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Yesterday at 07:09 am
The Colorado Yeti selected wide receiver Howard Miller with the first pick of the Season 7 NSFL draft in the hopes that he would help elevate what was an underwhelming offensive unit in years past. Alongside fellow offensive draftees Ryan Applehort and Mark Grau, Miller was part of a substantial push to make the Yeti a formidable attacking team in seasons to come. A year removed from his explosive season in the DSFL, the promising young receiver still ranks at #2 for both the number of receptions and total yards in a single season. So, how did he shape up against expectations once he hit the big time?The Numbers
- Receptions: 45 (#31)
- Yards: 590 (#22)
- YPC: 13.1 (#22)
- Touchdowns: 1 (#T34)
At a glance, the numbers aren't anything phenomenal. Miller had less than half the number of receptions he tallied during his year in the DSFL, and less than half his yards total. His single touchdown was also half of his unremarkable touchdown count.
With that said, the Yeti offence as a whole was far from high-powered last season. Miller's volume stats alone might not seem impressive, but it would be more appropriate to compare his contributions to his team's totals against other receivers in the league.
Miller's 45 receptions account for 19.48% of the team's total, his 590 yards is 24.28% of all receiving yards amassed by the team, and his single touchdown is a clean 25% of all the Yeti's passing scores in S7.
The league's top receiver last season by receptions was Bradley Westfield with 89. His catches accounted for 24.38% of the Orange County Otters total. Westfield was also the leader in yards gained with 1620 yards, good for 31.91% of his team's total. When looking at touchdowns Westfield once again comes out on top, hauling in 15 in S7, which was 37.5% of all the Otters' receiving touchdowns.
Miller was below Westfield on all counts, but this comes as no surprise. Miller was a rookie, and Westfield is arguably the best receiver in the short history of the NSFL. A reasonable expectation for a prospect as highly touted as Miller is to poke his nose into the top 10 of receivers in the league in his first season, so we'll see how he fared against the player who marked that boundary in every category.Receptions
Eric Kennedy: 69 receptions (21.77% of team total)Receiving Yards
Shane Weston: 1072 yards (28.37% of team total)Touchdowns
Josh Garden: 6 touchdowns (17.65% of team total)
As you can see, Miller is within the top 10 for % of team receiving touchdowns, is right on the border for receptions, but still has some work to do for receiving yards.
When asked about his season, Miller made it clear that he wasn't overly satisfied with his performance.
"I knew things were going to be tough, coming into the season with a fellow rookie at QB and a young offence in general. With that said, I always expect a lot of myself, and so I was a bit disappointed with where my numbers ended up. Usually, I prioritise winning over individual stats, but knowing ahead of time that the Yeti weren't likely to win many games if any at all, I focused on trying to have some great performances".
Miller was asked about his lack of receiving touchdowns both in the NSFL and the DSFL where, between both, he has only found the endzone three times in two seasons.
"It's really been an issue of having big plays fall short. My YPC numbers have been good in my opinion - you can see that when I get the ball I'm being productive. What often happens, though, is that I'll break away and get stopped just before getting the points. It's sort of similar to the Megatron season a few years back in the NFL".
Miller was pressed about his lack of efficiency in the red zone.
"Yeah, that's something I have to own. When I made the switch from college to the DSFL, and then again from the DSFL to NSFL, I focused on getting that extra bit of speed - on having that extra step compared to my opponents. That's why when I get the ball, I can usually break a big run off. But once we're jammed in close near the goal line, guys have been getting physical and really throwing me off my game. But it's something I've addressed this offseason and will look to keep working on. I've been in the weight room a lot and am trying to learn to throw my body around a bit more. I think I'm just about as fast as I'll ever be, so it's time to start using that speed and my size to punish people, and get some damn touchdowns".
