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BLISS DEFENSE EXPECTED TO REMAIN DOMINANT THIS SEASON

(Chicago, IL – Thursday, April 14, 2016)

In my last piece, I discussed the Bliss offense and how it will be more balanced in 2016. For as vital as the offense will be to the success for Chicago this season, the defense will still be the most important factor of the team. They could arguably be the best defense in the league. Chicago has an aggressive, physical group who forced a lot of turnovers in 2015.

The defense put up numerous dominant performances, like they did in week two as the Bliss obliterated Omaha 49-0. The Bliss only allowed 83 yards of total offense and forced two turnovers, and caused five fumbles that game as well.

Chicago’s performances against Omaha in 2016 was not the defense’s glory, as the Heart posted the worst season in LFL history finishing 0-6, giving up over 300 points and only allowing Atlanta to score a couple times in their three contests. The Bliss defense made a statement with their dominance against the Atlanta Steam, who looked like the best offense in the league against Omaha, but very average and mediocre against the Bliss in 2015. The Bliss defense displayed its best performance against the Steam in the Eastern Conference Championship, when defeating their rival by a score of 41-6, keeping the Dakota Hughes led offense under 80 total yards in the game.

Though this defense will be without Heather Furr, Alli Alberts, and Nneka Nwani, all three who started for the Bliss the past three seasons, there will be plenty of All-Star talent and rookies to fill the void.

This defensive group will be led by veteran pass rushers, Yashi Rice and Chantell Taylor who will be the cornerstone players of this defense in 2016. They apply tons of pressure on opposing quarterbacks and cause havoc to runners in the backfield. With the addition of rookie Kristin Morrison, expect this defensive line to be ready in their first game against the dominant Mist offense.

The group was almost separated when rumors surfaced that Yashi was contemplating retirement. Those rumors we’re put to rest however when she came back to try-outs in the winter. “You never want to go out on a loss, I want to finish with a championship”, Rice said regarding last year’s loss in the championship game.

Morrison Morrison

The group was almost separated when rumors surfaced that Yashi was contemplating retirement. Those rumors we’re put to rest however when she attended the team tryouts this January to scope out the new prospects. “You never want to go out on a loss, I want to finish with a championship”, Rice said regarding last year’s loss in the championship game.

With Rice back, the Bliss will have no trouble being one of the best defenses in 2016. They will disrupt game plans and cause turnovers because this defensive line will just make life difficult for opposing quarterbacks. The Bliss also added some noteworthy rookies to the line that will add on some depth to the position. Rookies Carly Schultz and Whitney Evers are both 6 feet and up, which will make them the tallest players on the Chicago defensive line.

Even though the defensive line will be featuring a rookie (Morrison), the secondary, which should have four league veteran starters, will be the question for the Bliss this season. The Bliss are returning two of the best cornerbacks in the league with Dominique Collins and Di’Andra Frye. Replacing Furr and Alberts at the safety positions will likely be Tamar Fennell and Kim Perez.

Perez, who has excelled at many defensive positions, is in the best shape of her career, and it is expected that she will excel in the secondary this season.The off-season pickup of Fennell from Vegas should pay dividends for Chicago on both sides of the ball. Fennell is an LFL journeyman seeking her first Legends Cup appearance, so joining this talented Bliss team gives her a great opportunity.


Fennell Fennell

Point, blank, period this defense is ready to do what they’ve continued to do over the years, which is dominate and their first test will be against an offense that got the best of them in the first two quarters of the 2015 Legends Cup. The Bliss are preparing for redemption on May 13th when they return to the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington.