YARMOUTH, ME – The Thugs opened camp this week with last year’s devastating loss in the AFC Division Championship still very much fresh in their mind. The Thugs have won 3 of the 4 AFC West titles but have yet to advance to the Super Bowl and time may be running out on the team that has changed very little over the years. The nucleus remains the same with Garcia, James and Ahman Green leading the way. Owner Bobby Sansone believes this season will be the last legitimate chance the Thugs have before age begins to take its toll.
Biggest Question Facing Owner Bobby Sansone
Can the Thugs overcome pre-season adversity? The Thugs haven’t even played one game in 2003 and have already lost Jimmy Smith for the first four games of the season to suspension. 2001 YFFL MVP Jeff Garcia will play despite chronic back pain from a herniated disk. The Thugs feature one of the league’s best starting lineups but lack depth off the bench. With no draft picks until the late 2nd round, the Thugs will have to survive this season with what they’ve got now.
None. The Thugs have chose to draft veterans over the past few years and feature a wide variety of unproven players who could make an impact in 2003. Derrius Thompson and Brian Finneran will vie for playing time until Jimmy Smith returns. Alge Crumpler is a solid fantasy TE and Moe Williams will look to repeat his stellar 2002 campaign.
Garcia, Green, James, Boston, Finneran, Crumpler, Akers, Garner
The addition of David Boston gives the Thugs a much needed boost at WR, a position that has doomed the franchise for decades. One particular Scott Dugas employee said that the Thugs are the league’s most overrated team and won’t be able to compete with a certain AFC West team. The Thugs are still the defending AFC West champions and have plenty of talent to hang on to that title. They will have to avoid injuries to hold off tough competition inside their own division. Look for the Thugs to be back in the playoffs one way or another this season.