View Full Version : QuikSand Browns (nee Empty Cupboard) 2010-
11-09-2000, 02:00 PM
The Artist-formerly-known-as-Empty-Cupboard-Browns Challenge
I started this career, playing FOF 2001 on Wall Street level, using my traditional "empty cupboard" rules. This meant releasing all my initial players (from the allocation draft), playing with a team of one-year castoffs for 2000, and starting my team anew in the 2000 season. I have never had a real NFL player on my team. This meant a slow building process, but now those rules are largely behind me-I can sign almost any free agents I want to, now that I'm up to 2010.
For a complete recap of the team's progress to date, check out the original thread: http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~fof/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000029.html
For the more abbreviated tour, here's the GM history to date:
GM Performance for [QuikSand] of the Cleveland Browns
2008__CLE___56____70____74____57____44____10-7-0____Wild Card Round
In short, this team started out absolutely awful. From 2003 to 2006, we struggled to get close to respectability, with one setback year in 2004. In 2006, we had a merry-go-round of QBs, none of whom were able to get the job done. In 2007, I had the #4 overall draft selection, and I finally got a quality QB aboard-he's been my starter since, and got us on track. In the 2009 pre-season I worked hard to make room for a very expensive but excellent free agent RB, who played a huge role in our stepping up to our outstanding results in 2009.
I'll continue the thread here, and will shed the title of "empty cupboard" as the team has largely outgrown those restrictions. At this point, I'm simply playing by a couple of reasonable house rules:
-No free agents outside 20-stage process will be signed to contracts longer than their original demands
-Offers to free agents seeking a bonus will be at least 25% guaranteed in signing bonus
-Ticket prices will not be the league's highest in any category
I'll keep playing, and see if I have a sense of the game's balance after the transition to game-created players is complete. I am open to adding new house rules as I go, but for now, these seem to keep things reasonable. I don't tend to do a lot of trading anyway, so I have yet to impose a firm rule there-I usually only consider CPU-offered deals, and will make a minor trade if I have to thin out my roster. I've found draft picks tougher to acquire in this game anyway, an with the chance of an expensive bust, the balance seems better there.
I'll play some more from here, and hope to find that the challenge continues.
11-09-2000, 02:02 PM
I enter the season with 39 players already signed to contracts, and I have $18m in room under the overall cap of $124.9m. I have the team's first retirement-CB Robbie Grant has retired following a serious knee injury last season. RB Aaron Valentino, a new arrival last year who garnered the NFL's MVP award, has been eleveated to "Idolized" status. I'd think so.
I have a sizable number of players who are going to test free agency this season. Last year, I was pushed right up to the salary cap, and did not have any flexibility to make contract extensions-leaving everyone with contracts ending in 2009 to seek greener pastures this season.
I'm very pleased with my scout, who is 40 years old, and is rated VG in all but two categories (G in DL, LB). My coach was signed on for last season-Edgar Norton is 47 and has a "GOOD" rating for most important areas, and a "VERY GOOD" in QB and avoid injury-which helped a great deal last season. Neither is prohibitively expensive, and they will both stay on for this season.
Last season, our team's bottom line improved mightily. We were very nearly breaking even in 2007 and 2008, but 2009 saw our profits jump to nearly $50m. Winning played a sizable role, and a ticket price adjustment boosted revenues as well.
My free agent crop isn't as serious as I had feared. LB Marlon Sweeney has been an anchor for us for eight seasons, and I'd like to retain him in the middle if possible. LB Randal Ogden has been here for seven seasons, and despite his shortcomings against the run, he's very valuable. WR Jumbo Jefferies has been an excellent 3rd wideout, but I fear that his demands will outstrip my available resources-I'm resigned to letting him go. G Nick Aberdeen started last season, but never really lived up to his apparent potential. T Preston Wiggins was a one-year fill in at tackle, but won't be worth the big investment for a longer stay. Young DT Arnie Berube is the most valuable among my restricted free agents, but I drafted a top DT last season, and I suspect that I'll find Berube expendable.
I place the franchise tag onto LB Marlon Sweeney. I'll pursue LB Ogden as well, but I'll know when to say when.
I get a trade offer that I don't think I will be able to refuse. Anaheim is offering me their top pick (#27) plus a very talented young wide receiver in Lorenzo Hawthorne, in exchange for my backup QB Corwin Orta. Now, Orta has played well for me, but he will be a free agent after this season, and in all likelihood will be demanding a contract far beyond what I could afford. He's a great player, but I cannot afford to pay him the magabucks, and I take the offer from the Shillers. Orta is gone, but I have my potential problem at WR put off, as Hawthorne may end up being the best player I have there.
I am also offered a 2nd round pick for longtime star CB Carl Barnes, but I have to turn that down. Barnes is the only top-grade corner I have, and letting him go would concede defeat in my weakest area. I'm looking to build around Barnes-he has many good years left.
In free agency, I could really use a solid DE. If I could sign a solid player to start for a year, I'd be able to trade away DE Tyrone Flowers, who will depart for big money after this year anyway. OT is another position that would be good to fill. And if by some off chance I could find an affordable CB, that would be a godsend. I'm not holding my breath there.
I put in a 3yr/$4.6m offer for T Aaron Lopes, a 7th year guy who would be a decent number three and seeks no bonus. I see a couple of second year DTs who look okay, but I decide to wait intul later, and see how my money situation looks. Incidentally, DT Ernie Pike is a free agent-he played for my Browns for about 7 seasons, then was traded to the Redskins. He put up career-best numbers with the Skins last season, and was named to the first team all-pro squad (never got honors with us).
I have extra picks in rounds one and two this year, and while neither first rounder is especially early, I think I need to keep money set aside anyway. I decide not to pursue any big money free agents, at least early in the 20-step process.
Regrettably, I see LB Randal Ogden quickly snapped up by Oakland, for nearly $6m a season-far beyond my reach. WR Jumbo Jefferies looks like he'll draw in about $8.5m - also too pricey for me. G Nick Aberdeen and T Preston Wiggins both take longer, but they each sign for big bucks as well. I have my eye on LB Martin Pelletier-an old player of mine who I could not afford to re-sign, and who retained his high contract demands, and therefore sat out last season entirely. He could still be pretty good, and it looks like I might be able to get him for around $3m a year-which is a bargain, I think, for a solid-quality starter.
I put in a bid on DT Winfred Schlokora, who I think I can lock up for several years and use as a #3 or 4 defensive tackle. I also manage to get LB Marlon Sweeney back into the fold-my franchise player takes a deal for 3yrs/$11.4m. I am unable to pursue a deal with LB Pelletier, as signing Sweeney exhausts my cap room, at least for now.
On first glance, it looks like a good year to be out of the top of the first round. I see a good deal of LB talent in this draft, and I figure that perhaps that will be a fruitful place to invest. I have a desperate need at CB, but this draft looks practically barren there.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Antonio O'Donnell, DE, Marist
Rnd 1 - Ed Pease, CB, UCLA
Rnd 2 - Nathan Devine, FB, Syracuse
Rnd 2 - Cory Sawyer, LB, Shippensburg
Rnd 3 - Kendall Meyer, QB, Pittsburgh
Rnd 4 - Neil Saldana, FB, Washington
Rnd 5 - Harvey Gordon, QB, Oklahoma State
Rnd 6 - Cedric King, S, Maryland
Rnd 7 - Clay Wynn, LB, Colorado State
A somewhat uninspiring draft, but that is to be expected. I end u filling needs even with my top picks-getting a hopefully solid DE and a decent CB/PR with my early selections. When I see FB Saldana available in round 5, I'm sorry I picked Devine in round 2-they were pretty close in apparent talent. I get two backup QBs, hoping that one of them blossoms a bit and can handle my backup duties.
I get a trade offer for LB Buddy Cochrane, who has been a two-year starter as a FA pickup. This move, which would net me a #1 pick from Atlanta next year (last year Atl went 7-9, so this could be an early pick), would clear up cap room to go sign LB Pelletier, who would be solid in that starting job. I take the deal, and sign Pelletier to a one-year deal for about $2.6m.
I have to do a little pruning to fit my rookies under the cap, but I do so-leaving me with exactly 46 players, and only $500,000 under the salary cap. That is just enough to bring on one rookie free agent minimum salary player. I decide to sign one, and see if he develop in camp into a keepable player- I pick up QB A.J. Reid, who I had eyed during the draft.
For the second time, I have drafted a CB in the first round and have gotten a bust. CB Ed Pease will be able to return punts, but I'll be very reluctant to put him on the field as a cover man-he's got ratings there in the 20-30 range, which isn't getting it done. Everyone else looks pretty solid.
I have no cap room remaining, but decide to torture myself by looking at the FA players available after camp. The crop isn't great, but I do see my old LB Lonnie Fiore, who would make a nice re-addition to my squad for this year. Minnesota gives up a 4th round pick for LB Wes Dennis, and I clear out the cap room to sign Fiore for this year. I send FB Nicky Banks to Baltimore for a 7th round pick, mainly to clear the way for my young FB tandem, who both look to be pretty good.
I have exactly 46 players on the roster (I released rookie QB A.J. Reid) and I have $1,360,000 in cap room available-enough to pick up one emergency replacement if needed. Here is the scout overview of the gang on board:
Position/Player Current Est Future Est Exp Sgnd
QB Jesse Morse 15 16 4 2011
QB Kendall Meyer 2 11 1 2012
QB Harvey Gordon 3 10 1 2011
RB Aaron Valentino 15 16 8 2013
RB Dean Beyer 8 11 2 2010
RB Mel Church 7 11 3 2010
FB Nathan Devine 5 13 1 2013
FB Neil Saldana 6 9 1 2013
TE Bruce Barreto 15 17 3 2011
TE Will Barrale 12 12 2 2012
WR Lorenzo Hawthorne 16 16 2 2014
WR Jose Rodriguez 13 14 10 2012
WR Tyrone Hayes 13 13 10 2011
WR Frankie McMurtry 7 10 4 2010
WR Rico Heath 7 10 3 2010
WR Korey Linquist 6 8 2 2011
C Byron Talley 10 13 4 2010
C Corwin Beyer 7 7 3 2015
G Brock Jernigan 12 12 6 2011
G Terry Gaines 8 11 2 2011
G Danny Willis 7 10 4 2011
T Rusty Lyon 14 14 8 2011
T Aaron Lopes 7 10 7 2012
T Ian Williford 5 9 2 2011
P Ronnie Castillo 15 15 8 2010
K Cedric Hutchins 14 14 6 2010
DE Marcus VandenBelt 14 14 10 2011
DE Tyrone Flowers 12 13 9 2010
DE Antonio O'Donnell 3 13 1 2014
DT Malcolm Reynolds 8 16 2 2014
DT Trevor Conway 9 11 5 2010
DT Winfred Schokora 5 10 2 2016
LB Martin Pelletier 8 14 5 2010
LB Marlon Sweeney 13 13 9 2012
LB Lonnie Fiore 10 12 4 2010
LB Cory Sawyer 3 11 1 2012
LB Rob Cutting 6 11 2 2012
LB Clay Wynn 6 8 1 2011
CB Carl Barnes 16 16 10 2011
CB Leo Donaldson 8 9 3 2011
CB Trevor Richard 5 9 4 2014
CB Ed Pease 6 7 1 2013
S Billy Joe Franklin 17 19 4 2011
S Jim Stanton 11 16 2 2012
S Cedric King 2 11 1 2012
S Ted Levine 7 9 4 2014
I'm not too thrilled at CB, and I fear that I may be a little porous against the pass again this season. I also now regret my trading at LB-as Pelletier and Fiore are really not worth trading away my starting MLB from last season. I fear that I may have done serious damage to my run defense with that move-and if my defense is poor against both the run and pass, it could be a serious problem.
We have an easy goal for this season-defend our championship. Last year we were the league's top team with a 13-3 record, and we played well to win out through the postseason. We hope that we haven't slipped very far, and that we can come back strong for another run. QB Jesse Morse (who now has no legitimate backup) has two years left on his remaining contract-after that things will get very expensive to hold this group together. We must win now.
