The List: A League-Wide Rundown of the Best, Most Underrated, and Overrated Players and Coaches in the LFL, LFL360.com, Marcus de la Fuente
LFL360.com, Marcus de la Fuente
(Las Vegas, NV – February 7th, 2013)
1. Ashley Salerno (Los Angeles) – Having led the Temptation to two of their three championships, Salerno has the opportunity to go down as one of the all time greats in this league. She’ll need to become more of a leader this season because the road to the Lingerie Bowl will be tougher than ever.
2. Nikki Johnson (Vegas) – A great skillset and tremendous athleticism make Johnson one of the most effective passers in the league. She must become more confident in the pocket and lose her nerves in order to take her team to a championship this year.
3. Anne Erler (Green Bay) – Erler has all the necessary tools of a franchise quarterback. She’s tall, elusive, and the most intense leader in the LFL. Her skillset as a QB would be complete if she had a better deep ball.
1. Jessica Hopkins (Seattle) – Veteran leader who has become the best possession receiver in the LFL. Even with the best hands in the league and a devoted work ethic, Hopkins lacks the speed to run away from defenders.
2. Melissa Margulies (Los Angeles) – Although small, Margulies has the speed, hands, work ethic, and quarterback to become the biggest offensive weapon in the entire league. Her productivity however will depend on how well she comes back from the serious knee injury she sustained less than one year ago.
3. Theresa Petruziello (Cleveland) – Great size, hands, and athleticism, but her lack of speed puts her third on this list.
1. Marirose Roach (Philadelphia) – Fastest player, and best athlete in the league. She has all the tools you want in a franchise Running Back including catching passes out of the backfield and finding the end-zone often.
2. Tamar Fennell (Cleveland) – With all the right mechanics and components of a franchise Running Back, Fennell could threaten Roach as the best offensive player in the league.
3. Chrisdell Harris (Chicago) – Raw talent with the most potential of any running back. Once she gets more experience catching passes out of the backfield, she’ll become the best back in the league.
1. Liz Gorman (N/A) – The intimidating Safety with a huge motor and pure tackling ability has dominated her position since the first LFL season. Her status in the LFL is in question, after rumors of her retirement surfaced throughout the league.
2. Lauren Ziegler (Jacksonville) – She is the best defensive athlete in the league. With great football instincts and a knack for finding the ball, Ziegler could become the key defensive replacement for Jacksonville, if in fact Gorman is no longer on their roster.
3. Shanae’ Thomas (Atlanta) – Thomas wreaks havoc on opposing blockers with a fast and extremely aggressive style of play. She is incredible off the edge and is by far the best Defensive End in the league.
1. Chris Michaelson (Seattle) – His teams have always outperformed their talent level, and it’s because of the way they’re coached. Now Michaelson’s roster is deep and has the talent to exercise his coaching strategy to its full potential.
2. David Bizub (Los Angeles) – Three championships in three years. His team has lacked in preparation in the past, and this isn’t the year to get sloppy. (Recently announced his retirement from coaching in the LFL)
3. Yo Murphy (Jacksonville) – Year after year, Yo produces the best offensive scheme in the league, implementing every member of his roster into a winning game plan.
1. Seattle – The Mist-Fits create the toughest atmosphere for opposing teams to play in. They rival Quest field in their ability to shake up the visiting teams’ on field communication.
2. Cleveland – The Browns’ Dog Pound has translated to the Crush Pound. Crush fans have maintained an enthusiastic atmosphere despite the continuous losses.
3. Green Bay – The Cheese Heads of Lambeau Field have taken the short stroll to the Resch Center and brought Green Bay’s devoted love for football along with them.
THREE MOST OVERRATED:
1. Angela Rypien (Baltimore) – On paper, Rypien has all the tools to become a successful LFL quarterback, but it is just too early in the development process for her to be considered a top player.
2. Laurel Creel (Seattle) – Creel has the leadership qualities you look for in a quarterback, not to mention the best receiving corps in the league, but she doesn’t have the toughness, arm strength, or accuracy to be of any real threat to a secondary.
3. Christy Bell (Philadelphia) – Flashes of greatness are overwhelmed by streaks of untimely mistakes.
1. Cassandra Strickland (Vegas) – Her publicity far outweighs her on-field production. With all the physical tools you want in a wide receiver, Strickland would be the hardest receiver in the league to cover, if she could catch.
2. Katie Zellner (Green Bay) – Erler probably wishes she had a better number one receiver running the deep routes. Zellner shows signs of potential as a possession receiver, but simply lacks the physical traits you look for in a dominant deep threat.
3. Bryn Renda (Jacksonville) – She needs to step up her off-season preparations in order to make the most of her potential.
1. Ida Bernstein (Baltimore) – She receives a lot of praise without the production. Ida needs to show more of a committed effort in order to be consistently productive.
2. Jenny Butler (Philadelphia) – If Roach can’t stay healthy, the Passion’s rushing attack will weigh heavily on Butler’s shoulders. Although Butler shows big promise at times, her underwhelming
stint in Toronto proved Roach’s importance in Philly.
3. Carmen Bourseau (Vegas) – She’s a raw talent with room for development, but an injury prone running back that lacks toughness only has so much upside.
1. Tessa Barrera (Los Angeles) – A lot of bark and not much bite. Her lack of speed will start to become a hindrance as this league acquires more and more talent.
2. Monique Gaxiola (Los Angeles) – She needs to try and get at least one sack this year. This could be difficult since multiple knee injuries make a slow linebacker even slower.
3. Christine Moore (Seattle) – One of the premier faces of the league needs to prove she can actually contribute on the field.
1. Chandler Brown (Philadelphia) – The success that this team has had is attributed to one player rather than the coaching. Where is Philly’s preparation to match their pool of talent?
2. Rick Reeder (Baltimore) – Reeder lacks the fire and intensity to motivate his team on a consistent basis, resulting in subpar performance throughout the season.
3. Gilbert Brown (Green Bay) – Brown is a tremendous leader with more football experience than any coach in the league, but he has yet to prove that he can instill the proper preparation required to be successful in the LFL.
FIVE MOST UNDERRATED:
1. Chloe Butler – DE – (Los Angeles) – She has broken the bones of multiple players and will continue to intimidate quarterbacks with her explosiveness and violent tackling ability.
2. Shuree Hyatt – TE – (Seattle) – Showed great speed and ball skills in the Pacific Cup and could be a candidate for Rookie of the Year.
3. Riki Creger-Zier – WR – (Seattle) – Speedy wide-out that will be lined up opposite two other great receivers, both of which will take away coverage.
4. KK Matheny – QB – (Jacksonville) – With her accuracy and arm strength, Matheny will continue to be a very effective passer…if she can keep her nerves down.
5. Heather Furr – QB – (Chicago) – Her experience and confidence was on display during her time with LFL Canada. She could be at the helm of the biggest surprise of the 2013 LFL season.
The 5 Certainties for 2013:
1. Atlanta goes 0-4
2. Omaha makes the playoffs
3. Seattle plays LA for the Western Conference Championship
4. Shuree Hyatt wins Rookie of the Year
5. LA wins fourth Championship