Climbing the Beanstalk
YARMOUTH, ME – It was supposed to be the draft that would change the course of the franchise. Two short years ago, Sansone and the Beans held 4 of the top 20 picks including the third pick overall. Charles Rogers was the most coveted player in the draft that year and Sansone was mystified when the expansion Mallards and Llamas passed on him. Sansone made RB Justin Fargas the 8th selection of the draft and then nabbed Rex Grossman in the second round. The pieces were in place for the Beans ascent in the powerful NFC West.
Fast forward two years. When we caught up with legendary owner, Sansone was busy browsing the YFFL.com archives for player stats, a routine that occurs almost daily in the weeks before the draft. Sansone sits in anguish, realizing he has only gotten 24 career points and 5 combined starts out of his blue chip draft picks from 2003. Now, with Grossman out for likely the entire YFFL season again, Sansone wonders what else could possibly go wrong? Charles Rogers has missed all but five games in his first two years because of broken collar bones. Jusin Fargas has been injured most of his career as well. Rogers is healthy for now and will look to climb the Beans depth chart this pre-season while Fargas is just hoping to make the team. The Beans have the talent and depth to win without the help of the draft Class of 2003 but one can only wonder where this team would be if these players could stay healthy.
Biggest Question Facing Owner Bobby Sansone
Who starts at WR? The Beans are experienced and deep at all positions and especially at WR. Plaxico Burress has one of the WR spots locked up but the other starting spot is up for grabs between Donald Driver, Eddie Kennsion and Charles Rogers. And let's not forget Sansone will likely select another WR with the No. 5 pick in the draft. Expect Sansone to trade some of his WR talent at or before the draft.
Reasons the Beans Could Be Drafting 5th Again in 2006
The Beans have been hard-pressed on luck in recent years so Sansone is holding his breath hoping no one else gets injured this preseason. The NFC West is arguably the most competitive division having sent two teams to the NFC Conference Championship in each of the last three seasons. The Beans will have to play the Chickens and Huskers twice yet again this season. Jordan could lose goalline carries to Zach Crockett while Travis Henry will split carries with Chris Brown.
Green, Portis, Jordan, Burress, Driver, Gonzalez, Wilkins, Henry
The Beans are loaded once again for a championship run. Lamont Jordan is an emerging star and should compliment Clinton Portis nicely in the backfield. Tony Gonzalez was overshadowed by Antonio Gates last season but is still the league's premier tight end. Trent Green always provides the threat of a 4-TD game. Burress, Kennison, Driver and Rogers are quietly becoming one of the better WR corps in the league. Travis Henry and Marcel Shipp are the x-factors while J.P. Losman provides insurance to Green. Oh, and don't forget the Beans have the 5th pick in the draft.
9-4; 2nd NFC West