11-10-2000, 08:17 AM
We start off with a couple shaky wins, then tack on two good ones to get to 4-0. CB Carl Barnes-my top cover man- goes down with an injury, and we lose to Detroit in week 5. After a merciful week off, we have to out-gun Buffalo 48-35 to win, but then we are trounced by a solid Minnesota club. In week 9, we rebound against the division-leading Steelers, and tie things up at 6-2 at the midway point.
CB Carl Barns is now listed as out for the year, and I have a sizable number of serious injuries. This looks bad.
Though we face several tight games, we manage to win out the rest of the season, and end up with an impressive 14-2 record. Our points margin is 460-327-giving up more than last season. We again have the best record in the NFL, and again it's Philadelphia and Minnesota-both at 13-3-who look like the top rivals.
We have some very bad long term news, though-two of my top secondary players (CB Barnes and S Stanton) have serious long-term injuries-meaning I'll have to pay them next season despite their inability to play, and I simply cannot afford to do that without making major compromises elsewhere. This does not bode well at all.
QB Jesse Morse: 4,130 yards, 61.4%, 8.03 ypa, 32/14, 96.1 - ungodly numbers, will easily receive honors again
RB Aaron Valentino: 347-1,709 yards, 17 TD (4.9 ypc) - another great season, a true workhorse back
WR Jose Rodriguez: 82-1,201 yards, 9 TD (60.2%, 7 drops) - this guys has been very, very solid for us
C Byron Talley: 30/78 KRB (38.4%), 3 sacks allowed in 520 pass plays - stepping up just before he leaves
G Terry Gaines: 30/80 KRP (37.5%), 2 sacks allowed in 476 pass plays - another very nice season
DE Marcus VandenBelt: 27 tackles, 16 sacks, 3 blocks, 11 hurries - still the man on this line
S Billy Joe Franklin: 79 tackles, 8 int, 1 TD, 45.5 PDQ - gets it done every single season
Overall stats (off/def/avg):
I rather like the cause-and-effect situation here: I made myself a little weaker with my LB corps, and my run defense properly suffers from it. Seems pretty obvious to me (unlike many of my FOF2 careers, where this seemed to be white noise). The passing defense was better than expected, especially without CB Barnes around to lock down the top opposing wideout.
We'll try to hold together a complete lineup and head into the playoffs. A home game against Pittsburgh may very well be in our future.
11-10-2000, 08:54 AM
Our opponent in the opener is Miami, who upset Pittsburgh in round one. We will not, however, see our old friend Freddie Cash-he is listed as out with a pulled groin. Their replacement QB doesn't look so good-I like our chances here. (As a complete aside, the very first QB for this team-Hunter Pettus-is actually now a 6-year starter for the Bills. He's no good, but he's starting!)
The first quarter played out as if we had written the script. The Phins have 3 yards of total offense, and we have a 14-0 lead with two nice TD drives. It looks very good early-our defense is killing them. We easily cruise to a 34-6 victory, and keep them completely out of our end zone.
We now host Denver, who beat New England for the other playoff spot. Their biggest weapon is RB Herb Hubbard- who was a 1,400 yards rusher this year. Again, I like our chances, as I don't see these guys having the firepower needed to light up our weak secondary. Minnesota awaits the winner-and they have revenge on their minds (we ripped them apart in last year's Superbowl).
We get the ball first, and march 80 yards for an opening TD. Very good. After a punt, we add on a FG to go up 10-0. A quick turnover, an interception returned for a TD, and I think we have sent our message today-it's 17-0 Browns after 9 minutes of football.
It's 34-7 at the half, and it looks like the scoring will continue-at least on our side. We cruise home to a 51-13 victory, and we are headed into our rematch with the Vikes. They won their NFC title game by the margin of 40-17, so it looks like both teams are coming in firing on all cylinders.
The Vikings also have a top-notch QB in Nicky Kaplan. In fact, the race between Kaplan and Morse for 1st team is a very close one-they were 1-2 in both yards and TDs this season. (Tampa Bay's Rodney Harden was still recovering from injuries, but should be back next year)
The Vikes get the ball first, and after one first down, they punt it away. We almost take a safety after losing yards, and end up three and out. The first quarter is back and forth until my great safety Billy Joe Franklin steps in front of a Kaplan pass and takes it 52 yards for a TD. We move up 7-0, despite our meager 15 yards of offense. On our next possession, we finally show signs of life, and drive for a "real" TD, to go ahead 14-0. It's not quite the immediate back-breaking lead in the early first quarter (that we got in the last two games) but being ahead 14-0 at any point is pretty welcome. It's the middle of the second quarter, and Minnesota ought to be feeling a little bit of desperation by now.
When Morse hits Rodriguez for another TD, we move ahead 21-0, and the Vikes are definitely reeling. After an exchange of interceptions, Minnesota gets their act together, and they move in for their first score. After a late FG attempt that falls just short, the score at the half is Cleveland 21, Minnesota 7.
On our first drive of the second half, Valentino shows up big time, gets about 40 yards on the series, and finishes it off with a 12-yard stab. The rest of the third quarter is a field position battle, which we largely win. It remains 28-7 through three quarters, with Minnesota finding little hope of beating our defense.
Later in the game, Minnesota had a reserve QB in-I'm not sure if Kaplan is hurt or benched, but a guy named Ian Stephens (yes, the Ian Stephens once from my team) is… getting picked off. We convert the turnover into a 4-play TD drive, and take a commanding 35-7 lead. They manage a FG with about 6 minutes left, and we run out the clock with a final massive TD drive. Final score: Cleveland 42, Minnesota 10.
Billy Joe Franklin gets the MVP honors for the kick-start touchdown in the late first quarter, plus a very solid game with 4 tackles and 3 passes defensed.
In the post-season awards display-we see red letters for several honorees. The first tem includes QB Jesse Morse, TE Bruce Barreto, G Terry Gaines, and DE Marcus VandenBelt. Second team honorees include RB Aaron Valentino, P Ronnie Castillo, DT Malcolm Reynolds, and my main man S Billy Joe Franklin. RB Valentino wins his second straight NFL MVP award, despite not being named to the first team either season.
Now, we have the coveted back-to-back championships. We'll look ahead into next season, and into our greatest challenge yet.
11-10-2000, 11:46 AM
Our first challenge is to re-sign our excellent scout, which we do after some consternation. He gets $900,000 for three years-he's worth it to me.
The balance sheet is still healthy: we were $67m in the black last season, up from $54m the previous year. Winning games, making money-it's all good.
The bad news (I think) is that CB Carl Barnes and S Jim Stanton both retired-after they each suffered horrific injuries last season. This leaves us with 33 players on contract, and a fairly healthy $24.9m in cap room-prompting me to suspect that I don't take a massive cap hit from the retirements after all (as I had feared I would). While I certainly would have preferred to keep those two on hand-I think it's better for the team that they retired rather than sitting on the injured list eating $12m in salary.
My list of players who will be free agents is significant: DE Flowers has been a solid starter, P Castillo an al-star, K Hutchins has been very solid, DT Trevor Conway has been a inside pass-rusher, LB Martin Pelletier an important fill-in at OLB, WR Frankie McMurtry a better-then-expected returner and reserve wideout, C Byron Talley put up all-star numbers last season, and LB Lonnie Fiore was very solid at OLB again. I'm unlikely to re-sign many of these guys, so I will definitely have holes to fill. My young players who are RFA include both backup RBs, who certainly will be too expensive to re-sign.
I struggle over the choice of franchise player, but ultimately decide on LB Martin Pelletier. My scout continues to insist that he can get better, and I'm hopeful that he can step up a bit more-plus, LB projects to be very weak fore me this year, so losing both veterans would be devastating.
In the opening of the FA period, I check out my players, and they all demand far more than I can afford-I'm resigned to letting nearly everyone walk away.
The Bears offer me a 4th round pick for my third-string QB Harvey Gordon, and I accept.
I put in a 4yr/$24m offer for a fabulous LB Larry Quinonez, who would step in and be my number one or two guy, alongside Sweeney. His demands aren't much higher than several other available LBs, including Lonnie Fiore (who doesn't even compare). I also make offers to a few cheaper players-I'll have a lot of holes to fill this season, it appears. I find a FB, C, and G who will all listen to offers under 2x minsal. The FB might allow me to deal one of my second year players-who are both solid.
After the first FA week, it looks like nobody is matching my offer to LB Quinonez, which is great news. Finally, in week 5, he takes our deal.
My "team needs" at this point are listed as starting CB, backup DT, and starting DT. Losing DT Trevor Conway (who took an $8m/yr deal) definitely leaves me weak inside. The FA market doesn't bear any help there, however. I decide instead to put in a FA bid for CB Ted England-I offer 4yrs, $24m, the same as I gave to LB Quinionez. England isn't fabulous, but he would be my best cover man for this season. He takes the deal right away-a little bit under market, I would hazard.
In the coming draft, I hold an extra pick in round one (I have #29 and #34) and I also have two extra fourth-rounders. I need to set aside $9m or so to sign them, and my cap room is currently $12.7 - with franchise LB Pelletier still unsigned. I'm a bit hamstrung now, but still spend a little money to get a reserve-quality DT signed (he won't be a starter, but he might be an okay #3 guy).
I trade one of my reserve guards to Jacksonville, to move up from the end to the beginning of round four. This primarily clears out some salary cap room. I head into the draft with many needs to fill.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Andre Billmaier, DT, Youngstown State
Rnd 1 - Lionel McGraw, S, Illinois
Rnd 2 - Jamal Hanks, WR, Virginia
Rnd 3 - Cedric Corsarie, DE, Missouri
Rnd 4 - Lorenzo Stuart, QB, Louisiana State
Rnd 4 - Clifton Longwell, K, Louisiana State
Rnd 4 - Max Olmstead, DT, Missouri
Rnd 5 - Devin Sanchez, LB, Kansas
Rnd 6 - Percy Dotson, RB, Dartmouth
Rnd 7 - Jason Duffy, RB, North Carolina
Rnd 7 - Oscar Marshall, CB, Arkansas State
Regrettably, there are no solid CBs available at the bottom of round one, so I address other needs at DT and S. DT Billmaier is a high-skills, low-endurance type of guy, who should be very solid in spot duty. S McGraw is a do-it-all type with good interception skills and return ability.
I get Pelletier in for $4.1m this year, and I have about $8m with which to sign my plentiful rookie crop-it won't be enough, of course. I do a couple renegotiations, but I am still stuck.
The guy who I'm now eyeing up is CB England, a new FA signee. He has started for two years, but has only posted PDQ ratings in the twenties-not too good, despite apparently high ratings. I decide that I cannot afford to pay him the big bucks, and perhaps I'll try to trade for a CB to start this year, and then cut England. I trade QB Meyer to Minnesota to get the rookie they drafted in round two-Brian Spencer should be pretty solid as a #2 or #3 cornerback. With him in the fold, I release England-who is pissed, of course. I also trade away DT Schokora, who became expendable with my crop of rookies.
I get all my rookies signed, and have $6m in cap room remaining. I have two possible uses for that cap room-I could go after a few extra filler players (and allow my injured players to become inactive instead of just non-starters), or I could try to sign QB Morse to an extension. I'll likely franchise him next season anyway, but it would be nice to have that resolved in advance. I decide that since I have only 48 players aboard now, I'll sign a few undrafted rookies, take then through camp, and then decide what to do.
All my rookies survived the training camp without a bust- a great relief.
After camp, I receive three trade offers. A tempting offer for CB Lee Donaldson, but given the problems I have there, I cannot move him out. I get a good offer for FB Saldana, and accept the 4th rounder for him (which is what he was anyway). Another offer for LB Quinonez is awfully tempting-it's a T who would bcome my starter at RT, plus a 4th round pick. I decide that I cannot afford to do it-LB is just too thin. I leave these offers on the table as I look at the free agent pool that is available.
I decide that I should spend some money going after fill-in players from the FA pool, and not worry about extending contracts. I am disappointed that the CB crop isn't very strong-I had hoped for a one-year fill in for this season. England is the best guy by far-and he's not coming back to us. I do sign a backup QB-5th year man Billy Joe Tatum, who will be a solid step-in in case of emergency. I am impressed by the LBs avaiable, and struggle for a while whether to accept the trade offer for Quinonez. He makes $6m this year, and I could replace him with a one-year fill-in who would be solid, but not a star-this would probably free enough salary room to re-sign QB Morse.
