here's where to send it.
Lets rally guys and get as much as we can. I'll put it all towards the hosting and domain reg.
LONG LIVE THE CFL...
Biggest Gain - Boise 22 to 14
Biggest Drop - Atlanta 15 to 21
Denver Takes over the top Spot (Congrats Bal'D)
Omaha slides to 6th
Best possible score: 68 pts
Worst possible score: -69 pts
Bringing back an old favorite, CFL Power Ranking based on FFF ranking formulas and system. Enjoy..
Defending 5 time champion Hartford opens up the season ranked #12
Omaha edges out Las Vegas and opens as #1
Surprising El paso is #5 considering Jeeber is MIA
Death Valley was 14-2 last season, started 0-3 ranked #25
Best possible score: 69 pts
Worst possible score: -70 pts
In 2038, Atlantic City set a franchise record with 13 wins. Losses to eventual CFL Bowl participants Denver and Hartford (twice) were the only blemishes on the 13-3 mark. A loss in the divisional finals closed out the year but the season was a huge success. Most of the roster returns with a few added role players and a trip back to the playoffs is an expectation, not a dream.
Here is a quick look at the roster (starters in bold):
Offense - There is much talk around league circles that a two-TE offense will not work. Last year, the Phantoms version was very successful (thanks to the presence of a very good quarterback for the first time in at least 10 seasons). The question is can the offense continue to evolve?
- Monty Lynch - 12th year - 58/58
- Amos Bradford - 3rd year - 30/50
- Byron Wells - R - 16/38
Lynch threw for a career high 3,472 yards in 2037 with an excellent 20/7 TD/INT ratio. Entering his 12th year, he may not have a lot of years left but ACI will try to get everything they can out of him. Bradford is the heir apparent, although he has not grown as the team had hoped in regards to formation knowledge so that future is in doubt. Wells is a rookie signed to hold the clipboard. If he has to play in the regular season, then the Phantoms have a huge problem.
- J.R. Brustkern - 6th year - 69/69
- Mark Picchietti - 3rd year - 37/37
- Dustin Dawsey - R - 31/41
Brustkern had 1,000+ rushing yards for the 5th time in his career last year and will continue to be the main ground threat for Atlantic City. He did lose a bit of skill in training camp so it will be interesting to see how he performs as a good ground game is an essential part of the 2-TE offense. Picchietti enters the season as the primary backup and will get plenty of carries as the team hopes to keep Brustkern fresh. Dawsey, an undrafted rookie, had a pretty good preseason and may push for a few carries during the year.
- Hunter Dail - 9th year - 53/53
- Chris Beyer - 11th year - 50/50
Dail and Beyer surely make up the best FB tandem in the league. Dail was 2nd team all-league last year and is a key part of the offense. Like Brustkern, he did lose a bit in training camp (he is entering his 9th year) but he still is an excellent all around FB. ACI has tried to sign Beyer on numerous occasions. In fact, ACI made offers to both Dail and Beyer in the 2034 off-season when Dail joined the Phantoms while Beyer signed with Detroit. Beyer is a dominate run blocking FB who made his mark in the pre-season with a number of punishing blocks. The running game should definitely benefit from these two players.
- FL - Donald Kruger - 3rd year - 47/47
- FL - Winfred Arnold - 5th year - 43/43
- SE - Edgar Terrell - 3rd year - 38/38
- SE - Everett Reilly - R - 25/45
- FL - Al Phillips - R - 31/45
In the 2-TE offense, the SE is sent to the bench for most plays so only the FL sees a lot of time. Kruger saw his numbers go down in 2037, but that had more to do with the addition of TE Polhemus than a decline in ability. A former 2nd round pick, he has settled into a nice starter for ACI although he is better suited for a #2 role rather than the #1 guy. Arnold was acquired from Sacramento to provide a solid backup to Kruger. The biggest issue with Arnold is dropped passes. He had 12 in 2037 and a few more in the preseason. Terrell was drafted the same year as Kruger and has become a serviceable player but a lack of special teams ability always makes him a target to be cut. ACI has high hopes for Reilly and Phillips, both drafted in the third round. Reilly has a bit of a problem catching the ball on occasion (not a good trait for a WR) but when he does get the ball he is dangerous. Unlike Terrell, he is a very good special teams guy. Phillips has more upside as a receiver than Reilly and is a very good punt and kick returner.