The Yeti coaching staff, Miller's teammates, the franchise's front office and the team's faithful fans will all certainly hope Miller can do exactly that, as they all stare down the barrel of a potential third winless season in a row. But only time will tell if a season of development has helped the Yeti's young offensive unit become more of a scoring threat.
|750 words - ready for grading|
May 24 2018, 01:26 AM
The NSFL draft is in the books, and 26 players have now officially been drafted into new teams. Some will go on to have spectacular careers and forge legacies that will remain a part of the league's lore so long as it exists. Others will likely never see the playing field on the biggest stage, instead filling roster spots in the DSFL until regression comes to quietly claim them. Who follows which of these paths remains a mystery for now, and that's the beauty - and terror - of the draft.By the Numbers
Here's a quick breakdown of the distribution of the 26 players selected in today's draft:
- Arizona Outlaws: 5/26 (19%)
- Baltimore Hawks: 2/26 (8%)
- Colorado Yeti: 3/26 (12%)
- New Orleans Second Line: 3/26 (12%)
- Orange County Otters: 2/26 (8%)
- Philadelphia Liberty: 2/26 (8%)
- San Jose Sabercats: 5/26 (19%)
- Yellowknife Wraiths: 4/26 (15%)
Unsurprisingly, the two teams freshest into their rebuild claimed the most number of new players: the Arizona Outlaws and the San Jose Sabercats. It was a fairly even spread behind them, though it is interesting to note that the Yellowknife Wraiths were alone in the third-most selections in the draft, which is significant considering they already have a talented roster and seemed destined for the championship game this season. That is until the Philadelphia Liberty upset them in their own stadium before going on to do the very same thing to the Orange County Otters the following game. Two lucky players have joined the current holders of the Ultimus and will look to contribute to their team's efforts to keep the trend of championship-winning streaks alive.First Round Draft Grades
Selection: Viggo Squanch (@[Durden]) - WR - #9 Overall
Draft Grade: B+
Despite selecting the equal-most number of players in this season's draft, the Outlaws did not pick at all in the first round. As a team that is entering the early stages of a rebuild, that is concerning. However, they did have the first selection in the second round, which for all intents and purposes we will consider to be a first-round pick.
New general managers @[Roly] and @[run_CMC] opted to use their first ever draft pick on the talented receiver out of Tijuana. Despite having only a single active receiver on their roster, they still have enough talent at the position based on TPE totals to hold out on retooling their offence until they find their quarterback of the future. Their defence is severely lacking, and appears to be a much more pressing issue. With that said, essentially all of the blue-chip defensive players had been taken by the 9th pick, and Viggo was, in my opinion, the best player available.
Selection: Childish Gambino (@[Renrut]) - DE - #4 Overall
Draft Grade: A+
Although the Hawks boast a talented roster, they haven't quite been able to achieve the sort of success they would like to of late, in no small part due to sharing a division with the Wraiths and Liberty. With superstar talent in all key positions already, Hawks GM @[iamslm22] addressed what is easily their biggest need by selecting defensive end Childish Gambino.
Kurt Hendrix was the lone threat on the defensive line, and as he draws nearer to the end of his career - with his inactivity adding to that issue - the Hawks were in desperate need of a new weapon up front. They did bring in the talented Arbin Asipi Jr. (@[DeathOnReddit]) from Arizona, but pairing him with Gambino means the Hawks have a real shot at returning to the playoffs after a two-year absence.
Selection: Ricky Ramero (@[Ramero]) - LB - #1 Overall
Draft Grade: B
The Yeti were in a favourable and yet difficult position. All of this season's talent was at their fingertips, as they held the first overall pick after their second consecutive winless season. Having addressed their offense in the previous two drafts, securing their quarterback of the future in Ryan Applehort (@[Daybe]) and providing him with high-powered weapons in the form of receiver Howard Miller and receiver-turned-running-back Mark Grau (@[keanex]) to complement the existing talents of wideout Dwayne Aaron (@[Supersquare04]), it was no secret that the Yeti would look to bolster their defense.
Arguably the most glaring need was on the defensive line. The Yeti brought in elite talent in the form of Dan Miller (@[7hawk77]) to join the formidable Antonio Sandoval (@[TheMemeMaestro]), and benefited from the miraculous transition of former quarterback Nicholas Pierno into a defensive tackle. However, there is a distinct lack of activity on the Yeti line, and their new centrepiece, Miller, has just hit regression. An argument could also be made for Colorado's secondary being most in need of attention - especially with the uncertainty surrounding star cornerback Andre Bly Jr's (@[sapp2013]) future - and the lack of an active safety to partner with Michael Tillman (@[mmfootball]).
As such, the position to draft a linebacker will nonetheless have taken some by surprise. The likes of Childish Gambino and William H. Harrison (@[Mongoose87]) were of course still on the board, being the first pick, and both would have addressed more immediate needs. However, Rickey Ramero was clearly a step ahead of the other prospects, and was, in my opinion, the most talented player available in the draft. His efforts have already earnt him a GM role in the DSFL, and he was the leading TPE earner of his draft class.