In the meantime, I do sign a solid tackle-Juan Tompkins will probably be my starter at RT this season. I then decide to bring back Lonnie Fiore for $1.6m-he'll either be my #4 LB, or my #3 if I decide to trade Quinonez. WR Frankie McMurtry wants about $3m, and I simply cannot pull the trigger for him, as much as I like him.
At this point, renegotiating with QB Morse would require my payment this year to jump from $8m to $13m. Dealing LB Quinonez would make up that room, but I'm not convinced that is wise. I decide to sit on Quinonez-I should be able to build some cohesion in my front seven with Sweeney and him side by side for the next four seasons. I'm fairly confident that I can do Morse's deal under franchise tag cover next season.
I decide instead to use some of my remaining cash and extend S Billy Joe Franklin's deal. This way, I'll be sure to keep him through next season while I franchise QB Morse. I cannot lose my best defensive player in Franklin-so now he's on board through 2012. I do the same with DE Marcus VandenBelt, who actually takes a cut this year to get the bonus increase.
Here is my group as we head into the season-with a little cap room remaining.
Position/Player Current Est Future Est Exp Sgnd
QB Jesse Morse 15 16 5 2011
QB Lorenzo Stuart 5 12 1 2012
QB Billy Joe Tatum 10 11 5 2011
RB Aaron Valentino 15 15 9 2013
RB Percy Dotson 7 7 1 2012
RB Jason Duffy 6 6 1 2012
FB Nathan Devine 9 11 2 2013
FB Dixon Morris 4 6 2 2017
TE Bruce Barreto 17 17 4 2011
TE Will Barrale 11 13 3 2012
WR Lorenzo Hawthorne 15 15 3 2014
WR Jose Rodriguez 12 13 11 2012
WR Jamal Hanks 4 12 1 2014
WR Tyrone Hayes 12 12 11 2011
WR Korey Linquist 6 8 3 2011
C Daniel Keegan 3 8 3 2012
C Corwin Beyer 7 7 4 2015
G Brock Jernigan 12 12 7 2011
G Terry Gaines 9 10 3 2011
G Derek Schneider 9 9 2 2017
T Rusty Lyon 14 14 9 2013
T Juan Tompkins 10 14 4 2011
T Ian Williford 7 11 3 2011
T Aaron Lopes 8 10 8 2012
P Jimmy Foster 4 9 1 2011
K Clifton Longwell 4 11 1 2012
DE Marcus VandenBelt 14 14 11 2013
DE Antonio O'Donnell 7 13 2 2014
DE Cedric Corsarie 2 12 1 2013
DT Malcolm Reynolds 13 15 3 2014
DT Andre Billmaier 4 14 1 2014
DT Max Olmstead 4 11 1 2013
DT Allen Sharber 3 8 2 2017
LB Larry Quinonez 16 16 7 2014
LB Rob Cutting 7 13 3 2012
LB Marlon Sweeney 12 12 10 2012
LB Lonnie Fiore 11 12 5 2011
LB Martin Pelletier 10 12 6 2013
LB Devin Sanchez 2 11 1 2012
LB Cory Sawyer 5 10 2 2012
LB Clay Wynn 4 8 2 2011
CB Leo Donaldson 9 10 4 2011
CB Brian Spencer 3 9 1 2015
CB Ed Pease 7 7 2 2013
CB Trevor Richard 5 7 5 2014
CB Oscar Marshall 5 5 1 2012
S Billy Joe Franklin 17 19 5 2013
S Lionel McGraw 8 12 1 2015
S Ted Levine 7 10 5 2014
S Cedric King 4 10 2 2012
I think that we survived a salcap scare pretty well. Losing CB Barnes was devastating, but our defense actually played pretty well without him for most of last season-definitely in the playoffs. I fear we will again be susceptible to a good passing attack, but I'm hoping we can make another run.
There is only one goal.
11-10-2000, 01:18 PM
We lose two key players-DE VandenBelt and TE Barreto-during the preseason. They'll both miss half the season- ouch.
We win our opener, but then get positively hammered at Jacksonville, 44-3. AT this point, my scout isn't pleased about a few positions-I haven't gotten these warning for several seasons:
Starting Positions Assessment:
Fairly concerned about starting center
Extremely concerned about starting defensive right end
Very concerned about starting defensive right tackle
Fairly concerned about starting strong-side cornerback
Very concerned about starting kicker
Very concerned about starting punter
I decide to bring in another DE and to deactivate VandenBelt, which I hope will speed his recovery. DE Shane Moss is a 4th year guy who signs for veteran minimum for one year- he'll start ahead of the rookie Corsaire for now.
We hope to shake off the Jags loss, and move on-they got a few lucky plays (punt return TD) and put us away early. We'll just call it a bad hair day and try to move on.
We did something right-we manage to win three in a row after the Jax debacle, before losing again to Baltimore in a very tight game. The loss drops us into a tie with the Ravens at 4-2. We then, however, lose two in a row at New England and at San Diego. They are both quality teams, and were both in the playoffs last year-but we simply do not find 4-4 to be acceptable.
Morse is off to a shaky start, with a 5/8 ratio and 74.8 rating in 8 games. Valentino is down to 3.6 yards per carry, and isn't even on pace for 1,000. Something is seriously amiss. I don't, however, see any obvious strings to pull-so we stay the course and hope for a rebound.
We get our "bounce" with two straight wins (including a drubbing of Jacksonville), and then we welcome the return of DE Marcus VandenBelt and TE Bruce Barreto. These two stars should help us a great deal, as we try to rally back into a strong playoff position. The next two games-wins over Pittsburgh and Baltimore-solidify our status as likely division winners. It looks like we survived the scare after all.
In week 14, our little run comes to an end when St. Louis beats us-another tough team on our schedule, so we don't feel that badly about it. However, we fall into a tie with Baltimore at 8-5-the division is up for grabs down the stretch. The following week we pull ahead as we win in Cinti, but the Ravens lose to the Jags. We have one game up with two to go.
CB Leo Donaldson suffers a probably career-ending knee injury, and we get even weaker at CB than before. Not what we needed. I bring in another free agent Brended Burks, who will probably be #3 on our depth chart. To make matters worse, S Lionel McGraw is also out with an injury, and he probably will miss the rest of the season. My secondary is looking very, very suspect.
We win out to stay one game ahead of Baltimore, and lo and behold-we are one game ahead of everyone in the AFC. Despite slipping by three whole games from last year's mark, we still hold the conference's top seed, and get home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Tampa Bay is definitely back-they went 14-2 to edge out the 13-3 Giants for the NFC's top seed. Looks like the betting will be against our defending AFC in the big showdown. (I later notice that Tampa's star QB Rodney Harden, after a brilliant season, will be out with a broken jaw-edge goes to the Giants, still led by Peyton Manning after all these years).
QB Jesse Morse: 3,941 yards, 59.5%, 8.14 ypa, 24/15, 89.2 - clearly got hot down the stretch to lead us
RB Aaron Valentine: 297-1,230 yards, 10 TD (4.1 ypc) - a step down, but better in the second half also
WR Jose Rodriguez: 67-1,126, 7 TD (56.7%, 2 drops) - same story again - he's just damned solid
WR Tyrone Hayes: 66-1061, 3 TD (62.6%, 6 drops) - great production from my #3 wideout position
LB Larry Quinonez: 110 tackles, 1 sack, 3 int - very solid at MLB, worth the investment I think
DE Marcus VandenBelt: 208 pass plays, 7.5 sacks - still managed to lead the team, hugely important player
S Billy Joe Franklin: 91 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 10 int, 1 TD, 49.8 PDQ - definite anchor player, year in year out
Overall stats (off/edf/avg):
Our defense actually stepped up this season, particularly against eth run (where we have previously been pretty suspect). I attribute this to the addition of MLB Quinonez, and moving LB Sweeney outside-which is probably better for both. Our defensive line is patchwork, but hopefully is coming together. Offensively, I cannot explain the first half of the season, but it looks like we come into the playoffs clicking pretty well.
Hard to say if we can get the ring again-but we're determined to put our best effort forth.
Chas in Cinti
11-10-2000, 01:51 PM
Noticed you don't get a lot of feedback on your reports, I think it's only because they are so engrossing. I've been on the boards (old and new) for over a year but rarely post, and I read just about every dynasty report you do. Thanks a lot, it's also given me ideas about plenty of challenges to try myself!
11-10-2000, 02:01 PM
I noticed you usually stick with a 46 man roster. Did you do this in FOF 2, or is this because backups demand so much money in FOF 2K1? I try to put at least 51 players on my team, no matter the circumstances.
Thanks for this report, it is always good to see how other people play the game in relation to yourself.
11-10-2000, 02:15 PM
Thanks to both of you - I appreciate feedback, and knowing that someone out there reads and enjoy this stuff.
I generally try to go to 50 or so players as well, but in a couple of seasons I've found myself so cap-strapped that I cut that short. I think that in two or three seasons I went through with only 46 on the nose-- this cost me dearly in 2010, as I had two players injured, and I was unable to "de-activate" them-- their injuries worsened, and they both ended up retirine prematurely.
Short answer is I prefer to play with more than 46, but I've been pressed into tough decisions in this career (and in severl previous FOF2 careers).
I actually think that requiring a full 53-man roster might be a decent house rule. This year I chose to "hedge" by keeping a pocket of money, and signing a cheap FA only when I needed to cover for an injury. I think that's unrealistic, now that I think about it...
11-10-2000, 02:16 PM
In our opener, we get to play San Diego-a team who beat is during the regular season. They went 9-7, and took the third wild card spot-then beat AFC East winner Miami to advance. They were barely positive on total points during the regular season, compared to my 386-291… I think we have a good shot here.
In out trademark fashion, we stuff them on their first possession, then turn around and drive for a TD. When we score early (especially in the playoffs, we get very dangerous). This bodes well. The next exchange turns out the same-they now have two first downs, and we now have two touchdowns. It's 14-0 after 7 minutes of game time.
Midawy through the second quarter, San Diego gets a long pass down to our ten, which they convert for a TD soon after. At14-7 the game is definitely not over yet. On the next possession, we drive inside their 45, but Morse is picked off, and they return it for 60 yards and a score-it's a tie game, folks. Valentino keys the next drive, and Morse hits Barrale on a short play action pass to put us up 21-14.
We hit another dry spell, and it's 24-14 at the end of the third quarter. In the early fourth, they have the ball, but my injured safety McGraw gets the pick and takes it to the house-56 yards and a back-breaking TD! The 31-14 lead holds until the waning moments when late-game mistakes set up two more scored for us to run it up to a 45-14 final. RB Aaron Valentino gained 173 yards on the day, despite not getting into the end zone at all.
We host Denver in the AFC title game, a repeat of last year's drubbing. They went 10-6 on the season, and were a pretty strong defensive team. Once again, I feel good-I like our chances against a solid defense better than against a great offense. The winner will face off in the Superbowl against the upset winner over the Giants-none other than the Minnesota Vikings!
Our defense shows up early, and on their first two possessions they get a total of 3 yards. We're not doing a lot better, but our second possession starts at the Denver 45. We get a FG after Valentino gets us into range practically all by himself. Things have loosened up a bit, but the 3-0 score holds through the first quarter's end.
In the second quarter, a good punt return sets us up at the Denver 34, and we strike with one play-TE Barreto takes it all the way in for the score. On the following possession, though, Denver hits a 71-yard bomb to get back to 10-7. Morse responds in kind, going 66 yards to Barreto again, and it's 17-7. That margin holds through the second quarter, until Denver has one final play from their 23. Shockingly, they manage to pull off the incredible, as a draw up the middle catches us totally unaware and they score. It's 17-14 at the half-two big plays against our defense have made this a tight game.
Denver strikes on their first possession, recovering an onside kick and taking it in in four plays. It's 21-17 and my players are in shock. We are dominating the game, but they are ahead now. We manage to drive into their red zone, but after first-and-goal from the 2 yard line, Morse throws a pick in the endzone for a touchback. Fortunately, on the very next play we get it back when Pease intercepts the Denver pass. This time Barreto takes it down to the 2, and Valentino takes it from there-we take a 24-21 lead. At the tail end of the third quarter, we tack on a FG - it's 27-21.
