The preseason comes to an end officially as the PFL goes into its third year with our Spring Classic. The collegiate level programs headline the annual event and this year the field is full of familiar faces. For our 21 year old’s who have turned 22 it is time for one last hurrah of sorts as we say goodbye to the young men that many of whom were instrumental is getting the league the notoriety that it has enjoyed over the past 2 years. Here are the teams that will be participating in the Spring Classic, and all will be in action tomorrow.
Bronx Colts – The defending Spring and Fall Champions of 2013 have been back at it for the 2014 season. The Colts have stayed committed to the things that have made them the only undefeated team in Spring play thus far. They have capitalized on their success and have even gone “Hollywood” with the filming of their Hard Knocks series. The question is whether the Colts will stay focused on playing solid football, or rest on the laurels and two trophies that they placed on the mantle in 2013.
Strengths – Veterans on this team are back and appear to still be hungry for more. The taste of victory is something that they got used to. Secondary is a true no fly zone with a very fast playing secondary. Any confidence that this group gets early will get converted into points.
Weaknesses – Running game has had a rotation that has not been a strong point for this team. Up front they have the ability to dominate, will they get downhill running to go with it?
Bronx Buccaneers – Last season they finished second place in the spring and the fall. Coach O’Neil and company are looking to move to the top spot and have been working very hard to do so, The team is a year older and a year wiser which gives them an advantage as a well coached group.
Strengths – The Buccs numbers in practice shows a dedication to winning. They are extremely well coached and usually have players that play beyond their talents. Their defense plays fast and has some major play makers that can turn momentum of a game on a single play.
Weaknesses – Size is an issue against teams with more experience. The Buccs offense takes time to develop and teams that blitz a lot and use pressure packages usually see success.
Bronx Seahawks – This second year program had glimmers of hope in the 2013 fall season. They are looking for one of those “signature wins” to catapult their name into the the upper echelon of teams in the PFL. They added a few pieces including some former players from the New York Knights. The mixture of the returning players and the new crew will be interesting to see.
Strengths – The Seahawks have talent and that is not a question. They have some solid role players and a few standouts from 2013. They added a lot of size and play makers to their roster.
Weaknesses – Team chemistry is always a worry when seeing so many new faces. It will take time to make those bonds and we shall see if they figure it out on time to make a playoff run. Throwing the ball was tough last season, with less chemistry, the pass game is the first thing that suffers.
Brooklyn Bobcats – The Bobcats return to the Spring with the hopes to turn the corner and become a winning organization. They have shown in small increments of games that they are capable of executing solid football plays, but they struggle being consistent enough to compete with good teams.
Strengths – Coach Tony has been recruiting and these new players have a new spirit and are looking to the future of the team and not the past.
Weaknesses – The Bobcats are prone to mistakes at the most inopportune times. Turnovers plagued them last season. They cannot play with a quality team if they continue to throw to the other team.
Staten Island Bandits – Given up for dead following Superstorm Sandy, The Staten Island Bandits went through hell trying to get their team back up and running. A stressful and unsuccessful Spring campaign has now found a place in the rear view mirror. The Bandits have a few new faces and they look like they have the factory up and running again.
Strengths – This team likes to throw the ball. They can do it and be successful with their new players. They know what they wan to do and will take advantage of mistakes.
Weaknesses – The missed some major playmakers that have graduated out last season so don’t expect to see the same guys out there. If the new players can step up and be bold enough to take a spot, that should decide their fate.
Brooklyn Pharaohs – The new kid on the block so to speak, the Pharaohs hung in with some very good PFL teams in exhibition games. They now have taken their first steps into full participation which includes what Coach Hugh Bent hopes will be a playoff run. They have a solid core of players and they are young and appear to listen (rare). Brooklyn has some great talent, but move best when disciplined as well.
Strengths – The team pays attention to detail. Looks over every detail and stresses 11 men on the field need to be perfect.
Weaknesses – Young teams make mistakes… Will it be through penalties or personal fouls? Still looking at the defensive line and whether they can get the needed pressure to get the advantage to the line of scrimmage.