NEW GLOUCESTER, ME – In the vast rolling fields off Route 202, the Orangutangs are searching for an identity as they open training camp this week. Owner Jon Kinsman stares at his roster and doesn't even know where to begin the rebuilding process. Hurt by retirements, suspensions and underachievers, the legendary Kinsman could be faced with his toughest rebuilding job ever. But YFFL fans know better than to count any of Kinsman's teams out of the playoff picture. After all, this is the same Jon Kinsman who traded YFFL MVP Peyton Manning last off-season and then took the Dragons to the Super Bowl. But with a roster full of question marks, don't expect Kinsman to pull a similar rabbit out of a hat trick with the 'Tangs.
Critical Question Facing Owner Jon Kinsman
Is Dom Davis healthy? Over the past few seasons, Dom Davis has been the one player Kinsman has been reluctant to trade. The unassuming Davis has been a steady point scorer in his three years, reaching the 50-point plateau in each of those three seasons. But questions are starting to emerge regarding his health and readiness for the 2006 season. If Kinsman can't count on Davis to play each week, it could mean big trouble for the 'Tangs. If Davis can suit up each week though, don't be surprised if the 'Tangs compete for the division.
Player to Watch
Mark Clayton, WR - With Jimmy Smith retired, Justin McCareins demoted, and Reggie Williams transparent, Jon will no doubt need Mark Clayton to step up and produce along side Laveranues Coles. Clayton was a pleasant surprise last year and the addition of McNair should only help him more. A productive Clayton and a healthy Dom Davis could be the difference between a 6-7 season and a 3-10 season.
Leftwich, Davis, Duckett, Coles, Clayton, McMichael, Tynes, #1 Draft Pick
The 'Tangs have nothing to build around and have a half-dozen or so marginal players, yet the AFC East is so bad that I expect them to stick around in the division title race. Leftwich and Plummer will have one last chance to prove themselves worthy. Jon needs help at RB and will pray that one is available when he drafts 8th in the first round. Clayton is primed for a break-out year and McMichael is about as underrated as they get. The 'Tangs are clearly in trouble for the next few years but the AFC East is so bad that it's quite possible that none of these teams will finish above .500. Don't expect the 'Tangs to put up any 50-point games, but Jon always finds away to get his teams within a game of .500.
5-8; 410 points; 3rd AFC East