In the early fourth, we strike again, and hard. This time it's safety Ted Levine who gets the interception, and he's gone-a 30-yard TD return to put us ahead 33-21, much more comfortable. On our next possession, Morse is totally in synch with WR Hawthorne, and they hook up five times in seven plays, including the TD. AT 40-21, this game is now put away. They get a cosmetic TD, but it's ours 40-29 at the end. S Ted Levine gets the game ball for this outstanding play, but overlooking TE Barreto (183 yds, 2 TD) is criminal. Once again, we hold outstanding RB Herb Hubbard to a dreadful total-16 yards today.
So, we head to the Superbowl again, for our third straight matchup against the Vikings.
In the opening salvos, things are quiet. Minnesota gets things going a bit in their second possession, but they miss a FG and it remains scoreless. Just into the second quarter, the same thing happens-the kick hits the crossbar and falls just short. We escape two drives and allow no points. Morse, however, has yet to complete a pass. We finally get a little bit going, btu Morse gets intercepted and we hand it over in MIN territory. Finally, with 5:18 left before halftime, Minnesota breaks the 0-0 tie with a TD pass. I am very worried about our offense, which seems to be in the same funk that plagued us early in the year.
On our next possession, Valentino breaks a run for 52 yards, and we're in striking distance. However, the unthinkable happens-Morse's pass downfield is intercepted, and the Viking DB takes it 90 yards all the way back. At 14-0, the desperation is crawling once again, but it's my Browns who feel the heat.
Morse is, fortunately, cool under pressure, and he guides a fabulous drive into Viking territory. Dotson a backup RB, actually finishes it off with an 11-yard scamper. We're back within a score, and looking much better as we hit halftime.
In the early third, we fumble a punt, and Minnesota takes it on our 33. They are forced to settle for a FG, and it's 17-7. Not out of reach yet. Dotson remains in the game, and I fear that Valentino may have been removed for injury. I hope not, but we'll keep riding the fairly hot hand of the youngster. However, our running game has clearly sputtered, and our offense along with it. We finally mount some offense, and finish the 3rd quarter in striking distance of the goal line.
After Morse scrambles on third and four to get the first down, he hits WR Rodriguez for the score, and we're back in this thing, down only 17-14. Now, our defense has to step up big time. The Vikes are moving the ball, but they fumble at our 45, and we come up with it. There is 10:09 remaining. Morse is positively fearless, throwing into tight spots across the field, as he moves us down to the Vikes' 27. We get it down to the 10, but our rookie kicker misses a 27-yard attempt, and we stay 3 points back. That could hurt badly.
The Vikes get a few first downs, but have to punt, and we take over on our 12 yard line with 2:08 remaining-we have only one time out left as well. We move it to our 32, but turn it over on downs, and the Vikes look to have this one wrapped up. They earn a first down, take a knee, and celebrate their 17-14 victory-finally getting revenge over our Browns who denied them the last two years.
We outgained them 431-239, but they made big plays and we could not. Our kicker will take some heat for his late game miss, but as the old saying goes-if you want to win, don't leave things close enough that they'll be decided by something as tiny as a field goal or a few hundred bad ballots.
The awards board has something I've been waiting to see for years: Billy Joe Franklin's name as defensive player of the year. He also gains first team honors, and is joined by T Rusty Lyon and LB Larry Quinonez. That is the full complement of honorees for this season-a good haul. However, the "dynasty" is over-now we'll try to keep our team from sagging into oblivion.
11-10-2000, 02:59 PM
I have to agree with the others, Quik. I really look forward to reading your dynasty reports. They really make for an enjoyable read because it's more than just statistics. I love hearing the behind the scenes strategy for your roster decisions. Keep 'em coming! http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~fof/ubb/smile.gif
11-10-2000, 03:47 PM
I must agree that these reports are my favorite part of these message boards. They keep me coming back for more.
11-11-2000, 08:09 AM
Thanks for the feedback, folks.
One question I have: In my recent threads, I've gotten into the habit of detailing a few "big games" by writing in real time-- I sim a few plays, then (if theres anything to say) I write in a narrative style, in present tense.
Do you think this works? My suspicion is that it might be a little tedious. Mor me the games are pretty exciting, and it gets more personal when I san note who made the big catch, or who made that goal-line-stand tackle. But, I'm not sure if this translates well for the reader.
Your thoughs welcome, and thanks for the encouragement...
11-11-2000, 08:55 AM
We are hurt by two retirements—WR Tyrone Hayes, who has been a stalwart member of our corps for several years now, and CB Leo Donaldson, who suffered a blown-out knee late last season. CB was already a priority for this season, and now WR has just become one.
I’m comfortable with my scouting and coaching staff—my scout is the highest-paid in the league, and my coach is among the lowest-paid. I can’t argue with their on-field successes, though. The team made another cool $60m last year—finances are in good shape, despite our lousy stadium.
We have 37 players already signed for this year, and $34.7m in cap room. This is more room that usual—about 25% of the total cap—but we’ll need it to re-fill some critical positions.
QB Jesse Morse leads the free agent ranks, and his signing will be a top priority. TE Bruce Barreto will also be re-signed, if at all possible—he was a difference-maker in the playoffs last season. The rest of our FAs will be tough calls—they probably will all walk for better deals.
In the FA market, TE Barreto is seeking a $4.4m deal for only one year. I certainly would prefer to lock him up for three or more if at all possible. I offer 3 yrs/$12m, and he at least listens. When I check out the open market free agents, I am stunned when I see QB Rodney Harden at the top of the list—he’s fully rebounded from his injuries, and he remains nearly topped out in almost every category. He ought to command huge money. And to my dismay, once again, all the very best cornerbacks are being held—there aren’t any in the FA pool.
With $41.5m in cap room (I got that mysterious bump-up again), I feel as though I could afford to add on a couple major players. I expect that I’ll need $12m to sign QB Morse, $3-4m for TE Barreto, and another $8 to sign my rookies. That should leave about $16-18m to play with. I figure that one or two open-market guys would be worthwhile additions. Since CB is a bust position, I decide to check out the wide receivers available, and possibly make a run there. I offer 4yrs/$31m to WR Horace Warren, who has been outstanding for the Chargers in recent years. If he comes aboard, he’d make my three-man rotation of receivers the best in the league, hands down.
I decide to bid on a young safety, for a modest deal. I cannot, however, find another top-grade player whom I want to spend money on. I will keep my eye on the best C in the draft, Brock Cooper, but I feel that is a poor position to target big investment—as reasonably good ones seem to be plentiful. I’ll also watch Juan Tompkins- my one-year signing at T for last year, who I’d bring back if I could get him within reason.
After week 2, I’m disappointed when TE Barreto signs with Denver—one of my annual playoff rivals. I’m not sure what I need to do there—I have Will Barrale, but only through this season. I probably need to bring in another impact receiver at TE.
After week 3, WR Horace Warren signs with us, so we complete our desired threesome of top-grade receivers. We have a bid in on the only other top TE available. After week 6, TE Derek Rodgers signs with us, leaving New Orleans to do so.
I realize that my long-time starter at G Brock Jeringan is receiving offers of $6m a year. I don’t feel I can match that, but he’s about as long-standing a starter as I have on offense—going back to 2005. I watch him go for a little over $6m a year.
QB Billy Joe Tatum, the QB I signed as a backup for last season gets the deal he wanted—he rakes in $37m over 3 years from San Diego—which should keep them in the playoff picture. Philadelphia has secured Rodney Harden to be their QB—paying almost $64m for a 3 year deal. They’ve been outside playoff contenders up to this point—this should push them to the top level. In the spirit of QB signings, I get Morse nailed down for the next five seasons—he’ll cost $10m this year, and will escalate $1m a season—a total deal of $60m.
I conclude a rather quiet free agency period, considering that I had as much money as I did.
In the upcoming draft, I have two extra 4th round picks, and I have dealt away my 6th. I trade RB Duffy to get yet another 4th round pick. I have quite a number of holes to fill—the picks will help.
It appears to be a very weak draft—I don’t see many players near the top who look to be worth the heavy guaranteed investment. I’m hoping for a quality CB, but it was a lousy draft for them anyway.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Preston Valencia, C, Florida
Rnd 2 - Tim Ephraim, G, Wyoming
Rnd 3 - Eugene Kramer, CB, Indiana
Rnd 4 - Louie Abrams, RB, Grambling
Rnd 4 - Claude Burgos, TE, Utah
Rnd 4 - William Brooks, WR, Tennessee
Rnd 4 - Louie Morrison, P, Louisiana State
Rnd 5 - Fernando Grevan, G, Virginia Tech
Rnd 7 - C.J. Totten, QB, UCLA
I don’t feel very good about this draft—I filled needs starting at the very top, which usually isn’t my preference. It’s been several seasons since I had a genuine early pick, and I no longer have any infusion of top-grade talent into this team. Alas, I did fill lots of holes, and we have a group of young additions ready to go.
I sign all my rookies, and still have $10.9m in cap room remaining. I clearly have some flexibility here—I can re-sign a young player who is still a restricted free agent—G Terry Gaines would be the most obvious candidate. However, I just drafted two guards, and Gaines isn’t that spectacular a player. O coule renegotiate a few contracts to extend their lengths—which would make some sense. I could also hold off and await the unveiling of the post-camp free agents and pick up a few one-year fill-ins. I decide to probably do a combination of the last two—I’ll look for one-year vets, then sign some internal deals.
I grab a few undrafted rookie as we head into training camp—with the bust/boom camp now, it seems worthwhile if you have the cap room to do so. I get through camp, and make the obligatory “Leaf check”—things look good, no obvious busts. I think that my first round center’s ratings may have dipped a bit (like 5-10 points each) but overall, no total dogs.
Following camp, I get a set of trade offers. One interests me—a 2nd round pick for CB Eugene Kramer, who I took in round three this season. Kramer isn’t likely to be higher than my 4th CB this season, and he truly isn’t a special player, so I send him packing and eat the modest salary cap. He heads tot he defending champ Vikings—which likely ensures that the pick will be in the 60s, if not #67 or 68.
This is a poorer-then-average pool of post-camp free agents. I had hoped deeply for a quality CB to drop in for a year. Instead, I find that the corners available wouldn’t even make a difference, so I’m stuck again at that position. I do re-sign G Terry Gaines—I lose cohesion in doing so, but he’ll be a solid fill-in as my rookies develop. T Roger Stephenson comes aboard, and takes the third tackle job. The LB group is nowhere as deep and wide as last year, so I abandon my plans to grab a one-year player for my #4 position there. This brings me to 51 players aboard, and I’ll stop there.
I now look within the team for contracts to extend. WR Jose Rodriguez will be up next year, but his skills are declining, and I don’t think I want to pay him more than $5m a year to stick around. LB Marlon Sweeney has been a 9-year starter for us, and I definitely will keep him: he re-signs through 2014. That’s the only contract I have expiring that it currently makes any sense to extend. I’ll have a lot of decent young players leaving, but none are of the caliber justifying a big money extension—should be a fairly easy off-season next time around.
I revert to the FA market, and decide to pick up one more wideout, probably to use as my #4 man. WR Archie Jarman will be solid—he was emerging last season with the Chargers, and now he’ll be in my receiver rotation.
