Postcards From Camp: Asian Orangutangs

Jon Kinsman, YFFL Commissioner

August 31, 2005

Would You Like 'Ricky Williams' With That Order?
Ricky Williams
Ricky is back, but does he want to play football?

SCARBOROUGH, ME - The "Atlanta Braves" of the YFFL, the Asian Orangutangs seem to always find themselves in the playoffs but despite appearing in several Super Bowls, only have 1 YFFL championship to show for it. The franchise seemed headed for hard times in 2003 after failing to make the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time, but a trade with the Humping Beans injected new life into the team by bringing in 3 starters in the form of Laveranues Coles, T.J. Duckett and Randy McMichael. Looking to improve the team further, owner Jon Kinsman then decided to deal his biggest superstar, Terrell Owens, during the offseason in exchange for he thought was a proven running back in Ricky Williams.

We all know how that deal turned out.

Owens went on to have a career year with the Chickens and led them back to a Super Bowl while Williams decided to go live in a tent made of hemp on an obscure island in the Pacific. This would have been crippling to most teams, but as the YFFL Yearbook: 2004 Asian Orangutangs DVD release says, "their story was one of hard work, inspiration and motivation". The storybook Orangutangs not only won their division but made it all the way to the AFC Championship game in what could be considered one of their finest seasons despite barely winning half their games and getting outscored by a 5 win team in their own division.

Biggest Question Facing Owner Jon Kinsman

What can they get out of Ricky Williams? Ricky is back in Dolphins camp and slated to back-up rookie Ronnie Brown after he serves his suspension to begin the year. If Brown struggles, Ricky could see some action when he returns but nobody is sure if he can be a productive every-down back in the NFL again. Kinsman held onto Williams all last season in hopes of his return and is hoping that his presence could be a wild card that swings the balance of the AFC East late in the season.

Draft Outlook

Due to their miraculous run to the AFC Championship game, the Orangutangs find themselves in a difficult position - drafting 13th overall despite winning only 7 games last season. Kinsman will be looking to add a wide receiver to replace the aging Jimmy Smith and could be looking at a project guy like Reggie Brown or pairing Matt Jones with Byron Leftwich, but is wary about constructing a team like the Humping Beans of the late 90's that was too reliant on one NFL team and thus fluctuated from 11 to 3 wins in a three year span.

Probable Starters

Leftwich, Davis, Duckett, Coles, Smith, McMichael, Tynes, McCareins

Final Observations

On paper, the Orangutangs are far from explosive. Don't expect many three touchdown games from any of their players, including QB Byron Leftwich who should be improved with the team's new "air-it-out" passing scheme but is still looking for his breakout season and will continue to platoon with backup Jake Plummer. Domanick Davis has emerged as a threat on both the ground and in the passing game and will be relied on to carry the running attack while Duckett adds goalline scores. The trio of Coles, Jimmy Smith and Justin McCareins aren't flashy but are veteran presences that will be looked at in the red zone and should combine to provide consistent scoring. This Orangutang team is solid but not scary, and essentially the same squad that backed its way into a divisional title a year ago. With the addition of Ricky Williams at midseason, the Orangutangs are level-headed enough to ride out the highs and lows of a weak AFC East and in typical fashion, somehow win another division title.

Projected Record

8-5; 1st AFC East