- Carlos Polhemus - 5th year - 81/81
- Myron Learned - 7th year - 53/53
- Rufus Walsh - 12th year - 41/41
A key component to a TE based offense is to have good tight ends (brilliant, right?). In Polhemus, the Phantoms have one of the best in the league. 86 catches in 2037 earned Polhemus second team all-league, and well worth the first round pick ACI gave up to get him. Learned had a tough training camp but is still a top 20 TE in the CFL. Although his 37 catches a year ago was a career low, Learned is a threat opposing defenses must make note of. Walsh is one of the all-time great TE's in the history of the CFL and provides excellent depth. His 32 catches in 2037 shows that he will get plenty of looks in the offense.
- C - Roosevelt Shepard - 10th year - 73/73
- C - Jimmy Brock - 9th year - 30/30
Shepard is the offensive line leader and remains a huge presence in the center of the line. In 2037, he had career highs in KRB (31) and KRO (84). Brock was brought in as a free agent as the primary backup and to provide some additional run blocking power.
- LG - K.C. Norton - 7th year - 56/56
- RG - Curtis Babinchak - 9th year - 55/55
- RG - Sedrick Janjic - 2nd year - 44/74
- RG - Justin Mohr - 9th year - 49/49
Norton and Babinchak are a solid guard duo who are run blockers first and are a key to opening holes in the line for Brustkern. The weakest link for the two is Norton's pass blocking, as evidenced by his 8 sacks allowed last season. Pounding on the door behind them is Janjic, a physical specimen who is one of the strongest players in the league. He didn't see the field at all in his rookie year but after a solid summer league, Janjic is a solid backup who just might be the starter one year from now. Mohr gives the Phantoms four very good options at guard, making this one of the deepest positions on the team.
- RT - Carlos Urbanchek - 4th year - 86/86
- LT - Fred Kohl - 6th year - 41/41
- RT - Ernest Keith - 4th year - 27/39
- RT - Dale Mohammed - 4th year - 39/39
The tackle spot had its highs and lows this offseason. On the positive side, Urbanchek came to camp in the best shape of his life and has emerged as one of the highest rated tackles in the league. On the flip side, left tackle has become a black hole for ACI. Gabe Burdick, who spent the first 10 years of his career in Atlantic City, was let go in a cost cutting measure. Numerous attempts were made to get a left tackle in free agency and the best the team could do was Mohammed (who is much better as a right tackle). In a bit of a desperation move, ACI pulled a late trade with Las Vegas to get Kohl. Kohl may actually be a better player than Burdick (and much younger) but he has a huge conflict with Shepard. Despite a new long term team that he signed with Las Vegas, Kohl may not be a long term solution. Keith was allowed to test free agency and was resigned when he had no other offers. Again, this was more of a desperation signing than a good talent evaluation.
Defense: Probably the biggest reason for the 13-3 record last year was the defense, which was one of the better units in the league. With all the key pieces returning, this year should be no different.
- LDE - Mike Hipp - 8th year - 58/58
- RDE - Edgar Hayes - 5th year - 43/43
- LDE - Sammy Lynch - 9th year - 49/49
- RDE - Curtis Borders - 3rd year - 43/43
Hipp and Lynch split time at LDE and both finished with 2 sacks, which was a step back in production. The team is hoping they can increase that sack rate this season. Hayes and Borders are both 80+ run defenders who fit perfectly into the RDE role.
- NT - Darren Richardson - 11th year - 60/60
- NT - Norbert Umphenour - 6th year - 40/40
- NT - Jermaine Coughlin - R - 26/42
Richardson returns at nose tackle and continues to be a force in the middle of the defensive line. The backups are new to the team and the jury is out on whether they are an upgrade. Umphenour was signed in free agency and is a stout run defender who doesn't offer much of a pass rush. Coughlin was a 7th round selection who was one of the last players to make the roster. Time will tell if he remembers on the roster for the entire season or if he will be part of a bottom of the roster churn.