While other areas of the defensive may have seemed more in need of a re-tool, Veteran linebacker Johnathon Saint (@[jparks98]) hit regression in the offseason, and if Ryan LeFevre (@[feve10]), his original intended replacement, doesn't return, then the move to pair Ramero with defensive captain and fellow linebacker Haruki Ishigawa (@[ExemplaryChad]) will be a masterstroke.
It's important to note that the Yeti leadership group have been vocal about their desire to maintain the locker room culture they have developed in spite of their lack of success. In particular, wanting to draft, sign, and retain players who are eager to be a part of the team's resurgence. Ramero was not shy to say he would be more than happy to play for the struggling franchise, ranking them as his first preference in the lead-up to the draft. This no doubt factored into the team's eventual decision to draft the future Hall of Fame linebacker.
New Orleans Second Line
Selection: William H. Harrison - S - #2 Overall & Omar Wrong (@[xdave2456]) - DT #7 Overall
Draft Grade: A+
NOLA had two picks in the first round of the draft, and they certainly didn't waste them. After losing star safety Jaylon Broxton (@[speculadora]) via a trade with the Otters, the Second Line were quick to address their newly found need by selecting Harrison second overall. If the impressive young defensive back continues on his current trajectory, there will be very little dropoff for NOLA's defensive unit, which was also bolstered by the acquisition of the very promising defensive tackle Omar Wrong.
The franchise's rebuild is progressing well in the wake of their rebrand from the Las Vegas Legion to the New Orleans Second Line. GM @[bovovovo] has built a locker room renowned for being active, engaging, and enjoyable, leading to their on-field performance improving as well, as they narrowly missed the playoffs in Season 8. Their two first-round selections will no doubt help keep them trending upwards as a franchise in every aspect.
Orange County Otters
Draft Grade: N/A
Selection: Brock Weathers III (@[BWIII]) - LB - #8 Overall
Draft Grade: A
Philadelphia were in an interesting position with the last pick of the first round. Viggo Squanch, the only wide receiver prospect of the draft, was still available, and the Liberty have no active receivers on their roster. Perhaps more damning, their star inactive, Josh Garden, hit regression this offseason, making wide receiver a clear need. With that said, Squanch had explicitly stated that he did not want to play for Philadelphia, which meant it was likely wise to avoid selecting him, despite the need.
The Liberty instead opted to address perhaps their next greatest need by selecting linebacker Brock Weathers III. It appears the Liberty, despite now being a championship-winning team, also lack any significant activity among their linebackers. And their star linebacker, Micah Hendrix (@[HalfEatenOnionBagel]), is only a year away from regression.
Weathers was graded as my equal second-best linebacker prospect, tied with Ben Horne behind Rickey Ramero. Given their tricky situation, Philadelphia GM @[PDXBaller] made a smart choice and can look to address their issue with receivers in the future.
San Jose Sabercats
Selection: Brad Pennington (@[Dawegg]) - QB - #3 Overall & Ben Horne (@[iseedoug]) - LB - #6 Overall
Draft Grade: A+
In one fell swoop, the Sabercats lost their franchise quarterback Chris Orosz (@[Aenir]) and the two cornerstones of their defensive in linebacker Vincent Sharpei (@[Muford]) and defensive tackle Dan Miller and entered full rebuild. In an impressive combination of luck and planning, GM @[ckroyal92] was able to address two of these glaring holes by drafting the top quarterback prospect in Pennington, and - as I stated earlier - the equal second-best linebacker prospect in Ben Horne. An impressive haul for a team looking to build for the future. It will be a rough couple of seasons at least for the new-look Sabercats, but they may well have set themselves on course for a much more dominant era of San Jose football some seasons down the track.
Selection: Chad Pennington (@[caltroit_red_flames]) - LB - #5 Overall
Draft Grade: B-
It's hard to find holes in a team with as much talent as the Wraiths, but as it stands on draft day they have only a single active linebacker, and he just hit regression. As such, it's no surprise they went with the safe pick of star linebacker prospect Chad Pennington. However, as I've already mentioned, both Ben Horne and Brock Weathers III were rated as second only to Rickey Ramero for linebacker prospects. Chad Pennington came in at a very, very close fourth. Despite each of the three prospects being essentially neck-and-neck, I can't help but feel that GM @[Bzerkap] passed on two better prospects at the same position, which - given their evident activity issues at linebacker - could hault their long-term plans for success before they ever really get started.Conclusion
This draft was loaded with talent, which is why it was basically impossible to rate anyone negatively. Also, I apologise for not discussing the teams in the order of the draft - I had organised them alphabetically then written about them, and if I moved things around it would lose some of its cohesion. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed reading it and I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions!
