Postcards From Camp: Chunky Chickens

Bobby Sansone, Senior Writer

September 04, 2003

Lewiston, ME – The Chickens, still fuming over last year’s 3 losses to the Huskers, are back in 2003 and better than ever. If not for a brutal 13-game schedule, the Chickens would be candidates to go 13-0. Led by Ricky Williams and LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chickens feature the league’s best starting lineup and also have depth should players get injured. Training camp closed yesterday as the players boarded a bus back home to Lewiston. With a huge Week 1 battle against the defending AFC Champion Merry Men, The Chickens will have a chance to measure themselves against one of the league’s best team right away.

Biggest Question Facing Mike Kinsman

Will the Huskers dominance of the Chickens continue in 2003? The Chickens are just 1-5 in the past two seasons against their biggest rival the Ucornn Huskers. Fortunately, that lone win came in the 2001 Wild Card Game which ultimately allowed the Chickens to advance to the Super Bowl. But after last season’s 0-3 performance in arguably the three biggest games of the 2002 YFFL season, Kinsman has been second-guessing his football club, “It’s one thing to go out there and take care of business against a 6-6-1 average team like the Merry Men, but this league’s got better owners than Steve Dugas so you have to be prepared for those 12-1 teams that come along.”

Rising Star

LaDainian Tomlinson. Passed over in the 2001 draft by Chris Davidson, Tomlinson hasn’t made Chris forget his mistake. Tomlinson along with Ricky Williams, Jamal Lewis and Kevan Barlow form the league’s best backfield since the YFFL expanded to 16 teams in 2003.

Probable Starters

McNabb, Tomlinson, Williams, Rice, Horn, Fauria, Longwell, Lewis

Final Observations

The Chickens are far and away the preseason favorite to win the 2003 Super Bowl but don’t pencil them in to play the Merry Men just yet. A brutal schedule and an extremely competitive NFC should make things difficult for Mike and the Chickens. In the first Power Rankings, the top 4 teams all hailed from the NFC. A healthy McNabb could be the league’s best fantasy QB. Joe Horn and Jerry Rice are as steady as they come. The Chickens tried to acquire Tony Gonzalez in the off season but will go with Christian Fauria until a proven TE can be found.