I head toward the season with much more depth than usual, but not so much at a few key positions—QB and RB are both a bit thin:
Position/Player Current Est Future Est Exp Sgnd
QB Jesse Morse 15 16 6 2016
QB Lorenzo Stuart 5 11 2 2012
QB C.J. Totten 2 10 1 2013
RB Aaron Valentino 15 15 10 2013
RB Louie Abrams 9 11 1 2014
RB Percy Dotson 8 8 2 2012
FB Nathan Devine 10 11 3 2013
FB Dixon Morris 5 7 3 2017
TE Derek Rodgers 15 15 5 2014
TE Claude Burgos 5 15 1 2014
TE Will Barrale 12 12 4 2012
WR Lorenzo Hawthorne 15 15 4 2014
WR Horace Warren 14 15 7 2015
WR Archie Jarman 11 12 4 2012
WR Jose Rodriguez 12 12 12 2012
WR Jamal Hanks 7 12 2 2014
WR William Brooks 3 10 1 2014
WR Wendell Williams 7 7 1 2012
C Preston Valencia 4 16 1 2015
C Corwin Beyer 7 8 5 2015
C Daniel Keegan 4 5 4 2012
G Tim Ephraim 4 15 1 2015
G Fernando Grevan 2 11 1 2014
G Terry Gaines 8 11 4 2012
G Derek Schneider 10 10 3 2017
T Rusty Lyon 14 14 10 2013
T Roger Stephenson 7 11 5 2012
T Aaron Lopes 8 10 9 2012
P Louie Morrison 9 16 1 2014
K Clifton Longwell 9 12 2 2012
DE Antonio O'Donnell 10 15 3 2014
DE Marcus VandenBelt 13 13 12 2013
DE Cedric Corsarie 6 11 2 2013
DT Malcolm Reynolds 14 15 4 2014
DT Andre Billmaier 6 14 2 2014
DT Max Olmstead 7 10 2 2013
DT Allen Sharber 4 8 3 2017
LB Larry Quinonez 15 15 8 2014
LB Marlon Sweeney 12 12 11 2014
LB Martin Pelletier 10 12 7 2013
LB Rob Cutting 7 12 4 2012
LB Cory Sawyer 6 10 3 2012
LB Devin Sanchez 4 9 2 2012
CB Brian Spencer 6 9 2 2015
CB Trevor Richard 5 8 6 2014
CB Ed Pease 5 5 3 2013
CB Oscar Marshall 4 4 2 2012
S Billy Joe Franklin 19 19 6 2013
S Lionel McGraw 11 13 2 2015
S Ted Levine 8 10 6 2014
S Cedric King 6 10 3 2012
S Kenneth Cassidy 4 8 2 2018
If we can keep Jesse Morse healthy, I think this offense should be good enough to overcome the team’s various shortcomings. Our pass defense will be suspect once again, but overall this ought to be a high quality team. I don’t think we’re as strong as the past few seasons, but we ought to have a shot at a return trip to the big dance.
11-11-2000, 09:38 AM
I, myself, love the game reports as long as they don't come too often. Highlighting key plays in important games gives me a better idea of the players, and the decisions you make with them. For example, I would have thought you were crazy to go that hard after a TE if I hadn't seen what he'd done for you in the playoffs last year. http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~fof/ubb/wink.gif
So count me as a vote for "Yes". http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~fof/ubb/smile.gif
Secant, Tangent, Cosin, Sin, 3.14159!
11-11-2000, 01:03 PM
As the preseason is about to start, I flail around a bit looking to trade for a top-tier cornerback. Nothing doing—I can’t even get close. Then, I get the preseason curse—LB Larry Quinonez goes down with a knee injury, and he’ll miss half the season. Our defense takes a big step backward. DT Allen Sharber—strictly a depth guy, suffers a horrible injury, and will likely retire after this year—he’s been decimated.
With two key losses to my front seven, I sign DE Vince Petrie for about $2m. He ought to be a solid guy to rotate in where needed—better than any DT or LB available.
We start out the season with two close wins, but then lose to Pittsburgh. The injuries are mounting up—WR Hawthorne will miss a month, and LB Pelletier is limping around, too. Cincinnati comes in and throttles us at home, and at 2-2 we need to make something happen. I move WR Horace Warren into the starting flanker slot—hoping he can help energize our offense. It seems to work, as we light up Baltimore and then Tennessee (who had surprisingly been 5-0 until they took a 44-0 clobbering at our hands).
We then tumble twice—in Denver and Cincinnati—to fall to 4-4 at the midpoint. Another slow start with this team, which we can hardly afford. AT this point, LB Quinonez is ready to return, but Pelletier has to take a seat.
The biggest issue is Morse—who has a sprained neck and is rated as doubtful. I decide to move him to #3 on the depth chart for now—getting in the playoffs doesn’t do us any good unless he can play well. The best FA QB available isn’t any better than my own second year man, so I let Lorenzo Stuart have his shot.
Stuart does his job—he gets us two wins before the bye week, and we’re up to 6-4 on the season. He earns a passer rating of 90.3 with his conservative management of the offense—he only threw 44 passes over two games. Morse is up to questionable, but I leave Stuart in the saddle for now.
Pittsburgh beats us at home, and so we fall to 6-5. We’re only a game out of the division lead, but it’s help three ways among Pitt, Tenn, and Jax. Our next two games are at home, though, and Stuart leads us to wins over Washington and Jacksonville—moving us to 8-5 on the year. We’re now part of the three way tie, along with Pittsburgh and Jacksonville. Morse is ready to go now.
We win over the free-falling Titans, and we move to 9-5 on the year. We look like a playoff team, btu the slotting is the key issue now. Oakland has stepped up to 10-3-1 to a commanding lead for the AFC’s top seed, but nobody in the AFC East even has a winning record. It looks like the Central winner will get the coveted bye week. Right now, that’s a tie between Pittsburgh and us.
We beat Miami, and Pittsburgh loses to Cinti—setting us up for an “win and in” situation in our final game. It’s at Jacksonville, and we lose it in a heartbreaker, 25-22. We fall to 10-6 on the year, along with both the Jags and the Steelers. With a 6-4 division record, the Steelers win the bye week, so we slip into the wild card group. Four teams tie for three slots, and Jacksonville (my nemesis this season) is the unlucky one—they’re out.
We end up 10-6, and take the #2 wild card spot—meaning we get to host a playoff game against San Diego.
QB Jesse Morse: 2,654 yds, 58.0%, 7.62 ypa, 18/12, 85.1 – solid playing through injuries
QB Lorenzo Stuart: 1,026 yds, 61.7%, 6.88 ypa, 4/3, 82.7 – pleasant surprise, 4-1 in five starts (Huardesque)
RB Aaron Valentino: 255-1,097, 10 TD (4.3 ypc) – another down year, he’s running a little bit tired
WR Lorenzo Hawthorne: 58-818 yds, 7 TD (64.4%, 2 drops) – most productive of injury-plagued bunch
TE Derek Rodgers: 42-585, 5 TD (59.1%, 3 drops) – stepped right into slot as focal point receiver
C Corwin Beyer: 29/71 KRB (40.8%), 4 SA – making it hard for rookie to step in next year
S/KR Kenneth Cassidy: 23 KR – 675 yds (29.3 avg), 1 TD – nice effort for long-term signee
DE Marcus VandenBelt: 33 tackles, 10 sacks, 3 blocks, 5 hurries – another team-leading effort
S Billy Joe Franklin: 92 tackles, 9 int, 1 TD, 48.2 PDQ – another fabulous season for the lynchpin
Overall stats (off/def/avg):
Point ratio: 363/289
On balance, our team was okay. The running game did not carry us overall, but we were able to win 4 of 5 without Morse—a good sign. The defense played fairly well against the run, considering the personnel changes due to injuries. The secondary again was a weakness, other than Billy Joe—who will miss the playoffs with a broken hand. We are a playoff team, and a potentially dangerous one—but I don’t think we’ll be a favorite this year.
Oakland looks tough from the AFC at 11-4-1, while Chicago, San Francisco, and St. Louis are all 12-4 in the NFC. Minnesota sneaked in with a 10-6 record, and could be dangerous again—Philly fell apart when QB Rodney Holder went down (again) and they ended up 8-8.
11-11-2000, 01:04 PM
We definitely lack the roar of our great teams—who used to come out in playoff teams and try to win in the first quarter. We lead the Chargers at halftime by the score of 10-7, the biggest sequences being a goal-line stand by our defense and one big passing play for a TD by Morse. We have been largely stopped on offense.
In the third quarter, we get another big play- Valentino breaks an outside run for 60 yards and another TD, and we lead 17-9. As the third quarter ends, SD Sets up and hits a FG to make it 17-12. Our red zone defense is saving our butts, as we are letting them move pretty well up to our 20.
We kick an important FG on the next possession, and lead 20-12. SD gets a TD pass with 5:40 left, and they convert the two-pointer to tie the game up at 20 apiece. QB Billy Joe Tatum—my fill-in reserve from last season, is hoping to show up Jesse Morse, and he makes a great play to draw even.
On our next possession, RB Louie Abrams carries, and fumbles the ball away. Tatum takes them in for the TD, and it’s 27-20, San Diego. We get the ball back with 2:44 remaining. Valentino gets the ball three times for nine yards, setting up 4th and one from our 29. Gutsy Morse audibles to a pass, and hits Jarman for 7 yards, keeping us alive—but we wasted too much time getting 16 yards.
The next pass is to Rodriguez for 16 yards, and we’re on their 49. Morse checks the clock, sees that we have 1:23 left—and he goes for it all, hitting Lorenzo Hawthorne in stride for a 49-yard bomb. How did the Chargers let that happen against their 3-deep zone defense?
They get it back with :59 left. Nothing doing, we’re heading to overtime.
We get the ball first, and Morse comes out throwing—he hits one, then gets sacked, which essentially kills our drive. They hit a 32-yards pass play, to get to our 39. Soon, it’s 3rd and 2 from our 32—this is a hug defensive play, trying to force a tough FG attempt. They convert, down to our 23 with a pass to the TE. On the next play, Tatum senses our frustration, and he jacks it into the end zone, striking for the winning touchdown!
Final score: San Diego 33, Cleveland 27 (OT)
Minnesota also falls in the opening week, leaving everything wide open and guaranteeing two new faces in the Superbowl. Pittsburgh upsets Oakland, to get into the Superbowl against San Francisco. The Niners take it in a romp, 38-6, for their first title.
My only mention on the post-season awards list is S Billy Joe Franklin once again getting first team honors. I’m not certain if this is a team in decline, of it we just need a few key additions to regain our top form.
11-11-2000, 09:20 PM
LOVE the reports QS, keep em coming http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~fof/ubb/smile.gif (I'll start up my own one of these days)
It looks like you are finding out the same thing I am in the game.... your rookies are important, even the 7th rounders. Finding talent in FOF2K1 seems harder to me, I find when I have a good 4 or 5 year run, the cap and the lesser impact player I draft catches up with me more.
I find myself clearing out cap room and rebuilding every now and then, something I rarely had to do in FOF2, even with all of our house rules.
Take care, good luck next year http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~fof/ubb/smile.gif
11-12-2000, 11:06 AM
I think it’s time we went after a new head coach. I pursue Justin Cole, the coach from the Eagles, but he spurns my $9.4m offer to take a little less to stay with the Eagles. So, I decide to sit tight after all.
The team profited $40m last year—down a good deal from our $60m the prior season. This points in the wrong direction, but we are approaching a new stadium chance.
I have 35 players signed, and $24.1m in cap room—a little less than 20% of the total cap of $135.5m. This ought to be pretty tight, though I don’t have a huge list of defections this season. DT Allen Sharber retired, as predicted. I feel like this is an aging team, and that we’re getting worse before we get better. I hope that I am able to prove my hunch wrong, though.
My main FA concerns are WR Jose Rodriguez, and TE Will Barrale. I’d like to keep Barrale, but with Derek Rodgers on staff, he would be more luxury than necessity. Rodriguez is entering his 13th season—he’s still solid, but really only 3rd or 4th receiver material. I’m sure his demands will be very high, and I’ll have difficulty deciding what to do—he could make a very valuable cohesion contribution.
I decide that my franchise player will be WR Archie Jarman—with only one year on the team. I’ll still try to re-sign Rodriguez, but my ability to do so will probably hinge on no other teams pursuing him at his demanded price. It think that’s a decent wager.
As I kick off the FA period, the trade offers come in. I intend to consider deals that boost my draft prospects for this year—we need a serious youth infusion. Regrettably, the only one that contains anything very interesting is for QB Morse, and I don’t see my team getting better without him around.
In free agency, I have a huge need at CB, and there is finally a player available who looks like a good match. CB Irv Crownhart is available from San Diego (and I wouldn’t mind sticking it to them anyway) and he looks like a solid “A minus” corner: great run defense skills, and pass-defense ratings in the 60s, with pretty high endurance. I decide he’s my main target this year, and put in a solid offer of 4yrs, $39.5m.
