LFL360.com, Jenifer Rodriguez
There have certainly been a number of changes across the league recently. While there has been much excitement surrounding the rebranding of the Legends Football League, fans, players, and coaches won’t soon forget the candid power rankings that set out from the league office earlier this month.
All of the teams in the LFL US have been training together since early last year. The off-season has been a time for athletes to train and practice on their own. Some women put in more work while others put in less. Whatever the situation, the front office didn’t miss it. In fact, in order to compute these rankings as accurately as possible, the league has been taking extensive notice of each team’s off-season training programs and preparation for this new era.
The power rankings that began in early January are the foundation of where each team stands, as they get closer to kick-off. Although these rankings are certainly subject to change, they do add some genuine insight into how each team will fare this season.
Not every coach found the Pre-season power rankings to be just, so lets take a look at how some of the league’s personnel responded.
NO.1 – LAS VEGAS
“I am thankful our hard work has not gone unnoticed. We will continue to work even harder to bring our prediction into fruition.” – Coach Jeremiah Captain
NO.2 – BALTIMORE
“My reaction was WOW! I was not expecting that at all. I was thinking maybe #5 or #6 in the rankings. Baltimore has been working extremely hard in the off-season to prepare for 2013. I showed my team the rankings and asked them what they wanted to do. ‘Do you want to live up to the ranking or just be satisfied with the pre-season ranking and fall from there and become the joke of the league?’ They responded back by saying that they will do anything to keep that ranking. The coaching staff here in Baltimore has been pushing these ladies hard during practices and workouts. Now, we are pushing even harder to see if they will break. We are testing their minds and their bodies. We will see, when we play Jacksonville in May, if we are ready to hold on to the ranking.”
–Coach Rick Reeder
NO.3 – LOS ANGELES
“Pre-season rank means nothing to me as a coach. I prepare my team to win every game. Each year they rank us low, and I love it. Rank me last. It means nothing. You still have to win on the field. The goal for LA is always to win a championship. No matter if you rank us #1 or #12, we still need to win every game in order to make the playoffs and the championship. The only rank that counts is the one that comes out after you hoist a trophy. Hopefully we will be in that discussion at the end of the year.”
– Coach David Bizub
NO.4 – OMAHA
“The pre-season ranking wasn’t surprising because we have been working out and practicing since July 2012. It made me even more proud of the team because I know they have been putting in the work to be able to compete in their first year. I talked to the team about it, and they understand that it is just a ranking and that we still have to execute on the field and continue to work at being competitive.”
– Coach Dontae Allen
NO.5 – CHICAGO
“I pay absolutely no attention to [the rankings]. I have never been a big believer in that stuff. Let’s take a poll when the season is underway and teams have played a few games. Then we will see who is who.”
– Coach Keith Hac
NO.6 – GREEN BAY
“It’s a motivator for us to get better.”
– Gilbert Brown
NO.7 – CLEVELAND
“Being ranked #7 is big step from last years ranking, but on another note its motivation for me personally as a coach. Being the youngest head coach, with a losing season last year…the target is on my back. I really have no problems with the pressure. We will shock the world this upcoming season. Hard work pays off, and the LFL will see that come May 18th.”
NO.8 – SEATTLE
“I really don’t buy into the pre-season rankings or media frenzy about what’s going with each team. However, I am a bit surprised about being ranked 8th after beating the Canadian Champions in our first game back in almost a year. Not sure too many other teams would have put in such a performance in their first game back against such an opponent. I absolutely love being ranked so low and would actually prefer the 12th ranking. I know what I put my players through on a weekly basis, and I can assure you that we are working extremely hard at getting prepared for the upcoming season. We still have a ton of work, as always. I am never satisfied with any performance.”
– Coach Chris Michaelson
NO.9 – ATLANTA
“Being new to the LFL and just starting a brand new team, I was expecting to be last. No one knows that this team trains twice a week with one of the best sports trainers in Atlanta on power and agility and that the o-line and d-line have training sessions twice a week. In addition to their individual workouts, we practice two to three times a week. These girls are definitely one of the hardest working groups I have ever been a part of, and when the lights come on, I can’t wait for the entire world to see them in action. We are growing as a team and getting better every single day. Since we started so late, we have lots of catching up to do, and we will be ready when the season gets here.
– Coach Ray Norell
NO.10 – PHILADELPHIA
“We don’t really pay attention to that stuff. We only focus on getting better as a football team. The only rankings we care about are the post-season rankings.”
– Coach Chandler Brown
NO.11 – JACKSONVILLE
“All I ask of my girls is for all they have… nothing more, nothing less. You can’t motivate people with fear because when the pain is gone, they stop. You create a ceiling. I refuse to do that. I have too much respect for the game that I played my whole life and these girls who are playing it.”
– Yo Murphy
NO.12 – MINNESOTA
“I’d rather us climb, fight & wiggle our way up to the top.”
- Coach Benson Maneto
As you’ve read from the head coaches, these rankings either mean nothing to them or they are a motivational kick-start to the 2013 LFL USA season. Training camp is currently in session. It will be interesting to see where each team falls in the next round of the LFL power rankings coming next week.