Good luck to all this year's rookies!
|1800 words - paid at 2 x standard media scale as per announcement|
May 19 2018, 09:56 PM
As free agents are making their decisions on where to next take their talents and the Season 8 draft speeds toward us, I thought now would be a good time to give any prospective future teammates of mine an insight into what it's like to play for Colorado.Inside the Locker Room
I'm going to start by addressing the Yeti in the room: Colorado hasn't won a game for two whole seasons.
As a free agent or draft prospect, you're probably imagining a locker room fraught with in-fighting and calls for the GM's head. Well, I'll let some teammates answer that for you.
Micycle McCormick - K/P (infinitempg
): "This is a team that believes in itself, and that’s hard to find from a group of people that have done nothing but not succeed in two years. Most teams, and I’ve been on some bad teams (see Chicago Coyotes, Rutgers), would roll over and collapse, lose morale, and just have no fight left... but not this team. There’s nowhere for us to go but up, and we are fighting like hell to get there"
Now, you're probably saying to yourself, "Yeah, sure, you can make guys who are locked into a contract put on a happy face to the media so they don't get benched. I want to hear what some free agents have to say!"
Here's a soundbite from Michael Tillman (mmfootball
), the Yeti safety who turned down numerous offers from rival teams to sign a three-year deal that keeps him in Colorado until the end of Season 10:"A lot of people have their doubts about us here in Colorado but they're thinking about the old Yeti. They think I'm crazy for signing a three year deal with a team where I've only won 2 games in the first three years I've been here, but that's the old Yeti. This is a new era of the Colorado Yeti that should be taken seriously and I have 100% faith in"
Ok, well what about the Yeti leadership group? It must be rotten to the core after an extended lack of success, right?
Haruki Ishigawa (ExemplaryChad
), just one of the Yeti's star linebackers and also a team captain, had some thoughts to the contrary:"I've become a real believer in this team, not necessarily because of our talent. Every team has elite talent. It's because of our culture. We're not just some loveable losers content to sit back and keep losing year in and year out. We're looking to compete, and it's going to happen sooner rather than later"
.Moving into the Future
Ok, it's all well and good for me to put some positive opinions from within the organisation on display, but there's probably one more thing you're asking yourself as you consider a possible future with the Yeti: "What's their plan?"Offence
The offence is headline by four key players: quarterback and offensive captain Ryan Applehort (Daybe
- S7, 357 TPE), wide receivers Dwayne Aaron (Supersquare04
- S6, 478 TPE) and me, Howard Miller (S7, 423 TPE), and running back Mark Grau (keanex
- S7, 282 TPE).
As you can see, we were all drafted within one year of one another, with three of us coming from the same draft class. This means that as the old guard of the NSFL regresses and we rise to prominence, our peaks will all occur at the same time, leading to what I predict will be the NSFL's own 'Greatest Show on Turf'.
Don't think that if you're an offensive player you have no spot on this team, though. We are always on the hunt for great teammates, great contributors, and overall great people regardless of the position you play. We value the phenomenal culture we've developed in Colorado, and welcome anyone who's eager to add to it in their own unique way! Defence
The defence is spearheaded by General Manager and defensive end Antonio Sandoval (TheMemeMaestro
- S3, 611 TPE), captains Haruki Ishigawa (S4, 576 TPE) and Michael Tillman (S5, 449 TPE), veterans Jonathon Saint (jparks98
- S1, 1059 TPE) and Dan Miller (7hawk77
- S1, 814 TPE), and up-and-comers like cornerback Desta Danger (DestaDanger
- S7, 183 TPE).
Of course, there's also the architect of the 'No Bly Zone', shutdown cornerback Andre Bly Jr. (sapp2013
- S5, 704 TPE) who is currently deliberating his future. Whatever Bly's choice is, his relationship with the entire Yeti organisation will be a positive one, and the defensive tactics he's instilled and the ferocity he modelled will still be on display whenever we take the field.
