their 2nd round pick away the previous season to Rock's Heels along with Donovan McNabb in exchange for keeper LeSean McCoy and WR Michael Crabtree. Ross notes how this contributes to improved depth in 2011.
"It obviously leads to a higher level of talent," he continues, "when you have all of your picks. Actually having that 2nd round pick this season allowed us to welcome back Kenny Britt, a player we feel has a ton of upside. If he can get past his off the field issues, it's going to give us a much stronger receiver group than last season. This time around, Britt won't be filling in for injured or underperforming receivers as he did last season"
When asked to elaborate further on draft selections, Ross spoke highly of their bench.
"Going into last season, it was noted that we put lots of stock into unproven youngsters and provided very little backup firepower on our bench. This was true to some extent, but we felt our strategy of seeking out young talent could be maintained while correcting any potential depth issues. In addition to Britt and Santana Moss, we've got three young players who are eager to contribute and prove themselves as well. Johnny Knox and Antonio Brown are both in a very good position to break out and bolster the receiver squad, and Jerome Simpson has got a helluva shot at putting up big numbers if he can grasp the opportunity. The potential is most certainly there."
Beanie Wells is another one of those players Ross and the Jokers feel is ready to make an impact and support their bench. At the tight end spot, Heath Miller may not be looked to for more than a shot or two when Gates is not playing - but changes in the offensive scheme for which Miller plays could provide an interesting opportunity to put up numbers that could surprise Jokers opposition. Bench spots for QB, D/ST, and kicker positions are said to be held in a very high regard as well.
"We put a lot of thought and research into the selection of every member of our roster," said Ross of the bench. "This is perfectly exemplified by our selection of Monatrio Hardesty, who we traded up in the later rounds of the draft in order to acquire. We see some potential here that may have been overlooked by his previous team, and we'd like to take a look at this guy and see what's there. We've got a chance to do something interesting here."
Ross refers to the fact that although Hardesty is a 2nd-year player, he has in fact NEVER played a single NFL game. Drafted as a rookie, the Texas DDT opted to release Hardesty when a season-ending injury kept him off the field and unable to make his NFL regular season debut in 2010. It is said that the Kemah Jokers may attempt its first-ever venture into developemental keeper terrotory by proposing eligibility for Hardesty as such a keeper.
"We did not draft Hardesty out of college," says Ross, "but we did draft him before he has ever played a single regular season game. We have him now, and that's a start. The ownership of this franchise has expressed some interest in proposing Hardesty be eligible as a 'rookie keeper' for having been drafted before ever playing a professional contest and letting the owners put it to a vote at a later date. Until Week 1 of this upcoming season, he will also have never been on the roster of any NFF team during any regular season game. There may be a chance that his having never stepped onto the field for a professional football contest and lack of compiled statistics, as you would see had he been coming out of college this year rather than last year, could outweigh the flipside of him not being originally drafted by this organization. We feel that it is definitely a fair argument that could have some effect on how similar situations are handled in the future when a would-be rookie is injured before their first season begins. Whatever the outcome, he's ours right now and his role is yet to be decided."
All in all, Ross said in closing that hopes are high in 2011.
"Our starters are pretty strong. In addition to our core players we've kept, we selected one of the best defenses in football and who we estimate to be the very best kicker in football in Nate Kaeding. He's going to get lots of looks at the goal posts this season, and we look to reap the benefits. Again, we feel our tight end and quarterback are the best at their positions. Our running backs are amazing, our receivers are very strong, and their respective backups are much improved in quality from those we had last season. We've checked the numbers, rechecked the numbers, and quantitatively analyzed our roster from top to bottom from the start of the draft up until the very last pick. We've got a great shot at repeating and winning two in a row...and perhaps our owner will remove the trophy from the damn fridge long enough to hoist it above our heads after a 2nd-straight Uber Bowl victory."
so long as my 3-5 wins include ass whoopins over Irish, Dexter and Rock, I"M GOOD BABY!