After week one, I’m about $3m ahead of any other bidder for CB Crownhart. I’m glad to see that San Diego is not among the bidders, so loyalty ought not play a role here. After week 3, CB Crownhart has not signed, but big offers have come in for both WR Rodriguez and TE Barrale. I’m pretty much resigned to losing them both.
In week 6, CB Crownhart signs with me, and we’re tremendously relieved that we have finally gotten our lock-down cornerback aboard. TE Barrale signs for nearly $6m with Tampa Bay, and WR Rodriguez is looking like he’ll be getting almost $8m from Detroit. I simply cannot even consider anything like those deals.
I get WR Archie Jarman signed to a 4yr/$28m package, and we’re in business. Heading into the draft, we have $8.7m in cap room, which should suffice for signing rookies—or it should at least come close. We hold an extra second round pick from Minnesota, but nothing past that.
It looks like a very good draft, with three high quality QBs mixed in, and a number of LBs. Linebacker is a serious need area for us, as we only have three players on contract at the moment. I’ll hope to pick up one or two in this draft, preferably at least one who can get some playing time this year.
The top QBs go 1-2-3. Linebackers are heavily picked-through in the early going. It’s not what I had hoped for.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Nicky Heusel, T, California
Rnd 2 - Allen Conway, QB, Texas
Rnd 2 - Geoff Rains, LB, Duke
Rnd 3 - Hugh Monroe, RB, Kentucky
Rnd 4 - Conrad Shook, DT, Texas Tech
Rnd 5 - Nick O'Donnell, G, Baylor
Rnd 6 - Adrian Montes, RB, Vanderbilt
Rnd 7 - Butch Durham, FB, Ohio State
The draft was a mixed bag. I really wanted a top LB, but they went too early. In round two, I passed on a very solid DE to take the best LB available, and then the DE was taken in the three picks between my two second rounders—leaving me in the lurch. That said, I got some real values—the QB and RB in rounds 2 and 3 are both nice sleepers.
Once I sign everyone, I’m up to 45 players with only $1,870,000 in cap room remaining. We grab a few undrafted rookies, head into camp, and I hold my breath again. Once again, my top pick loses some of his luster, but things look okay overall—no obvious total busts.
I have a LB who I would like to sign, but my cap room of $460,000 (after a few rookies) doesn’t allow it. I re-do a few deals, and open up $2.76 in cap room. With it, I sign LB Bernie Winslett, who will probably slot in as my #4 LB. I have 49 players signed, and a small amount left in case of emergency.
Position/Player Current Est Future Est Exp Sgnd
QB Jesse Morse 15 16 7 2016
QB Allen Conway 3 13 1 2015
QB C.J. Totten 4 9 2 2013
RB Aaron Valentino 13 14 11 2013
RB Hugh Monroe 7 12 1 2015
RB Adrian Montes 6 11 1 2015
RB Louie Abrams 10 10 2 2014
FB Nathan Devine 11 11 4 2013
FB Butch Durham 5 8 1 2014
FB Dixon Morris 5 6 4 2017
TE Derek Rodgers 15 15 6 2015
TE Claude Burgos 10 14 2 2014
WR Lorenzo Hawthorne 16 16 5 2014
WR Horace Warren 14 15 8 2015
WR Archie Jarman 9 12 5 2016
WR Jamal Hanks 7 11 3 2014
WR William Brooks 4 9 2 2014
WR Claude Hardy 4 7 1 2013
C Preston Valencia 10 15 2 2015
C Corwin Beyer 7 7 6 2015
G Tim Ephraim 10 15 2 2015
G Nick O'Donnell 4 12 1 2015
G Derek Schneider 10 10 4 2017
G Fernando Grevan 6 9 2 2014
T Nicky Heusel 5 16 1 2016
T Rusty Lyon 14 14 11 2014
T Jack Davidson 2 5 1 2013
P Louie Morrison 15 16 2 2014
DE Cedric Corsarie 9 15 3 2013
DE Antonio O'Donnell 11 13 4 2014
DE Marcus VandenBelt 12 12 13 2013
DT Andre Billmaier 9 16 3 2014
DT Malcolm Reynolds 12 12 5 2014
DT Max Olmstead 7 11 3 2013
DT Conrad Shook 3 11 1 2014
LB Larry Quinonez 14 14 9 2014
LB Geoff Rains 7 13 1 2015
LB Bernie Winslett 13 13 4 2013
LB Marlon Sweeney 12 12 12 2014
LB Martin Pelletier 9 11 8 2013
LB Mickey Ussery 4 9 1 2013
CB Irv Crownhart 11 13 6 2016
CB Brian Spencer 7 9 3 2015
CB Trevor Richard 5 7 7 2014
CB Ed Pease 5 5 4 2013
S Billy Joe Franklin 18 19 7 2013
S Lionel McGraw 12 12 3 2015
S Ted Levine 7 9 7 2014
S Kenneth Cassidy 4 8 3 2018
And for your information, here is the distribution of contracts on this team—this time sorted by Cap amount (for this year) instead of position—I think that makes the distribution more obvious.
Roster for the Cleveland Browns
Name # Pos OnTm Ctrc Exp Stat Cap Cost
Morse, Jesse 9 QB 2007 2016 7 ----- $11,000,000
Crownhart, Irv 38 CB 2013 2016 6 ----- $9,000,000
Valentino, Aaron * 39 RB 2009 2013 11 ----- $8,380,000
Reynolds, Malcolm 93 DT 2009 2014 5 ----- $7,050,000
Lyon, Rusty 79 T 2003 2014 11 ----- $7,010,000
Warren, Horace 84 WR 2012 2015 8 ----- $6,180,000
Jarman, Archie 85 WR 2012 2016 5 ----- $6,000,000
VandenBelt, Marcus 91 DE 2001 2013 13 ----- $4,700,000
Pelletier, Martin 58 LB 2010 2013 8 ----- $4,600,000
Quinonez, Larry 59 LB 2011 2014 9 ----- $4,460,000
Pease, Ed 27 CB 2010 2013 4 ----- $3,870,000
Hawthorne, Lorenzo 87 WR 2010 2014 5 ----- $3,860,000
Franklin, Billy Joe 35 S 2007 2013 7 ----- $3,800,000
O'Donnell, Antonio + 96 DE 2010 2014 4 ----- $3,780,000
McGraw, Lionel 47 S 2011 2015 3 ----- $3,610,000
Rodgers, Derek 86 TE 2012 2015 6 ----- $3,540,000
Sweeney, Marlon 90 LB 2002 2014 12 ----- $3,500,000
Billmaier, Andre 99 DT 2011 2014 3 ----- $3,330,000
Valencia, Preston 54 C 2012 2015 2 ----- $2,860,000
Heusel, Nicky 73 T 2013 2016 R ----- $2,750,000
Devine, Nathan 31 FB 2010 2013 4 ----- $2,020,000
Hanks, Jamal 88 WR 2011 2014 3 ----- $2,010,000
Ephraim, Tim 68 G 2012 2015 2 ----- $1,860,000
Levine, Ted + 32 S 2008 2014 7 ----- $1,650,000
Winslett, Bernie 53 LB 2013 2013 4 ----- $1,630,000
Rains, Geoff 55 LB 2013 2015 R ----- $1,540,000
Cassidy, Kenneth 20 S 2012 2018 3 ----- $1,500,000
Conway, Allen 13 QB 2013 2015 R ----- $1,440,000
Schneider, Derek 66 G 2011 2017 4 ----- $1,400,000
Corsarie, Cedric 97 DE 2011 2013 3 ----- $1,350,000
Morris, Dixon 26 FB 2011 2017 4 ----- $1,080,000
Monroe, Hugh 40 RB 2013 2015 R ----- $1,050,000
Spencer, Brian 43 CB 2011 2015 3 ----- $1,050,000
Beyer, Corwin + 51 C 2009 2015 6 ----- $1,010,000
Richard, Trevor 41 CB 2008 2014 7 ----- $1,010,000
Morrison, Louie 8 P 2012 2014 2 ----- $1,000,000
Olmstead, Max 94 DT 2011 2013 3 ----- $810,000
Totten, C.J. 10 QB 2012 2013 2 ----- $630,000
Abrams, Louie 30 RB 2012 2014 2 ----- $630,000
Burgos, Claude + 82 TE 2012 2014 2 ----- $630,000
Brooks, William 81 WR 2012 2014 2 ----- $630,000
Grevan, Fernando 63 G 2012 2014 2 ----- $630,000
Montes, Adrian 42 RB 2013 2015 R ----- $470,000
Durham, Butch 36 FB 2013 2014 R ----- $470,000
Hardy, Claude 80 WR 2013 2013 1 ----- $470,000
O'Donnell, Nick 75 G 2013 2015 R ----- $470,000
Davidson, Jack 60 T 2013 2013 1 ----- $470,000
Shook, Conrad 98 DT 2013 2014 R ----- $470,000
Ussery, Mickey 50 LB 2013 2013 1 ----- $470,000
Salary Cap: $135.5 million
Room Under Cap: $1,130,000
I am hopeful that our dramatic improvement at CB will help us out. With this the last season on Aaron Valentino’s contract, I feel that this may be the end of a certain “window of opportunity” for us, and that this might be out last title-worthy team in a while (if even this one is).
We hope to get through the season in good health, and get to the playoffs ready for a rebound run.
11-12-2000, 11:07 AM
Bonus points to you who noticed that I had no kicker—you were a step ahead of me. I pick up 2nd year FA Duane Davison for the duties—he should be okay.
We lose CB Ed Pease during the preseason, gone for the year. To make cap room for a replacement, I deal RB Louie Abrams to San Francisco, getting a nice 3rd round pick from them. I then pick up Oscar Marshall, an old friend with no cover ability but some return skills. He’ll be simply a placeholder.
We get right into swing with two blowout wins, and the offense is certainly clicking. We have a couple of hiccups, but the offensive roll continues the whole season, and we come out with a fabulous 14-2 record, and a very impressive points ratio of 538-210. On paper, this is an absolutely dominating team, and we are in very good health for the postseason.
QB Jesse Morse: 4,429 yards, 65.2%, 9.50 ypa, 29/12, 106.0 – not many QBs get triple digit season ratings
RB Aaron Valentino: 289-1,286 yards, 18 TD (4.4 ypc) – a better season than the prior two
WR Horace Warren: 72-1,271, 10 TD (60.5%, 7 drops) – fabulous year for starting split end
WR Lorenzo Hawthorne: 77-1,171, 8 TD (64.1%, 9 drops) – and also for the flanker- quite a pair
TE Derek Rodgers: 45-624, 4 TD (64.2%, 2 drops) – great hands make him a tough third weapon
DE Marcus VandenBelt: 25 tackles, 12 sacks, 3 blocks, 7 hurries – still getting it all done for us
DE Antonio O’Donnell: 17 tackles, 11 sacks, 3 blocks, 5 hurries – finally stepped up with good stats
DT Malcolm Reynolds: 49 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 2 blocks, 3 hurries – major force in the middle
S Billy Joe Franklin: 74 tackles, 9 int, 1 TD, 48.8 PDQ – he just has a nose for the ball, and gets picks like crazy
Overall stats (off/def/avg):
On paper, this was our most dominating team. Our defense was awesome in every way, and our offense fed off the great opportunitites. The passing game clicked better than I’ve ever seen, and it simply all came together for us.
I considered trading RB Valentino at the beginning of this season, figuring he’d clear out a lot of cap room and probably fetch a good draft pick or two. At this point, I’m very glad I did not do so- the team was ready for a great season, unbeknownst to me.
11-12-2000, 11:09 AM
We get Kansas City in our opener, by virtue of their win over wild card Pittsburgh. They have 3 QBs on their injured list—the projected started has 1 TD all season. I like our defense’s chances of making things tough for young Wally Gant.
We fail to make a classic “first strike” and settle for a FG on our first drive, then allow the same from them. The second quarter brings four more FG attempts, and in sequence: KC converts, ours is blocked, there is short, and theirs is blocked. It’s 6-3 at the half, after the FG teams have contributed mightily to the game thus far.