We're looking for some more defensive studs to round out what is already a formidable unit, and really take the league by snowstorm.Conclusion
There you have it - all the reasons you could possibly want to come play 'ball in the mountains.
With the young pieces we have in place on offence, the core group we've accumulated on defence surrounded by some amazing veterans and the new young contributors, not the mention the great culture we've established, the Colorado Yeti are shaping up as one of the frontrunners for success in the next period of the NSFL's history.
So, are you ready to be a part of it? yeti noises
May 4 2018, 06:20 AM
I've been pondering alternatives to having GMs need to agree to a trade for a player to take a GM position elsewhere. I think having a consistent structure that all teams and GMs had to follow would be ideal and more transparent.
My thinking was to have compensatory picks. For example, if a player drafted in round 1 moves to another team to GM, his original team gets a compensatory pick in round 1 of the following season's draft, exactly 1 pick in front of the team the player is moving to.
They then also get a compensatory pick based on the player's TPE total (we'd need to work out a scale, but recently most drafts drop off after 3 rounds, so it'd likely be 2 high draft picks)
Apr 23 2018, 03:31 PM
The San Antonio Marshals title defence got off to the worst possible start in Week 1, going down 13 - 10 to the Ultimini winners from two seasons ago, the Palm Beach Solar Bears.
No one could blame the Marshals young defenders, though. Ricky Ramero (Ramero
) and Brock Weathers III (BWIII
) tallied 7 tackles each, with the former also proving a nightmare for opposing quarterback Jim McMahon, sacking him once and breaking up a pass.
Despite making the playoffs in Season 6, the Luchadores nonetheless had a disappointing year. They had spoken about coming back with a vengeance in Season 7 and certainly got off to a perfect start in that regard, dismantling the Norfolk Seawolves to the tune of 38 - 9. Rookie receiver Viggo Squanch (Durden
) was targetted 4 times for 74 yards, clearing making the most of his opportunities, while on defence, Chad Pennington (caltroit_red_flames
) was the superior brother, amassing 7 tackles, a sack, and breaking up a pass. A dependable Klaus DerFisch (CompleteBelter
) was 5/5 on extra points while also slotting a 35-yard field goal.Week Two
The Luchadores continued their strong start to the season, defeating the Solar Bears 14 -3. It was a subbdued performance from their offense, and as such it fell on their elite defence to win the game. Harry Balzac (Blazer
) led the way with 7 tackles and a sack, with Chad Pennington, Omar Wrong (xdave2456
), Ben Horne (iseedoug
), and Vance Sachs (Penguin
) all getting to the quarterback at least once as well, though Wrong surpassed them all with 2 sacks.Week Three
A previously undefeated Luchadores side faced off against the reigning champions the Marshals in Week 3, and their winning streak came to end.
The Marshals were led by defensive efforts from two familiar rookies, Ricky Ramero (3 tackles, 2 sacks) and Brock Weathers III (7 tackles, 1 sack). The Luchadores defence was again called upon to keep them in the game as their offence stalled, and they were nearly good enough to do it. Balzac staked his claim for defensive rookie of the year with a 10-tackle, 1-pass defence, 1-intercept game. Teammates Chad and Thad Pennington also chipped in, with 10 and 8 tackles respectively, and Chad also tallying a sack, a defender pass, and an interception.Week Four
Week 4 was more of the same from the Marshals dominant defence as the team cruised to a 34 - 14 victory over the Solar Bears. Ramero recorded 12 tackles, while teammate Weather one-upped him with 13 tackles and a sack.
Viggo Squanch was a lone offensive bright spot for the Luchadores as their team continued to fail to fire, going down 34 - 17 to the Portland Pythons. Squanch caught 6 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown, but it was far from enough. On the other side of the ball, Chad and Thad Pennington tallied 8 and 9 tackles respectively, with the former also recording a sack and the latter a tackle for a loss. They were surpasses by DROY frontrunner Harry Balzac, however, who amassed 10 tackles and a sack in his team's loss.Rookies of the YearLeading Candidate - Offence
Viggo Squanch (Durden
) - WR
14 receptions, 163 yards (11.6 YPC), 1 TDLeading Candidate - Defence
Harry Balzac (Blazer
) - FS
31 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 1 pass defendedLeading Candidate - Special Teams
Klaus DerFisch (CompleteBelter
) - K
11/11 XP (100%), 2/3 FG (66.67%)
|566 words | ready for grading||