Dallas was perhaps, no, it was, one of the most talented teams last season. They had it all, or so it seemed on paper. They had big dreams for last year, but failed to come together as a team, and it cost the Desire an LFL championship run. This year they return with the most solid, poised veteran quarterback, and a defense that is arguably one of the best in the league. Yet, the buzz still remains quiet around this talented team. And it’s because we’ve seen this movie before, last year, when the top-ranked Desire self-destructed and fell apart. And while there still remains no doubt about the potential of this team, who recently had one of the best rookie classes to ever grace the LFL field arrive, whether or not they can put it all together this year and make a championship run is a great debate.
Checking last year’s statistics for a read on this team would be a huge mistake. Look at them on paper and you would assume they had a decent team, but nothing to write home about. They had the fifth ranked offense in the LFL, 152 YPG and only 55.8 yards passing. Their defense was ranked fourth as well, giving up an average of 130 YPG, but only allowed 68 points, good for the LFL’s second best scoring defense in the league. Again, good numbers, but not amazing. So why exactly were they ranked #1 through most of the season last year?
Because they had the talent to be way above those numbers, they had the talent to lead every category in the league, but they didn’t because they could not bring it all together.
Chemistry is not just an 8th grade science class, it is what brought the LA Temptation to a championship last year, it is why the Tampa Breeze are predicted to win it this year, and it is what the Desire need to find in order to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, it was not there last year, the team was a bunch of talented I’s and it resulted in a disappointed we. But coach AK thinks the teams will come together this year, “they (the Desire) are humble and hungry to learn to get better.” Humility is certainly a start.
But it is much easier said than done.
If there is any barometer as to the “team chemistry” this year, see Toni Kelley, a free safety who had only 4 tackles last year. But her talent was limitless, and because of her athletic ability she was selected to the All-Fantasy roster. But that did not last long, as the LFL nation soon found out that her ego was bigger than her talent, and it came back to bite her. A verbal argument with coaches led Kelley straight off the roster and her future in the LFL was in doubt.. Recently, she said all the right things this offseason and was eventually reinstated, but coach AK has a big job trying to rope all the big egos in Texas. But if he is able to do it, Kelley is the perfect symbol for the unbelievable talent and success the Desire can have if they come together as a team.
And believe me, the upside is tremendous. The Desire lost two defensive players in Gabrielle Marie and Annie Haner, but they return with safety Candis Mosley and rookies Nikki Spinato and JoJo Brown, two of the fastest players to ever grace a LFL roster. Spinato is already heralded as one of the premiere safeties in the LFL, and is expected to bring a lot to an already ridiculously stacked Desire defense. On offense they have one of the most poised quarterbacks in the league in Linda Brenner, whose leadership of the team is one of the few saving graces the Desire have in terms of egos. But the offensive line is small, the running game is nothing special, yet, and questions linger about how productive the Desire can be with these two deficiencies staring them down. Fortunately, Mosley is not only one of the top safeties in the game, she is also one of the best receivers, averaging 17 yards a catch last season and 4 touchdowns. She is an invaluable asset to the Desire and has the ability to fill in any role required of her. If her and Brenner can get on the same cylinders this year, expect an explosive Dallas offense.
But like I said, this is all contingent on whether or not the Desire want to take what they are on paper, and translate it to success. If they come together, they win the LFL championship, if they don’t, they disappoint like last season. One source already tells me that the gang may be up to their old tricks, “they don’t want to be coached,” the source told LFL360, “too many damn egos out there on the field.” And it is disappointing to hear, because they could be something special. But for now, it appears as though this may be a new chapter in the same book.