by Mahmoud Aljouni, Vancouver FS
Welcome to the Tulsa Desperados Preview! The team is owned and ran by current SFL RB legend, Dion Hawkins. The defensive coordinator/mastermind will be Espnn Ry’ale, the LB for the Desperados. Winning an expansion bid this off-season, they are looking to make some noise in what many regard as the weaker conference among the three. Right off the bat, they jump right into Panhandle Pandemonium against the Oklahoma City Renegades.
They look as though they will have a balanced, high attacking offense because of the high overall values at the QB and RB positions. They do have a dominant receiving corps with Sonzo Robinson, the former Baltimore RB making the move to another skill position, and Khoury Jones coming over from Vancouver. Both had astonishing seasons last year and will have talented first-year QB, Sir-Charles Robinson, distributing the ball to them. With rookie TE Lluis Latore , they will look to give balance with the pass & run to confuse opponents. Even though they are armed with a good WR set, they will most likely rely on the running game, since they have one of the greatest backs in SFL history.
Their defense looks very dangerous as they have a full secondary and Ry’ale at LB, as well as Griffin Brown at DT. Their front 7 will look to create pressure inside the pocket and force QB’s to throw bad balls to a secondary waiting in the back, providing a formula to generate turnovers. They might struggle against the run, but as a pass defense, you might want to avoid throwing the football against them. SS Charles Ball will definitely be an asset to this rookie secondary. CB’s Jeffrey Desir (another former Crab) and rookie Kyler Murray are going to be relied on heavily to provide full cover for opposing air attacks and give the ball back to their offense. I expect them to be a top passing defensive unit and with a kicker in the mix, don’t expect them to miss FGs often.
Their schedule does look rough as they open the season off for two weeks on the road, but then they come back home for 3 straight weeks. I expect Sioux Falls and Chicago to own this division, but if Tulsa can keep up with them, this just might be a interesting playoff race as Sioux Falls has proven they can be inconsistent at times. The Desperados have the privilege of entering their first season in a conference with another expansion team. In order to secure their spot on the post season, they will need to prove to be the better of the two. Tulsa has a shot just like any other team, but in a division like theirs, they might have the biggest chance. I expect them to finish off around 7-5 and quietly sneak into the playoffs, only because of their build and strength of division. They must get everyone on both sides of the ball going if they want to start their first year off making a mark in the SFL.