- SILB - Dominic Castillo - 4th year - 81/81
- SLB - Corey Fisher - 4th year - 71/71
- WILB - Emmitt Suhocki - 8th year - 45/45
- WLB - Gino Wayne - 9th year - 39/39
- WLB - Winfred Henry - 7th year - 30/30
- WILB - Dwight LeBoeuf - 7th year - 37/37
- WILB - Ellis Oland - 2nd year - 23/44
- SLB - Zack Koethe - 9th year - 20/20
The strength of the defense continues to be at linebacker. Castillo and Fisher are two of the best in the entire CFL. Castillo has the better ratings but it was Fisher who was named 1st team all-league last year, thanks in no small part to 10 sacks. Suhocki had an up and down year in 2037 as he was not happy to be taken off the field in nickel situations. With depth an issue, Suhocki may get additional playing time behind Fisher and Castillo as well as remaining the starter at WILB. Wayne was the surprise of training camp with a huge jump in ratings, specifically at pass rush technique and pass rush strength. Hopefully this will translate into higher sack numbers. Like Wayne, Henry is a pass rushing specialist. LeBoeuf is a strong run defender who was signed in free agency to be a veteran backup to Suhocki. Oland is a young player who has shown excellent promise as a long term WILB. Koethe is another player who may not be on the roster for the entire season. He has taken a big hit in ratings over the past two years and is better for chemistry than he is on the field.
- SS - Wendell Myrick - 11th year - 55/55
- FS - Doug Facey - 8th year - 50/50
- FS - Marvin Wayne - 3rd year - 36/36
- SS - Robbie Henry - R - 24/38
Myrick seems to be getting better with age as he had a career high 91 tackles in 2037. The big news here was the addition of Facey, who was acquired from Shreveport. Facey is a solid all-around safety but does have endurance question marks. Wayne's progression has slowed and he appears to be a good backup but not long term starting ability. Like Facey, he has endurance issues. Henry is an undrafted rookie who was signed to provide depth. He does have excellent potential as a run defender but that is merely making a positive spin on a backup.
- LCB - Carlton Hucke - 9th year - 56/56
- RCB- Leo Pasquarella - 7th year - 49/49
- RCB - Ralph Myers - 3rd year - 49/49
- LCB - Claude Reinhard - R - 33/50
- LCB - Brent DiStefano - 8 - 47/47
The biggest news at cornerback was the retirement of Dennis Porter. Porter had lost a step or two but was the best cornerback in Atlantic City history and will be missed. Hucke returns as the #1 corner and has been an excellent player. While he dropped to only 1 interception in 2037, Hucke did have a career high 56 tackles. Pasquarella, who was resigned in free agency, and Myers will share the RCB / Nickel duties. Pasquarella is an excellent run defender while Myers is a punishing hitter who is the better pass defender. The addition of DiStefano, acquired in another recent trade with Las Vegas, gives the Phantoms the deepest set of corners they have had in a long, long time. Add in rookie Reinhard, who has a bright future, and this may be the deepest position on the team next to the guards.
- Ricky Fink - R - 42/55
Jermaine Holmes decided to test the free agency market and while doing so lost his job to an undrafted rookie. While not an elite punter, Fink does have some excellent upside.
- Dixon Finch - 16th year - 52/52
Finch enters the last year of his contract with ACI, which most likely will be his last year with the team. He has had an up and down career. In 2037 he dropped below 80% on field goals and an improvement is needed this year.
- Kruger and Phillips will split the return duties for the Phantoms. Kruger has had at least one punt return for a touchdown in each of the past two seasons.
Updated to reflect Training Camp changes. Sadly, it still looks like a mediocre draft for me. Hopefully I can get my @#$% together when we move to FOF7!
After just over a season on the job, the St. Louis front office no longer qualifies as a new regime, but it's fair to say that they're still in a honeymoon period with Torpedoes' fans after drafting local QB Richard McCormick out of Mizzou in the first round last season. How McCormick progresses this year after a summer in Europe, and how this season's draft class performs on the field over the next couple years will go a long way in determining whether St. Louis management is in for a long and happy marriage with their loyal fans, or headed for a quick divorce.