In the third quarter, we convert a FG to tie the game. Neither team has even seen first-and-goal yet. Kansas City finally pushes inside our 10 yard line with about 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but we hold them to fourth and goal from the 2. They kick the 19-yard FG to go up 9-6—what a strange game thus far!
On our next possession, we go for it on 4th-and-2 from our own 28, and succeed with Valentino up the gut. Later Valentino gets a 25-yard gain down to the KC 31. Then 15 more on the next play. Morse throws to AV for 8, but then two more pass plays fizzle out, and it’s 4th-and-3 from the 9. (Why did we stop handing off to Valentino?) The 26-yard FG is good, and it’s tied again with 4:41 to go.
With 2:45 left at the KC 20, I see this message:
Ball was fumbled and recovered by KCY 62 Clavell for 0 yards to the KCY20.
The weather has definitely created a very slippery ball today.
Close call. We take the punt at our 39 with 2:34 left. We go nowhere. KC hits a 47 yard pass on the first play of their next drive, and suddenly they are at our 33, with 1:23 to go. Gut check time for our defense. Two runs net –2 yards, and its 3rd-and-12 from the 35. Gant throws an incredible strike to pick up 13 yards for the first down, and they are in business. After two running plays, they set up for a 35 yard FG with 9 seconds left…
It’s good. The Chiefs lead 12-9 with 3 seconds remaining. The return is futile, and they take this one.
As the playoffs progress, the 12-4 Jets beat the Chiefs to take on the 12-4 Eagles in the Superbowl—who themselves beat the Rams in the NFC title game. QB Rodney Harden has a fabulous game in the Superbowl, and he gets the MVP award as the Eagles win 25-3.
In the postseason awards list, we get a fair group of red lettering. S Billy Joe Franklin again garners first team praise, as does (surprise!) K Dwayne Davison (32/40 FG) – ironic since we were expelled from the playoffs in a FG battle. On the second team are QB Jesse Morse (behind Rodney Harden), WR Horace Warren, and DT Maclolm Reynolds.
11-12-2000, 11:11 AM
After several seasons with QB Jesse Morse at the helm of my team, I thought it would be interesting to see how he stacks up against Rodney Harden, the oft-injured but very talented QB who I coveted but could not get in the season right before I got Morse. Since Harden has suffered injuries but has played one season longer, they have had nearly equal opportunity. I’ll take this chance to measure their overall performance to date.
QB Jesse Morse – 7 seasons, 98 starts
1,842 / 3,076 – 59.8% completion rate
24,808 passing yards – 8.06 yards per attempt
169 TD, 104 interceptions
Career passer rating: 89.7
1st team all pro: 2010; 2nd team all-pro: 2009, 2013
2 team superbowl titles
QB Rodney Harden – 8 seasons, 125 starts
2,269 / 3,749 – 60.5% completion rate
27,758 passing yards – 7.40 yards per attempt
193 TD, 89 interceptions
Career passer rating: 90.6
NFL MVP: 2007, 2011, Superbowl MVP: 2013
1st team all pro: 2007, 2008, 2011
2 team superbowl titles
I think this is a fabulous developing rivalry, and I just hope that we can get these two to play against one another in a Superbowl. Right now Harden probably has the better career stats, but both guys ought to have several productive years ahead of them.
11-12-2000, 01:59 PM
Wow! Your defense only allowed 2.8 yards per rush for a season?!?! How in the world did you lose two games?
11-13-2000, 11:01 AM
My coach and scout are both up this year. I re-sign my excellent scout, and make an improvement (I think) at coach, spending about twice as much. The new coach, 52yo Reggie Killens, has weaknesses with OL and LB, but is generally very solid. He's been to the playoffs 4 times, and has a career record slightly below .500.
Th franchise earned $42m last season-right on course. We expect that to dip this year, as we are boosting spending with the new coaching staff.
I make a minor trade, sending a backup FB away for a 4th round pick.
We enter free agency with 35 players, and $28.1m in cap room. I have three big names who are free agents-RB Aaron Valentino, DE Marcus VendenBelt, and S Billy Joe Franklin. All three have been important contributors, and I struggle about which one to franchise. I eventually decide to franchise VandenBelt, and to pursue Franklin aggressively. Valentino has lost some of his edge, and I'd like to get him, but I won't pay $11-13m for his services this year.
My initial offer to S Franklin is 4yrs/$36m. I do not want to leave this to chance. He has an 83 rating in loyalty, and I expect him to accept my offer, but I truly do not want to lose him under any circumstances-my bid should ensure that. In week one, Franklin gets a lot of offers, including a 3yr/$32.01m deal from Washington-this averages more than $1m a year more than mine. I bump up to 4yr/$40m.
Regrettably, RB Valentino is getting offers-big money from Buffalo and others. I was hoping he'd slip a while, but that seems very unlikely now. I'll have to hand off the reins to my young tandem of backs-who look good, but lack the "total package" of Valentino at his best.
I hang until week 5, but finally Billy Joe Franklin re-signs with us, taking our 4-year deal. Losing him would have been a disaster. Now, I have $18m to spend. Signing RB Valentino would cost something like $11 or 12m a year-totally out of the question.
In week 8, RB Aaron Valentino signs with the Saints (For $11m a year), and our days are over. This may mark the end of this team's ear-but I'm hoping that an improved defense and a quality stable of young backs will keep us in the hunt.
I re-sign my young kicker for two more years, and pick up a decent third tackle in Damon Cortez, who can fill in for a long time as my #3 guy on the outside.
I decide to put in a bid for a solid LB Antione Buhl, who would make a good replacement for my guy Pelletier (who, like my other FA LB Winslett, still hasn't received any nibbles as he tests the market). I'm surprised when Buhl signs immediately, taking my deal over three other ones which were very comparable. I then sign LB Winslett to a three-year deal, solidifying my LB position pretty well.
Late in the FA period, I bring on a couple more fill-in players-C Donnie Alcott and DT Leon Bonfigli. Both ought to help patch holes as fairly affordable prices. DT Bonfigli allows me to trade away a decent young DT Conrad Shook, who fetches a late second rounder from the Vikings. I try the same with C Corwin Beyer, but he's not as desirable on the open market, and I hold on to him. I fish around for a few more trades, but can't come up with much that's worthwhile.
I head into the draft with extra picks in rounds 2, 3, and 4, and $10.8m in cap room. I don't have any absolutely pressing needs, but adding quality at CB, RB, and FB would be very useful.
Amateur Draft Report:
Rnd 1 - Cary Harvey, WR, Texas Christian
Rnd 2 - Kris Battle, DE, North Carolina
Rnd 2 - Kerry de Marco, CB, Arkansas
Rnd 3 - Al Dodge, FB, Oregon State
Rnd 3 - Warren Rasmussen, WR, Tennessee
Rnd 4 - Monty Peters, DE, Penn State
Rnd 4 - Mike Gwynn, DT, Kansas State
Rnd 5 - Lawrence Everett, G, Nebraska
Rnd 6 - Christian Terry, FB, Army
Rnd 7 - Gary Whitson, QB, Wake Forest
I am deeply torn with my first pick-I cannot chose among several so-so options in my need areas, and I have no luck getting anything in trade, so I eventually decide to take a wideout who looks pretty solid. My second-round DE was one of the guys I contemplated in round one, so I'm fairly pleased there. I don't think I gained any game-breakers here, but I probably added some quality depth.
With DE VandenBelt in the fold, I lack the cap room necessary to sign all my rookies. I make a few cuts, and swing a small deal (G Grevan for a 5th rounder), but still have room to make up. I decie that my most expendable pricy player is TE Derek Rodgers, specifically because my backup Claude Burgos has improved a good deal. I trade Rodger to Buffalo, in exchange for switching first round picks with the Bills. It's a gamble- but I hope it pays off well in next year's opening round-I haven't landed a top player in the draft in a long time.
I manage to sign all my rookies, but this leaves me with only $350,000 in cap room, and I remain two players short of a legal lineup (RB and TE). I end up trading WR Jamal Hanks to Atlanta (getting a 3rd round pick), which opens things up just enough.
While looking for fill-in free agents, I stumble across a decent-looking QB, and I end up signing him to a long-term deal. I hadn't planned to do this, but he looks all right, and is willing to sign on pretty inexpensively, for a QB. This causes me to have to trade away Allen Conway, a pretty promising backup from last year's draft-but I'll wait until after training camp to make the deal-hoping that his improved ratings will boost his trade value. This is a small-scale mess.
I decide to bite the bullet before camp, and I cut my longtime reserve S Ted Levine. This lets me afford rookies at TE and RB, plus a second-year guy at tackle, who will provide decent OL depth.
Following training camp, I check out the rookie class, and the other youngsters whose development is important. Everyone checks out okay, and my second-year players almost universally had a good bump.
I get a trade offer for DE Antonio O'Donnell-Baltimore's #1 pick next year. Last year. Baltimore was 5-11, so this could end up being a very nice selection-I take the deal. The other two offers are middle-round picks for top starters (LB Quinonez and C Valencia) and I pass them both up.
The trade leaves me weak at DE-with two rookies competing for the starting job. It would be an ideal situation for a one-year fill in, or else I'll probably move one of my DTs outside for this year. The answer is apparent-my own DE Cedric Corsarie remains available in the free agent pool, and actually looks a good bit better than last season. He wants a little more then $2m to fill in for this year, and I definitely have to work that much out.
I shop around my QB Allen Conway, but he doesn't generate a lot of enthusiasm. I instead release my rookie QB to make some cap room, and I re-sign LB Martin Pelletier for another year-fitting him in somewhere as my #4 or #5 linebacker. I'm not thrilled with the development of my second year man there (Geoff rains) and Pelletier will be a decent security blanket.
This brings us to 50 players, $300k in cap room, and the following roster:
Position/Player Current Est Future Est Exp Sgnd
QB Jesse Morse 16 16 8 2016
QB Allen Conway 6 13 2 2015
QB Rico Meadows 4 9 2 2020
RB Hugh Monroe 8 11 2 2015
RB Adrian Montes 8 11 2 2015
RB Grant Smith 6 6 1 2014
FB Al Dodge 4 11 1 2016
FB Christian Terry 5 9 1 2015
TE Claude Burgos 10 14 3 2014
TE Darrell Kalter 6 14 1 2014
WR Lorenzo Hawthorne 16 16 6 2014
WR Cary Harvey 9 15 1 2017
WR Horace Warren 14 14 9 2016
WR Warren Rasmussen 6 13 1 2017
WR Archie Jarman 10 12 6 2016
WR William Brooks 6 9 3 2014
C Preston Valencia 12 15 3 2015
C Donnie Alcott 6 9 2 2020
C Corwin Beyer 7 7 7 2015
G Tim Ephraim 11 14 3 2015
G Lawrence Everett 3 13 1 2015
G Nick O'Donnell 7 12 2 2015
G Derek Schneider 10 10 5 2017
T Nicky Heusel 10 14 2 2016
T Rusty Lyon 13 13 12 2016
T Warren Warren 6 9 2 2020
T Damon Cortez 8 9 2 2020
P Louie Morrison 14 15 3 2014
K Dwayne Davison 8 8 3 2015
DE Cedric Corsarie 11 16 4 2014
DE Marcus VandenBelt 12 12 14 2016
DE Monty Peters 1 11 1 2016
DE Kris Battle 2 11 1 2017
DT Andre Billmaier 9 14 4 2014
DT Mike Gwynn 4 13 1 2015
DT Malcolm Reynolds 11 13 6 2016
DT Leon Bonfigli 6 9 5 2016
LB Antoine Buhl 14 14 10 2016
LB Larry Quinonez 14 14 10 2015
LB Bernie Winslett 13 13 5 2016
LB Geoff Rains 5 13 2 2015
LB Marlon Sweeney 11 11 13 2014
LB Martin Pelletier 8 11 9 2014
CB Irv Crownhart 11 13 7 2016
CB Kerry de Marco 5 12 1 2017
CB Brian Spencer 9 11 4 2015
CB Trevor Richard 6 7 8 2014
S Billy Joe Franklin 18 19 8 2017
S Lionel McGraw 13 13 4 2015
S Kenneth Cassidy 5 7 4 2018
The biggest surprise of the year is DE Cedric Corsarie. I let him walk after his rookie contract expired, as he never really developed into a starting-caliber player. As a 3rd round pick, he wasn't a real bust- he just never "panned out." After training camp, he had blossomed into a fabulous-looking player, and he will probably start for me at right end. He now may become a priority to try to re-sign for next season-VendenBelt only has so long left, and right now Corsarie looks like the better player.
