LOS ANGELES TEMPTATION: 2016 PRE-SEASON SCOUTING REPORT
OVERALL: TEAM GRADE C+
A football science experiment is happening in Los Angeles, that includes perhaps the most eclectic mixture of talent, personalities and ego of any LFL team headed into the 2016 season. Aussie imports Quincy Hewitt at Tight End and Kiana Takairangi at Wide Receiver should have immediate impact. Free agency also landed LA several key new pieces such as Wide Receiver Cynthia Schmidt, Wide Receiver Brittany Henderson and Safety Tai Emery of the Vegas SIN. Schmidt has tremendous upside if she can get out of her own head. Emery and Henderson will be role players at best. All-Fantasy center Meghan Hanson instantly bolsters the offensive line while Lily Granston has tremendous skill at safety, both free-agent pick-ups from the Seattle Mist.
Free agency also landed Nas Johnson and Jayne Caldwell of the Atlanta Steam, Johnson is expected to start at Running Back while Caldwell will serve as a short-down Running Back and challenge for the starting Quarterback role. The key to success or failure for LA will be the development of Kadi Findling at Quarterback. LA has made the commitment to finally move on from longtime starter Ashley Salerno who’s off-the-field issues outweighed her on-field contribution, especially amidst a three-year Legends Cup drought under Salerno.
The Offensive Line has the potential of being the best in the league and is absolutely the strength of this new-look offense. All-Fantasy center Meghan Hanson has finally committed to being in better football shape as has Tight End Sherri Awagah, however starting Kia Ramos at Tight End ahead of Quincy Hewitt could be a major mistake as Ramos lacks discipline and has never been in football-shape. The return of Harvey at Tight End following ACL surgery, will make this the best Offensive Line in the LFL. New Offensive Coordinator Jeff Lowden brings a new playbook and philosophy to the re-building Temptation offense.
Lowden’s work with starting Quarterback Findling will be vital. Outside receivers are extremely untested and inconsistent with Schmidt and Henderson. At Running Back, Johnson is great in open spaces but lacks the toughness to be an effective Running Back.
The corner stones of this defense will be Cornerback Ogom Chijundu and Middle Linebacker Monique Gaxiola, both tenured athletes. Beyond Chijundu and Gaxiola, the surprise dark-horse could be Naja Christmas, easily the most gifted athlete on this roster. It will come down to Christmas’ commitment to learning the Defensive End position, simply a physical specimen. Gaxiola will need to get into better shape to improve her mobility + speed to the ball, returning to her previous dominant seasons.
The defense also adds one of the best pure-tacklers in the league via free-agency, Seattle’s Lily Granston.
Poor coverage skills of Chijundu and Haardt could once again prove to be the downward spiral of this defense in a pass-happy Western Conference.
While Head Coach Tui Suiaunoa brings a lot of experience and a proven track record as perhaps the best Defensive Coordinator in the league, it’s his lack of an authoritative approach that hurts him. Suiaunoa has brought in Offensive Coordinator Jeff Lowden who could be the best offensive coordinator this franchise has ever seen, previous regimes featured very vanilla approaches that lacked sophistication.
Veteran Experience, Athleticism.
Lack of Accountability by the Coaching Staff, Inexperience at Quarterback.
Development of Quarterback Kadi Findling or signing a more seasoned Quarterback. Head Coach Tui Suiaunoa grabbing the reigns/control of this team that has often been an ‘Inmates run the Asylum’ type organization.