St. Louis received a middling B+ grade from most prognosticators for their 2038 draft. Management reportedly views the draft similarly, believing that they just missed on a few players who were selected right before St. Louis was on the clock. One thing's for sure - after 14 straight losing seasons, Torpedoes' fans are desperate for a winner, and the team needs to begin showing progress on the gridiron this fall.
1-10 Joseph Westphal, DE, Tulane (36/58) +3/0 to 39/58
Westphal was one of the more polarizing prospects heading into the draft, with some observers believing he would go #1 overall, and others viewing him as a second round talent. The St. Louis front office reportedly also gave the undersized defensive lineman mixed reviews, and it has been stated off the record that Westphal was a compromise selection after several players management ranked much higher came off the board right before he was selected. At just 6-3, 253, Westphal doesn't seem built to withstand the rigors of playing on the defensive line, and there have reportedly already been discussions with the player and his agent about moving to OLB. Positively, the worst case scenario for a player with Westphal's strong combine performance and current ratings profile seems to be a solid starter for a decade. Negatively, unless he is a creeper, he seems unlikely to turn into a true difference maker, which is what a team is typically hoping for with the tenth overall selection.
2-9 Morris Larsen, DT, Georgia Southern (20/62) +5/-7 to 25/55
St. Louis was reportedly anxious to add players at the skill positions to aid in McCormick's development at QB, but when Larsen dropped to #41 overall, management felt his potential upside was too tempting to pass up. Although Larsen, like Westphal, is viewed as a bit small, his performance on the field was dominant last season. Larsen was named the Sun Belt Conference's defensive player of the year with 73 solo tackles, eight sacks, 23 tackles for a loss (including a pair of safeties), five forced fumbles, and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown. With Christian Robbins and Daryl Rogers ahead of him on the depth chart, Larsen will be allowed to break in slowly this year, but is expected to ultimately develop into a three down DT in the Torpedoes 4-3 defense.
3-10 Darnell Torres, T, Syracuse (22/54) +2/-1 to 24/53
The Torpedoes appear set at LT for the long term after Joseph Bradford signed a staggering 6-year, $130mm deal earlier this week, but Torres is expected to see some time at RT this year. Longtime starter Sam Couture is expected to retire after this season, his 13th in the CFL, and four year veteran Tim Richard appears best suited as a quality backup, so the team is counting on Torres to get some experience in 2038 with the hope of being a full-time starter in 2039. Torres impressed the scouts at the combine with his strength, and has superior agility given his massive size (6-6, 329). Given his consistent improvement as a four-year starter for The Orange and his extremely low volatility, management is confident that Torres will develop into a solid starter over time.
4-9 Wayne Pearson, G, Mississippi (18/49) +4/-1 to 22/48
Like Torres, Pearson excelled at the agility drill in Indianapolis, but at 6-3, 316 the Ole Miss product is a bit small compared to the top guards in the league. Pearson started for only one season in college, and while he was dominant in several games in 2037, he had little impact in a few others. That inconsistency contributed to him falling to the fourth round. Pearson is widely viewed as a project, but given the dearth of talent St. Louis has at G, he will likely be given some playing time this fall.
5-10 Mickey O'Neill, TE, Oregon (28/52) +3/-6 to 31/46
Although he slipped to the fifth round, St. Louis management is cautiously optimistic that O'Neill can help solve a long-standing problem for the team at TE. While the 6-3, 248 Oregon product was not much of a factor in the running game for the Ducks, he was extremely effective as a receiver. O'Neill caught 173 passes for 2,026 yards and 23 TD in his four years at Oregon, two of which were spent as a starter. The Torpedoes currently have five TE under contract, but the Academic All-American, who also excelled in the position drill at the combine, is expected to see immediate playing time in passing situations.
6-9 Traded to Albany for 6th and 7th round selections in 2039
7-10 Dan Bullock, K, Ohio State (37/68) -1/-9 to 36/59
Although undrafted K Bobby Talley recently signed a two-year extension, he was mediocre as a rookie last year, missing six of 25 field goal attempts. With just $20k in bonus money tied up in Talley, the team could easily cut him if Bullock impresses the team in camp. Bullock nailed 23 of 28 FG attempts for the Buckeyes last year, including a long of 53 yards, and on paper he appears to be the favorite to emerge as the Torpedoes' kicker.