My two young acquisitions at OT are both looking pretty good-- very solid for backups, and intriguing money-savers as possible starters down the road.
Overall, I like the team, but I have to be a little worried about the loss of Aaron Valentino. My two youngsters who will battle to replace him are okay-but neither really has anywhere near his overall ability. Mt scout ranks Monroe and Montes virtually equally, I expect that Montes will be the starter. Morse will likely have to keep the fires burning with the passing game, and hopefully our defense will once again prove to be dominant.
This year, we are hoping for another powerful season and a good seat in the AFC playoff chase.
[This message has been edited by QuikSand (edited 11-13-2000).]
11-13-2000, 12:58 PM
Great posting man... I'm reading this at work(not much to do today, hehe) and can't wait to go home and play...
11-13-2000, 12:59 PM
I love it just they way you're doing in now, Quik. I wouldn't change a thing! http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~fof/ubb/smile.gif
11-13-2000, 01:37 PM
It is perfect the way you are doing it now.
I simply cannot believe you let Aaron Valentino go the way of Free Agency. I am a little upset at your decision. I feel he was a huge reason you were able to win those 2 Bowl games.
However, your decisions have proved wise in the past and I cannot second guess you. Good luck and win another one this year!
11-13-2000, 02:06 PM
I couldn't help but notice your reference to Damon Huard's performance last year, comparing it to Lorenzo Stuart's backup performance. Nice touch.
I have noticed you switch coaches after pretty good seasons. Do you rely totally on ratings and kind of ignore their on field performance? I usually keep coaches around until the team's performance starts to fade before I can a coach. Just an observation.
Overall, a great career thread. Keep up the good work!
11-13-2000, 02:27 PM
Marmel, I am just now sitting down to play out the 2014 season. I think I agree with your sentiments. If I could do it all over, I think I would have released one of my wide receivers, and I would have kept Valentino aboard for a couple more years. This is, however, in light of the fact that I ended up pretty lucky at WR in this draft-- which I couldn't have known back when I would have had to lock up AV. Tough call, but you may well be right.
As for my coach-- that wasn't an easy decision. My previous coach was actually pretty poor, his main strength had been his EX rating in "avoid injuries." I felt that I wanted to go with a guy who would bring more to the tabel in game-day ratings for this veteran team-- better discipline, motivation, and play calling. The new guy should be a significant improvement in all three.
Had I won the SB last season, though, the coach would have been brought back for another go-round. I guess I fall somewhere in the middle, though I do find myself less loyal to my coach than I was with FOF2-- the bidding system sort of draws me in, I'd say.
Thanks for the feedback.
11-13-2000, 03:20 PM
In preseason, I cycle my top two RBs to see who performs best. I call it a three-way dead heat by the numbers, though my rookie Smith was largely running against the reserves of my opponents, as he was always in the third slot. I decide to go with Monroe as the starter, but I'll leave his playing time low (at 2), so everyone ought to get a chance to play. If one guy emerges as the season goes on, all the better. For now, it's RBBC.
We start out the season with a loss against Pittsburgh. Ouch. Maybe I'm hypersensetive, but I just don't like the feel of that. Fortunately, we rebound with a win over Jacksonville, getting back to even. In the win, RB Adrian Montes led the way with 70 yards, and he earns the starter job for now. Monroe will still play plenty, I'm sure.
We crush Tennessee - an old-style woodshed kinda thing. However, we lose out best OG, Tim Ephraim to an injury. This causes some shuffling on the OL. The next game, we lose to Seattle, 17-14. The running game all but evaporated for us: Montes was 8-for-12, and Monroe was 8-for-22. Our old "go-to" receiver Jose Rodriguez caught the Seahawks two TDs, getting a bit of revenge against the team who said he was too old to play. Fortunately, the Titans are next on the schedule, and we wax them without much trouble.
Through 5 games, Montes is gaining 4.5 ypc, while Monroe is getting 2.3 I decide to increase Montes' playing time, and see if he's a prototype "gimme the ball" runner. We smash Jacksonville to move to 4-2, and are tied with the Jags, but are now two games back of the surprisingly tough Bengals, who are unbeaten at 6-0. Hard to believe.
Two more wins get us to 6-2 at the midpoint, but Cinti is still unbeaten at 7-0. Halfway through, I check the RB stats: Montes 93-400 (4.3 ypc), 3 TD … Monroe 83-244 (2.9), 3 TD…Smith 16-53 (3.3), 0 TD… FB Terry 16-106 (6.6), 1TD. This looks just like the damned Chiefs. I decide to elevate Smith to second string behind Montes, and see if that makes any difference. I also boost the carries for my fullback. Meanwhile, Jesse Morse is doing well, with a 91 QB rating and over 2,000 yards through 8 games.
In week 10, we lose to lowly Baltimore, a bad loss. At 7-3, we are still well behind the Bengals, who finally lost one game, and are at 9-1. Pittsburgh beats us, and we are now in a seriously tough spot-7-4, practically out of the division race, and fighting for our wild card lives. Adrian Montes is up to 700 yards on the season, but the TDs are not coming. Visiting 8-3 Jacksonville, we really need a win.
We blow an 8-point lead against the Jags with 2 minutes left, they tie on a TD and 2-pointer, and then the two teams are unable to get it done in the overtime-the game ends in a tie. We are now 2 ½ games behind Cinti-we practically cannot win the division. Right now, we'd be the third wild card, only ½ game ahead of Pittsburgh, but nobody else is tied with them. With the tie, it should be pretty clear what we need to do. Of course, two of our final four games are against the mighty Bengals, so all bets are off. 11-1 Chicago and 10-2 Philadelphia are battling for the NFC top seed.
LB Sweeney has suffered an achilles tendon injury-his career is likely over. CB Trevor Richard is probably with him, with a blown-out knee. Our defense looks like a triage unit, but we suck it up for our big game hosting Cincinnati. The Bengals win it 23-20, and put to rest any crazy ideas we had about stealing the division. Now it's playing for survival.
Our 62-20 win over Atlanta in week 16 suggests we would prefer to participate in the playoffs. Our win in Cincinnati in week 17 ensures that we will-out final mark of 10-5-1 is second best in the AFC, but we'll settle for the top wild card spot. At least we get a home game-hosting our old friends the Broncos.
QB Jesse Morse: 3,921 yards, 60.8%, 7.67 ypa, 38/12, 99.7 - great year, playing through two injuries
RB Adrian Montes: 211-1,032, 7 TD (4,.8 ypc) - stepped up in role, played better with majority of the load
WR Horace Warren: 88-1,352, 10 TD (59.0%, 11 drops) - big numbers for top target, stayed healthy
WR Archie Jarman: 76-854, 10 TD (62.2%, 4 drops) - emerged as main threat with injuries around him
LB Larry Quinonez: 97 tackles, 3.5 sacks - solid in the middle, anchoring front seven wracked with injuries
LB Antoine Buhl: 71 tackles, 7.5 sacks - first LB to lead team in sacks in franchise history
S Billy Joe Franklin: 95 tackles, 0.5 sack, 7 int, 1 TD, 48.2 PDQ - you knew he'd be listed here
S Lionel McGraw: 62 tackles, 1 sack, 7 int, 1 TD, 47.0 PDQ - very solid season from bookend safety
Overall stats (off/def/avg):
Not a bad set of stats for a team that literally got pulverized by injuries at WR and throughout the defense. The running game was a little shaky, but ended up pretty productive on the whole. Our team moved to more 3-receiver sets, but we could still do it all. The defense played well, and I think LB Antoine Buhl may have found a home for a long time-he seemed to make a lot of big plays.
We prepare for Denver-we can field a full team, but really could use some cap room to bring in a warm body or two at LB and CB. Alas-the perils of a thinly-stretched salary cap.
11-13-2000, 04:02 PM
By the numbers, we outgun Denver. Their top QB is questionable but will play. Fully healthy, we should pound this team. As we are, we should still have enough to get it done at home.
We strike first, on our second possession with a nice drive led by good running from Montes, and topped off with a TD strike by Morse to Warren. We lead 7-0, and have our main pieces firing. Denver ties it up in the early second quarter with a nice drive of their own. We respond with our own TD drive, with Hawthorne catching the go-ahead score. After we shut them down, we get the ball near midfield, and after two lousy plays setting up 3rd-and-14, Morse hits the FB Christian Terry on a swing pass that goes the distance. After a futile effort on both sides, it's 21-7 good guys at the half.
After our defense "does it thing" again forcing a 3-and-out to start the second half, Adrian Montes strikes immediately as he breaks away for a 75-yard TD. Before the third quarter is over, we get another score from FB Terry, and we have the game in hand at 35-7. They manage some movement against our softened defense, but we take it 35-21. Montes takes the game ball with 15-174 and 1 TD.
Our next game is in Cincinnati. We won there in week 17, but the Bengals had already clinched home field. this one obviously matters a bit more. Cinti was a solid defensive team-their point ration was 377 / 244, compared to our more explosive 500 / 323. They get a ton of sacks, and are pretty tough against the pass as a result. Our OL should have its hands full-fortunately, that's one area where we are very healthy.
In their first possession, Cincinnati takes it right to us, and punches it in for an early TD. We manage to keep our cool, and return the favor- an 83-yard drive which evens things pretty quickly. The Bengals roar right back-their flanker Emil Loys is killing us, and he gets the score here from 29 yards out. 14-7, Cinti. In the last minute of this wild first quarter, Morse is intercepted in the end zone, and Cinti avoids another threat.
The very first play of the second quarter is a 38-yard TD run by Cincinnati, capping a crazy first period. They botch the kick, and when we roar back for our next TD, it's 20-14. We have used up less than 20 minutes of gametime, and both teams' offenses are rightfully winded.
On the next Cinti drive, we declare victory after allowing only a 46-yard FG. Montes fumbles the slippery ball, and they get it right back. One play later, it's 30-14. This is about to get out of hand, unless we can slow then down at some point. A penalty kills our next drive, and we give it right back. Fortunately, we stop them, and the half ends without more incident.
They open the second half with another FG. Penalties kill our next chance, we punt, and they march in 12 plays for another TD. At 40-14, this one's ready for the books. The remaining 20 minutes of play are as quiet as the first 20 were chaotic. The final score is 40-14, and Cincinnati moves on to the AFC title game.
In the Superbowl, formerly conservative Cincinnati unloads again, this time on Chicago, and they win it 46-31.
In the postseason awards, S Billy Joe Franklin reinforces his status as my best player with a defensive player of the year award-his second. He is alone (from my team) on the first team all pro squad, but QB Morse and WR Warren get to hook up on the second team.
RB Aaron Valentino, incidentally, carried 254 times for New Orleans, gaining 1,382 yards on 5.4 yards per carry. He boosts his career total to 16,434 yards and 151 TDs-both league records.
Incidentally, QB Rodney Harden is 12th in career passing yardage, and Jesse Morse is 14th. Both are still behind this franchise's original QB, Hunter Pettus, who continues to chug along in 10th place, and still starts for Buffalo.
Buffalo and Baltimore go 9-7 and 7-9, respectively, meaning that my two first round picks for next season will be in the middle of the pack, and not near the top ad I had hoped.
What to do with this team? I think that re-signing emerging DE Cedric Corsarie might be a key, particuarly if he really will reach the potential ratings my scout projects for him (75/90/80). Past that, I think we need to look for RB help, and possibly another top-grade cornerback. I do not think this is a team that ought to be dismantled, but rather fine-tuned. Jesse Morse has more good years left in him, and I should be able to build around him again. That's the plan.
11-13-2000, 06:41 PM
QuikSand - you are outdoing even yourself on this career thread. Thanks for doing this!
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