by Badr Ajlouni, Houston WR
The Oklahoma City Renegades, from the look of it so far, are sporting stars on offense with 2 TE’s, 2 WR’s, QB and RB. The offense looks completley rebuilt as they have new QB, Deacon Nickens and RB Donk Bonkers. There is no player on this team that grabs my attention more than running back, Donk Bonkers. Believe it or not, the reason for my interest is not just because of the name, which is awesome by the way, but Bonkers is only 5’10 and 200 pounds, small by SFL standards. This league is dominated by large workhorses, clydesdales, if you will. Power backs who would rather see defenders eat their shoulder than skip round them with a dip and swerve. Judging on size alone, ‘Bonkowski’ could set a new trend. The rookie has a chance to join J Calvin Kim as a premier ‘scat back’ in this league. Skeptics may point to the fact that he is starting as a lower value RB and is on a team that seems keyed in on the pass, all valid reservations. However, I see fast early season progression. I see a back who has two star tight ends out there blocking for him. I see a man who will be able to make tacklers miss. He may not grab the headlines immediately, but I see the league going bonkers about Donk come season end. The TE’s are going to help them because the they can act as an additional OL and pick blocks and can get Bonkers more yardage. The dual TE look is a favorite from OKC.
From the looks of it so far the defensive stars are 2 CB’s, ILB, DE, FS and SS. OKC’s defense is serviceable. Most areas are covered with players whose starting value is middle tier within the SFL. One player that stands out above the rest, quite literally, is defensive end Mandrake Purp. This is a rather large individual carrying an extremely large load for The Renegades. Day Drewery and Mandrake Purp were brought in for one specific purpose: blow the backfield up. They want to be able to stop the run, which beat them bad last year, as they had the 11th ranked run defense allowing 141.2 yards a game. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. As the sole star lineman on the team, it won’t take a Bill Belechik-like coach to gameplan against Purp. He is going to be double-teamed most games, which inevitably will limit his impact. Despite this, he will get after it. The opposing QB will know he’s there and feel his presence. I’m expecting double-digit sack totals. Watch this space.
Renegades need to get off to a fast start much like they did last season because they have 6 road games in the middle of the schedule. Michael Irvine stated that he has been perfecting the 2 TE set for 3 seasons now and each season it has improved. Also, like most owners, he believes that the Renegades can make it to the Championship Game this season. From the build, I think that they will have one of the best rushing defenses out there because of their DE and ILB.